GUIDE TO THE RIVER BAIN
NAME OF RIVER: Bain
WHERE IS IT?: Right-lateral tributary to the Ure in Wensleydale.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put-in as the river flows out of Semerwater SD 921 877 (Multimap) Take-out river right just below the bridge in Bainbridge SD 935 901, or continue down to the Ure
APPROX LENGTH: England's shortest River - 2.5 km as described, another 0.5 km down to the Ure.
TIME NEEDED: No more than an hour - perfect for a summer evening after a thunderstorm.
ACCESS HASSLES: Fussy signs about boating on Semerwater, but apparently no problems on the river.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs a lot of water - look upstream from the bridge in Bainbridge - here are stepped ledges whre the river is wider than upstream - if this will go the rest should be fine. (If there are any fishermen to be encountered this is also where they will be).
GRADING: 0 at the top to III at the bottom.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The stopper under the bridge at the end can be a bit nasty.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: There are two narrow roads up from Bainbridge to Semerwater - the more westerly one through Countersett is probably the better. There's limited parking, probably easiest by the lake shore just east of the put-in.
The river starts as an idyllic flat paddle with willows lining the banks and water-lilies in the eddies - not an obvious whitewater venue, but soon the river starts to head downhill and cascades with increasing speed over a rocky bed. Visibility ahead is limited by overhanging branches, and eddies are small, but not in short supply. The time given is for a cautious descent and those who believe there will be no problems with trees can probably halve it. The water is not powerful but is swift. Soon the rivers widens with a series of ledge drops visible from Bainbridge. This all funnels down to a drop under the bridge and the ledges tend to push you to the left, which is not where you want to be. Aim to be on river right under the arch as the stopper also pushes left to the bridge abutment from where it can be awkward to escape upright. There is a wide pool to collect casualties and a beach to the take-out river right.
OTHER NOTES: Paddled as a summer midweek spate run July 2007 - no fishermen (or anyone else). It's an unlikely fishing river most of the way as the overhanging branches would make casting difficult.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Waddington, paddling partner Thomas Woodstone.