Below, we take a look at our top tips when it comes to planning a river trip and the things that you should really be considering before embarking on your journey.
Location - With thousands of miles worth of river in the UK, trying to find somewhere that will be a good canoeing trip should not be hard, with the River Wye in the Forest of Dean one of the most favoured spots, but there are also plenty of others to choose from as well. It is important to make sure that the location offers everything for you and your party and that you choose somewhere that is accessible for most members.
Accommodation - Even if you are planning to camp out during your river trip, you really should consider trying to find somewhere that has a campsite or at least a piece of land that you are allowed to use for camping. If you are looking to stay in a hotel or guest house, then you will have to plan your trip to make sure that you are close to the accommodation or see if they will arrange some kind of transport to get you to and from the river.
Instruction - If you are a relatively inexperienced canoeist, then you might want to consider taking in an instruction course before you set off on your river trip or you might want to hire a guide / instructor to come along for the journey with you. Even if you think you are an expert in the canoe, every river and every stretch of water is of course different, so a reminder session or area advisory information can always be worthwhile.
Distance - It is vital that you plan your trip in terms of the distance that you wish to travel, because you have to try and work out how much distance you can make each day and then base this into your overall trip plans. Once you know the distance that you wish to travel for the duration of your river trip, you can then start to plan the area you wish to canoe in and see how many attractions you can start to take in over the duration of the trip.
Group Size - If you have a really large party going on your trip, then you will find that some areas are far more suitable than others. You will also need to take into account accommodation if you are planning to stay "off river" and make sure that you find an area that can really accommodate the needs of your group.
Difficulty Level - Some rivers or some parts of a river will be more difficult than others, so it is important that you take into consideration the ability of your group and do not go for a stretch of water that is going to be really demanding if some of your group are not advanced or experienced canoeists. It is always a good idea to speak to local canoe hire companies and ask their advice regarding how suitable the area would be and you can also have a chat about a quick introduction course as well.
Paul Howells has over 20 years worth of experience when it comes to teaching and instructing canoe hire, offering canoe hire lessons and trips on the River Wye.
He is fully qualified and has taught thousands of people to canoe the rivers over the past 20 years, running a successful business in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, running trips from Symonds Yat.