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Water Activities


The UK has some quite spectacular locations and scenery hidden amongst our vast network of inland waterways, unfortunately without a boat (or perhaps gills) we have somewhat limited access to these areas.

Alleviate these restraints by choosing a water based activity. We can then provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in a truly wonderful environment. The UK has over 4,000 miles of canal networks, some 40,000 lakes and over 100 navigable rivers, each with their own unique characters, stories, history and wildlife – we will definitely be able to find an environment that suits your needs; wether it be calm and serene or some wild water!

Water based activities are a great all inclusive experience, our instructors are extremely knowledgable and can assist you with any additional needs you may have. We will adapt our practices and our equipment as much as possible to accommodate your physical, cognitive or emotional needs.

Trips & Experiences : Staffordshire

The perfect introduction to paddling Open Canoes, Sit-in Kayaks and Paddleboards.

Our have-a-go sessions are 2 hours long and include everything you need (including wetsuits) to get you on the water. Suitable for adults and children over 10yrs.

Our 16ft open canoes will seat 2-3 people, where as our sit-in kayaks and paddleboards are solo craft.

You’ll head out onto the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal with our qualified and experienced coach. The coach will provide instruction & coaching, set challenges, play games, or take you on a journey (or a mixture of these). All our have-a-go sessions are tailored to the group to ensure you have the best experience possible.

Paddle the beautiful Rudyard Lake in a 2-hour ‘taster session’ (as above) or extend your experience to 4-hours!

Extending your session to 4-hours will give you a longer experience and more time to enjoy the surroundings, take in a full lap or two of the lake, enjoy a picnic lunch on the north banks of the lake, relax with a hot chocolate, or have extra time to develop your skills.

All of our trips and courses are bespoke to your group, so if you have any requests or preferences just let us know.

This may well be the shortest of our journeys – however it’s by no means a lesser journey.

The 6.5km journey starts and ends at Canalside Camping (opposite Canalside Farm Shop and Café – well worth a visit before or after your trip for a tasty meal or slab of cake).

You will begin on the canal where you will have some instruction on controlling your boat/board as we follow the Staffs/Worcs canal passed Tixall Wides, with a view of Tixall Gatehouse, until we reach Tixall lock; here we work together to portage the short lock (approx. 50m). A little further up the canal and we reach the aqueduct where we transfer on to the River Sow – this is a beautiful slow moving river, that has a wonderful feeling of remoteness to it. As we follow the River Sow it’s wise to keep an eye out for wildlife, it’s here we most frequently see kingfishers along with a host of other interesting wildlife.

When we reach the iconic Essex Bridge, we will work together to make the 100m transfer back onto the canal, marking the return point of our journey. There is now just a short leg of canal to take us back to our original starting point.

Paddle to the pub – sounds great doesn’t it!

In fact, this trip starts and finishes at the pub, but please keep your alcoholic tipple until the end of the trip.

We will meet at the Pub to start our journey, where we will get you kitted up and immediately cross over the river to the canal, the canal is the official start of the journey and will take us north-west (up-river) from the Pub. The canal is peaceful & relaxing and provides a useful flat-water journey to enhance your paddling skills. The canal section of our journey has just two points where we will come together to complete short (50m) portages. We will continue on the canal until we reach The Great Haywood Junction (where the Trent & Mersey Canal Meets the Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal), there we will make a lefthand turn under a stone bridge where we are met by the River Trent shortly after.

The transfer onto the river at this point can be a little adventure in itself, that includes a small and sometimes slippery stepdown to get back to our boats/boards – we will be there to help you though. Once safely back in our boats/on our boards we follow the gentle flow of the river.

After a short distance we see the iconic Essex Bridge and the confluence with the River Sow; it can get shallow here, so wet feet may be in order to pass through this short shingle section of river. We continue on the River Trent as it takes us under Essex Bridge and back out into the stunning countryside. The river slowly meanders its way South-East pushing us along with it and there will be plenty of wildlife to spot along the way – this sometimes include some inquisitive looking cows grazing by the river side.

The river presents a small number of natural features that need some care and attention to avoid; shallow shingle beaches and low hanging tress (and currently a few uprooted trees from recent storms) is the worst of it though and these features are unlikely to cause anything other than a mild inconvenience. We can easily negotiate around these, and your experienced guide will advise how to approach and pass these features.

As we near the end of the trip, we will have the Pub in our sights; we exit the river just where we started. Your guide will assist you off the river and having returned your equipment you can go enjoy a well-earned drink & a meal!

The ‘Big Loop’ combines our Short Loop & Paddle to the Pub routes, creating one big day out giving you the best of both worlds as a mini-expedition style trip.

We start and end the day at Canalside Camping (opposite Canalside Farm Shop and Café – well worth a visit before or after your trip for a tasty meal or slab of cake) and you will have the option to pop in for a refreshing drink at the pub if you fancy it.

This is a full day out and involves paddling for 12km, helping with the 2 transfers (canal-river-canal) and portages of 3 locks (only 50m each).

As with all of our trips, we supply everything needed to complete the trip and you will be fully guided for the entire journey by our very experienced and fully qualified coach. Your coach will show you the way, provide handy hints and tips to get you paddling with ease and be there to help with Launching/Landing and the portages.

