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Canoeing and Kayaking In North Wales - experiences

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Best Canoeing and Kayaking in North Wales

Whilst North Wales is often known most for its mountain ranges, and Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. It’s got over 250 miles of coastland, hundreds of lakes and rivers to explore. We’ve outlined some of the best canoeing and kayaking in North Wales for both sea kayaking, river kayaking and lake kayaking. North Wales has been called the adventure capital of the UK, from zip wires over a massive quarry, man-made wave machines for learning to surf, high-ropes, go karting and more. Most importantly for the paddling enthusiasts, there’s a wealth of epic canoeing and kayaking to be done. From sea kayaking, river kayaking and lakes to explore. Here’s a round up of some of the best kayaking in North Wales.

Canoeing and Kayaking in Snowdonia

Paddling under Wales’ biggest Mountain, Mount Snowdon, offers a relaxing way to see stunning views, cliffs and old slate mines. You can rent kayaks in several lakes and rivers around Snowdon or in Snowdonia itself. For views of Mount Snowdon, you can rent kayaks near Llyn Gwynant (where Lara Croft and Tomb Raider II was filmed), or to see views of old slate mines and stunning cliffs Llyn Padarn is a good place to start. Snowdonia has over 200 miles of coastline and 35 beaches, so there’s a wealth of opportunities for sea kayaking in snowdonia too. Explore more Kayaking and Canoeing in Snowdonia
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Canoeing and Kayaking in Bala Lake (Llyn Tegid) Kayaking Bala Lake (Lyn Tegid), is an excellent way to spend time at Snowdonia National Park. Launching fees are payable to Snowdonia National Park Authority, but otherwise you’re free to roam on your kayak or canoe. With a beautiful backdrop of mountains and no large boats, due to it being a conservation area, it’s a great place to explore. And at 1100 acres, there’s enough to keep you busy with plenty of canoe and kayak routes.

Canoeing and Kayaking in Conwy There is canoeing and kayaking for all in Conwy. The river Conwy itself offers all sorts of paddling from white water to much more gentle touring conditions across its 27 mile length. The estuary offers kayaking like nowhere else, with a medieval castle and walls surrounding the small welsh town, it’s arguably one of the most beautiful areas in the UK. With a bird reserve on the east side of the estuary, there’s an abundance of wildlife nearby.

Best River Kayaking in North Wales Arguably some of the best River Kayaking in North Wales can be found on the River Tyerwyn flows into the largest lake in Wales - Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake). Given the flow is controlled by a dam, there’s an almost consistent flow of water providing opportunities for excellent white water kayaking through to more relaxed sections. It’s no wonder the National Whitewater Centre has chosen it’s home on this river, given the breadth of opportunities for canoeing and kayaking.

Canoe and Kayaking in Snowdonia, North Wales Near Me

Sea Kayaking in North Wales, Kayaking in Anglesey North Wales has over 250 miles of coastline, offering a lot of launch spots for sea kayaking. Arguably some of the best sea kayaking is off the island of Anglesey. With quiet, secluded bays, it offers perfect sea kayaking for beginners, all the way to much more complex tide systems in more exposed sections for advanced sea kayakers. Paddling in Anglesey offers the feeling of complete remoteness at times and there’s a wealth of undisturbed wildlife, giving you front-row seats to an excellent show!## Safety Advice for Canoeing and Kayaking

A license is just one small part of the puzzle when it comes to working out where and when to paddle. See our list below on things to consider before going canoeing or kayaking:
  • Weather, flow, tides and visibility: Attention should be paid to the flow of the river by checking the environment agency website and others. A significant flow on the river can be caused by excessive rain, often hundreds of miles away, that over a number of days, pour into the river can cause significant currents. Whilst its often hard to see ‘flow’ just by looking at the river the National River Flow Archive can provide specific information on the flow to enable you to decide if it’s worth the outing. Often, it’s much nicer to paddle in calmer waters, rather than battling a surging river and having greater risk around meanders, bridges and other boat vessels, so this is something to consider. Likewise, wind, tide, weather and visibility should be taken into consideration when planning your canoeing or kayaking trip.
  • Conditions within your level of capability Always err on the side of caution when going out in your canoe or kayak and make sure you’re comfortable with the conditions of the water
  • Tell your friends: Let people know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Ideally go with a group of people so if someone falls in, you’ll have others to help or raise the alarm
  • Get training: Book in a canoeing or kayaking instructor course or experience days on Beyonk
  • Practice falling in drills: In calmer waters and with the supervision of an instructor, practice how to fall in and what to do when you do fall in, so you’re prepared on what to do
  • Consider wearing safety equipment such as buoyancy aids, which can be life-savers in many scenarios even if you’re a strong swimmer. The water temperature, flow or taking a knock to the head can all present risks that will make your swimming skills useless and a buoyancy aid life-saving
  • Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions of your paddle. Don’t risk getting soaking wet and cold in the rain if you’re going out for prolonged periods
  • Be aware of waterway restrictions, from boating lanes, military operations and more, to avoid any dangers
  • Make sure to get stacked up on nutrition and water to maintain energy levels if you’re going for over an hour's paddle.
  • Take a communication device, mobile or radio in case of emergency and call 999 if needed.

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Where can I go canoeing or kayaking in North Wales?

Unfortunately there are all sorts of restrictions on where you can go canoeing or kayaking in Wales, as many bodies of water are owned by different organisations and there are more specific protections in place. It’s not quite as simple as just rocking up to your closest river and going for a paddle. There have been stories of authorities asking to see licenses and being able to fine those canoeing and kayaking without a license.
There are some places where licenses aren’t required, like paddling in the sea, estuaries or most tidal water (which can often travel quite far up many rivers). However, these are the areas that require skill and experience to go paddling. Nevertheless, estuary and sea kayaking can offer some of the most rewarding experiences with sightings of seals, a wealth of other animals and stunning coastal scenes.
Canals and inland rivers can be great places to kayak and canoe as waters can be easier to navigate and manage than tidal waters. However, for many inland rivers in the UK you’ll need to work out whether you are able to canoe or kayak there due to both private restrictions and licensing restrictions. In Wales, check out the Canoe Wales website for the rivers where you can canoe or kayak under their membership. If there are any questions, you’re best off sending them a message to see what license is required (if any) for your stretch of river. Restrictions also exist for where land is privately owned (e.g. beaches), where there are environmental protection schemes such as Nature reserves, where there are military bases or activity happening or where there are restrictions due to safety such as avoiding shipping lanes, waste disposal or dangerous wrecks.
Canoe and Kayaking In North Wales

Canoe and Kayak Clubs, Hire and Lessons in North Wales near me

Search through our map of hundreds of canoe and kayak clubs, places to hire equipment or find lessons. If you’re looking for something specific, drop us a message and we’ll find it for you.

Canoeing and Kayaking for Families and Kids in North Wales

Canoeing and Kayaking are great family friendly sports. Canoes are more of the stable and spacious choice that allow for gentle and calm paddling experiences. Kayaking also offers the option for two-seaters that are a great way to bond with a friend or family member. Sea Kayaks and Touring Kayaks are incredibly stable, like Canoes, so it's more difficult to fall in or get wet. When it comes to the types of water to look out for, calmer water makes for a more enjoyable experience with kids. Look out for local lakes or canals for safer and more tranquil paddling. The beauty of canoeing and kayaking are that they are 'sit down' sports. The level of fitness required for both - at entry level - is relatively low, so most people can get involved with the sport.

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