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 Water sports

Three major northern rivers, the 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.  

Visit the Explore North Pennines portal to discover the amazing range of activities available across the AONB. At the heart of this site is an interactive map which will allow you to search by activity, interest and location.


There is an access agreement for the river Tyne catchment.

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 from Raines Ironmongers and the Raby Estate Office in Middleton-in-Teesdale and also the High Force Gift Shop.

It is recommended that agreement is sought from riparian landowners before kayaking on the River Wear and other rivers in the area.


Canoes and boating/sailing opportunities are available at Talkin Tarn Country Park on the north western edge of the North Pennines. Telephone 01697 73129.


As well as the opportunities at Talkin Tarn, there are sailing clubs operating on both Derwent and Grassholme reservoirs.

Canoeing at Low Force