River Wear

River Wear

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

Distance: 60 miles

Known for providing the spectacular views of Durham Castle, the River Wear is also a well loved paddling spot! With various spots to suit different styles of paddling, there’s something for everyone on the River Wear.

Meandering right through the heart of historic Durham, the River Wear is one of those iconic English rivers. But it’s not just pretty paddling sights available on this river. There’s ample chances to launch along the river. It’s a great place for an adventure paddle and stop off at one of the lovely riverside cafe’s especially in spring and summer.

For those looking for a more challenging paddle, there’s many sections of white water and even waterfalls to explore. This comes with a warning though! If you’re not prepared, or practiced to paddle the graded sections, they can be pretty unforgiving and dangerous. So, as always, make sure you do a test run of the section you’re planning to paddle beforehand. And always check the river levels too. During winter and autumn, the river is likely to be higher, and therefore more hazards will be present. Not sure what we mean when we talk about grades and potential hazards? Take a look here.

If you’re not familiar with the river, you can also use PaddlePoints to check for any weirs and portages.

Near Lambton Castle the river becomes tidal. Make sure you are familiar with the tide times and always try to plan a trip WITH the tides rather than against.

All in all, the River Wear is perfect for touring and exploring on the wider sections, and white water adventures at the upper extremities. Plan your route and always be prepared!