GUIDE TO WIDDALE BECK
NAME OF RIVER: Widdale Beck
WHERE IS IT?: Yorkshire Dales - a tributary to the Ure, near the road from Hawes to Ingleton. Glimpses from the little back road from Appersett up to the main road, shortly above the old railway viaduct.PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put-in(s): drive from Hawes up the B6255 road to Ingleton/Ribblehead until Tarney Force (about 3 km), when the beck becomes visible to the NW. Continue as far up as you think it is paddleable. We put in down a track at SD839889 just past Tarney Force, reaching the stream at SD838890 (Multimap) which was as far upstream as looked feasible when the level was really a bit too low. There is parking in an old quarry on the SE side of the road a short way up valley at SD836886. Just above that, Widdale Beck is confluent with Snaizeholme Beck, a significant tributary, and probably needs quite a lot more water to paddle from further up. It would be easy to put on at the confluence using the same parking place, via a public footpath at SD833884, giving you an extra half km (fairly flat).
Take-out: River right just below Appersett bridge on the main A684 at 858 907, or continue down onto the Ure. Parking on north side of road at Appersett.
APPROX LENGTH: Just over 3 km at about 8m/km gradient.
TIME NEEDED: Probably half to one hour, longer for a bigger group as the sheep fence will cause a delay...
ACCESS HASSLES: Extremely rarely paddled - we saw no-one, looks unlikely to be fished at all (no private fishing signs etc.). The Ure is perhaps more sensitive if you carry on down.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs to be wet. If it looks barely paddleable at either the take-out or put-in then it is likely to be too low in the middle.
GRADING: No more than 2 at lowish levels, might touch 3 at the obstacles in high water.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: One sheep fence and two short drops with shallow landings.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Starts off gentle and bouldery, heading away from the road and round a corner. A sheep fence could be snuck under, but might need a portage at higher levels. The gradient increases, and this section needs more water than when we did it. There is a little waterall coming in from the right, which would be quite scenic in the wet.
Nothing challenging until the river flattens out over a rocky bed. A step down forms a short waterfall, shot on the left. A good boof is advisable, as the landing is very shallow and there must be some pinning risk, though it would hardly be life threatening. This waterfall can be seen from the little road up from Appersett, but there is another one a short way further on that came as a surprise as it was not seen from above. This is similar, also shot on the left, and isn't quite as big. Below this, the river continues very gently to a take-out river right below Appersett bridge, or possibly continue onto the Ure.
OTHER NOTES: Not a day out in itself, but could be combined with other nearby becks and rivers that need a bit of water (we did it on the same day as the River Bain).
Run on a wet day in a wet summer: 2007.07.04, not inspected at winter levels.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Andy Waddington