Canoeing and Kayaking

We cater for all levels of experience and ability from complete beginners who have never been in a canoe or kayak before, to those who are more experienced.

We offer canoeing or kayaking sessions on lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs, swimming pools and even in the sea! For groups and beginners, we tend to stay on calm flat waters, and we have lots of location options to choose from across the UK.

Man kayaking in a group smiling

group kayaking on a large lake

Canoeing and kayaking are watersport activities which involve using a paddle to travel in a variety of types of boat, this could be on any body of water including canals, lakes, rivers or the sea.

Two people canoeing

Our instructors will kit you up in one of our wetsuits and a cag jacket to ensure you keep warm, and they'll fit you with a buoyancy aid and helmet to keep you safe. You don't need to be able to swim to take part in this activity as we provide buoyancy aids for all participants and this will keep you afloat should you fall or decide to jump into the water.

Group kayaking session

After a short introduction and safety briefing it's time to learn how to launch and land the boats (go into, and come out of, the water) including how to lift and carry your boat safely and our instructor team will provide a demonstration of how to use the paddle and equipment. It's unlikely you'll fall into the water but the team will also demonstrate what to do if a boat capsizes, just in case.

Then it's time to get out onto the water and try paddling for yourself. Most canoe or kayak sessions involve a mix of journeying and skills based static activities including games and races such as kayak polo, team races, collecting items etc. We aim to provide a fun and learning experience depending on the location and nature of the venue.

Journeying allows you to practice your basic strokes in your own time such as forwards, backwards and manoeuvring whilst specific activities and games are used to highlight and develop individual skills in more detail with the opportunity for instructor feedback and individual development.

Group kayaking on a canal surrounded by trees

  1. Improving self confidence: by staying afloat, keeping straight and managing your boat
  2. Improving communication skills: by listening and following instructions and gaining understanding of how to paddle and what to do if you end up in the water
  3. Building teamwork: by working together to paddle and steer the boat, motivating each other to reach the finish and keep each other safe and dry
  4. Developing leadership: by leading the way across the water, giving support and encouragement to those in the team who may be less confident in the water
  5. Mood booster: depending on where you are the session can be peaceful and meditative or fun and exhilarating
  6. Low impact fitness: canoeing and kayaking are low impact sports which can help to build strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness

group kayaking on a large lake

We provide all the equipment needed for the session; canoes or kayaks, paddles, buoyancy aids, wetsuits, cags and helmets.

We offer canoeing or kayaking sessions on lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs, swimming pools and even in the sea!

For groups and beginners, we tend to stay on calm flat waters, and we have lots of location options to choose from across the UK. Our whitewater kayaking for more experienced paddlers takes place on more demanding stretches of river this could include rivers such as the Ure, Don, and Tees. 

Group kayaking on a canal surrounded by trees

Through our affiliation with British Canoeing and our partnership with the Canal and River Trust we have access to over 3000km of canals throughout England and Wales including the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal stretching 204km across the North of England. This access not only gives us the opportunity to journey along some of these magnificent waterways but also provides opportunities for more local static fun or developmental sessions in beautiful sheltered areas.

Most of the large bodies of open water in England are concentrated in the Lake District National Park. These magnificent bodies of water, including the longest and deepest lakes in England, Lake Windermere at 17km long and Wastwater at 74m deep, can be accessed by the public at many locations, however, through our partnership with the Youth Hostel Association we have preferential access to some of the best locations in the lakes. You could even combine any of our activity sessions with a stay at one of 150 YHA hostels spread across England and Wales.

Two people kayaking on Leeds canal

If you're looking to build your skills in this area, or even become a coach or instructor yourself, our team are accredited by British Canoeing to deliver a range of paddlesports courses and qualifications.

Outdoor qualifications

Canoeing and kayaking are watersport activities which involve using a paddle to travel in a variety of types of boat, this could be on any body of water including canals, lakes, rivers or the sea.

group kayaking on a large lake

Our instructors will kit you up in one of our wetsuits and a cag jacket to ensure you keep warm, and they'll fit you with a buoyancy aid and helmet to keep you safe. You don't need to be able to swim to take part in this activity as we provide buoyancy aids for all participants and this will keep you afloat should you fall or decide to jump into the water.

