(Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge)

NAME OF RIVER: River Wear. Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge (A167 just South of Durham).

WHERE IS IT?: Bishop Auckland is in the middle of County Durham off the A688.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in just down stream of the old river bridge in Bishop Auckland, river right NZ 207 303. Plenty of parking for unloading etc, but might be more sensitive to leave most vehicles at the get out.

Get out Sunderland Bridge (on the A167 just south of Durham, NZ 266 377 just upstream of the old bridge, river right.

There is also a carpark and access at Jubilee bridge in Willington NZ 208 343 and access to the road at Page Bank NZ 234 355 no idea about parking at Page Bank) after 4 and 5 miles respectively.


TIME NEEDED: Took us 3 hours gentle paddling.

ACCESS HASSLES: Section is not often paddled. Anglers were friendly!

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: We paddled in quite low conditions without too much trouble.The number for Rivercall North East is 09066197722, which gives three gauge readings for the Wear.

GRADING: Mixture of grade 1 and grade 2.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There are a number of trees in the river - these can easy be seen in advance and in most cases a safe line found.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A pleasant touring section with no portages or particularly hard sections. Section has potential for novice trips and summer paddling.

OTHER NOTES: There are other sections above Witton-le-Wear which get harder the higher up you start. The section below is also popular. Anyone done Witton-le-Wear to Bishop Auckland for completeness?




Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: RIVER WEAR (Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge) -- helenastle
2016 Jun 05 09:13:56 PM
Ran this today in touring kayaks - lovely run, though very scrapey, wanted an extra 6 inch of water! Watch out for a tree just previous to the rail bridge (54.73, -1.6), blocks all but about a foot of the river.
Re: RIVER WEAR (Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge) -- Jan13
2014 Nov 23 03:36:36 PM
Did this in Canadians yesterday. It had rained heavily the night before and as a result, we had what was the almost perfect trip for open boats.

The levels were up. Quite a fast flow all the way with a continual series of Grade 2 - and quite a number of short G3 rapids. I do think we were lucky with the levels though - may have been flatter and more scrapey without the rain.

A pretty river but with quite a bit of litter reflecting its' proximity of urban areas I suppose. However, the nicest thing was that everybody we encountered seemed really friendly and interested in what we were doing - including even an angler at the put-in who wished us a "safe journey." Couldn't believe it! But it made for a good atmosphere for a change.

As stated - would be a really good first moving water trip for kayakers.
Re: RIVER WEAR (Bishop Auckland to Sunderland Bridge) -- ansogura
2012 Feb 13 09:58:33 AM
Paddled the stretch from Barnard Castle to Page Bank. Found it to be exactly as the guide described. A lot of bankside litter. Plenty of coffee/lunch spots. A nice little car park at Page Bank immediately on the left as you drive over the bridge from Spennymoor. We got out just below the obvious outfall. Bank is quite steep with lots of brambles, but short so not too difficult. Only one angler encountered, a young lad who was friendly enough. Met another guy who was planting willow saplings to provide shade for his fishing. As an angler he had a very refreshing attitude "I can't see what the problem is with canoes, infact I've often thought about getting one myself" Would that they were all as enlightened as that. We tried to encourage him to get in contact with Bishop Auckland Canoe Club. Further downstream we had a very pleasant chat with a fellow paddler (though not in his canoe) who was out collecting firewood for his stove. It transpired that he was a member of the afforementioned club.

Altogether a very pleasant day out.
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