Rivers on the Around-England Blog

England has some beautiful rivers, and the north of England especially so. There are, of course, major commercial estuaries such as the Mersey, Humber, Tyne and Tees. Some estuaries such as the Ribble have, however, lost their former commercial significance and now are important wildlife areas, especially for migrating water fowl. Other streams run short but sensationally from mountains to the sea.

Many of the Lake District rivers such as the Crake from Coniston Water and the Leven from Windermere have little in length but much in attraction. The Derwent, flowing out of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake although not long accumulates a powerful flow especially after its confluence with the Cocker, as the towns of Cockermouth and Workington experienced in the tragic 2009 floods.


The River Derwent at Cockermouth

On the eastern side of the country the rivers of the Yorkshire Dales, the Aire, the Ure, the Nidd and the Wharfe to name but four eventually flow into the Humber estuary. Further north there are of course the Tees, collecting water from the North Pennines, and the Tyne with its twin rivers South and North. On the west between the Mersey and the Solway Firth many rivers discharge into the Irish Sea, the Ribble, Wyre, Lune and Duddon outstanding among them; and further north the Solway Firth receives the beautiful Eden.

In the industrial areas there was for a long time serious river pollution but much of this has now been cleaned up. However, although the southern tributaries of the Ribble such as the Calder used to reek with the effluents of cotton towns such as Blackburn and Burnley, its major northern tributary the Hodder, running down from the Forest of Bowland, never knew industrial pollutants; indeed this in my opinion must rank as a prime candidate for the most beautiful river in England.

On this page is a collection of river-related posts on the Around-England blog. I hope it has much of interest for our river-loving readers.


Return to the Eden

October 3, 2011

How good it is to be back in the Eden Valley after a week in Brussels. A string of lectures, project supervision and a panel debate with Euro-officials and politicians were hard work but very enjoyable, especially the days spent with a group of twentyfive wonderful 20-25 year old students from countries all over Europe. […]

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Bolton Abbey, Jewel of the Yorkshire Dales

August 24, 2011

Growing up in the Lancashire-Yorkshire borderlands I quite often found myself crossing the Pennine watershed from the red rose into the white rose county. One of our frequent outings was to Bolton Abbey. As a child, following in the footsteps of former generations, I did exactly what the children are doing in the photograph above […]

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Lanthwaite Wood – Memory of 2009

August 19, 2011

Lanthwaite Wood is a National Trust property at the foot of Crummock Water in the Lake District, alongside the point where the River Cocker leaves the lake. The car park there provides an excellent starting point for walks, which often give opportunity to see Red Squirrels. The River Cocker flows from here down Lorton Vale […]

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Wordsworth’s Birthplace, Cockermouth

August 9, 2011

This afternoon in the Cockermouth sunshine the confluence of the Cocker and the Derwent looked tranquil. On 19th November 2009 it was a very different picture. Record volumes of rainwater poured down the two rivers from the Lake District mountains and inundated the centre of this historic town. Parts of the town that day were […]

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Kirkby Lonsdale and Ruskin’s View

August 1, 2011

It was a sunny Saturday a few weeks ago when we set off to drive from the Eden Valley down to Skipton and beyond. We hadn’t gone more than thirty miles or so when my wife said, “Let’s stop in Kirkby Lonsdale and walk down to Ruskin’s view of the River Lune”. Kirkby Lonsdale is […]

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Kendal Reflections

July 11, 2011

A few days ago I came across this photograph of the River Kent in Kendal, forgotten in my camera from May of last year. I quite like it, and it may catch the imagination of others who love Kendal, the southern gateway to the English Lake District.

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Brougham Castle, Penrith, Cumbria

June 30, 2011

Recently I uploaded a post about Brough Castle, one of several in the Eden Valley area belonging to Lady Anne Clifford in the 17th century.  Yesterday I snatched this quick shot of another of the long-ago residences of this remarkable lady, Brougham Castle, just outside Penrith and beautifully situated beside the River Eamont, the river […]

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Flowers of Eden on a Damp Afternoon

June 23, 2011

A few days ago I saw an heron fishing in the River Eden. I didn’t have with me a camera with a long lens. So this afternoon I returned to the same spot in the hope that we might just meet again. But I’d forgotten. We’ve had a heavy rain since then and the river […]

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Traditional Horse Washing at Appleby Fair

June 7, 2011

In my post earlier today I showed a general view of the River Eden at Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria. The past few days have seen the annual gypsy horse fair, with crowds watching the traditional horse washing, racing and other events. Here now are some more detailed photos taken on Friday and Saturday. (Even more Appleby Horse […]

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“Devil’s Bridge”, Kirkby Lonsdale – this morning

February 18, 2011

After setting off from Kendal following a few days in the Lake District I reached Kirkby Lonsdale on the A59 at about 9:30 this morning. At first I considered diverting to take a few photographs at “Ruskin’s View” of the River Lune at the back of the churchyard but thought maybe it would be too […]

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