Abbey rapids is a popular rapid on the River Tees just downstream from the market town of Barnard Castle. The rapid has been used for many years as slalom site, but also provides a number of play spots for the freestyle paddler. The run from Barnard Castle to Whorlton Lido (grade III) holds plenty of nice little playspots as well as being a great run.
The rapid has a fairly steep gradient with number of small waves along its length. At the bottom of the run there are two large waves which can be surfed and spun on. But there is also a nice little hole which is fairly rententive and where cartwheels can be pulled.
Getting to Barnie (as it is known) is dead easy as it lies just of the A66 trans pennine route. From the A1 follow the signs for A66 Barnard Castle. After several miles you will pass a hotel (on your left) and pass over the River Greta. From here you need to be looking for the old back road into Barnie on your right. Its not suitable for heavy vehicles. You will find yourself winding down hill towards the river and an old stone bridge. Just before the bridge you’ll find a left hand turn that will take you to the ruined Abbey. You should be able to find some parking around here, but please be discrete when changing.