News article created on 27 November 2017

Join our biggest ever 'Santa Splash' event and discover England's first coast-to-coast canoe trail

With just a few weeks until Christmas, the season to be jolly is nearly upon us! Try something a bit different this year to ease yourself into the festive spirit and get afloat on England’s first coast-to-coast canoe trail with a ‘Santa Splash’.

Blackburn Santa Splash 2016

We're looking for participants to help to create their biggest ever ‘Santa Splash’. The festive paddle will take place on the 200-year old Leeds & Liverpool Canal on Saturday 2 December in Bootle, Liverpool.

Free Santa suits will be available on a first come first served basis on the day. Prizes for the best dressed person and best-dressed canoe, kayak or paddleboard will be on offer. Hot food and drink will be available at the finish for all ‘Santas’ to refuel. 

All abilities and ages are welcome. Children will need to be accompanied by an adult. A range of non-powered vessels are encouraged, from paddleboards to kayaks and canoes. Our Desmond Family Canoe Trail team has places available on their canoes for complete beginners, anyone without their own canoe and a limited number of supporters. It is essential that anyone wishing to take part gets in touch in advance to guarantee availability. Participants are encouraged to bring family and friends along to cheer them on and take pictures.

This Santa Splash event is part of our Desmond Family Canoe Trail. Funded by a £1.3 million grant from the Desmond Foundation, the 162-mile trail starts in Liverpool, follows Britain’s longest canal, the Leeds & Liverpool, links into the Aire & Calder Navigation in Yorkshire and reaches the east coast at Goole.

Liverpool Santa Splash - Bootle

Saturday 2 December, 10:00am arrival (for 10.30am start), finishes 2:00pm 
Eldonian Village, Vauxhall, (L3 6LG) and involves a two-mile trip to the Desmond Family Canoe Trail Bootle Hub at SAFE Regeneration Centre (L20 4AP).

Greg Brookes, Desmond Family Canoe Trail programme manager said: "We’re hoping to create our biggest ever Santa Splash with a huge flotilla of up to 100 Santas. We hope people will to come down to the canal and cheer on the paddlers." 

He added: "This isn’t a race, but a unique way to experience the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and have fun getting into the festive spirit. It’s a family-friendly event along two miles of the waterway. Young people aged 16-25 years old are helping us to develop the 162-miles along the Desmond Family Canoe Trail, and we’d especially love to hear from anyone in this age-group who wants to get involved, have a paddle and see what it’s all about."

Participants are responsible for their own safety and equipment. Reserve your place or for further details contact Beth Cropper, project leader, Desmond Family Canoe Trail: coastto.coast@canalrivertrust.org.uk or 07483 928 255. 

Enter online via the booking form: Desmond Family Canoe Trail