Canoeing is a great sport to encourage teamwork and balance. The paddlers sit or kneel in the canoe and use a single bladed paddle to propel the canoe. The canoes can also be paddled solo and you will need to master the “J” stroke quickly to keep the canoe on course. We have a fleet of 8 Venture Canoes in polyethylene in three different lengths and two Grumman Canoes in aluminium. The canoes can be used by one or two (or three at Primary age) paddlers.

Our canoe sessions are in up to 2 hour slots and can be tailored to suit your schools or groups requirements and can include activities linked to the Key Stages curriculum. On the first session, we start with a thorough safety briefing and get everyone paired up and kitted out with buoyancy aids, canoes and paddles. We cover how to use paddles, capsize drill and parameters of the session before we get on the water. On the water, the first session normally covers forward and backward paddling, emergency stops, turning on the spot, followed by a few challenges and some team games such as Bulldog or Leapfrog. Canoeing can be difficult on windy days, but we will offer alternative craft or activities to suit the conditions.

Sessions can be a “one-off” taster, such as above, or a series of sessions leading to a BC award. For the BC Paddle Discover Award we would recommend 4 x 2 hour sessions (Primary Schools) or 3 x 2 hour sessions (Senior Schools). The journey element can be done around the reservoir, or at extra cost, we can meet your group at the Grand Union Canal, Harefield for a river trip, finishing off on some moving water. We can provide the BC Paddle Explore Award for Senior Schools over a period of 6 x 2 hour sessions which use both canoes and kayaks and you will need an additional river trip added to cover the journey element. To access higher levels of the BC Awards system, we would recommend joining the Phoenix Canoe Club who run regular training trips to UK white water rivers including the Lee Valley White Water Centre plus some exciting expeditions overseas.

Check out our Phoenix Outdoor Centre – Schools & Groups Price List – 2019 or for more details and bookings contact:

Centre Activities Manager – Mark Underwood – 07854 655968 /

Centre Development Director – Phil Atkinson – 07837 585798 /

All kayaking and canoeing activities for adults are run through the Canoe Club and you can book onto their courses by clicking on the blue buttons below.










The Paddle Discover Award is the minimum requirement for entry to the Canoe Club (or old 1 Star). This teaches the foundation strokes used in kayaking or canoeing and is a basic introduction to the sport. The first session starts at 10:00am and finishes at 4:00pm. The second session is a river trip which is normally run on the Grand Union Canal at Harefield and we meet at the club house at 10:00am and return around 5:30pm.

We ask that you attend both sessions of the course to avoid affecting the group’s and your own progress. If you don’t manage to reach the standard of Paddle Discover during the two days we will offer further coaching to ensure you reach the required level. 

For more details on the Paddle Discover Award click HERE and then click on the appropriate award to download.

Cost: £95 – BC Paddle Discover course including free membership up to 31 March ’20 for 9-17 year olds and full time students

Cost: £115 – BC Paddle Discover course including free membership up to 31 March ’20 for seniors (18+)

Course Dates for 2019:

  • Course A – Weekend 27th & 28th April 2019
  • Course B – Weekend 1st & 2nd June 2019
  • Course C – Sundays 14th & 21st July 2019
  • Course D – Sundays 15th & 22nd September 2019

All above courses include the following:

  • Use of club equipment
  • 2 x 6 hours coaching
  • Award assessment and BC Paddle Discover Award Pass Slip which you can use to obtain a Certificate
  • Club membership up to the 31st March 2020

Some comments from new members on our introductory courses:

“Lovely friendly club. Instructors very patient”.

“A brilliantly led course. I felt safe and fully briefed at all times. It was challenging for me but am so pleased I did it as it gave me a sense of achievement”.

“A very friendly welcoming club for a beginner”.

“I have been very impressed by the skilled and friendly coaches who give such enthusiastic and dedicated service to the club. They create a really nice and welcoming atmosphere. I hope in time I will be able to find a way to give something back to the club. I also really like the mix of ages of the people kayaking together and am appreciative that an older beginner like myself is welcomed”.

“Great course. Thanks to the team for giving up their time so generously”.

“Really enjoyable. Fun and very friendly, welcoming club”.

Book the Introductory BC Paddle Discover course here:

Introductory Paddle Discover Courses 2019

Bookings shut 1 week before the event


The British Canoeing “Paddle Explore” is an award that gives you ownership: allowing you to choose where you move next in the world of paddlesport. The course helps paddlers develop fundamental paddlesport skills on flat water. The emphasis is on gaining a breadth of experience, creating the desired movement of the boat and developing an understanding of how the paddle, boat and water interact.

The award is obtained by taking an assessment in either a kayak or canoe and you can choose which craft you wish to use. Holders of the “Paddle Explore” award are able to take part in a wider choice of club activities including trips to the River Wye, River Derwent, Lee Valley Whitewater Centre, Introductory Surf Course and the Foundation Safety & Rescue Training. We will provide successful paddlers with a British Canoeing “Paddle Explore” registration which you can use to obtain a Certificate.

The river trip and assessment will be held at either the Fisheries on the Grand Union Canal or the River Beane at Hertford.

We will have a good selection of club coaches to get the best out of you on the course and we see this as a big stepping stone in your paddling.

For more details on the Paddle Explore Award click HERE and then click on the appropriate award to download.

Cost: £70 – Paddle Explore course for 9-17 year olds and full time students (£90 for non-members)

Cost: £90 – Paddle Explore course for seniors (18+) (£110 for non-members)

Course Dates for 2019:

  • Course A – Weekend 11th & 12th May 2019 – River Trip & assessment – Sunday 26th May 2019
  • Course B – Weekend 5th & 6th October 2019 – River Trip & assessment – Sunday 20th October 2019

Book the Paddle Explore course here:

Paddle Explore Award Courses 2019

Bookings shut 1 week before the event


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Phoenix Canoe Club and Outdoor Centre

Phoenix Canoe Club Limited is a registered charity no. 1148787 and a company limited by guarantee, registration no. 8002910. Phoenix Canoe Club and Phoenix Outdoor Centre are trading names of Phoenix Canoe Club Limited.


Website by Ian Tokelove at Canoe London