GUIDE TO THE RIVER WYE
(Buxton to Litton Mill)
NAME OF RIVER: Wye (Derbyshire).
WHERE IS IT?: It starts in Buxton and flows to Bakewell in Derbyshire.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Follow the river from Buxton for about 2 Miles on the A6. Park in the car park (SK 1030 7243) next to the river opposite Topley Pike Quarry.
Take out- Litton Mill is a very small village at the end of a 1 1/4 Mile long private road off the B6049 just after the stone bridge. There is no public parking, Residents Only. Please DO NOT park or get changed in the village (SK 1586 7306).
APPROX LENGTH: 4 1/2 Miles.
TIME NEEDED: 2 - 3 Hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: NONE! Whilst paddling it in December 2004 I was approached by a young man claiming to be the Water Bailiff, he said the land and river was owned by the Duke of Devonshire and there was a bylaw prohibiting canoeing/ kayaking. But as we were already on the water and it was not fishing season he let us carry on.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: It needs recent rain, there is a water level gauge at the start of the River Buxton next to the footbridge opposite The Wye Bridge Pub. The gauge needs to be on 3 or more to run the river without scraping.
GRADING: Starts G2 with lots of G3 rapids.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Fallen trees and some narrow fast sections with no eddies. "Water Bailiff".
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: From the put in the river runs through woods for 1/2 Mile at Grade 2 till you come to a 6 Foot high sloping weir on a bend; at low levels there is no stopper (3 - 4 on the gauge, don't know about higher levels).
200 Yards after there are some cottages with a wooden footbridge over the river, a bush covered island is behind the bridge. River right gives the best headroom and view beyond the Island.
The river starts to narrow and leads to the grade 3 section in a deep wooded valley with a foot path for most of the way on your left.
Rock faced gorges creep in and out with rapids and some waves appearing every couple of hundred yards.
When you come come to a stone road bridge on the B6049 with a fishing club hut on the right bank, you can end your trip here getting out on the left bank and up the path to the bridge. This is where the private road to Litton Mill starts.
From here to the Mill it is mostly flat with a few rapids and a weir with a nice surf wave.
When you get to the Mill you need to go river left under the metal footbridge and get out on the Island to inspect the long very narrow rapid down the Mill wall and cliff face.
NOTE! The Mill has just been developed in to expensive flats the residents won't be happy bunies if paddlers trample through their gardens to inspect or portage.
OTHER NOTES: The river carries on for about 6 Miles to Ashford In The Water on the A6 near to Bakewell (Guide coming soon).
CONTRIBUTED BY: Clive Willams (Manchester CC)