GUIDE TO THE RIVER TEES
(Yarm to the Barrage)
NAME OF RIVER: Tees.
WHERE IS IT?: In Teesside! Just south of Stockton off the A66.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in behind the Sainsbury’s supermarket on the High Street, about 100m downstream of Yarm Bridge on river right (NZ419131, sat nav: 54.510879, -1.353427). Take out 250m before the Tees Barrage, at a slipway river right opposite the Tees White Water Course reception/café/shop (NZ460189, sat nav: 54.563722, -1.289901). Parking in Yarm can now result in parking tickets, so always check you can leave your car where you want for as long as you want. Parking at the take out isn’t a problem.
APPROX LENGTH: about 9 miles.
ACCESS HASSLES: None
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: River is flat and deep and is effectively a long thin lake unless there has been significant rain causing the water to flow.
GRADING: Grade 1.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: The Riverside Princess river leisure cruiser runs from Stockton up to Yarm and back, so keep an eye out for that, otherwise none. Beware of Giant Hogweed along the banks.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: With the building of the Tees Barrage, the River Tees from (above) Yarm right down to the barrage is essentially a freshwater lake, which can be paddled both up- and down-stream most of the time, the only exception being after significant rain. The banks change from essentially countryside on both sides for about 6miles (once you leave Yarm) until you start to enter Stockton-upon-Tees.
OTHER NOTES: Unless there has been heavy rain you can choose to paddle either upstream or downstream from Yarm, or the other put-in/take-outs, if you only have one vehicle. The trip can be made shorter by getting on/off at Preston Park, Eaglescliffe (NZ431156, sat nav: 54.534159, -1.336809, check for any gate closing times) and carrying your boats down to/up from the water. This put-in/take out is 3½ miles down from Yarm, 5miles to the barrage. The River Leven (pronounce Lee-vun) joins the River Tees on the right about a mile and a half down from the Yarm put-in, and can be paddled upstream (again, essentially stationary water unless there has been lots of rain) for about a mile and a quarter until you reach the weir at Leven Bridge, at which point you have to turn back. This can paddled as a diversion to the main trip, or it can make a nice round trip back up to the put-in at Yarm.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Alan Lilley.