Canal Kayaking

Bude is an ideal location for all types of paddlesport and our historic rural canal provides the perfect environment to get you started and develop fine kayaking skills. The Bude Canal weaves up the Neat Valley for almost two miles creating a sheltered ribbon of water ideal for short journeys, fun & skills sessions and safety & rescue training. It's a beautiful venue with resident Otters, Kingfishers and a very tame Heron to mention a few.

Courses cater for beginners through to recognised paddlesport qualifications and safety tests as well as coach education training and assessments. We regularly run half-day introductory sessions on the canal, ideal for paddlers with no previous or limited experience. Once a good foundation of skills has been developed then paddlers often venture into more advanced environments and take part in Sea Kayaking, Surf Kayaking or White Water Kayaking activities.

The canal is a great environment for a fun wet 'n' wild session, learning how to capsize and look after others in the water. It's great for group sessions and journeys, parties as well as advanced skill training and coach education.

Useful information

  • Half-day beginners, intermediate and advanced skills sessions
  • Half-day group sessions
  • Progressive beginners and intermediate sessions over a number of half daily sessions
  • Parties for all ages
  • Daily BCU 1 star, 2 star and FSRT courses
  • BCU UKCC Level 1 and Level 2 coach training and assessments

If you've never kayaked before we'd recommend you start with a session or two on the Bude Canal where we can provide you with a good foundation of skills. This will allow you to enjoy the more advanced environments in a safe way.

We can accommodate a wide range of ages across the many kayaking activities but we'd recommend the following minimum ages based on the strength and endurance required for each activity :

Canal-based kayaking (single boats) minimum age 8.

Sea Kayaking (single boats) minimum age 12.

Surf Kayaking minimum age 12.

White Water Kayaking minimum age 12.

Sea, Surf and White Water Kayaking are all physically demanding sports and in some conditions minimum aged paddlers will struggle. Beginners courses in these activities require paddlers to have some basic technical and safety skills which are best acquired by taking part in flat-water kayaking activities first. Please be honest with our team about your capabilities when making a booking and during an activity as this will affect both the safety and quality of the session. Please go to the specific pages for more detailed information on each of these advanced activities.


For our beginners and intermediate courses we provide all the equipment and outer clothing, all you need to bring along is a change of clothing - see suggestions below. We will provide water proof cags, spray decks and buoyancy aids as well as the boats and paddles.

Clothing to wear for this activity :

  • Summer conditions - tracksuit bottoms or shorts, a T-shirt and an old pair of trainers or wetsuit boots.
  • Winter conditions - tracksuit bottoms, waterproof over trousers, T-shirt, Fleece, woolly hat and an old pair of trainers or wetsuit boots.
  • Alternatives - A full wetsuit can be used for kayaking and canoeing but it can prove to be too hot and restrictive and may cause rubbing.

For more advanced courses paddlers often bring their own equipment and clothing however we still can offer a range of kayaks and equipment for use on any of these courses as required.

  • School and College groups
  • Scouts, Guides and various youth groups
  • Family parties and groups of friends
  • Interested individuals
  • Birthday party groups
  • Stag and Hen parties
  • Established paddlers
  • Canoe clubs

Tell us what you want to do?

With so many activities available, we can help by arranging specific activities for your family or group. Let us know by completing the form and we will come back to you with ideas.
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