A popular river in Yorkshire, the River Don has much to offer recreational paddlers and white water lovers. Parts of the river are flat, some parts steady grade 1’s and other sections grade 2-3+. It’s a 70 mile stretch that has something to offer whatever you fancy.
The River Don is paddleable from Deepcar down through Oughtibridge before it meets the industry of Sheffield. It then flows through the industrial surroundings of Sheffield and Rotherham, where at times it forms part of a navigation.
There is some touring potential as it continues on from Rotherham to Conisborough and Doncaster, after which it is a flat fenland river.
If you’re looking for some white water fun, the sections between Doncaster Prison and Barnby Dun and Stockbridge to Oughtibridge offer good sections for beginners and intermediate white water paddlers to practice.
There is also a much-loved slalom course at Oughtibridge, where div 3/4 competitions take place annually.
Things to be aware of on the River Don
There are several weirs on the stretch between Sheffield and Rotherham which can be portaged, shot or avoided depending on river levels and your own experience.
The River Don at Sheffield actually has fig trees growing along the bank! Usually, you wouldn’t find fig trees in English climes, but as the river water on this stretch is used to cool hot metal in the foundries, it means a rise in river temperature making it a great place for fig trees to thrive! Who knew?