(Bowston to Sprint Confluence)


WHERE IS IT?:South Cumbria, flowing through Kendal.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Start Bowston Bridge (SD499967). Recommended take-outs are river right above Scroggs Weir (SD513906) or river left below the last bridge and weir in Kendal (SD518914). You'll need to see the guide describing the river below the Sprint confluence for details.

APPROX LENGTH: 3 km described here, 7 km for full trip through Kendal to Scroggs Weir.

TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: Apparently no access agreement for this section, but don't try and get in at the bridge in Burneside as you will piss off prune-faced guardians of the local dog toilet, ahem, "Millennium Green".

Jim Pullen: 'No problems getting out here from the section above on 01/08/09. Seems a perfect access point as it's public land and even has steps to the river.'

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Take a look as you pass through Kendal - the water should at least cover the tops of the shopping trolleys and discarded bikes to make the trip worthwhile.

GRADING: Grade 1-2, excluding the weirs.


Tom Woodstone...'About halfway between Stavely and Cowan Head Rapids (which are excellent by the way!), somewhere after the second weir (I think) there is a big rusty chain across the river. Was OK today (26/10/04) but would be VERY nasty in higher water. You have been warned.'

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: An easy trip, suitable for beginners and open boats, also for attention seekers: difficult to believe the sensation created by a group of boats passing through the centre of town on a Sunday afternoon; you would be forgiven in thinking that the good folk of Kendal had never seen a canoe in their entire lives.

The first km is an unchallenging tree-lined ride through the fields, a huge stepped weir below the Burneside paper mill intake blocks progress after the river slows and does a wide left-hand turn. Head towards the mill and portage down a slippery concrete slab parallel (river left) to the main weir.

The confluence with the River Sprint is reached. The section below through Kendal is described in this guide.

OTHER NOTES: Anyone been higher up the valley?

Nick Mortimer (Feb 2004)...'Yes, a group of local paddlers have paddled from Kentmere Reservoir right down to the sea, and continued paddling to a meal in The Ship Inn at Sandside on Kent Estuary. Several portages, a lonnnng day out, choose the right tide. Other paddlers have been back to paddle the bits walked. So AFAIK the whole of the Kent has been done by boat.'

The section from Scroggs Bridge has now been added, anyone been higher and fancy submitting a guide?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Peter Metcalfe, also Nick Mortimer and Tom Woodstone.