This week, Maddie and I ventured back into the heart of London to try something a little unusual – Stand Up Paddleboarding! We were lucky enough to experience how beautiful The City can be on a warm summers day – with the weather on our side and perfect for paddleboarding (26 degrees!) .
A short tube hop away from Victoria, we arrived at Paddington Tube Station, ready to see what the day had in store for us. The Active360 boat was easy to find, and our instructor Anu was waiting for us by the barge on Paddington Basin. We got changed into our special paddleboarding shoes (provided), and Anu demonstrated how to paddle, get up onto the board and what to do if we fell in (which luckily, we didn’t!).
After our safety instruction, we headed into the water. We both found the sensation quite daunting at first, as neither Maddie, nor I, had ever SUP’ed before. Within 15 minutes on the paddleboards, however, we were up and standing. Although wobbly at first, we quickly relaxed into it and could enjoy the beautiful sights around us.
We paddled through Paddington Basin, past old Dutch and French Barges, under various cute little bridges – including the half-penny bridge – all the way to the fork between Regents Canal and Little Venice. As ours was a private experience, we chose to make our way through Little Venice, which worked out wonderfully. There were dainty, little restaurants on the river bank, low branching trees and spots where geese and their chicks were all hanging out.
We were surprised by how peaceful and green this part of London is, as this was not something we had experienced before. Our instructor Anu was a wonderful tour guide, explaining various sights along the way and disclosing interesting facts about various parts of the city.
All in all, it’s safe to say our SUP session was by far one of the best experiences we’ve done so far, and we’d both love to go again in future. It definitely showed London in a different light, far from what either of us had experienced before. We would like to say a massive thank you to Active360 for having us and – of course – to Anu for being an excellent tour guide!