Two people canoeing

After a short introduction and safety briefing it's time to learn how to launch and land the boats (go into, and come out of, the water) including how to lift and carry your boat safely and our instructor team will provide a demonstration of how to use the paddle and equipment. It's unlikely you'll fall into the water but the team will also demonstrate what to do if a boat capsizes, just in case.

Then it's time to get out onto the water and try paddling for yourself. Most canoe or kayak sessions involve a mix of journeying and skills based static activities including games and races such as kayak polo, team races, collecting items etc. We aim to provide a fun and learning experience depending on the location and nature of the venue.

Journeying allows you to practice your basic strokes in your own time such as forwards, backwards and manoeuvring whilst specific activities and games are used to highlight and develop individual skills in more detail with the opportunity for instructor feedback and individual development.

Group kayaking session

  1. Improving self confidence: by staying afloat, keeping straight and managing your boat
  2. Improving communication skills: by listening and following instructions and gaining understanding of how to paddle and what to do if you end up in the water
  3. Building teamwork: by working together to paddle and steer the boat, motivating each other to reach the finish and keep each other safe and dry
  4. Developing leadership: by leading the way across the water, giving support and encouragement to those in the team who may be less confident in the water
  5. Mood booster: depending on where you are the session can be peaceful and meditative or fun and exhilarating
  6. Low impact fitness: canoeing and kayaking are low impact sports which can help to build strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness

Group kayaking on a canal surrounded by trees

We provide all the equipment needed for the session; canoes or kayaks, paddles, buoyancy aids, wetsuits, cags and helmets.

We offer canoeing or kayaking sessions on lakes, rivers, canals, reservoirs, swimming pools and even in the sea!

For groups and beginners, we tend to stay on calm flat waters, and we have lots of location options to choose from across the UK. Our whitewater kayaking for more experienced paddlers takes place on more demanding stretches of river this could include rivers such as the Ure, Don, and Tees. 

group kayaking on a large lake

Through our affiliation with British Canoeing and our partnership with the Canal and River Trust we have access to over 3000km of canals throughout England and Wales including the famous Leeds to Liverpool canal stretching 204km across the North of England. This access not only gives us the opportunity to journey along some of these magnificent waterways but also provides opportunities for more local static fun or developmental sessions in beautiful sheltered areas.

Most of the large bodies of open water in England are concentrated in the Lake District National Park. These magnificent bodies of water, including the longest and deepest lakes in England, Lake Windermere at 17km long and Wastwater at 74m deep, can be accessed by the public at many locations, however, through our partnership with the Youth Hostel Association we have preferential access to some of the best locations in the lakes. You could even combine any of our activity sessions with a stay at one of 150 YHA hostels spread across England and Wales.

Group kayaking on a canal surrounded by trees

If you're looking to build your skills in this area, or even become a coach or instructor yourself, our team are accredited by British Canoeing to deliver a range of paddlesports courses and qualifications.

Two people kayaking on Leeds canal

Booking information

  1. What's available?

    • Half day activity session
    • Full day activity session
    • Incorporated into full programme
    • Qualifications
  1. Who can book?

    • Youth and community groups
    • Schools
    • Universities and colleges
    • Businesses

Interested in canoeing and kayaking sessions?

Get in touch with our team using the link below to book or find out more.

Book now

Why choose Carnegie Great outdoors

  • We are part of Leeds Beckett University with over 12 years' experience working with external clients and groups
  • We hold Public Liability Insurance of £25,000,000
  • We provide all specialist outdoor activity equipment, which is thoroughly checked, cleaned, serviced and maintained by our team. We hold trade accounts with the leading outdoor equipment manufacturers and replace our activity equipment in line with manufacturer and National Governing Body Guidelines
  • We tailor our activities to meet your personal aims and objectives, or to fit the requirements of the group; meeting curriculum requirements, corporate learning aims, identified skill sets or learning objectives 

All sessions are run by our friendly instructors who:

  • Hold specialist qualifications issued by the National Governing Body for each of the activities
  • Have excellent working knowledge of the activity locations
  • Are DBS enhanced checked
  • Hold a specialist 16-hour Outdoor Emergency First Aid qualification which is renewed every three years and covers the care of casualties in remote settings, in line with Government HSE regulations
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance
  • Have extensive experience working with a variety of client groups in the outdoors
  • Have a sound understanding of the outdoor sector including relevant legislation
  • Maintain a high standard of customer care