Canoe Days Out

Yorkshire - River Derwent (Yorkshire) - Old Malton to Kirkham Priory

This page was submitted by Jim Thornton (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - From the crossroads in the centre of Malton follow the signs to Old Malton B1257. After about a mile park opposite the Royal Oak pub

For those with SatNav the postcode is YO17 7HB.

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Easy launching from the common land in front of the Royal Oak pub, upstream from St Mary?s church.

General Description - About 8 miles of easy canoeing without any obstacles to Kirkham..

You can leave a car in the public car park at Kirkham Priory but please finish on the right bank after the bridge and load from the stile just south-west of the bridge. This stretch of river has been closed to powerboats since the protracted dispute in the 1980s between the Yorkshire Derwent Trust, which wanted to repair the locks and reopen the navigation, and landowners and conservationists who wanted to keep it for fishermen. There is still some dispute over canoeists right to paddle, but I've done this stretch many times without being challenged.

The 11 miles below Kirkham down to Stamford Bridge are also lovely but there are three obstacles on that section. Kirkham and Howsham weirs are both easy to portage but Buttercrambe weir is tricky. You are pretty much forced through a private garden where I have been challenged.

You can save two miles of canoeing through Malton by launching from the left bank just in front of the health centre about 100 yards below Malton iron bridge (the downstream of the two Malton bridges). (see map)

The York to Scarbrough railway line follows the river valley, but trains no longer stop at Kirkham, so it cannot be used for circular tours.

Comments on this trip

Craig Mortimer
30 Aug 2021
I did this paddle today (30/08/21), not sure if the launch point has changed or we couldnt find the one from the description. Was a couple of hundred yards downstream from the carpark and pretty steep and slippery. Very enjoyable for a 1st time paddle, would do it again.

08 Nov 2018
Does anyone know where able to hire a Kayak for this route is very little on the internet on this. Any help appreciated! Many Thanks

woo woo
21 Jul 2018
Are the removal of the rights of navigation being ignored becauce it is not regulated/

woo woo
21 Jul 2018
I dont think there is any .common land at Old malton.

andy scott
23 Jun 2014
did this trip on 15th june 2014 with my friend in my 2 man woodstrip open canoe.lovely peacefull stretch of river(apart from the 3 dead sheep along the way which had fallen in and could,nt get out), trees looked stunning, took just under 3 hrs, why rush when its this good!!

Gill Pycock
16 Mar 2014
We have just done this route by Kayak today..lovely route. We put in at St Mary's Church, Old Malton and got out at Kirkham. Very pleasant and no other river traffic! Thoroughly recommend this to all.

Paul lister
09 Nov 2012
Please consult the land owners about the land that you cross and may also want to contact the canoe flu for access issues


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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson