4 of the best places to canoe and kayak in Essex

by Daniel Steele

Canoeing and kayaking are two awesome ways to enjoy nature and stay fit without being restricted to a gym. The great thing about canoeing and kayaking is that there are many waterways in the UK for you to explore, and Essex offers picturesque routes tailored for both beginners and pros - Check out our  5 favourite places to canoe and kayak in Essex.


Recommended School: Essex Slalom Squad

What we love: Located in the charming town of Sandford Mill in Chelmsford, Essex Slalom Squad offers a range of slalom courses on the serene river Chelmer. Despite the name, Essex Slalom Squad also proposes the option for paddlers to tour white water, open canoe and sea kayak. Nearby, you can find the Sandford Mill Museum, so you can get a science lesson on your visit to Essex Slalom Squad too!

Travel: To get to Essex Slalom Squad by car, it’s a 9-10 min drive from Chelmsford railway station. Alternatively, you can hop on the 47 bus by Chelmsford Station. On the bus, stop at Pollard’s Green and from there, it’s a 15 min walk to reach Essex Slalom Squad

canoeing on canal


Recommended School: Splash Kayaking 

What we love: Splash kayaking is a great and affordable watersports centre, perfect whether you’re a pro or a novice wanting to get into the sport. All the equipment is included and you have the option of choosing from a single or double kayak. The centre is also close by to some amazing restaurants, cafes and riverside pubs, so you can wind down after the session.

Location: Splash Kayaking is just a 12 min drive away from Rayleigh railway station.  You can also jump on the Arriva 1 bus by Rayleigh railway station, and it’s a 7 min walk from The Memorial bus stop.

kayaking on calm waters                                 


Recommended School: Whoosh Explore

What we love: You’ll be canoeing and kayaking on the peaceful River Stort on flat water where you’ll enjoy views of unspoilt countryside. There’s plenty of riverside pubs for you to enjoy after, and you’ll be supplied with all the necessary equipment to ensure you’re safe to explore scenic backwaters.

Location: By car, Whoosh Explore is a 12 min drive from the nearest train station, Bishop’s Stortford. From Bishops Stortford railway station, you can also catch the Arriva 508 bus and walk 8 mins to arrive at Whoosh Explore.

canoeing on the river Stort 


Recommended School: Maldon and Dengie Canoe Club

What we love: Based in the idyllic town of Burnham-On-Crouch, Maldon and Dengie Canoe Club offers both canoeing and kayaking sessions. The club has a focus on kayaking in the sea which is close proximity to where they’re based. The club also promotes other disciplines of kayaking and offers monthly pool sessions for beginners where you can learn the basics of kayaking, paddle strokes and safety procedures. Burnham-on-Crouch is also famed for yachting and the Mangapps Railway Museum is located close to the town centre, so you can get a dose of history after your kayaking session.

Location: Maldon and Dengie Canoe Club is based in Burnham Sailing Club which is just only a 3 min drive Burnham-on-Crouch railway station. You can also walk 11 mins from Burnham-on-Crouch station to get to Maldon and Dengie Canoe club.

canoeing through narrow stream        

Canoeing and kayaking are great activities to stay active whilst still having fun, and there’s no better place to try it than Essex which is renowned for it’s beautiful and diverse waterways which are great for both tranquil canoe rides and adrenaline pumping white water kayaking courses. 

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