GUIDE TO THE RIVER DON
(Doncaster Prison to Barnby Dun)
NAME OF RIVER: Don.
WHERE IS IT?: Just on the outskirts of the town centre (Doncaster) Near Doncaster prison. Map.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in Doncaster prison visitors car park.
Take out Barnby Dun, before you go under the railway bridge (cooling towers to the left) theres a short track with a cattle grid on it near the canal swing bridge that leads up towards the railway bridge.
APPROX LENGTH: 6 miles.
TIME NEEDED: Probably about two hours, depending on playing about time on the fish shoot weir.
ACCESS HASSLES: I am unsure but Ive done this trip 3 times now and there have been no problems at all so far. There are a few fishermen/women most of the time but they didnt seem to mind us.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: If theres water flowing over the prison bridge weir, this is at the side of the bridge you go over to get to the visitor car park it will be low to medium which is good but if theres no water flowing over the prison bridge weir it will be a scrape down the fish shoot weir.
GRADING: The fish shoot weir is 3 (+3 in high levels), then about 3/4 of a Mile of grade 1 to 2 with a grade 2/3 natural weir to finish...after, this grade 1 to the finish.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees over hanging shopping trolleys the usual urban junk. The fish shoot weir can collect a lot of trees etc so always take a look first and plan your route. Also try not to swallow any water.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Ive done this trip 3 times now first time in a Canadian and the 2nd and 3rd in the good old kayak. The Canadian is not a good idea in the long run as me and a mate got jack knifed half way down the fish shoot weir. The kayak on the other hand is perfect as the top of the weir as got a small V in the middle and 2 straight forward flat bits either side. The V tends to get the junk. As you come down the shoot (about 50m long), youll find yourself zipping a long at a fast pace and the only eddy is on the right about half way down with room for 1 boat 2 at a push, after this eddy theres a longish wave train nice and bouncy which in the right conditions could probably be surfed.
Youll now pass under a bridge and just after this is a cut to the right that takes you to the prison bridge weir. Unless the river is really going for it, this weir is pretty pointless and in lower to medium conditions is only about a foot deep at the bottom.
Going down stream now under 2 road bridges is the grade 1 may be 2 stuff...theres a bit of a rapid under the 1st set of railway bridges which we managed to paddled up last time round as we left the car at the prison.
Beyond this is another railway bridge then the natural weir which was flowing very well for surfing on. The natural weir does push you towards a few trees on the river right if you get trashed though but the middle is just as good as the right. The left is the junk stopper on this one.
After this is a fast shallow flowing bit depending on the tide and height of the river which lasts for about 300m then its a steady paddle to the take out about 4 to 5 mile down river.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Keith C and Ryan C.