GUIDE TO THE RIVER CLOUGH
(Road Bridge to Sedbergh New Bridge)
NAME OF RIVER: Clough.
WHERE IS IT?: A tributary of the River Rawthey, flowing down Garsdale beside the A 684 towards Sedbergh. OS maps 97 and 98.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Road Bridge at GR 713907. Get out at Sedburgh New Bridge after joining the last bit of the Rawthey.
APPROX LENGTH: 6.5 km.
TIME NEEDED: 1 - 2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: Unknown.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Really heavy rain is needed to bring this up; don't bother trying after 12 hours. You might not want to paddle this in big spate; trees are a problem.
GRADING: Grade 4, quite continuous and steep.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Watch out for trees. Plenty of fences near the river which are a hazard also in high levels.
Tim Kwant (Feb 2004)...'We went on this trip in quite high water after alot of rain and it was really good fun. One stopper managed to get 2 of the paddlers though and were stuck in for about 5 minutes after trying to get them out and then the search for their paddles and boats took a while too. It was a large stopper just before the town and the best way to run it is on the sharp left as the pull was very strong that day.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The road bridge (GR 713907) provides access if the water level is not high enough for the top section.
The 2km long gorge below the bridge (IV, IV+ in high water) is very continuous, exciting and narrow, particularly above and below the road bridge (GR 699912, another good place to judge the level of the river).
After the gorge the river broadens out but still contains much of interest including several 1-2m drops (IV) with some chunky stoppers, including a rather dubious weir. The last drop (2m, IV) is just above the confluence with the Rawthey. Amble down this to Sedbergh New Bridge with a big grin on your face.
OTHER NOTES: A great little river that is very underrated but provides lots of entertainment. The Clough has a small catchment area that needs heavy rain to bring it into condition as with the Rawthey. If the Rawthey is possible then the lower Clough will also be worth a look and at high levels the upper Clough combines with this lower section to make an exciting run which is better than its sister the Rawthey. The first time I did the Clough we did the Rawthey first - these combined to make a great day out!
Anyone paddled the River Dee which is the next valley south? Apparently it disappears into a cave at one point...?
CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Leicester, also Tim Kwant and Mark Rainsley.