NAME OF RIVER: River Skirfare.

WHERE IS IT?: Wharfedale.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Halton Gill (SD 880762), Take out at Arncliffe, SD 932719 (layby/wasteland right next to river. You pass it on the way up). Or continue in to the River Wharfe.

APPROX LENGTH: 4.5 miles.


ACCESS HASSLES: None reported.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There needs to be loadsa water.

GRADING: Grade 3-4 in spate, otherwise Grade 3 or easier. Note that numerous fences can make this slightly harder than the technical grade suggests.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Wire fences across the river. When I did it there were two.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Get in by an entrance to an estate. There is a sign telling campers to ask permission before camping. Grade 2 water leads down to the first rapid on a right hand bend, Grade 3. Shoot centre right. Grade 2-3 water continues, then eases up until you see a stone bridge. On the downstream side of this bridge is the first wire fence.Shame, because there is a nice grade 3 right above the bridge. When I did this some nice paddlers before us must have bent the wire back because there is a tight gap on the left which we squeezed through. Grade 2-3 water continues dying down to 2 near the egress. The second wire fence is near the end and a gap existed on the right.

OTHER NOTES: When paddling some of the smaller rivers in Yorkshire it is a good idea to carry a set of wire cutters for safety. I'm not sure whether the fences are there to stop us or the sheep. The fences may have been replaced since I last paddled this so just check to make sure.

For a great trip in spate conditions consider Pen-y-Ghent Gill.