The problem with my researching British rivers is that it is easy to be sidetracked and this has happened immediately with both the Aire and the River Axe.
|Horses cooling off in the River Aire|
The river rises at Malham Tarn in North Yorkshire, and drains the central Pennines to flow south-east through West Yorkshire until it joins the River Ouse. Its upper reaches are in the valley of Airedale - where the Airedale terrier originated.
|But not this one!|
After leaving the Pennines it crosses the Yorkshire coal field to be joined by its major tributary, the River Calder. Leeds is the principal city on its route.
The River Axe gets its name from an ancient Celtic word meaning 'abounding in fish.' I thought I knew where the river was located but now I've found there are two rivers with that name located in the South West.
One rises or rather emerges from the limestone caves at Wookey Hole.
|Wookey Hole and mill leat|
This flows westward and northward through Somerset, splitting into two Axes before reuniting and entering the Bristol Channel at Weston Bay.
My other Axe flows south and enters the sea on the south coast at Lyme Bay.
The river rises in Dorset but passes through Somerset and Devon. The photo taken in 2007 shows cattle standing within a meander likely to have become an island by now as the river eroded the neck. The houses are at the northern end of the town of Axminster (famous for its carpets).
- River Aire Close to Woodhouse Railway Bridge: 22 June 2005, ex geograph.org.uk, by Mick Melvin ; CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence.
- Wookey Hole and mill leat: 18 Feb 2005, ex geograph.org.uk by Pierre Terre CC BY-SA 2.0 Licence
- River Axe (Lyme Bay): 17 May 2007, ex geograph.org.uk, by Derek Harper CC By-SA 2.0 Licence