Pesda Whitewater Mini-Guide
WHEREVER THERE’S WATER
Lake Windermere, source of the Leven | ©iStockphoto.com John Shepherd
INTRODUCTION This is the river that ﬂows out of Win-
dermere. It’s short, exciting and often paddled despite the restrictive access agreement.
WATER LEVEL It does keep its level very well, being fed by
ﬂat section and lead into four rocky drops interspersed with
shoots and stoppers. Take out in the ﬁeld on the left.
From here the diﬃculty increases with a large sloping weir
then fast water into the fall underneath Backbarrow bridge
(Gd 4). The drop is always powerful, with a large pool below
the longest and biggest lake in the Lake District.
to collect the pieces. Most sensible paddlers will take out here,
GAUGE If the overﬂow channel on the left below Newby
another well worthwhile fall. However it is diﬃcult to access.
Bridge is ﬂowing, then the paddling will be good.
because below lies a nasty weir (Gd 6). 30m downstream is
Carefully explore the derelict buildings to ﬁnd a launch spot
(once these get redeveloped this may not be possible). Inspect
ACCESS Find the minor road just downstream of Newby
the drop, because once on the water it is hard to see the line.
in from the ﬁeld next to the brick shoot to avoid the spawn-
normally limbo under. Immediately below is a small weir
Bridge (368 863). From October to December inclusive, get
Standing waves then lead to a low footbridge, which you can
ing beds. Get out by crossing the ﬁeld on river left to a gate
down into some huge waves then a small rocky fall lying in
row bridge (356 855). Egress the lower river by the bridge,
weir then easy water leads to an island. Ensure you take the
just above the woodyard and minor road leading to Backbar-
river left on the B5278 Haverthwaite road (345 835). This
river has an access agreement so please ask the river adviser for details.
DESCRIPTION You very quickly come to the brick shoot
weir – watch out here as the main current when in ﬂood
wait under the A590 road bridge. Below lies yet another large
left-hand channel as the right has a low bridge and metal
stakes. More islands lie below and the river eases down to the
egress on river left below the bridge.
OTHER IMPORTANT POINTS This is a very important
ﬁshing river, please paddle only on the arranged dates that
quickly pushes novices towards the left-hand side of Mill
Lakeland Canoe Club organize. www.canoe-england.org.uk
but is easier on the right. A few playful stoppers follow the
Contributor: Nigel Timmins
Force, a 2m drop just below. The fall is quite straightforward
Excerpt adapted from English White Water, the BCU Guidebook
ISBN 0953195678 , published by Pesda Press, Caernarfon. For details of this and other books, as well as downloads of mini-guides and route cards in this series, visit:
#02 RIVER LEVEN
PESDA WHITE WATER MINI-GUIDE
OS SHEET GRADE
OS map data reproduced with the kind permission of the Ordnance Survey
Design & text adapted from the BCU guide to English White Water, published by Pesda Press, Caernarfon.