Training and Development

Your first Steps

Paddle Start

The ‘Paddle Start Award’ is your 1st step of your paddling journey. This award is designed for your first time on the water ‘having a go’! A fun and enjoyable practical session, introducing you to paddlesport. This award can be taken in Canoe (solo or tandem), Kayak or Paddleboard (SUP).

Paddle Discover
Taking you on the next steps towards becoming an independent paddler, enabling you to have a fun and safe time on the water. We will develop your understanding of the factors which affect your paddling; develop your decision making and practical skills, and give you confidence on the water. This award can be taken in Canoe (solo or tandem), Kayak or Paddleboard (SUP).

Paddle Explore
The last in the series of the ‘Paddle Awards’ available for either Canoe (solo or tandem), Kayak or Paddleboard (SUP) before moving on to move advanced skills & environments in a specific discipline. Your Explore Award will give you ownership over your paddling; allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport.

Advancing your skills

The Personal Performance awards are Discipline Specific Awards that, with our help and guidance, will allow you to develop your personal paddling and decision making skills in a craft and environment of your choice. 

The Personal Performance Awards are available in every craft and every environment, the awards are based on your learning, encouraging you in your personal development.

Conquer open water, rivers and estuaries with new skills designed for park and play fun, short trips, full days out and multi day trips.


We honestly believe that water based activities should be available to all, but we also want everyone to stay safe.

Large bodies of open water, rivers and the sea all offer dangers to be navigated carefully, some dangers may be obvious, others are more subtle requiring additional knowledge and understanding. This, in addition to environmental conditions (strong winds, differing river levels, temperature) can have an overwhelming affect on your safety and enjoyment if not taken seriously. We also recognise that sometimes accidents happen and injuries occur.

Can you honestly say you will know what to do if the worst were to happen?

We can provide water safety training, specific to your needs and specific to your craft.

Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Course :

We also provide the The British Canoeing Awarding Body Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Course. This Governing Body accredited course is intended for all paddlers, coaches and volunteers, irrespective of craft or discipline choice, and is available in either bank-based or boat-based options.

It provides training on key skills needed to operate safely and deal with common emergencies in a sheltered water environment. These skills then form the foundations for safety and rescue throughout British Canoeing Awarding Body awards.

Paddle Safer:

The NEW Paddle Safer course is designed for new and novice paddlers wanting to gain knowledge and raise their awareness of paddling safely in a sheltered water environment in, or on, the craft that they paddle. 

This two hour training course covers a range of topics, encouraging you to consider where you paddle, the equipment you use and provide practical solutions if you get into difficulty.

Typical craft for the Paddle Safer Course would include kayaks, canoes, stand up paddleboards, sit on tops and inflatables.

This course is suitable for all ages and great for individuals, families and groups wanting to expand their safety practices when on the water.

If you commit to any of our Personal Performance awards, we will include the 2 Hour Paddle Safer award at no extra cost  

Taster Sessions, Families & Groups

Open Canoe’s are suitable for 1 or 2 people (and up to 2 children, depending on age) and is a perfect vessel for individuals, couples and families. Open canoes are also great to use in larger groups (ie schools/Scouts/DofE).
Given their ‘open’ design, canoes are perceived as an easier/safer option for those with a nervous disposition or that have mobility concerns, as their general stability is far greater than other crafts. That being said, canoes are very versatile crafts, perfect for easy touring on flat water but equally as comfortable on large river rapids. Paddling a canoe solo for the first time is an exciting challenge and difficult for some, but with coaching and practice a 16′ canoes can glide effortlessly down pretty insane terrain.

Kayaks are typically a solo boat (although tandem boats are an option) and come in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the disciple they’re designed for. Those new to solo paddling will often start in a kayak due the ease in which the craft can be manoeuvred, and are less susceptible to the affects of wind.

With dedication and training, kayakers can travel far and wide to find lovely touring routes on our meandering rivers, smash through white water, drop waterfalls or tackle the ocean.

Raft building is a fun and interactive session that aims to produce a fully usable floating vessel, from limited materials. Raft building is often chosen for its fun nature and is frequently used in conjunction with other activities as part of an education programme, with an emphasis on personal development and team building.

Paddleboarding, in our opinion, has to be one of the most accessible adventure sports available and is a great introduction to adventure sports. With the ability to stand up, kneel, sit or lie on the board you are able to find your own comfort level and progress at your own pace, this is one of the greatest features of the paddleboard.

Progress your skills with us and you will be able to safely explore, lakes rivers and the ocean.

Value & Booking

We offer a bespoke service to you and your group, we do this to ensure you get exactly what you want from your adventures. If you already have a specific plan in mind we can look to facilitate that, or if you need to discuss options and work together to plan your adventure that’s ok too.

Once a bespoke plan has been created you will be invited to complete the booking and payment online – then thats it your booking is complete!

From time to time we will advertise public group activities on our ‘booking page’ that you can book individual places on (for those who want a short taster session for example) – our public sessions are no less bespoke in that we will tailor that session according to the individual needs of each participant – why not see if there are places available now….Click Here to book!

Naturally, it’s impossible to advertise the cost of a bespoke service due to the many variables, but we have a ‘Price Guidance’ page that will offer some indication of costs – check out the Price Guidance Page here. We encourage you to contact us to discuss your requirements as together we will tailor make an awesome experience for you.