British Canoeing

British Canoeing is the English home association of the British Canoe Union (BCU) & the membership body for canoeists, clubs, centres & associates within England.

Canoeing is a hugely diverse sport, providing opportunities for recreation & competition, adventure & challenge, excitement & thrills, exploration & touring, education & enjoying the environment. Canoeing offers something for everyone. It appeals to a wide range of individual tastes, ages & abilities across a host of different communities & environments. It's no surprise then, that canoeing is the most popular watersport within the UK.

Get on the Water with Go Canoeing

Whether you're an absolute beginner or an experienced paddler, one of the best ways to get involved in canoeing and kayaking is through the Go Canoeing initiative. We have a range of captivating and inspiring opportunities and resources all available through our wonderful website,, which has been designed to provide all the information necessary to help you get the most out of your time on the water.

Starter Sessions:

  • Aimed at beginners and those returning to the sport
  • Run by clubs and centres across the country
  • All equipment provided
  • Booked through the club or centre directly, but sessions can be found on the Go Canoeing website (through Activity Search) with all booking details
  • Some sessions will be free while others will involve a small cost - depending on club/centre

Guided Tours:

  • Most tours are suitable for beginners, while some are aimed at those with some canoeing experience
  • Currently 13 locations across the country, but more will be added next year
  • Run by Official Go Canoeing Guided Tour providers and Go Canoeing inducted Tour Guides
  • Advertised on Go Canoeing website
  • Tours available for adults and family groups
  • Emphasis on social aspect of canoeing
  • Tour Guides will give information on local wildlife, sights and history
  • Typically last two hours

Canoe Trails:

  • Free information on places to paddle, allowing those with some canoeing experience to head out on an independent adventure
  • Will be updated regularly
  • On Go Canoeing website


Mass participation events featuring a range of activities and designed to be fun days with lots on offer. These are larger events that and may be organised in collaboration with Go Canoeing Partners. All events will be listed on the Go Canoeing website.

Go Canoeing is a British Conoeing Olympic legacy project aimed at using the power and influence of the Games to boost grassroots participation in the sport. We are confident we can introduce 20,000 new people to canoeing by 2017 and also encourage 25% of those new participants to continue in the sport and undertake further experiences.

As well as introducing new people to the sport, Canoe England also believes there is considerable scope to channel non-regular paddlers (those who canoe once to five times a year) into monthly and then weekly participation.


U Canoe is Canoe England's offer to young people (14-25 years). U Canoe aims to plug the gap in current provision, encourage new participants to the sport and stop the participant 'leak' out of the sport. The programme offers two different ways to achieve this, U Canoe Wired and U Canoe Unleashed, both of which are described more fully below.

Delivery Centres

U Canoe can be virtually anywhere either on land or on the water. Current delivery partners include:

  • Schools
  • HE/FE
  • Youth Groups
  • Canoe Clubs and Centres
  • Uniformed Groups
  • Leisure Centres


U Canoe Wired aims to provide the initial excitement of canoeing in virtually any setting. By using the latest kayak ergometers and software participants can undertake a range of challenges, learn technique, challenge their friends or simply canoe.

U Canoe Wired aims to bring canoeing to those that may not have easy or regular access to canoeing on or off the water. By providing a safe, comfortable and informal setting participants can start to enjoy the wide variety of benefits canoeing has to offer without leaving their setting.

Benefits of U Canoe Wired

  • Informal, fun (and dry!) way to experience canoeing activities.
  • Wide range of options and outcomes for participants i.e. health, fitness, social, technique, educational.
  • Canoe in a known, safe and easily accessible location
  • 'Drop in' style sessions to encourage informality and participant led sessions
  • Gain rewards and complete challenges to enhance U Canoe Wired experience


U Canoe Unleashed aims to provide a fun, informal participant led experience of canoeing. Participants will have the opportunity to try out a range of activities which will test and develop their canoeing skills without having a structured coaching session.

U Canoe Unleashed is the perfect first step to getting on the water and becoming a regular paddler. It will provide participants with a positive experience of canoeing in a relaxed and informal environment, whilst learning through play and developing technique. Participants can decide on their own outcome of the sessions and will be encourage by the activators to progress onto the most suitable canoeing step.

Benefits of U Canoe Unleashed

  • Fun and informal introduction to canoeing
  • Participants decide their own outcomes
  • Variety of exit routes
  • Challenges and rewards available
  • Range of activities to suit their needs.

To find out more information about U Canoe and to get involved please contact the U Canoe Project Officer -


Paddleability focuses on individuals' ability rather than disability, allowing able-bodied and disabled participants to enjoy the sport together. If you would like to read more about paddleability, please click here.

For a list of accessible canoeing facilities in the North West, please follow this link.

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