Schools & Community Group Paddlesport

Our paddlesport sessions for schools, charities and community groups give everyone the chance to get active and explore the waterway, learn new skills and enjoy the magic of experimental education – learning by doing and developing the confidence to respond to new challenges and environments. There really is nothing better than being in control of your own kayak or canoe as you glide through the water!

All sessions are run by fully qualified, friendly and experienced British Canoeing/UKCC-accredited coaches and can be tailored to suit the needs of your group. Activities range from short taster sessions to structured, curriculum-based programmes over a term or throughout the year. We also offer formal progression and accreditation pathways through British Canoeing's 'Paddle Award' and 'Personal Performance Award' schemes. We have a wide range of craft, catering for first-time paddlers to more advanced levels.

As part of our commitment to local schools and charities / community groups who make a real difference to people's lives, we're delighted to offer a heavily-subsidised rate of £50 per hour (per group of up to 8 people and multiples thereof)) for sessions booked by local state / specialist schools, smaller charities and voluntary support groups! We're able to keep prices low thanks to the generosity of our funders and income generated through the private hire of our venue and services.

We strongly receommend booking a minimum session of 1.5 hours (or longer!) to get the most out of your time on the water as all sessions include kitting up, a bankside briefing / paddle talk and getting on / off the water. Longer sessions are charged at the subisidised hourly rate, multiplied by your group size.

2024 rates for 1.5 hour sessions (equivalent to £54 per hour / group of 8 participants and multiples thereof):

1 - 8 participants = £80
9 - 16 participants = £160
17 - 24 participants = £240
25 - 32 participants = £320

Public (fee-paying) schools and charities / community groups with annual incomes over £500,000 are charged at our standard youth rate of £150 for a 1.5 hour session per group of 8 participants (and multiples thereof, up to a maximum group size of 32 people.

Minimum age = 8 years

Discounts are available for block bookings.

In addition to being fun and adventurous, our paddlesport sessions can be adapted to meet Key Stage / GCSE learning outcomes. Within each of these areas we encourage a range of soft skills, including: effective communication, motivation of team members and respect of peers.

Testinmonial from Regent High's Subject Leader for PE: Grant Osborne

"I would like to personally thank you for everything you and your team have done over the years. The incredible delivery of kayaking lessons as well as the encouragement that is offered to our year 10 students at Regent High School has been invaluable. Every year we take approximately 180 students to Pirate Castle to experience kayaking on the canal. It is something that the students look forward to every year and is well attended by all students. The chance to go kayaking at such an affordable price has allowed us to take our school to Pirate Castle for over 5 years and we will continue to do so because of the countless benefits it offers them. Students show an increased confidence, maturity and work ethic when they know that their progress and performance is solely based on their persistence and patience. Many students have decided to take on further classes to improve their skills over the summer holidays. We are all very excited to bring the next set of year 10s to Pirate Castle in years to come."

British Canoeing Participation Statement: “Canoeing and Kayaking are 'assumed risk – water contact sports' that may carry attendant risks. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own action and involvement”.

The activities



Bell Boating

Canal Boating


Residential Holiday Packages

photo of a group kayaking at The Pirate CastleTo keep track of individual progression we offer an evaluation service which can be added onto any activity sessions at the time of booking. This will include an individual skills record, evaluation report of the group as a whole and the issuing of any certification.

We may also ask the students to fill in a quick evaluation of our service so that we can maintain good standards.