Canoeing / Kayaking


Kayaking is the most popular of our paddlesport activities and The Pirate Castle runs sessions for our members, groups from schools, youth clubs and voluntary organisations throughout the year - along with private and corporate hire.

Kayaking at The Pirate CastleA kayak (not to be confused with a canoe) is a small human-powered boat. It typically has a closed deck and a cockpit, which can be covered by a spray-deck to prevent water entering the craft. The Pirate Castle

The kayak was used by the native Eskimo hunters in sub-Arctic regions. It historically was, and still is, propelled by a double-bladed paddle in the hands of a sitting paddler. Modern kayaks come in a wide variety of designs and materials for specialized purposes and diciplines of the sport.

Being a water based centre, we're passionate about boating! Our British Canoeing/UKCC-accredited coaches are highly experienced and many have competed in various disciplines at National and International level. The Pirate Castle has been passing on our knowledge and experience to youth and adults alike for over 50 years!


photo of a group canoeing at The Pirate CastleA canoe is a small boat, typically human-powered, although it can also be powered by sails or small electric motors. Canoes usually are pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over (similar to a kayak).

photo of a group canoeing at The Pirate CastleIn its human-powered form, the canoe is propelled using paddles - usually with two people. Paddlers face in the direction of travel, either seated or in a kneeling position directly upon the hull. Canoe paddles tend to be single-bladed.

The oldest recovered canoe in the world is the canoe of Pesse (the Netherlands). Carbon dating revealed that it was constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC.

Bell Boating

photo of a group Bell boatingDesigned by Olympic Canoe Coach David Train, the Bell Boat is a totally unique design in watercraft. Its purpose is to remove the fear of taking part in water activities and to help with team work and co-operation. The versatility of the Bell Boat is great, it’s robust and stable platform is perfect for introducing all ages and abilities to water sports and the local environment. These boats are great for team races and easy going journeys and are perfect for groups with physical and learning difficulties.

British Canoeing Participation Statement: “Canoeing and Kayaking are 'Assumed risk – Water contact sports' that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement”.

If you are interested in any of our paddlesport activities or courses, please call 020 72676605 or email for more information.