PADDLING IN WALES

From raging white water and powerful surf to glassy lakes, tranquil trails and idyllic sea routes, Wales' range of destinations make it a great destination for paddlers from all over the world.

Whether you're new to paddling, have got the basics or are an old hand; and whichever discipline or disciplines of paddling you like; you'll find plenty of opportunities here in Wales – and if you've got a competitive streak, why not take on other paddlers in competition?

You can use this site to discover the country's very best canoeing and kayaking. Through each of our pages you will find the best information that we have about many of the paddling venues in Wales.

Rights and Responsibilities

Our Waterways & Environment Position Statement explains our position on access to waterways and environmental issues; and provides guidance to our members; to others paddlers in Wales; and to other stakeholders in their decisions about paddling in Wales.Canoe Wales believes that paddlers should be able to enjoy water responsibly, so we encourage you to paddle wherever and whenever you have the right to do so, within the law and with respect and consideration for others and the environment.

Within each of these pages we will, in due course, summarise what we understand the legal position to be, together with relevant information to help you understand the needs of other users and the environment. We will also provide general advice and guidance to help you look after our paddling environment - including the importance of CHECK, CLEAN, DRY when moving between different waterway areas. You can find out how to help protect our countryside by reading the Countryside Council for Wales' Waterside Code.

But because we cannot give definitive information about the appropriateness of each venue, on each day, in every condition, for every paddler, the decision whether or not to paddle at any location in Wales at any time is for you to make as an individual, taking into account the advice and guidance on these pages and from other relevant sources.

Disclaimer

We will do our best to keep this information up-to-date, but while it will have been true on the day it was written, we cannot promise that it is still true on the day you read it – so you are advised to check locally before paddling. Much of the information comes from sources that are independent of Canoe Wales and we cannot guarantee, and accept no responsibility for, the accuracy of such information and content.

Where to Go

 

I'm new to paddling...

The best way to take to the water for the first time is with a bit of supervision. Many commercial activity providers run come-and-try-it sessions through the warmer seasons, where you can take to the water for supervised paddling.

 Another way of finding out what paddling is all about is through a canoe club. Most clubs are more than happy to help paddlers take to the water, and most of them run sessions to show new paddlers what’s what, and give out some pointers.

 

I've got the basics...

If you need to rent a boat, there are opportunities all round Wales, including Bala lake in Snowdonia, Llangorse lake in the Brecon Beacons and Cardiff Bay. You can hire equipment for a few hours and explore lakes, islands and inlets from the water.  

If you want to push your paddling, you could always booking a coaching course to develop your on-the-water skills. Have a look at our coaching network to find the right coach or centre for you. 

 

I'm confident on the water and have my own kit...

There are hundreds of places to paddle in Wales – it’s just a case of knowing what you’re looking for. 

The rivers are graded from one to six, with grade one being still; the higher grades being white water; and grade six being on the very limit of what’s possible to paddle.

Our 750-mile coastline is also yours to discover, whether you’re splashing around at the beach or you’re looking for some of Britain’s most challenging sea kayaking or surfing.

To get a flavour of what’s out there, you can find out more about routes you can follow by picking up a guidebook. If you’re unsure about whether a particular stretch of water is safe to paddle, it’s best to look out expert advice. Strong currents and cold water aren’t always obvious, so it can be a good idea to get a second opinion.

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