GUIDE TO THE RIVER WHARFE
(Bolton Bridge to Ilkley)
NAME OF RIVER: Wharfe.
WHERE IS IT?: Yorkshire, near Ilkley. The OS 'Yorkshire Dales South' map covers the section.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Get in at Bolton Bridge or start upstream. Get in on river right, where there is plenty of parking 100m downstream of the bridge. Grid Reference SE071526.
Finish in Ilkley (SE116480).
APPROX LENGTH: Unknown.
ACCESS HASSLES: No access agreements but the river is paddled regularly. We've met one fisherman who asked us if we had access, but others were very friendly.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: DO NOT paddle when low, it's too rocky to paddle enjoyably.
GRADING: Mainly grade 2 to 3-.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Weirs.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Features to look out for...
Small weir at water board building 900 metres from take out.
Weir at High Mill SE082504.
A canoe gobbling stepped weir grade 5+ at Low Mill just below Addingham.
Chris Hawkesworth (Jan 2004)...'The Yorkshire Water Weir built in 1972 is a "new" water abstraction weir at the Lob Wood pumping station which is located just down stream (1 mile) from the Bridge where the A59 crosses the Wharfe at Bolton Abbey. Though the lob wood weir can be shot, it can also be carried round easily on the left bank or Paddlers can pull out at a lay-by on the right bank 1/2 mile below the A59 bridge 1/2 mile above Lob Wood.'
OTHER NOTES: Tom Woodstone, April 2004...'There is a nice little weir/drop at the first stone bridge when arriving in Ilkley, worth a play - especially when the river's up!'
Nearby trib worth paddling...Kex Beck.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Craven, also Chris Hawkesworth and Tom Woodstone.