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Abby and I were very excited to embark on a Kayak Tour down the Regents Canal with London Kayak Tours. Both of us were complete novices to Kayaking. I had never been before and was slightly apprehensive about how easy it would be to pick up, balance and steer.
Our evening began with a brief introduction from our instructor David (qualified at the British Canoe Union). We laid out our boats on land and positioned ourselves in the Kayaks were we proceeded to show David our best paddling techniques. The introduction was brief and informative as David wanted us to have maximum time kayaking!
After all gracefully sliding into our boats (with David's help) we started heading downstream. The streamlined boat was easy to navigate and balance. As we glided further down the canal, I felt secure in my boat and gradually felt more confident to speed up my pace. Our tour began at 7.30pm; forming a cool picturesque evening that truly transported us away from the hustle and bustle of London's concrete jungle. The Tour started outside Regents Park Zoo; with the zoo right next to the embankment, we were soon greeted with the chirping of birds and the chatter of monkeys as we skimmed past their outdoor aviary and cage. Our bird watching continued as the evening commenced – an array of moorhens, ducks and swans swam closely by us.
The two acre urban nature reserve is a hidden gem in one of the most densely populated parts of London. By travelling on a canal, I was able to see London in a unique perspective that enhanced the natural beauty of such a peaceful landscape. David was an excellent guide; he was personable and undeniably passionate about the tour. David provided us a fountain of knowledge and interesting anecdotes of the various landscapes on the 8 mile route including the old English Camden lock and the Giraffe House. On a personal level, one of the great joys in my job is working in an industry where people are simply doing what they love. I think this is an unfortunate rarity in our current society; Kayaking with an expert was both humbling and inspiring. David started the business from one kayak he bought at an auction for £100 and since the business has blossomed. Our group of four also included two lovely South African girls who both had a thrill for adventure and loved the experience just as much as we did; subsequently booking a big group kayak session for them and 10 others!
This experience is universal, and is perfect for all ages and group sizes with no prior experience needed. As the sun began to set so did the evening, drawing to a close with a glass of champagne in our hand and the scenery masked by twilight we enjoyed the last of our spectacular views by kayak. Check out the Tour we also offer at Windsor.
We’ve been catching up with Laura from London Kayak Tours who has told us a little more about the drive behind the company! It seems Kayaking is the ideal activity for dating – keep reading to find out more!
Q. How did your passion for Kayaking begin?
A. I am from New Zealand, so typically like the outdoors and have kayaked from an early age in NZ! I like the pace of kayaking, it is adventurous and different without being too difficult for anyone. I like that it is ideal for novices and open to anyone trying out something fun, unique and active.
Q. What would you say is the best thing about seeing London from a kayak?
A. Seeing London from a kayak offers a completely unique view of the wonderful capital. It is a great place to observe the hustle and bustle of the city, whilst paddling gently down the river. The river offers a much slower pace and is much more peaceful. It is also a great position to observe some world-famous historical landmarks such as Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace. We see everything from a unique angle.
Q. What do you enjoy most about working on the River Thames?
A. It is great to do an activity I love and make a successful business out of this passion. I enjoy watching the changing seasons from a river view as well as being able to have an up-close view of river wildlife. It is fantastic being able to race alongside swans, kingfishers and ducks.
Q. Do you have any funny/ embarrassing stories to share?
A. We have had two marriage proposals and regularly take out stags and hens for their fun day out.
We have had some good dating stories, some successful relationships. We had one gentlemen bring a few different dates out kayaking with us. It was like his regular dating venue for a while.
Q. Have you ever had any celebrities take part in the tours?
A. Yes, we have had Natalie Imbruglia, Sunita Shroff and Emma Catherwood previously from Holby City.
Q. Is there anything you would like to add or share that has not been covered?
A. If you haven't been on a London Kayak Tour then you must! Our visitors have given us some great reviews on Trip Advisor. Do have a look at these and some of our pictures and videos at www.londonkayaktours.co.uk. We continue to have fun with this business and encourage everyone to try this at least once!
We would like to say a massive thank you to Laura for taking the time to answer our questions. If you would like to start your London kayaking adventure – choose from three different locations: Tower Bridge, Regents Canal or Windsor!
Group Size & Spectators:
Minimum Group Size: 4 participants
(if you are a small group, you will simply be added to another group booking).
Maximum Group Size: 6 participants
Spectators are welcome to watch, and can even stroll along the footpath beside you!
The kayaking experience is available from sunrise - sunset on selected weekends only.
2017 Scheduled Dates:
9 Apr 2017 11:00
15 Apr 2017 11:00
15 Apr 2017 13:30
17 Apr 2017 11:00
23 Apr 2017 11:00
29 Apr 2017 11:00
29 Apr 2017 13:30
7 May 2017 11:00
7 May 2017 13:30
13 May 2017 11:00
13 May 2017 13:30
20 May 2017 11:00
20 May 2017 13:30
21 May 2017 11:00
4 Jun 2017 11:00
10 Jun 2017 11:00 (Sold out)
10 Jun 2017 13:30
18 Jun 2017 11:00
24 Jun 2017 11:00
24 Jun 2017 13:30
2 Jul 2017 11:00
8 Jul 2017 11:00
8 Jul 2017 13:30
16 Jul 2017 11:00
22 Jul 2017 11:00
22 Jul 2017 13:30
30 Jul 2017 11:00
5 Aug 2017 11:00
5 Aug 2017 13:30
13 Aug 2017 11:00
19 Aug 2017 11:00
19 Aug 2017 13:30
27 Aug 2017 11:00
2 Sep 2017 11:00
2 Sep 2017 13:30
10 Sep 2017 11:00
The kayaking lasts two hours, but expect to be on site for longer.
Please ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your start time - tours leave promptly.
In particularly adverse weather conditions the experience may be cancelled, in which case it will be rescheduled for another date.
All equipment is provided by the venue.
Participants should wear warm clothes and sensible shoes, and bring a spare change of clothes.
Minimum Age: 9 (children under 12 must be accompanied by a participating adult).
Maximum Height: 6'4"
Maximum Weight: 18 stone
Participants must be able to swim 20 metres, although the nature of the kayaks and experience will not require rolling out of the kayak.
If you have a disability or medical condition please inform the centre at the time of booking.
Expectant mothers are not permitted to Kayak at any stage of their pregnancy.