Canoeing is one of the most accessible and sociable sports in the UK; with something for every age, ability and pace of life.

Options range from canoe touring, to discover the peace and tranquillity of Britain’s waterways, to white-water paddling for that pure adrenaline rush. Whatever you choose you will find that canoeing is a great way to stay fit and healthy.

Explore stunning coastlines, peaceful inland waterways or white-water rapids and learn the pleasure of being at one with the water and nature.

 Why is it good for me?

Canoeing is a low impact aerobic workout that can improve your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Getting outside and enjoying nature can also be good for your mental health.

How much does it cost?

Beginners sessions can cost as little as £2.50, but prices will vary between providers.

Canoes can be expensive, but while you’re starting out in the sport, most clubs and centres have equipment that can be borrowed or hired.

What equipment do I need?

Basic requirements:

  • Warm, comfortable clothing such as tracksuit bottoms (ideally not jeans) and layered tops
  • Water/windproof over layers
  • Suitable footwear, a pair of old shoes which you don’t mind getting wet is fine

As well as these basics, you will also need a canoe or kayak, a paddle and a buoyancy aid, which is an absolute must. All of these items can usually be provided by your local canoe club or centre, although it is worth checking with them before arriving for your session.

Getting started

British Canoeing has a club/activity provider search facility called Canoe Near You on their website (link below). There is also the Go Paddling website which the home for recreational paddlers. Again link below.