We meet on many Tuesdays throughout the year … See the “weekly meetings details” page for useful information relating to sessions (tides, sunset etc.)
Summer Thames Meetings…
In the Spring and Summer we hold regular Tuesday evening paddles on the Thames at Chiswick. These take place most Tuesdays launching at 6.30pm (please try to arrive a few minutes beforehand to get kitted up). Paddlers of all ability levels are welcome. Sessions restart in May and continue until the end of September. The cost is £1 for members and £5 for non-members.
What do we do on Tuesdays?
Everyone should make the effort to come, no matter how inexperienced or experienced. We provide coaching and practice etc. for all standards including inexperienced paddlers. Participation depends on you being capable of swimming up to 30 metres if the need arises.
We paddle upstream (towards Kew) or downstream (towards Hammersmith) and after a stop for a rest and refreshments, we paddle back to Barnes Bridge.
Directions to Chiswick
Following a move from our original home, our Thames sessions now begin at the Civil Service Boathouse in Riverside Drive, Chiswick (also home of Cygnet and Barnes Bridge Ladies Rowing Clubs). The postcode is W4 2SH. The best way to get to us from central London is by train to Barnes Bridge station (from Waterloo, Vauxhall or Clapham Junction). From the station:
- Cross the Thames using the bridge which can be accessed on foot from the platform used for catching London-bound trains.
- At the bottom of the steps on the far (Middlesex) side of Barnes bridge turn right and walk along the river footpath and ours is the second boat house you come to (so pass Emmanuel School’s boathouse). Walk down the steps to the right or left of our boathouse and you should find canoeists in the garden preparing boats for paddling.
If you’re travelling by car, Riverside Drive is a turning off the main A316 road. Coming from the A4 at Hammersmith/Chiswick, it’s the second “real” traffic lights. If you get to Chiswick Bridge you’ve gone much too far. Coming northwards up the A316 from Richmond, turn right at the second traffic lights after you’ve crossed Chiswick Bridge. There is usually free parking available on the road approaching the boathouse, but don’t leave bags or valuables on display in your car while you are paddling. If you need any further directions, contact us.
What kit do I need?
We will provide you with a boat, paddle and buoyancy aid.
You need to wear old sports clothes that will remain warm and comfortable if they get a bit soggy (synthetic materials are generally better than cotton, because they absorb less water). If it is showery bring an anorak and if it is sunny a cap. Don’t wear bulky footwear that you will struggle to fit in a kayak. We have access to showers at our boathouse, so bring a towel and a fresh set of clothes to wear home. If you wear glasses it is advisable to wear an elastic strap which will secure them to your head and prevent them from being lost in the Thames. Don’t bring valuables with you if you can avoid it, but do bring enough cash to buy yourself a drink.
Winter Pool Meetings..
During the winter, pool meetings take place every fortnight on various Tuesdays between 7.15 – 8.45pm in the swimming pool at the Britannia Leisure Centre, Pitfield Street, Hackney.
The nearest railway stations are Old street, Haggerston and Hoxton. Further details about the centre and a map can be found on the centre’s website.
The cost is £5 for members, £10 for non-members. You pay us at the end of the evening – not the centre on the way in.
Our usual venue for a chat afterwards is the local, ‘The Howl at the Moon’.
What do we do on Tuesdays?
Everyone should make the effort to come, no matter how inexperienced or experienced – it’s to your advantage! We provide coaching and practice etc. for all standards.
Each week includes time for training and practice in all the canoeing strokes and skills, including Eskimo rolling, see- www.youtube.com/watch
We usually end the session with a 20 minute “canoe polo” game, which provides a great opportunity for everyone, no matter how good or bad your paddling skills, to get stuck in and fling a ball around! We don’t take this too seriously, the emphasis is on fun, and it’s a great way of improving your paddling.
What kit do I need?
You only need to bring swimming things (including goggles) and a rash vest or similar: boats and equipment are provided. If you can arrive by the poolside a few minutes early you can join us and get a boat and paddle out of the cupboard and ready for a prompt launch at 7.15pm.
We usually find a few minutes to chat in a pub nearby after the session ends where we discuss upcoming weekend trips etc.