(Peel to Fairnilee Farm - including Fairnilee rapids)


WHERE IS IT?: Southern Uplands.

PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: The most down-stream put in is at Peel, just off the A707 Peebles to Selkirk Rd. Just after the A707 forks from the A72 there is a minor road over a bridge on the right. About 50 m beyond a car-park on the left, a small track leads down to the river by a small water treatment site (look disused - no nasties!). Grid ref Sheet 73 NT 433352 Alternatively any of the laybys on the A72 close to the river can be used to give a longer flat warm-up.

Get out: By the bridge where the A707 crosses the river at Fairnilee Farm NT 458 325. Parking either by the old mill on the north back, or the Forestry Car park on the south.

APPROX LENGTH: 3 - 5 miles.

TIME NEEDED: 2 - 4 hours depending on put-in and playing time.

ACCESS HASSLES: OK most of the year, but it is a busy fishing river. Some fishermen seem to think there is an agreement on Sunday paddling only in October and November - this is not the case. The rapid just by the get-out is sometimes used for slaloms - best to check before setting off. See the SCA Access notes on Scotland.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: There is a gauge available here.

GRADING: Mostly I; Fairnilee rapid II.


GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Above the put-in at Peel it pretty much flat. At Peel there's a nice little rapid - good for getting beginners ferry-gliding and breaking in and out. Below that there it flat again for about 1.5 miles until a a shingley rapid just below a big house on the right. Not far below this is the bridge by the get-out, with Fairnilee rapid just below if. The more timid can get out on the left just before the bridge. At low water, the best way down is the main chute on the left - the water tends to push you up against the mill wall. At higher levels it will go anywhere. There is another small playwave about 150 m down stream of this.

OTHER NOTES: Suitable for folk on a first river trip.

Adrian Aderyn ...'We paddled between Peebles and Coldstream, 50 miles. Took 2 1/2 days (2 in open canoe. Fit, but both novices). Scottish 'Right to Roam' accepted by almost all we met. Fishermen can pay enormous sums for a days fishing but are generally friendly enough if you acknowledge them and ask which side to paddle if they are in the middle of the river (Almost always BEHIND them). Not all weirs marked on the OS map, so use your ears! The river is generally fast-flowing (3-4 knots/ 4-5 mph) with occasional artifical salmon 'pools' where the water is still and is usually followed by a weir. Some rapids are unsuitable for (novice) open canoeists - a little porterage required. This was our first serious river trip, so difficult to judge against others, but we enjoyed the solitude (only craft on the river apart from the occasional fisherman).'

Consider carrying on downstream.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Janet Moxley, also Adrian Aderyn.