NAME OF RIVER: Barbon Beck

WHERE IS IT?: Tributary of the Lune in between Sedburgh and Kirkby Lonsdale off the A683.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Drive through the village of Barbon up the valley. The road crosses a stream and parking can be found on the left near a footbridge at SD 657 828. Take out just west of Barbon where there is a big layby just before the A683 on river left at SD 625 826.


TIME NEEDED: 1-2hrs with the portage.

ACCESS HASSLES: It's pretty remote at the put-in, and all the villagers seemed happy to see us in Barbon.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: This is a spate run, so recent heavy rain is needed. If you can float at the put-in or get-out, the rest will be fine.

GRADING: 3/4(5)

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: About 1km into the woods there is a 4+ fall, followed by some big rapids and then the 5 (the Witches Cauldron), which is a slide into a boily pool followed by a slide at a right angle out. All had trees in when we did it, leading to a portage river left with ropes.

Trees will always be a problem as this goes through woodland, keep your eyes peeled, the eddies can be small.

Sheep fences are found at the beginning and end. The one at the put in is a portage. Near the end most had been washed away or could be ducked, but be aware.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A fun spate ditch with a continuous feel. Grade 2/3 at the start leads into woodland. The river picks up after a km or so leading to a series of slabs near some footbridges. Keep your eyes pealed for trees and the crux rapids which most will portage and all will if the tree problem persists! We portaged the first fall up the bank on the river left, then lowered boats back down next to the 5. From here a fun seal launch can be done, sliding down next to the 5 and avoiding the boily pool by landing in the exit rapid.

Once clear of the woods there are series of sheep fences to be ducked and some more grade 3 rapids through the village. Beware the last drop which is a small slot funnelling river right which will hold a boat and swimmer (as I found to my cost!) The take out is 200m on the left after this.


Pictures of Barbon Beck




Community Forum Comments on this Article
Re: BARBON BECK -- Ralph Graves
2010 Jul 04 09:52:54 AM
Large slimy tree trunk also lodged in the slot/cauldron. I'd like it all shifted, but not experienced with such things. I can provide an extra set of hands for hauling on ropes if anyone fancies the walk up from the church bridge of an evening.
Re: BARBON BECK -- mole
2010 Apr 05 08:03:57 PM
Barbon beck today after running away from a lot of rivers that were out of their box's. There is currently a tree across the flow after the first 4M drop above the witches cauldron and 2 long spars in the cauldron itself, most other stuff was clear. Anyone not fancying the big seal launch can just follow the path a bit further down the left and get in at river level which saves faffing.
2009 Nov 08 06:15:21 PM
Trees still a major problem. There are three in / directly below the roosters tail rapid that leads into Witches Cauldron, and then one in Witches Cauldron itself. Shame. Will require some serious attention, not just a pruning saw.
BARBON BECK -- Jim Pullen
2008 Nov 28 02:51:51 PM
No subject -- Jim Pullen
2008 Nov 12 06:01:27 PM
Difficult to say! The guy in front of me cleared it without bother. I'd say 4, but with consequences!

I've submitted a full guide into the site, but guess it'll be a while before it makes an appearance!
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