Sinead Hanna
22nd May 2024

Guest blog by Canoe Wild

Canterbury has so many things to offer whether you’ve lived here for years, just visiting with friends or spending quality time with the family. But there's always something new to discover - for example, have you tried exploring the district by water...?

One of the best and most innovative ways to create lasting memories with your friends and family and hire a canoe, kayak or paddleboard from Canoe Wild.

Based on the River Stour just outside of Canterbury, you can choose from one-hour hires, which are perfect for families with youngsters, or embark on a trip from Fordwich to Grove Ferry for three hours of peaceful paddling. Take in the tranquility of this beautiful area and its crystal clear waters, allowing you to see the fish as you paddle along!

Stodmarsh Nature Reserve is teaming with wildlife, and you can often spot Kingfishers fluttering past and Herons relaxing on the river bank. It’s the perfect way to start an exciting day, why not follow up your paddle with other great experiences from local businesses?

Here are some of the best experiences we recommend both in the city and on the water for all tastes and paddling abilities...

One for the unique experience seekers

Did you know that the river Stour near Canterbury is home to a thriving population of beavers?

We are so lucky that these beavers have decided to call this wonderful area home. Canoe Wild’s Beaver Tour and Talk offers a fantastic and unique experience where you can learn about natures architects (aka beavers) followed by a paddle down the river in Canadian canoes where you get the opportunity to spot these incredible creatures in the wild.

Book your spot

One for the sports fans

If you and your mates are sports fans then why not head down to Matches sports bar after your paddle?

Located in the heart of Canterbury you can watch your favourite team at the ‘cathedral of sports.’ You can hire the Matches Box for £180 for 5 hours which includes a £100 bar tab. That’s only £16 per hour!

Or soak in the atmosphere in their lively sports bar with 27 Ultra HD screens and games and enjoy the wonderful food from the Matches Street Kitchen.  

One for the social butterflies

If you’re looking for a unique evening activity to do with your mates, then head down to the picturesque town of Fordwich (the UK’s smallest town) where Canoe Wild host SUP social evenings.

You and your friends can enjoy the peacefulness of the river as the nocturnal animals start to emerge and feel the stresses of the day ease away.

Paddle instructors are on hand to help you improve your skills, and if you don’t have a board, don’t worry you can hire one from Canoe Wild.

Keep your eyes peeled on their socials for their SUP social quiz nights!

One for the families

Have you got little ones with endless amounts of energy?

Once you’ve finished your paddle head over to Chimera just off the Canterbury ring road for more adventurous fun. Kids can climb until 6pm on weekdays and 2pm on weekends.

Their bouldering walls have routes for beginners and the more experienced climber too so there is something for everyone. You don’t need any expensive kit and you can hire shoes from them.

One for the connoisseurs

If you fancied a bite to eat and to quench your thirst after a lovely morning of paddling then head over to The Foundry for some amazing food and beer brewed on site. 

The Foundry is home to Canterbury Brewers and Distillery, who brew over 16 types of beer, distil 6 types of gin, plus vodka and rum, all from their on-site family-run brewery in the centre of Canterbury.

They run a fabulous tour where Jon the owner will run you through the craft process of handmade grain to glass beers and spirits. You can taste a selection of their beers and spirits and they will educate you on how they were made and how they got their name.