Collingham Trips

Collingham River Paddle

OS Map 104 Leeds and Bradford


Get in at Linton Road Bridge, on the right (south) bank, with car parking at 388464, there is an overhead barrier to the car park with signage saying 6’5’’ clearance, but unfortunately no suitable nearby parking alternative (without blocking the narrow roads) so please don’t come in high vehicles. A standard vehicle with kayaks tied flat to the roof bars will pass under, but if you have an Van or Suv or your kayaks / canoes are strapped upright please stop and check. You may have to untie in the entrance before you can park up.

Its about 100m to the river to launch from an easy shingle beach.

Our usual paddle is to go upstream for about a mile, to an island, play on a wave and return to the same get point.

However, if you want to shuttle, then as well as the two mile 'up and down' a further two miles can be added by cruising down to Wetherby and get out at the swimming pool car park, at 402481 (OS map 105). Please do not carry on to the weir. A lot of money was raised locally to repair and preserve the weir and we are not welcome. Besides which its no big deal and not worth the intrusion.

The 'up to the island' is a real test of your ability to read the water (mostly grade 1, with a little grade 2) and your time will be dependent on recent rainfall. Allow 40 minutes if you want to clock watch.

The trip starts with a quick 50m effort as the river here is quite shallow, but it is passible at most levels if you use the eddies to hop’n’ferry. Don’t put on too many clothes if it’s a warm evening, as the effort will soon have you in a sweat. Carry on under the road bridge until you meet another rapid round an island. Looking up stream you may be able to pick a route up the right next to a (caution) fallen tree. In practice this route rarely goes, as you will not be able to get enough of your paddle in the water to work for you. However it is fun to sit back and watch the undefeated get…well, defeated. So have a go now at the left. Again trees are ever present, but these aren’t quite as threatening. This route will go, so keep trying, unless you are paddling a very short play boat! In which case join the others and walk up the island.

Relaunch and you might see the resident Kingfisher. In any event it’s a very rare evening when we don’t see the heron or the dipper.

The river makes a slow bend to the left, and then you will be able to see your goal. The 'play wave'. It can been paddled up, if you give it a blast. If not, you can get out, walk up the island and relaunch to shoot the rapids. Watch out for a couple of rocks that stand sentry at the end of the play wave train, as they often catch out those who think it’s all over. When you’ve had enough, just retrace your trip. Take care at the tree rapid and keep to the centre of the right hand flow and away from under the trees.

If you are doing the longer trip down to Wetherby, pass where you got in and immediately set yourself up for a shingle rapid which runs slightly right. All you are really trying to do is to pick the best line to avoid having to shove yourself all the way down it. You will have guessed by now that I’m giving you the routes and slight hazards based on our normal summer levels.

Look out for new golf balls in the shallows, as the course is on your left. Also look out for the martins that nest in the riverbank on your right. The river now runs quite straight, for about a mile. Towards the end of the straight on the left you’ll see concrete steps which are to the King Charles V playing fields which will take you to swings and toilets should you need either!

If not carry on and under a footbridge then follow the river round to the right for the last bit of this lovely river. You’ll see your cars parked on your right in the swimming pool car park. You can paddle to within about 50m of the car park, however that's quite an awkward exit up a steep bank (you’ll see an outlet pipe to stand on). But if you don't want to make it difficult, go back 100m to a shingle bank.