Four major northern rivers, the Eden, Tyne, Wear and Tees, all have headwaters in the North Pennines. At certain times of year these rivers offer great sport for experienced kayakers. In addition, there are opportunities for canoeing at Talkin Tarn.
Kayaking is allowed by permit from Raby Estates on the River Tees in Upper Teesdale. The most popular spot is between High Force and Wynch Bridge at Low Force but please be aware there are grade 4 sections here. Permits can be obtained from Raines Ironmongers and the Raby Estate Office in Middleton-in-Teesdale and the High Force Gift Shop in Forest-in-Teesdale.
The River Wear also has some challenging waterfalls, including a large one at Cowshill, and the river has a grade 3 rating for almost the entire length of Weardale.
On the River Eden there is a grade 2 (grade 3 in high water) run down from Lazonby to Armathwaithe. The River South Tyne can be kayaked from Tynehead to Hexham with grades ranging from 1 to 4. The lower sections of the River South Tyne are suitable for open canoes.
There are access agreements in place for all of these rivers with the exception of the River Wear. Canoes and boating opportunities are available at Talkin Tarn Country Park on the north western edge of the North Pennines. There are a number of organisations and businesses that offer canoeing and kayaking instruction throughout the AONB