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Clubs & Centres

British Canoeing has over 400 Affiliated Clubs and 170 Outdoor Centres carrying our Activity Quality Mark. All meet our high standards of safety, organisation and quality activities.

Our clubs and centres provide an excellent place to start. They provide all the equipment you need to learn so you don’t have to start off by buying your own boat and paddles. All you need is a change of clothes. Beginner courses and introductory sessions are also widely available from all establishments. So which is best for me, a club or a centre?

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Clubs are run by volunteers and can be based on any type of water – from river and canals to the coast. They are hubs of activity with expert guidance on hand to help you get started, get to know other people and develop your skills and interests. Many cater for children and often are very family orientated. They tend to be very social with regular club nights, social evenings, trips and competitions.

 To find a club near you click here.

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Clubs vary greatly in size and the range of activities they offer. If you are interested in a particular type of canoeing like Canoe Slalom or Canoe Polo then look out for clubs that specialise in this. You can visit club’s own website to see what they do. Most people learn to canoe first and as they develop they try different types of canoeing.

Quality Assurance

All of the clubs listed on this website are affiliated to British Canoeing. All of our affiliated clubs have got the following in place:

  • Safe operating procedures
  • Good management and organisation
  • Fully insured activities
  • Policies and procedures to ensure the fair treatment of members and the public

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A number of our clubs are keen to show that they operate to a high quality. In addition to the basic affiliation they have also been awarded the following accreditations:

Club Mark: This is a Sport England accreditation for high Quality Community Sports Clubs. An accredited club is recognised as a safe, rewarding and fulfilling place for participants of all ages as well as helping parents and carers know that they're choosing the right club for their young people.

Top Club: This is British Canoeing’s own brand of Club Mark and includes additional criteria regarding the quality of the club’s activities and programme.

Disability information

Canoe clubs offer many opportunities for disabled people to participate in activity alongside their friends and family. Some of these may be through specialist activity for disabled people or others may be as part of mainstream inclusive activity. Club facilities can vary widely and for that reason we recommend you contact clubs directly to find out how they can work with you to support your participation.

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Paddle-Ability Accreditation: There are a number of clubs that have demonstrated that they provide high quality activity for disabled people. British Canoeing recognises these by awarding them with a Paddle-Ability accreditation.

If you are a club interested in knowing more about Paddle-Ability accreditation contact Clarisse Smith at Tel 07702954949.

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All centres promoted by British Canoeing undergo a rigorous approval process and are awarded our Activity Quality Mark. They provide the highest standards in safety, coaching and activities. Centres employ professional qualified staff and provide a structured way to get started through beginner courses and starter sessions.

You can find an Outdoor Centre near you here.

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Centres also have a wide range of professionally run events and activities for groups, schools, juniors, adults and families. This gives you opportunity to develop your skills and chose from a menu of exciting activities and courses. The range of opportunities that each centres offer varies but as a whole they tend to focus on providing opportunities that fit into the following types:

  • Experiences & Events
  • Skill Training & Courses
  • Educational Activities
  • Canoe Hire
  • Activity Holidays
  • Guided Tours

Many centres operate all year round and also offer other activities alongside canoeing, so you can plan a whole day out and your activities at times to suit you. 

Quality Assurance

All the centres advertised on this website have achieved British Canoeing’s Activity Quality Mark as standard so you can rest assured they deliver to a high standard. A few of them will also have some additional accreditations on top of this depending on the specialist activities that they offer.

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Activity Quality Mark

An activity centre that has achieved British Canoeing’s Activity Quality Mark is recognised to deliver canoeing activity at a high standards of safety and qualified instruction. Equipment and facilities are approved annually by a British Canoeing approval officer to check they are up to standard.

Learning outside the Classroom Mark:

Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Mark is the first national accreditation for schools which recognises, and supports the development of, learning outside the classroom across all subject areas. LOtC Mark is intended not only to recognise existing exemplary provision, but also to assist and support schools in developing their LOtC offer to enable all children to have access to meaningful LOtC experiences.


Adventuremark is a non-statutory safety scheme devised by the Adventure Activity Industry Advisory Committee (AAIAC) for providers of adventurous activities that are outside the scope of the Adventure Activity Licensing regulations. AAIAC, have appointed Adventure Activity Associates Ltd. as the Supervising Body responsible for operating Adventuremark.

Adventuremark allows providers to demonstrate to their customers or users that the provider's arrangements for managing the potential risks of adventure activities have been inspected and found to meet the necessary standards of good practice in the adventure activity industry.

If you are a activity operator/centre interested in finding out more about any of the above schemes please contact Amelia Browett at Tel: 0845 3709533.

Disability information

Most centres are currently working with groups of people form a range of impairment types. These are a great place to start activity if you have a need for specialist equipment or think you might need some additional support. Centres are more likely to be more accessible for people with limited mobility and are more likely to have access to specialist equipment such as hoists.

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Paddle-Ability Accreditation:

There are a number of centres that have demonstrated that they provide high quality activity and experiences for disabled people. British Canoeing recognises these by awarding them with a Paddle-Ability accreditation.

If you are a centre interested in knowing more about Paddle-Ability accreditation contact Clarisse Smith at Tel 07702954949.