WHERE IS IT?: It flows out of the NE Lake District (Shap Fells near the M6) towards Penrith. It empties into the Eden eventually.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: You put in near Askham Village at a large pond just below Askham Bridge (518328) which leads directly over a weir. Take-out is at a bridge downstream of Brougham Castle on river right.


TIME NEEDED: 2 hours.

ACCESS HASSLES: Andy Ryland (Jan 2004)...'Contact the Lowther Estate. Usually not a problem, but they like to be the Estate office in Lowther village.'

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Definitely needs rainfall, we did this in rather bony conditions. If you can float on the first stretch after the weir, you will be alright.

GRADING: Grades 2 and 3.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Plenty of trees and bushes encroaching upon the river.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Leaving the pond, you slide over an overgrown weir and directly into a long Grade 2 rapid. This continues for some way, passing cliffs on your right and then an island.

A strange little weir follows...some of the water flows THROUGH this in pipes but it didn't seem to be a major hazard in low water. Below here the river is more channelled and offers continuous Grade 2 rapids, splendid paddling for novices.

The river becomes a little harder just after an island where a long rapid (Grade 3?) narrows and leads down towards a sudden chute which involves taking a small drop if you choose to head right.

More Grade 2-3 water with trees to watch out for eventually brings you to the railway bridge. Here you must go river right of the bridge pillar as bushes clog up the river left channel! Inspect to make sure.

The river eases in gradient and passes beneath the M6 shortly before reaching Brougham Castle and joining the River Eamont where you finish this trip.

OTHER NOTES: A good novice trip if you are aware of the tree hazards. I have not paddled the upper section of this river, has anybody been up there?

CONTRIBUTED BY: Mark Rainsley, also Andy Ryland.

Community Forum Comments on this Article
2016 Jan 30 08:30:23 PM
Paddled this today 30/1/15 at 1.1 on the gauge (low).

Surprisingly good cruise but technical to avoid rocks in low water. Lots of overhanging trees in places needing to be navigated around but no major blockages.

There is a thick wire/cable and tree in the river near the get-on just around the first left bend. No bother at this level but any lower is may cause issues and tree is likely to drag cable further in more high water.
No subject -- Jim Pullen
2008 Nov 23 03:37:10 PM
"Jay Oram (UCUM), 05/12/07" wrote:
Paddled the Lowther in spate today

(5/12/07) the first rapid after the bridge at askham has a large tree

blocking 3/4's of the river right passage, can be paddled on the far left

of this way but it is much easier to paddle the left hand line. All the

rapids on the river can from then on be paddled with no problems, follow the

left hand line on all the rapids until the railway bridge then go right.
No subject -- andy
2008 Nov 11 09:41:20 AM
Lowther Forestry told us we didn't have permission to paddle the river a few weeks ago. I politely told the guy that I would paddle without his consent. He said 'Lowther Estates owns all this river and paddling is not allowed'. I suggested that access in Askham and Egress at Brougham Castle was not in the areas he stated.

I suggested that should he wish to take it further then a formal summons for tresspass was the way forward.

We agreed to disagree and he continued butchering trees.

Best discreet, be polite but firm if confronted.
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