Canoeing & Kayaking

Explore our blue spaces at your own pace.

Photo: Visit Kent

With all watersports, it’s best to learn under the guidance of an experienced and qualified coach. They can make sure your introduction to the sport is fun and safe and- added bonus- signpost you to the best clubs and paddling routes in your area. Find coaches local to you.

When paddling on the tidal Thames (also known as the tideway), all river users must follow the Tideway Code to keep themselves and others safe. Whilst some stretches of the tideway might not look busy at certain times, it is key to remember that it is a navigable port with a huge variety of activity, from stand-up paddleboarders to high speed boats and commercial ships. It is the busiest inland waterway in the UK.

What’s the Tideway like for canoeing and kayaking?

West of Putney Bridge, the tidal Thames is at its calmest. East of Putney Bridge the river becomes increasingly sea-like, so sea kayaks are most commonly used. There are plenty of inland spaces to enjoy the water too – check out our map of clubs and Paddle Points, on the Go Paddling website.

Where can I find out more?

British Canoeing have a huge amount of information freely available to paddlers, and their membership offer gives you even more access to the paddling community, resource and advice. There are over 50 paddling clubs in London. Canoe London has an excellent list, and plenty of free information too.

Connect With a Coach

Our growing resource to connect paddlers, rowers and sailors with coaches.

Are you a watersports coach in London, Kent or Essex?

Would you like to reach more people?

Upload your contact details to our database of coaches.

Looking to improve your skills?

Find the right coach for your needs.

Get started today.

Activity Finder

Go Paddling is the home for recreational paddlers, whether they’re brand new to the sport and want to get on the water for the first time or a confident paddler looking to take on new adventures.  Explore UK rivers, find paddle trails and create your own paddling routes. 

Get started

Navigating in the upper tidal Thames
Navigating in central London
Navigating in the lower tidal Thames

The Active Thames and Boating on the Thames websites are run and administered by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and have been designed to provide support to members of the public who are interested in watersports and activities. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to ensure that information provided on our website is accurate and up to date, we make no representations or guarantees, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy of the content. Therefore, users should ensure that they make their own enquiries of the information provided including coaches, their qualifications (and whether the same are up to date) and contact details as listed on the Active Thames and Boating on the Thames websites. The information and links provided by Active Thames and Boating on the Thames are for convenience only. The directory of coaches and links provided on our website may lead to external sites and any information or statements on these sites are not sponsored or endorsed by the PLA. The PLA cannot be held liable for the availability (or lack thereof) of individuals listed on or content located within any external websites.