Abby and I were very excited to embark on a Kayak Tour down the Regents Canal with London Kayak Tours. Both of us were complete novices to Kayaking. I had never been before and was slightly apprehensive about how easy it would be to pick up, balance and steer.
Our evening began with a brief introduction from our instructor David (qualified at the British Canoe Union). We laid out our boats on land and positioned ourselves in the Kayaks were we proceeded to show David our best paddling techniques. The introduction was brief and informative as David wanted us to have maximum time kayaking!
After all gracefully sliding into our boats (with David’s help) we started heading downstream. The streamlined boat was easy to navigate and balance. As we glided further down the canal, I felt secure in my boat and gradually felt more confident to speed up my pace. Our tour began at 7.30pm; forming a cool picturesque evening that truly transported us away from the hustle and bustle of London’s concrete jungle. The Tour started outside Regents Park Zoo; with the zoo right next to the embankment, we were soon greeted with the chirping of birds and the chatter of monkeys as we skimmed past their outdoor aviary and cage. Our bird watching continued as the evening commenced – an array of moorhens, ducks and swans swam closely by us.
The two acre urban nature reserve is a hidden gem in one of the most densely populated parts of London. By travelling on a canal, I was able to see London in a unique perspective that enhanced the natural beauty of such a peaceful landscape. David was an excellent guide; he was personable and undeniably passionate about the tour. David provided us a fountain of knowledge and interesting anecdotes of the various landscapes on the 8 mile route including the old English Camden lock and the Giraffe House. On a personal level, one of the great joys in my job is working in an industry where people are simply doing what they love. I think this is an unfortunate rarity in our current society; Kayaking with an expert was both humbling and inspiring. David started the business from one kayak he bought at an auction for £100 and since the business has blossomed. Our group of four also included two lovely South African girls who both had a thrill for adventure and loved the experience just as much as we did; subsequently booking a big group kayak session for them and 10 others!
This experience is universal, and is perfect for all ages and group sizes with no prior experience needed. As the sun began to set so did the evening, drawing to a close with a glass of champagne in our hand and the scenery masked by twilight we enjoyed the last of our spectacular views by kayak. Check out the Tour we also offer at Windsor.