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Canoeing with kids

Canoeing on our canals and rivers is a great way to spend quality time with your family.

Canoeing on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

By canoeing on our canals and rivers, you'll enjoy fresh air, exercise and have far more fun than you would at the cinema. To help you get started we've put together our top tips for canoeing with kids.

Go to a club

Many clubs have a junior or family section and are the best, cheapest and most social way to get into the sport.

You'll find that most clubs run starter sessions that the whole family can join. These are a great way to pick up some skills, get acquainted with your local club and most importantly have some fun!

Plan short trips

If you're just getting started and have young children look for venues where you can have a go, have fun and get dry easily.

Clubs are great for this but there are also lots of commercial providers who will hire you equipment both with and without an instructor. The Paddle UK website can help you find your nearest club or centre.

Asleep in a canoe

Before you go out and spend a lot of money on equipment do your research and try out different types of boat. You can do this by joining guided sessions at your local club and asking others about their own experiences.

If you've got very young ones a Canadian Canoe could be your best option as they are more stable, have more room and not everyone has to paddle. Older children may prefer a bit more independence, making kayaks more of a suitable option.

Plan ahead

If you're going it alone think about your route, your equipment and the weather. Have you got all of the safety equipment that you need in the right sizes for everyone in your party? Have you got wet weather clothes and towels in case you get wet?

It's also a good idea to check that your route is open, especially in winter when we carry out a lot of restoration work.

You can also use our maps to see how many locks are on your route, where the pubs are and where you can access the canal.

Expect to be amazed!

Canoeing will help you see places from a different perspective, spot wildlife you'd not see otherwise and enjoy places that many others don't get to go. It's a beautiful world, get out and paddle.

Last Edited: 10 April 2024

photo of a location on the canals
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