GUIDE TO RIVER COQUET
(Blindburn to Alnwinton)
NAME OF RIVER: Coquet (Upper Section)
WHERE IS IT?: The Coquet valley, Northumberland National Park
PUT-INS/ TAKEOUTS: Put in at NT 867 103 in the carpark before Barrow Burn or carry on driving as far up the road as you think its runnable. The road sticks to the bank side of the river right up to the source at the mediaval village of kemylpeth. Get out river right on the road bridge at Linsheils NT 892 064 or continue down the flat section to the get in of the lower section of the Coquet NT 923 056.
APPROX LENGTH: Approx 19km for the whole section or 6km from the carpark to Linsheils
TIME NEEDED: 1 - 4 hours depending on flow and choice of section
ACCESS HASSLES: Make sure the red flags are down on the ranges as the sections past NT 860 114 are on the ranges! Covered under the Tyne access agreement.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Look about 0.5km above the confluence with the Usway there's a rocky rapid if the water is flowing over it you've got the perfect level! Also there's an EA guage for Coquet at Alwinton and the Usway was at 0.6 for a nice medium level, but the more water the better really, it can take loads just make sure you can get under the road bridges!
GRADING: based on Medium to High levels G3 mostly with a G3 above the Usway confluence and a possible G4 at the end!
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Low road bridges and the two rapids below linsheils bridge are worthy of inspection in high levels, there's also a weir at NT 86998 08265.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A nice easy trip, the water can be suprisingly clear in spate, Good Fun if you get it in full spate! It will be fast and bouncy. From the car park at Barrow burn the river flows through the valley with some fairly continuous rocky rapids separated by some open fast flowing areas as, eventually you will reach the rapid that is mentioned above at NT 877 080 you will have inspected it from the road when you've run your shuttle. After this you pass the confluence with the Usway and the river nearly doubles in volume heading towards the get out. Before linsheils the river opens out very wide about 40 metres at this point you are just above Linsheils gorge - about 30 meters of continous G3+ in high water. This can be inspected from river right. After this rapid you enter a pool under the road bridge, ahead of you is G4 cork screw falls, Does exactly what it says, it actually managed to throw a 300L boat out of the water completley!
OTHER NOTES: You could run the lower section as an addition to the Usway burn.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Stu Ridley