GUIDE TO THE RIVER SWALE
(Gunnerside Bridge to Grinton)
NAME OF RIVER: Swale.
WHERE IS IT?: It flows down from the Pennines through Swaledale, funnily enough, towards Richmond.
APPROX LENGTH: 10 miles.
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours+.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown. I have paddled the Swale as part of an organised charity tour.
Carol Haynes notes...(May '00) 'This section passes through the Gunnerside Estate who can be friendly and let you paddle at times, but not just open access. Lots of fishermen around.'
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: I have paddled this in low paddleable conditions. I suspect it would be a much more satisfying trip with high water to speed things up.
GRADING: Grades 1 and 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Carol Haynes notes...(May '00) 'a while since I did it but on a right hand bend (about half way) there are some metal spikes in the river bed - best avoided.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This section offers pleasant touring in scenic Yorkshire countryside. In low water there were no technical difficulties other than the odd tree dangling into the river.
Carol Haynes notes...'The waterfalls up by Keld go at Grade 5 and need lots of water - usually in short supply in the Swale as it is a spate river. Haven't done them myself so can't comment on the difficulties but I would guess you have to be pretty good or suicidal! Usually the same thing in paddling circles.'
Arkle Beck comes in from river left just before Grinton, this is in the Nick Doll guide, anyone else run it? Barney Beck and Gunnerside Gill may be other spate beck possibilities which also flow into this section.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley and Carol Haynes.