NAME OF RIVER: Whitsundale Beck

WHERE IS IT?: Its a tributary of the Swale, Swaledale, Yorkshire. You can see it joining from river left around 200m below the normal Hoggarth's Bridge start.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: To get to the put-in head upstream and uphill on the main road (B6270 westwards) from Hoggarths bridge. Pass a phonebox on the left, then turn right when you reach the next building on the left. Carry on down this small road until it ends at a ford and farmyard at NY 863 033. You could get out where it joins the Swale (NY 873 014), but unless the SWale is massive, you'll only really want to run this as an alternative start for that section, so its better to carry on down.

APPROX LENGTH: about 2km

TIME NEEDED: Time to paddle the beck alone is around half an hour.

ACCESS HASSLES: This is really in the middle of nowhere, so you should have no problems. The ford road is regularly used though by some friendly farmers, so park out of the way.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs to be high. Just look at the put in - can you float easily?

GRADING: 3+, but fairly continuous with a few small drops.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There's one set of 3 small falls close to the start (about 200m after the ford at the get in described). They go fine, but are probably worth a quick look first.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A nice little beck that goes downhill fairly quick for the grade, but is never too hard. Goes through a few small gorges with blind corners and small drops. Really would take ages to paddle if you're not easily floating at the get-in.

OTHER NOTES: A good fun warm-up for the Swale when there's a lot of water around.

Pictures of Whitsundale Beck

CONTRIBUTED BY: Kev Williamson, Oxford Uni Canoe and Kayak Club.

Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: WHITSUNDALE BECK -- 07garnettn
2015 Nov 09 05:25:35 PM
Ran this today with the Swale at a 2.3. Having little knowledge of the run other than the put-in and the get out it was definitely very interesting. The first 3 drops mentioned merged into one with trees choking each bank. The bottom although looks relitvely flushy managed to backloop a large recon. Àfter that the horizon lines came thick and fast with alot of blind corners to add some spice. For somebody who hasn't run it before I'd say at this level the consequences of a swim would probably bump up the grade a little on the top half. Once the river opens up its a nice run down to the Swale. A truelly awesome little run.
Re: WHITSUNDALE BECK -- geyrfugl
2013 Jun 19 10:04:17 PM
There's a video at

with the Swale at about 1.2m, continuing on down to the Upper Swale, but I only ran Wainwath and Rainby before a certain amount of mutiny in the ranks ensured that most of us walked out... pity, as I was definitely feeling invincible after my roll up on Whitsundale :-(

2012 Sep 30 08:36:14 PM
Ran this today for the first time, bit of a giggle and worthwhile addition to upper swale. The horizon lines are interesting when you don't know what's coming!For reference Park Bridge gauge on the Swale was at 1.1m and it wouldn't have gone much lower than this.
Login to reply