What should I wear?
Wear clothing suitable for the conditions. Loose fitting clothing is more comfortable than tight fitting. Bring a rain jacket if there is a risk of wet weather. Remember - out on the water it tends to be a bit cooler than you might expect.
FOOTWEAR - Your footwear will most likely get wet and muddy so don't wear your best shoes! Old trainers/boots/sandles are great.
How fit must I be?
You don't need to be an athlete to come canoeing with us. You'll know afterwards that your body has done some work but it should feel good! A basic level of fitness is needed, although the longer multiday trips require a bit more stamina. Sometimes the weather conditions (particularly windy weather) make the canoeing a bit more strenuous. for example, we may occassionally find ourselves paddling into a head-wind which means that the canoeing can be be more physically taxing.
What if it rains?
We really do not want you to have a miserable time because of foul weather! Most of the time we manage, rain or sun, by adapting our kit to suit the conditions. Trips do very occassionally have to be cancelled due to foul weather: Persistant heavy rain, very frequent heavy showers, or high winds. In these adverse circumstances Winding River Canoe will cancel the trip and offer you an alternative or a refund. However, if you decide to cancel when we consider the conditions to be ok then we won't offer a refund but may be able to find you another date. Remember, this is the UK - and it rains... So we're still going on the water if it's just the odd shower!
Is there a weight limit?
Yes. The heavier you are, the more unstable your canoe will be and you are more likely to tip over. If you weigh more than 18 stone (114 kg) our canoes are not suitable for you - sorry. However, if you do exceed the weight limit but have had some canoeing experience and know that you will be ok then all good!
Am I likely to fall in and what happens if I do?
You are not likely to fall in but it does happen occassionally! Children are lighter and so they are highly unlikely to be able to tip their boat over although some do try! Larger adults make the boat more top heavy and can be a bit prone to tipping over. If you fall in... well, you'll get wet for one thing. Don't worry though as it is unlikely that you'll fall in, and if you do our guides are well trained in helping people right their canoe and get back in it. Everyone wears a bouyancy aid whilst canoeing, so it is impossible to sink if you were to fall in the water. Most of the time the river is shallow anyway, and you'll just find yourself standing waist deep in the water - hopefully smiling!
What if I can't swim - can I still come?
Maybe. You MUST let us know when you book if you can't swim.
I am disabled - can I still come?
This depends on whether or not your disability effects your abilty to canoe, and to get in/out of a canoe. We can help you but do please let us know in advance.
How old/young must I be?
Small children seem to love canoeing. Sometimes we might canoe for a while without a break, but even then it is not the children who moan! A general guide is children must be 4+ but it does depend on the child. AS for the oldest age allowed... you will have been around long enough to be able to make that judgement for yourself! So far the oldest were two brothers aged 84 and 82 who completed a five day expedition on the River Wye!
Can we bring alcohol?
Canoeing and drunkedness are a big no no. For safety and insurance reasons we will not allow anyone who is 'under the influence' to get in a canoe. Basically we follow the same rules as for drink-driving. A beer or glass of wine at lunch time is no problem. On the Evening Paddle it is fine to have a beer or glass of wine around the story-telling fire, and on overnight trips (including stag/hen groups) a drink or three is no issue in the evening around the camp fire.
Can I bring my pooch?
Yes, dogs are welcome as long as they are well behaved, not yappy, and don't attack the wildlife! However, you'll need to aleady be sure that your dog is ok in a canoe, as some dogs don't like it.
Do you run trips in the winter months?
We don't have any scheduled trips over the winter, but we will still run a private trip for you. If you are a group of 8 or more people you can book a bespoke trip and choose the dates you want. Just email us with you idea.
Can I buy one of your canoes?
Yes. At the finish of each season we sell some of our fleet to make way for new canoes. This happens at the end of September - just in time for Christmas!
What are winding river canoes BACS bank details?
If you want to pay by BACS our details are:
sort code 09-01-28
account number 63415341
Bank Name: SANTANDER
account name Winding River Canoe
Please use your name and date as the reference so that we can easily identfy it, e.g., for John Smith booking on the 1st March 2017 then a reference of: JSMITH132017 would be perfect.
If you are paying by BACS please make sure to send us an email to notify us that you have paid so that we can check your payment arrives. If you don't send us an email we won't neccessarily know that you have paid.