GUIDE TO THE RIVER EAMONT
(Ullswater to Brougham Castle)
NAME OF RIVER: Eamont.
WHERE IS IT?: It flows out of Ullswater lake in the NE Lake District towards Penrith. It empties into the Eden eventually.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Access is from the car park near Warefoot on the B5320 river left (NY 469 244). We parked in a pub car park a little way South of the river.
Egress at Eamont Bridge near Penrith. Or take out 2 km downstream at Brougham Castle, river right immediately after the large bridge before passing under the A66 (NY 537 292). There's a parking area just before this bridge. This is where the river meets the Lowther and becomes the Eden.
APPROX LENGTH: 12 km.
TIME NEEDED: 2-3 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: You are supposed to contact the Eamont estate to ask for access, there wasn't a problem but they did want a small fee.
Anyone wishing to paddle the river Eamont should in the first instance contact Dalemain Estate office, (01768) 86450.
If you wish to access/ egess at Brougham Castle then you should call in and see M John Slack at Brougham Hall Farm as it is his field you are crossing to get to the river. His phone number : - (01768) 862123. There has never been a problem with this in my time as River Advisor, a little politeness goes along way.
If you wish to paddle Brougham Castle to Langwathby you will need to talk to Clarke Scott Harden, (01931)712392, in addition to the numbers above.'
Marta Bakinowska, Administrator Estate Manager, Dalemain Estates, 017684 86450 http://www.dalemain.com (Nov 2004...'Was just wanting to say that Dalemain Estates deals with access to the River Eamont and there is NO ACCESS in November due to salmon spawning. We've been experiencing lots of probs over the last couple of weeks and people are quoting your website. Would appreciate it if you could add something about this on!'
Ingrid Matthews (Oct 2004)...'From Eamont bridge down to Brougham the access is through Mr Slack of Brougham Castle farm (01768 862123). The place suggested for inspecting the caravan park weir (on the left bank) is a SSSI for Natterjack toads and very sensitive - you should avoid getting out on that side. Definitely no canoeing during November IS the agreement (likely to be shot at by duck shooters!)'.
Howie family, May 2004...'The gamekeeper, Des, drove over a field to speak to us as we stopped for a coffee after the second weir. He was very pleasant, and explained that Dalemain Estates (tel. 017684 86450) should be contacted before an expedition, mainly because the river is very popular with fishermen, and they have a number of fly fishing competitions throughout the year. We agreed wholeheartedly with him that we would want to avoid a day when there were 30+ fanatical fishermen on the river, competing! He also explained the local agreement that canoeists shout to fishermen as they approach: this is because of a nasty incident several years back when a canoeist was hit by the hook as it was flung. On the whole, though, he was very positive about canoeists enjoying the river and I got the impression a quick phonecall is a good idea: you are unlikely to get a negative response unless there is a fishing competition taking place (On this occasion, we only saw one fisherman, and he had complained to Des).'
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Being lake fed it is likely to stay up.
Charles A. Stewart, (November 04)...'Yes it is lake fed but it is generally a shalow river unless the lake is "up". A good indicator is looking upstream as you cross the bridge at Eamont Bridge, if there is a conspicuous rock it's "bump srcape" If the rock is not obvious then it's paddleable.'
Howie family, May 2004...'At the car park river left at Pooley Bridge is above knee depth, then the river goes, albeit with a few scrapes in places. Although not overly deep,
we found it satisfyingly fast flowing throughout.'
GRADING: The river is no more than grade 2.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Weirs. Several large tree falls which block some of the water going over the weirs.
Steve Howie, July 2004...'The first weir has a "closed" stopper in high water, so it needs viewing. You can easily portage on the left hand (West) bank.'
Richard adds (Nov '01)...'In spate it is not a bad run, but always keep a look out for barbed wire etc, especially at the broken down weir by the fish farm. The weir below Eamont Bridge is okay in spate as long as you approach with attitude, otherwise you fall off the edge and end up bouncing around amongst a whole lot of rocky stuff. Guess which way I did it.........!'
Howie family, May 2004...'The last weir (at the caravan site) is, um, "interesting" and should definitely be viewed from the bank (river left) beforehand.'
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Good steady moving water, with several stops on the route for some gentle play-boating.
Plenty of weirs along this trip. There was a small but entertaining play wave on the first weir. Towards Eamont bridge there is a weir near a caravan site. It is a big weir. The route is down the left hand side. I don't know what this weir would bee doing with the river in spate!
An enjoyable run but not spectacular white water.
OTHER NOTES: Other paddlers with us that day, who are also open boaters, said it would be a good open boat river. Also, in the Northern lakes, try the Greta (grade 3) if there has been enough rain and the Brathay (grade 2/3) in the central lakes.
Nothing too furious on this trip but we did portage the vertical weir (the one with a fish ladder on). Looking back we could have paddled the fish ladder or the weir but it has been a while..! Comments about barbed wire were noted but there were.
Howie family, May 2004...'A lovely trip, highly recommended.'
Also read this report...
CONTRIBUTED BY: Simon Carver, also Andy Weeks, Ingrid Matthews, Marta Bakinowska, Charles A. Stewart, the Howie family and Richard.