(Wetheral to Carlisle)
NAME OF RIVER: Eden.
WHERE IS IT?: North Cumbria. It eventually reaches the sea at Carlisle.
APPROX LENGTH: 20km
TIME NEEDED: 4/5 hours (in low flows)
ACCESS HASSLES: Canoe England's stated policy of 365-day agreements unless proven environmental reasons prevent paddling.
I am sure some will object, but when I paddled this the one fisherman we met, was more than accommodating and pleasant.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: A great trip for summertime lower levels. Trip runs at most levels but this gauge is useful:
GRADING: 2, or 3 in high water.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Trees. Weir.
Rapid under Wetheral railway bridge just after put-in, would advise river right.
Island at Little Corby or Warwick Park. The river splits into several channels here, strainers and fallen trees possible. Best route in low flow was to take the first left-hand channel, but in medium flows this will be big and bouncy and could be issues with hanging trees. If the flow is higher I would advise taking the right hand most channel (inspect).
Immediately below the weir is a river wide line of anti-scour boulders which are usually just submerged and you will hit them if you roll. In medium-high water you don't usually hit them.
At some levels, there is a gnarly walled-in stopper in the middle channel which you will probably want to avoid. It holds boats and might hold swimmers. Some people like playing in it--its like the side channels but with deeper, faster water, a bigger pile, and no escape at theweir consist of three 15m-wide channels. There is a concrete bank on river left. There is always water in the middle channel. The outside channels are symmetrical--every move you can do on one side in the left channel, you can do on the other side in the right one.
Sands rapid - Carlisle's playspot - grade 2/3
An easily accessible spot for practising and introducing beginners to moving water without the need for a shuttle.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The river is mostly graded 2.
Very pleasant touring paddle, with lots of easy rapids at low flows and fewer but bigger rapids at higher flows. Sands rapids provides a fun easy rapid to finish on (parking adjacent - or Rickerby Park). Carry on to the confluence with River Caldew to finish in the grounds of Carlisle castle, with parking close-by (short walk).