where are you based?
Our Tandem Kayaks live at Limehouse Basin, E14 7PB. If you're booking a kayak online, your adventure will start and finish there. The closest station is Limehouse DLR. From here take the Branch road exit and turn left at the bottom of the stairs. You'll find us in the last railway arch before you reach the canal.
Our 2/3-person canoes live at The Milk Float, our floating bar in Hackney Wick, E9 5EN. The closest station is Hackney Wick. Turn left out of the station and left onto White Post Lane. Follow White Post Lane as it zig-zags right and then left. Once you've crossed the canal you'll see us on the right hand side.
Our Paddleboards are based at Poplar Union, E14 6TL.
frequently asked questions...
If you've got questions or want to clarify things before you make a booking, please have a read through the common queries below. Our small team are usually in a boat somewhere on London's waterways, and can't always get to the phone!
what are the facilities & access like?
Limehouse: Stepped access to the canal, no toilets, no refreshments (there are good cafes nearby)
Hackney Wick: Step-free access to the canal, toilets, licensed bar & Bandito Burgers on site
Poplar Union: Step-free access to the canal, toilets, showers, cafe on site, meeting rooms & event spaces available
will I get wet?
All our craft are very stable, so capsizes are rare, but they are still a risk and you should expect a few paddle splashes. Kayaks tend to be slightly splashier than the canoes. If you're worried (and for SUP sessions) bring a change of clothes.
do I need any experience?
For canoe & kayak hire, events or lessons - No - all our equipment is beginner friendly and our team of instructors will take you through the basics before you set off, as well as letting you know the rules of the canal.
For SUP hire - Yes, you will need to have some experience and be comfortable standing up and controlling the board.
do I need to be able to swim?
For all our other activities and to hire any equipment from us, you must be able to swim and have adequate water confidence to keep yourself and other users safe. Capsizes are rare in our boats, but remain a risk - you need to be able to get yourself and your crew to safety should things take a soggy turn.
We can usually accommodate non-swimmers, weak swimmers and any additional needs on bespoke instructor-led sessions. You must let your instructor know if you are not a confident swimmer or have any other assistance requirements.
If you need any further guidance on choosing an activity or adventure which is suitable for you, please get in touch.
do you have single kayaks?
We don't have any single boats for hire, as they are less stable and tricky to portage around any locks. We would always recommend buddying up with someone anyway as it's more sociable and safer if you have any issues. Our kayaks can be paddled solo if you have an odd number in your group or your buddy can't make it on the day.
how many people fit in a boat?
Our Tandem Kayaks will seat two adults, two adults and one child under 4 years old, or one adult and two children (one of them under 4 years old). With two adults on board there is space for a small dog too!
what if we have an odd number in our group?
Our Canoes will comfortably accommodate either two or three people, and our kayaks can be controlled by either one or two people - so at either of our locations we can accommodate odd or even numbered groups.
how much is it?
For standard weekend hire; Tandem Kayaks are £26 for the first hour and £10 per hour thereafter, Canoes are £36 for the first hour and £10 per hour thereafter.
You can book by the half hour too, so for example 1.5 hours in a kayak would be £31. All prices are inclusive of VAT.
One-way kayak trips from Limehouse to Hackney Wick (for The Milk Float, Skeeters Axe Throwing range, Crate Brewery, Howling Hops Brewery etc.) must be booked in advance via email or over the phone. Weekend rates are £26 per person after 3pm or £32 per person before 3pm. Mid-week one-way rates are £32 per person. If you are making a group booking and feel you need one of our guides to join you on the water during your adventure, this is an additional £30 per hour.
can I start at one base & finish at another?
BOOKING ONLINE: Standard bookings made online are return bookings and start and finish at the same location. If you book for 3 or 4 hours, there are loop routes available from both locations so you don't need to double back on yourself.
BOOKING VIA EMAIL: We can usually accommodate one way trips from Limehouse to Hackney Wick using our kayaks. Our kayaks have handles both ends, and can be carried between two people - so it's possible to portage the lock at Old Ford and continue the journey to Hackney Wick. We have to return the kayaks to base by road, so one way trips include a boat collection fee and are £26 per person after 3pm (weekends), or £32 per person before 3pm and midweek. We can also arrange one way trips for groups to Broadway Market, Angel & Tottenham on request.
You can also join one of our regular one-way trips organised by Secret Adventures.
can I make a booking for a weekday?
We can arrange group bookings and corporate events around your schedule - so if weekdays or evenings suit you best, drop us an email and we'll help you get a team adventure planned. There is a minimum booking fee for weekday events which is currently £100 due to group size limitations.
If you're looking to join a social group trip, evening kayak adventures are arranged regularly by Secret Adventures.
We can only accommodate drop in bookings on Saturdays and Sundays.
what do I need to bring?
Dress for the weather on the day and bring an extra layer just in case. It's also worth packing:
- A hat
Your buoyancy aids, paddles and a waterproof barrel for smaller valuables will be provided.
what's the minimum age requirement?
We don't have a minimum age, but do ask that children have some water confidence and can be fitted safely into a buoyancy aid. Parents or carers must take full responsibility for their children at all times, and there must be an adult in each boat. We have buoyancy aids which will generally fit little ones right down to around 6 months old.
what's the cancellation policy?
For hire bookings made online we offer a 'no quibble in the drizzle' policy and you are welcome to rearrange your booking if the weather is miserable. For larger group bookings and midweek events, we'll contact you ahead of your event to ask if you'd like to rescedule or cancel if the weather forecast looks poor.
If a booking for a hire is cancelled for any other reason, we will charge a cancellation fee to cover our administrative costs and staffing commitments. Cancellations made within 72 hours of the scheduled start of a hire will incur a 100% cancellation fee. Cancellations made with more than 72 hours notice will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
The hire of canoes or kayaks are subject to safe conditions. If we consider that a postponement for any reasons is necessary, we will give you as much notice as possible and offer you alternative dates for your hire. If no alternative dates can be agreed, any monies paid will be fully refunded.