Nottinghamshire - River Idle - West Drayton to Chainbridge Lane, Lound
How to get there - 15 yards off the A1 southbound between Worksop (A57) junction and Lincoln (A57) junction. Look for a small road 'Old London Road' just after the turning for Gamston Airport.
Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - The put in is at the bridge 15 yards after leaving the A1 proper. This is actually the River Meden, but it quickly joins the Maun in 50yds to become the Idle.
Description - A very good introduction to moving water. A few simple weirs with one at Hallcroft which requires inspection. An easy portage river left if you don't like the look of it.
The first section (top end) meanders around the fields and meadows before reaching the first minor difficulty at Ordsall. Here there is a fast flowing chute under a small steel girder bridge on a right hand bend. This will try to push you left into the wall. If you line up well left of centre before the current starts to pull.
Within 50 yards is the multi-arched Ordsall bridge. Generally best taken through the left arch but inspect to ensure it is clear. The bridge is angled diagonally left to right and it is important to take your arch straight on. Limited headroom in high water.
100-200yards further on you come to the first easy drop. In high water this washes out but in lower conditions can be a nice surfing wave. Take this to the left and through the high bridge of the East Coast Main Line.
The next short section flows past the back gardens and allotments of Retford and eventually under the Chrsterfield Canal Aquaduct (you may transfer to and from the canal river left) into Kings Park.
Two very small drops through the park allow you to wave to the dog walkers and kids as you majestically sweep down stream.
The exit from tha park is walled in and ends with a twin chute bridge (Bridge Street). The chutes are narrow and can be fast. The left hand chute is generally the easiest of the two with the right hand chute forming a mild stopper in high water.
A fast flowing section past Morrisons supermarket and you leave Retford for the farmland once more. Gentle meandering heading for the Idle Valley nature reserve.
As you approach the nature reserve the major hazard of the day can be found, the Hallcroft Weir. It is best to inspect this by getting out river left.
The usual approach if all is clear is just right of centre. The drop is about 18inches, but the boulder garden drops a further 3 feet or so, Follow the wave train and eddie out left or right.
From here a few miles of gentle meanders through the nature reserve bring you to the get out at Chainbridge Lane (an un made road between Lound and Hayton.
This last section may have some low trees and narrow sections through the overhanging branches. Approach with care, especially in high water conditions.
Exit river right.
It is safe to park cars here at the spot is a favourite haunt of the reserve wardens and birders. Please respect them.
Comments on this trip
Nathan 18 May 2023
My local river, its a great paddle. From the a1 to my doorstep. #128758;