The Royal Dee is a jewel of a river, rising in the Cairngorms and flowing past Balmoral to the sea at Aberdeen. The river’s watershed routinely carries less volume than that of the Tay or the Spey and so in summer conditions is characterised by shallow shingle banks for much of its course. In spring or autumn, especially after rain, the river can provide a hugely pleasant 100 km trip with enough Grade 2-3 interest to make it sufficiently challenging for those wishing to progress from moderate water. The river is closely shadowed by the A93 and an assortment of B and C class roads for most of its paddleable length, making vehicle-based inspection of the key rapids achievable (though, with a well-marked OS map, recce’ing from bank or boat can be safely achieved without the need for a pre-recce by car).
We passed Balmoral Castle and negotiated the small and simple rapid beneath the castle’s access bridge (Grid NO 262949) before cruising uneventfully along the 12 km to Ballater, calling at the campsite upstream of the town’s road bridge to take lunch. After Ballater the river quickens as it passes through the relative narrows of Cambus o’ May, the end of which is marked by the Cambus o’ May footbridge (Grid NO 420976). We camped for the night about 1 km after the bridge.
A picture below of the intrepid explorers looking rather happy with themselves.
A group of charity kayakers supported by Cumbria Canoeists have raised money for the RNLI and Eden valley hospice.
The group set out their ambitious plans some time ago, and were approached by Mike Sunderland, with his offer of support from Cumbria Canoeists coaches. Mike arranged a series of training sessions with the group along, with support on the actual weekend of the event.
Massive well done to the charity paddlers and a thank you to the local coaches who helped with training and planning of the weekend.
The full article can be found here