GUIDE TO GRAINS GILL
NAME OF RIVER: Grains Gill.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Park at Seathwaite Farm and walk 1 km up to Stockley Bridge. Follow the right bank for a further 500m to where it is possible to scramble down into the gorge at the Red Beck confluence.
Egress at the first footbridge on the river Derwent at the bottom of Sourmilk Ghyll only 200m from the farm.
APPROX LENGTH: Grains Ghyll 750m. Whole trip back to Seathwaite Farm 1.8 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2-3 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: No access problems. Above farmland on National Trust Fellside.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs very heavy rain. The River Derwent should be bank full or flooding as it splits into several source streams.
If the fall at Stockley Bridge is possible the rest will be OK.
GRADING: 4/5 depending on flow.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Large fall the start. Fall under Stockley Bridge and trees in the gorge.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Just above the Red Beck confluence there is a footbridge and a set of unrunnable falls so make sure to enter the gill at the right spot.
Put in on the brink of the first 3m fall which has a good plunge pool. This fall is followed immediately by a rocky ramp and a fall into a set of tight bends. The next 500m is a bouldery bounce amongst the rocks with the main hazard being trees and no escape until the vertical rocky walls end. Another 100m leads to the set of falls under Stockley Bridge.
The beck soon joins Styhead Gill to form the Derwent. Half way down this top section of the Derwent is another short set of bedrock falls at grade 4.
Get out at the Sourmilk Gill Footbridge.
OTHER NOTES: Trying for 10 years to get the right combination of water levels, tree clearance and paddling partners. We found it a short but fun paddle and presently totally clear of trees 4/11/05.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Stuart Miller.