River Tees

River Tees

LaunchesPublic RoutesKnown HazardsParking


Many waterways in England and Wales require a licence to paddle. Check the licence section below to see if this is one. Save money on your licence and secure paddling insurance by joining British Canoeing. Use our easy step RapidJoin process. Open the slider to join.

Welcome to PaddlePoints Waterways. These pages focus on individual bodies of water across the UK. On this page you'll find a map, launches, routes, licensing information, paddle trail downloads, services, and more about one particular river or canal. For the full PaddlePoints with search bar follow this link.

PaddlePoints can be accessed without creating a free account, but registering will allow you to map your own public and private routes on this waterway. You will also be able to comment on others' points, upload images, and create Personal Information Markers to receive updates about new routes and points.

You can use the buttons above to access map information on other waterways. Simply toggle the waterway to display it. If you do, note that the content surrounding the map area will remain the same. Use the green file icon next to the toggle if you want to open another dedicated river or canal page with relevant licensing information.

Use the icon above to access the legend. All map points, rivers, and canals information will appear in this section here. Click or tap a point on the map to display the information. Actual routes will appear on the map.

River Licensing Information

Licence Required?

No licence required

License Authority

Canal and River Trust

Grade: 2-6

The most notable section is the waterfall at Cauldron Snout. This is grade 5+/6. 

The rest of the sections of the tees range from grade 2-3 with some grade 4 in high waters. 

A river in the North of England, the River Tees rises in the North Pennines. It then flows east for 85 miles until it reaches the North Sea near Middlesbrough.

Flowing through Durham and Yorkshire, there are a number of tributaries to the Tees. These include the Greta, Lune and Leven.

The River Tees is a popular river with white water paddlers. Stretches of the river range from a gentle grade 1 to a forceful grade 4. Make sure you check the area you plan to paddle for its grading and river level.

It runs through the North Pennine Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so there are stretches of beautiful scenery. That said, the river is predominantly used by white water paddlers.

If you want to practice a little slalom action, Abbey Rapids between Barnard Castle and Winston is a well known and popular slalom site, with competitions hosted throughout the season.

Seals on the River Tees

One thing paddlers should be aware of is common seals populate the area at Teesmouth Nature Reserve on Seal Sands. If you plan on stopping here, make sure you only stop in designated areas and do not disturb the seals during pupping time. This usually happens from late Autumn through the winter months.

Around the reserve you see migratory ducks and waders.  In winter, Knot from Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, Shelduck, Teal and Sanderling can be seen.

In spring, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Snipe nest along the River Tees at the Reserve. Sandwich Terns stay for a few weeks during July and August. Cormorant, Curlew and Redshank arrive in large numbers for the autumn.