The Best Locations for White Water Rafting in the UK


The UK as a whole is really in love with water sports and not just football or cricket. From the many rivers and lakes in the lake district to the hundreds of islands you can sail to, water sports are a huge part of the UK.

Whitewater rafting is also a water sport, a bit more dangerous than cruising on a yacht. With different classes of whitewater rivers in the UK, anyone from a completely inexperienced rafter to an extreme adventurer can find their own shot of adrenaline.

Here are some of the rivers in the UK which you can raft on, sorted by their origin, whether they are natural, dam fed or simply put, wild.

Natural Rivers

Natural rivers are probably the most favored of all the river classes when it comes to water rafting, especially by purists. The untouched rivers can provide you with a challenge which varies, which is why some rivers are classified as class II to V. Depending on the time of the year and the level of water, certain parts of a river can change and therefore a single river can have class II parts and class V parts.

The Blackwater River – Northern Ireland

This river is an amazing one to start with as it is a class II river. It divides the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, only a small part, though. A broad and wide river which can be quite gentle to beginners yet still offer some whitewater fun.

The river Tay – Scotland

A step up once you’re done with class II rivers, the river Tay offers a challenge. Looking at the prime spot on the river, the Grand Tully Rapids, you can expect class III fun.

Dam Fed Rivers

These rivers can be tame or wild on demand. That demand, however, has less to do with water sports and much more with water levels.

Tryweryn river – Snowdonia National Park

This one has class IV rapids and can be very enticing if you want to take it a step further.

Findhorn river – Cairngorms National Park

Whether you want a huge challenge or a rather smaller one, you can find it on this river. From class II cruising to class V bouncing and falling, this river has it all.

Wild Rivers

These rivers are for experienced rafters only and those looking for a serious thrill. Both summer and winter challenges are available.

Orchy river – Scotland

From October, you can enjoy class V rapids of the 6 meter Falls of Orchy

Tumml River – Cairngorms National Park

A summer river, best visited from June to September, it offers class IV and V thrills.

These rivers will provide enough fun and challenges for rafters of all levels of skill.


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