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Thread: River Welland - Gretton to Wakerley with lunch at Harringworth Viaduct

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default River Welland - Gretton to Wakerley with lunch at Harringworth Viaduct

    The River Welland forms the county boundary between much of Northamptonshire and Rutland near to where Neil (SotP) and I live but most of the available information concentrates on the stretch near Stamford & on to the sea. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Welland

    Nearer to the source the Welland can be a raging torrent or a ditch depending on recent rain; after some checking of levels the day before we launched from Middle Bridge near Gretton.

    This is Gretton Weir - immediately upstream of launch location



    If you think of doing this trip I suggest you look at these photos of high & low levels found on Geograph.org.uk to gauge the likely flow on the day.

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/255816

    http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/486482

    We found that the levels we experienced meant that the strainers were no problem....and there were alot of strainers!

    Anyway, this is the GPS track of the route - all 11.6km of it from Gretton to Wakerley



    Neil was joined by Karl & the three of us set off into the unknown - satellite maps just showed bushes & trees so we expected some woodwork!......plenty of parking at Middle Bridge.



    As suspected there were plenty of trees down......



    ...but the portages were easy & the dogs and owners friendly....



    and in between the trees there were some good stretches of river with plenty of wildlife..




    The stretch either side of Thorpe-by-Water hosted a series of small weirs & riffles to brighten up the day......




    ........a short YouTube video of some of them...



    Which bought us cheerfully on to the highlight of the day - and I'm not a railway buff - the incredible Harringworth Viaduct which just dominates the Welland Valley and makes you rather humble to think of the men who built it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welland_Viaduct

    I'm just going to let the photos do the talking for a bit...










    Karl & me by arch 49 - out of 86 I believe




    After Harringworth you will be pleased to note that there were no strainers, just a couple of small riffles and the occasional hint of Norfolk Broads with tall rushes each side....



    The sun made an appearance and the character of the river started to change....







    Approaching Wakerley we came across a split in the river with an overgrown sluice dead ahead;the alternative was plenty of water and some fine riverside houses to the left......we went left.....wrong!

    It leads to a fast flowing double stepped weir which we got out to inspect......whilst scratching various bits of anatomy in deep thought about the wisdom or otherwise of shooting it, down came the original Mr Angry from the large house at the back of this pic..



    Mr Angry enquired as to whether we could read....yes, but a sign where the river splits would be useful rather than one up his tree when we're concentrating on not going down the weir.

    He asked how we would like it if we'd spent thousands of pounds landscaping the bank only for people to trample it and drag canoes up it.... we wouldn't.

    Anyway, 30 years practice of placating Mr Angry's various relatives and I soon had him on our side......'Happy New Year' he said, 'I don't mind canoeists at all' he added, and 'Which of my daughters would you like to marry?' - well, OK I made that one up but you get the drift.

    In short, he is laying mat on the bank, will then re-seed it and after that he seemed to indicate that he wouldn't mind small groups of canoeists but it might be best to use an alternative portage route for a while.

    And shortly after that encounter we arrived at journey's end - Wakerley's fine old arched bridge....



    A most enjoyable alternative to accompanying Mrs Patterdale to the sales!

    Wakerley to Stamford is planned for two weeks time.....any local info welcome.

    Happy Days,

    Dick
    Last edited by Patterdale Paddler; 4th-January-2011 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2

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    Looks a nice paddle...No snow, no ice

    Thanks

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    I like that sort of run. Weir-d opportunities.

  4. #4
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    Nice detailed blog with useful references for other users Dick

    was another fun mini adventure

  5. #5
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    Stamford, Lincs.
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    Great Blog, especially like the youtube vid! Very cool!

  6. #6
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    Aug 2007
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    Fareham, Hampshire
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    Nice journey, like the viaduct, pity no steam trains!
    Kazbunny
    Don't dream it... DO IT!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Corby, Northants
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    Default good paddle

    me and my father-in-law have done the Cottingham to Gretton stretch of the Welland and that was fun. We are based in Corby if you fancy a paddle let me know and we'll see what we can do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Harringworth / Northants
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    I live in harringworth and was looking at the river yesterday wondering what it would be like to go to Stamford on it. Must get a canoe first though.
    when i read about the evils of drink i decided never to read again

  9. #9
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    That's some good bridge action.

  10. #10

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    Nice blog. So much so that I decided to have a go at this paddle on Saturday. I've previously been on the stretch from Collyweston to Market Deeping but never further up stream. To be honest, the one time I did the Collyweston - Stamford section there really wasn't enough water to make it a lot of fun. Lack of water was not a problem on Saturday, quite the opposite in fact.

    The water was up to the bottom of the bridge I'm stood on, best put in on the downstream side.









    Harringworth lake, that wasn't on the map?!






    The bridge at Wakerly, not a lot of head room




    The wind was a bit of a pain as it was really strong, but on the plus side, with so much water I think I went over most of the potential strainers

    Have I missed your Wakerly - Stamford trip? If it's next weekend I'd be up for that.

    Dan

  11. #11
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    Neil & I postponed the planned jaunt from Wakerley to Duddington after inspecting the river on Thursday.

    It was at almost the levels shown in 50420t's post above with fields about to flood.....with recent weather & forecasts it was only going to go higher.

    Locals at Wakerley had told us there were some more trees down below Wakerley so with the river hoofing it down we decided on discretion.

    Whilst accepting that some weirs and trees will become easier in higher water I took the view that on a river with few eddies to break out into & often flowing too fast to back-paddle I would save it for another day.

    Cheers,

    Dick

    PS Quite a few PMs on paddling the Welland - possibility of a get-together sometime?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    South Lakes
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    Must have been hell building it through the marsh.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  13. #13
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    Unhappy

    Nice blogg and pics of the welland trip,unfortunately not been able to pic up the video link on your last couple of bloggs Dick. Enjoyable none the less.Would like a paddle with you ,Neil and gang sometime. ATB terry

  14. #14
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    Aug 2009
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    Hi Terry

    The next stage is penciled in for next Sunday - 30th. Wakerley to Stamford
    Be great to see you.

    In the meantime I'm planning to have a pootle up the Nene somewhere this Sunday
    - possibly Thrapston area.

    Atb. Neil

  15. #15
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    Hopefully ok for the 30th.I,m about Sunday so will give you a ring.Cheers Terry

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