Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Canoe Expeditions

We offer Canoe Expeditions for teams at any level of Award, with no previous experience needed.

Why use a canoe for an expedition

By looking back through history it is easy to work out that transport on water was the preferred way to transport people and equipment prior to motors. Any where you travel in the world you will always find villages, towns and cities along water courses. For smaller goods a canoe was an amazing choice for many and is still used all over the world for adventure and in some places still their main mode of transport.

The canoes we use are derived from the North American canoes, they are able to hold enough supplies for expeditioning whist being able to cope with the conditions we put them in.

For many making the choice to use a canoe is simply that they have not done it before and find the excitement of learning a new skill is rewarding. The canoe offers a wide range of advantages for groups, this can be an amazing option for groups who have needs where walking is not an option or not an option they would like. We can make adaptions to the canoes to make it more inclusive for anyone. 

For those with a will the canoe offers limitless options for a trip, from the three options bellow to the more arduous version of linking water courses. This would require a solid mental and physical state combining traveling down, up and from river to river.

Canoeing through Water crowfoot river Wye

Canoeing river Wye

Canoeing through Crowfoot during expedition.

Canoe sailing in Scotland

Canoe sailing

Canoeing across Scotland

Canoeing on the river Wye

Canoe expedition

Some days are just nice and sunny

Expedition in a Canoe varies, depending on your choice of route:

Open Water

A good example of this would be the 'Great Glen' Canoe Trail in Scotland. It runs from coast to coast (it's a rare one to say you have paddled from one side of a country to the other). It is a stunning route taking in views of Ben Nevis and being up close and personal with Loch Ness. During the training for this trip we teach you all you need to know, including improvised sailing just in case there happens to be a nice breeze. Wildcamp on Night One is breathtaking - you wake up looking out across the water to see the remaining snow near the summit of Ben Nevis for most of the year.

Improvised canoe sailing

Canoe sailing

Group using improvised sails on the Great Glen Canoe Trail.

DofE group canoeing down the river

Canoeing on the river

Well spaced group during their expedition

River Running

We run training to a high standard so that groups can be independent during their Expeditions. If you have never canoed before then River Running is a great way to see the countryside. By packing all your kit in 'dry bags' you are able to travel good distances, seeing the countryside change as you head down river. There are various rivers around the UK which are long enough to support your Expedition. For more information contact us by phone or email.


All around the country there are canals that are ideal, whether for first timers heading out on a Bronze Award, of for groups to do their initial training before heading out on a river.

Canoeing through ancient bridge

Canoe team

Working well as a team

During Canoe Expeditions

We will provide qualified staff to train and to provide safety throughout the whole process. There are a few more skills to learn compared to a Walking Expedition. We have found that this is a fun process to go through, and training normally ends up with good tales being told and lots of laughing.

We have found that this can be a great alternative to Walking Expeditions, especially for those who cannot physically walk for a long time - using a canoe for their expedition allows them to still achieve their goal of completing their DofE Awards.

Improvised canoe sailing

Canoe sailing

Group using improvised sails on the Great Glen Canoe Trail.

Canoe balance game

Safety training

We make training safe and fun - all in one

Canoeing down the Wye

Canoe gold expedition

Canoeing on the river Wye

Toasting marshmallows in camp

Night time treat

A little after dinner marshmallow

Canoe pass around lock

Using a canoe pass

Rollers made this back water explore more exciting

Canoeing expedition on the river Wye

Warm days

Perfectly still day

We tailor all training to the proposed Expeditions to be undertaken. With this in mind it is worth thinking through some ideas for your Expedition. You can also talk through some options with us.

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