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Canoeing and Kayaking In Surrey

Read our guide for Canoeing and Kayaking In Surrey and Find and Book experiences, courses, activities and tours! Browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book onto your dates or enquire to book. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you’ve got any questions about any specific experience, send a message and the providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Have a specific experience in mind that we don’t have listed? No problem, drop us a message and we’ll send your quote around to hundreds of the best experience providers nationwide and come back with you the best quote, making it easy for you to make the most of your spare time!

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About Kayaking and Canoeing in Surrey

Whilst not having a coastline nor any whitewater rivers, Surrey nevertheless has some great canoeing and kayaking opportunities on rivers and lakes, most notably the River Thames and the River Wey. The Wey comprises around 20 miles of gentle paddling through the heart of the county, providing all levels of paddler with points of interest along it’s loops and backwaters. Both the Wey and Thames have numerous places to safely launch, and there are many activity providers offering the chance to rent or book a lesson or course.
Kayaking and canoeing are a fantastic way to see the landscape from a different perspective, and get to experience locations - and see wildlife - you might not otherwise get to visit. For the experienced paddler there are plenty of options available. For beginners or those wishing to improve their skills, there are plenty of adventure providers who can take you on the rivers safely.
Canoe and Kayaking in Surrey

What are the best canoeing and kayaking locations in Surrey?

  • The Thames: winding its way through Surrey and eventually into London past Kingston, the stretch just before this is well worth a day out. Paddle up from Kingston to Hampton Court to take in the palace there, and enjoy a few riverside refreshments at Kingston on your return. It’s a lively stretch of river but with various parks lining it’s banks it makes for an enjoyable session on the water.
  • Mercer Lake, Redhill: a beautiful 52 acre lake set in Mercer Park and easily accessible from Redhill and Gatwick, it offers a variety of watersports including kayaking and canoeing, whether you just want a taster or to develop your skills further with more advanced courses.
  • The River Wey: forming at Guildford where two streams meet, the Wey provides a gorgeous scenic paddle as it heads to Weybridge before joining the Thames. Flowing through beautiful countryside notable landmarks include Newark Priory and Brooklands, as well as several water mills and possible sightings of kingfishers.
  • Shepperton weir pool: just off-set from the Thames at Shepperton the weir pool is home to a slalom canoe club, where the more serious paddler can learn and practice their skills. Trial sessions are available for the budding slalom kayaker!
  • River Mole, Dorking to Hampton Court: this is a lovely stretch of river, though not paddled often, which can be good or bad depending on your perspective! For experienced paddlers looking for a mini-adventure then the 34km between Dorking and Hampton Court can be a challenging day trip. There are likely to be trees across the river, but on the other hand there are very few people, plenty of kingfishers, and the river is recorded as far back as the Doomsday book, with mills dating back to Saxon times dotted along the banks.

Kayak in Surrey

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.

Watersports and Kayaking in Surrey

Where can I go canoeing or kayaking in Surrey?

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.
Kayaking and canoeing in Surrey

Canoe and Kayak Clubs, Hire and Lessons in Surrey 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 Surrey

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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