GUIDE TO THE RIVER TEVIOT
(Martin's Bridge to Riverside Caravan Park)
NAME OF RIVER: Teviot.
WHERE IS IT?: Hawick in the Scottish Borders.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at the side of Martin's bridge, just near the A7 at the B711 turn off about one mile south of Hawick. Just over the bridge is a small car park with room for about 4 cars, the car park is used by walkers so there may others parked in it.
The take out is about one and a half miles below Hawick near the Riverside Caravan park. There is a small slip road off the left just before the caravan park which is where we normally park, the turn off is quite easy to miss so if you go past the caravan park you have gone too far. Alternately you could park at the caravan site, I have never parked there so I don't know if the owners will mind or not.
To get on the right road to get to the take out point turn off on to the A698 at the roundabout in front of the Safeway's garage at the bottom end of Hawick high street.
APPROX LENGTH: 3 miles.
TIME NEEDED: 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
ACCESS HASSLES: I have never had any access problems with paddling this section of the Teviot, just park sensibly especially at the get out where there is not much room. See also the SCA Access notes.
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The Bigger the better. The river is run able all year round although if there has been no rain for a while it is a bit scrapey especially when running the weir and on the section before the Slitrig joins the Teviot.
GRADING: 2 (3-).
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: There are three hazards with mentioning specifically on this section of the Teviot.
The first you meet is just above the rugby pitches where there is an island. Stick to the right hand side next to the house and the short stone wall where there is more flow as the other routes have bushes and trees stuck in them.
The second is a weir as you enter Hawick centre after a short paddle on the flat water above it. It is a long smooth weir which has a salmon ladder in the middle. The ladder is runnable and adds a bit of excitement for more experienced paddlers. The weir can be ran all over and is the safest weir to paddle I have come across (providing you miss the salmon ladder).
The third hazard is Horn's Hole(3-) right at the end of the trip just before the get out point. The river turns a corner not long after a shoot over a small weir and you are presented with a lot of bushes growing in the river, stick to the right where the channel is deeper and there are no bushes (the main flow goes this way so there is not much danger of beginners landing up in bushes). The river then turns another sharpish corner and you are into the grade 3 section of the rapid. Bouncy waves and a few toppers with some rocks to dodge run on down for about 60 meters onto a small fall (disappears into a wave at higher levels).
The get out is just after this section above the stone bridge, it is not the easiest get out point in the world but the current here is slow and it is shallow near the bank.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: This is a good run to take beginners on after they have a few trips under their belt (a good step up after a few trips on the tweed). The river provides challenges without being too difficult but still has enough on it to keep more experienced paddlers from crying with boredom. In addition to the grade 3- there are numerous bouncy grade 2 sections with some surfable waves as you go down.
OTHER NOTES: This trip can be combined with a run on the River Slitrig which is only paddleable after a lot of rainfall. It joins the Teviot in Hawick centre just after the first weir and creates some interesting currents.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Douglas Rae, Heriot Watt University Canoe Club http://www.hwusa.org/HWUCC/.