Paddling from our base at Bell Hill
Saturday mornings (all year)
Meet at 9.30am to be underway by 10am, groups go out according to ability for trips upstream to Walton and the Desborough loop or downstream to Kingston and Teddington, often with a stop for coffee en-route.
Wednesday evenings (from April)
Meet at 6pm to be on the river for 6.30pm. Groups go out for shorter trips according to ability. Depending on when the sun sets we might go as far as Walton Bridge or only as far as Sunbury weir or Thames Ditton Island
Usually we meet at 9am for departure by 9.30am on Saturdays and some Sundays (sometimes earlier or later depending on how far we are travelling). Most trips begin within about a 40 minute drive of Hampton, although there are some trips further afield like the Hamble. On all-day trips we usually paddle between about 10 and 14 miles, on half day trips we cover about 8 to 10 miles. The most popular local places to paddle are the Wey Navigation, Basingstoke Canal, Grand Union Canal and places further up or down the Thames. Lunch is often in a nice waterside pub or if the weather is fine then sandwiches on the river bank are the order of the day. See the touring page for full details of the tours and also the blog page for the latest trip reports and photographs. See trip basics and notes for tourers for more details.
These are arranged usually on a Sunday afternoon from April to December for people who have achieved their one star BCU qualification and want to improve their ability and stamina. They run from Bell Hill. Contact the session leader if you want to attend – see the list of sessions here.
We have a lively social calendar with frequent BBQ evenings and lunchtimes down by the river throughout the warmer summer months, pub quizes and other ad-hoc club outings.
We have the occasional fun regatta in the summer and autumn which are more of a social occasion than a serious competition. It is a chance for everyone to get together for a few races in canoes and kayaks and then enjoy a lunchtime BBQ together. This picture shows the canoe race with the green club building behind and St Mary Church.
Each summer a group from the club have a paddling holiday somewhere further afield, last year one group went to the Dordogne and another did the Great Glen route in Scotland. This year we are planning a trip to the Lahn in Germany and a number of shorter trips to the Wye and the higher reaches of the Thames. The emphasis on these trips is having a sociable time with some gentle paddling to take in the local scenery and culture. A list of past holidays can be found here.
We have won the Strand award for touring clubs many times over the last 10 years and hold the 2012 trophy. The award is given to the club accumulating the most miles during the year. We all record our miles in a log book provided by the BCU. See more on our Strand Award achievements here.
Hare and Hounds
Every winter a few members take part in the Hare and Hounds series of races run by the Wey kayak club in Guildford. Some members will be preparing for the DW race (see later), others just use this as a way to provide a focus on improving their fitness and stamina through the winter months.
Devizes – Westminster
This internationally renowned marathon paddling race is held every year from Devizes to Westminster and in 2012 our three solo kayakers took second place in the team competition. We usually have some members taking part each year in this 125 mile race. This year we have 3 crews taking part, two K2 kayaks and one C2 canoe. See more details of past achievements and current training and results on our news page.