London Kayak Tours offer the perfect opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of London life, as you explore the beautiful canals and River Thames by kayak. Paddling along, you will gain a unique perspective of the city and its surroundings, feeling a little closer to nature in a seemingly concrete jungle. This week, we chatted to Niamh about the company’s exciting plans ahead…
The Company began as an idea from my Kiwi Husband Dan Gillard who enjoyed kayaking and then we started doing this together exploring new places. We set up a website early on to see if there was interest and we got bookings and we were amazed, and it grew from there. It has changed over time. We have been through 3 different websites and are happy now with our new booking system which is very automated.
What differentiates your tour from other London tours and experiences?
We see London from a unique angle on the water, seeing famous landmarks in a completely novel way whilst using your own power paddling making us very close to nature and very green.
We offer a personalised kayaking service with qualified BCU guides throughout Tours. All equipment and safety training is provided, and we offer extras like branded bubbly, branded towels and branded ponchos for the rain.
Do you have any exclusive information for us?
We were a finalist in the Local Business Accelerators Competition 2012 in connection with Slough Express and Windsor Ascot and Eton Express, and have had some celebrity customers! We have had Natalie Imbruglia out with us learning to kayak for an adventure programme she did on ITV. We had Paul Croughton, Travel Journalist from the Sunday Times in 2008 with us on a sunrise tour, he wrote a great feature on us. We have had 2 marriage proposals and we even had a couple in their bridal gear come out in a canoe at Regents Canal after the Wedding reception in the early summer evening! We are also the first company to have a license for unpowered craft on the canals in London.
Do you have any plans for the future you would like to share with us?
We hope to grow adding more offers and work more with bigger groups such as Corporate, Hens and Stags and plan to have more over-seas visitors. We are planning more trips in the future in Windsor and working closely with the RBWM. We plan to offer an exclusive Eton Tour paddling around Eton College in the future and seeing more of Windsor.
Sounds like you have a lot of exciting times ahead! What is your most frequently asked question from customers?
There can be more than one. Do we get wet? And do we hire out kayaks?
No, none! But they do need to be able to swim 10 metres.
Do you have anything you would like to add?
We have recently donated to 2 charity events Alexander Devine Windsor Rugby Ball and the Heaven Scent Ball for new Childrens hospice in Windsor. We donated a prize for 2 at Windsor for 90 minute Tour with bubbly worth £85, they were both auctioned for £120 and £175.
If you’d like to try one of these fantastic tours yourself, take a look at these experiences: