Britain's official guide to canals, rivers and lakes

Wednesday 4th June 2008


River Tees

This medieval trading river was until recently a major commercial navigation. Now, the rural surroundings and impressive Tees Barrage draw walkers and pleasure boaters to enjoy life on the water.

The Tees Navigation runs in from south-west to north-east for 24 miles, from Cross Fell in the Pennines to the North Sea near Middlesbrough. Now that the river no longer reflects the glow from steel works and shipyards, it is becoming more accessible to the people of Teesside and beyond.

The Tees Barrage is 70 metres wide, 32 metres long and sits on a giant, reinforced raft comprising 16,500 cubic metres of concrete. Its four 50-tonne gates are each operated by a 21-tonne hydraulic ram and control the river's flow. Visitors can stroll over the Tees across its pedestrian bridge to see its navigation lock and enjoy the impressive panoramic views.