GUIDE TO THE RIVER WEAR
(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.
APPROX LENGTH: 9 miles.
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.
CONTRIBUTED BY: John Little.
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.
Altogether a very pleasant day out.