Scottish Canoe trip

Scottish Canoe trip

Steve ran his annual canoe trip in NW Scotland last week.  Some mixed weather enabled us to use our full repertoire of canoeing skills on this multi-day, wild camping journey.  We had several excellent canoe sailing elements, both solo and tandem paddling, poling and also some tracking up gentle, but shallow, rivers.  The wildlife was excellent with regular sightings of black throated divers and golden eagles, though the highlight was when an osprey flew over the camp whilst circling and hunting for fish.  All this whilst surrounded by stunning Torridonian mountains and not a person in sight anywhere – fabulous!

If you would like to try canoeing or develop your canoeing skills Steve will be pleased to assist.  If you’re interested in a canoe trip home or abroad Steve please call to chat to us as we have several exciting trips and can also provide bespoke ones to your needs: & 07796 213817

By |May 21st, 2022|Canoe|Comments Off on Scottish Canoe trip

Scottish Canoe trip

Canoe Expedition Assynt

Steve has his annual wilderness canoe trip in Assynt, Sutherland, NW Scotland coming up in mid May (16th -20th).  The trip is definitely running and there are still places available for anyone who would like a five day trip across one of Britain’s most spectacular and unpopulated areas.  It’s a relaxed canoe (or sea kayak) journey linking lochs together to traverse the whole area – Steve has been running it for over 20 years so has a pretty good idea of the best ways to do it whatever the conditions.  A day is built in to allow you to explore the stunning scenery and wildlife, climb the fortress-like Torridonian mountains or sit with wine and a book contemplating the solitude.  On last year’s trip we went nearly six days without seeing another person; at one point we were nearly outnumbered by eagles circling overhead.

This trip is suitable for competent, flat water canoeists and those less experienced if paddling tandem with a more able partner.  We have had children as young as eight come along with a parent too.  It’s also suitable for any touring kayak, such as a sea kayak, that can carry your equipment – we have a sea kayaker on the trip this year so don’t let those dodgy knees, which may be painful in a canoe, prevent you from joining in.

Please contact Steve if you’d like to chat about this trip: and 07796 213817

By |April 12th, 2022|Canoe|Comments Off on Scottish Canoe trip

Cumbria Canoe Leader Award training (White Water)

White Water Canoe Leader training

Following the Open Water training on March 26th we have the White Water Canoe Leader training day on Sunday March 27th in Cumbria.   This day is suitable for anyone wanting to safely paddle rivers up to grade 2 in tandem or solo canoe as part of a group.  It covers the required personal skills, group management and control, incident avoidance and how to respond effectively when things don’t go to plan.  Equipment and set up will also be covered on this day.  This training course is direct preparation for British Canoeing’s White Water Canoe Leader Award for those who wish to continue to the assessment.  We can issue BC’s Progressive Canoe Award after this training day to anyone whose paddling is at the required personal skill level.

We have some places available on this course so please get in touch with Steve if you are interested or require further information: & 07796 213817

By |March 10th, 2022|Canoe|Comments Off on Cumbria Canoe Leader Award training (White Water)

Cumbria Canoe Leader training (Open Water)

Canoe Leader Open Water

We have the British Canoeing Open Water Canoe Leader training day coming up on Saturday March 26th and have some places available.  This courses is suitable for anyone paddling or sailing canoes or canoe rafts on large bodies of inland water in moderate conditions e.g. some waves and wind.  It covers the relevant personal skills, group organisation, incident management and necessary equipment.  The course also acts as preparation for British Canoeing’s Open Water Canoe Leader assessment for those pursuing this qualification.

For those seeking British Canoeing’s personal skill award at this level (Progressive Canoe Award), we can issue that following this day to anyone paddling at the required standard.

If you’re interested in the course or would like to know more please get in touch with Steve who’ll do his best to assist: & 07796 213817

By |March 10th, 2022|Canoe|Comments Off on Cumbria Canoe Leader training (Open Water)

White Water Canoe Leader

White Water Canoe Leader

Storm Arwen tried its best to derail our White Water Canoe Leader assessment as water levels rose dramatically and many rivers were blocked by fallen trees.  Fortunately, the levels dropped reasonably quickly and we scouted a suitable venue to check for any unwanted obstructions.  Sunny weather greeted the two candidates who did a good job of leading their group and using all the available features to entertain them enroute – very well done!

If you’re interested in either training or assessment for these awards please get in touch with Steve who’ll do his best to help you.  07796 213817 and

By |December 4th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on White Water Canoe Leader

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

The recent winter gales relented just long enough for us to run an Open Water Canoe Leader assessment yesterday.  Two candidates braved gusty winds and constant rain to successfully complete the award.  Very well done to both!

The Open Water award is proving popular with those working in the outdoors as it’s the environment they most commonly find themselves leading in.  Steve runs training and assessment for this qualification covering personal paddling in moderate open water, group leadership, travelling using appropriate means (solo, tandem, rafted, sailing), incident management & rescue and appropriate personal & group equipment.

If you are interested in this Canoe Leader award or the white water version please get in touch with Steve who’ll be pleased to hear from you and will do his best to assist: 017687 79412 and

By |December 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Open Water Canoe Leader assessment

White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

White Water Safety & Rescue

It is the season for white water kayakers and canoeists to get out and enjoy themselves – the rivers have certainly been at great paddling levels this Autumn.  Recent incidents and tragic accidents happening to people going paddling on rivers reminds us of the critical importance of having both a well developed understanding of the potential hazards on WW rivers coupled to a range of strategies to deploy appropriately should things not go to plan.

British Canoeing’s White Water Safety & Rescue course is aimed at those paddling canoes and kayaks on moderate white water (grade 1-3).  It is an attendance only course over two days which helps you identify issues whilst paddling, to make good judgments and decisions, to avoid getting into trouble and to sort things out if they do go wrong.  All WW kayakers and canoeists should take this course.

Steve’s next WWSR course is 24th – 25th Nov, he may also put an additional one on on the 8th & 9th Dec.  Please get in touch if you would like to join in or wish to know more about the content: 07796 213817 and

By |November 15th, 2021|Canoe, White Water Kayak|Comments Off on White Water Safety & Rescue Course, Cumbria

Canadian canoe trip 2022

Canadian Canoe trip 2022

Come and join us on a trip of a lifetime canoe trip down the Wind River in Yukon, Canada, July, 2022!  We have enough people so far to run the trip but have some spaces still available.

The trip involves travel from Whitehorse and an incredible float plane flight to our start point.  We’ll then journey by tandem canoe northwards with all our gear for two weeks on the Wind River (image).  We’ll be picked up on the river by float plane at the end of the trip.  The Wind River is mainly grade 1 and 2 water and is suitable for competent canoeists and those with little experience paddling with a more experienced partner – we’re focused on providing an amazing and accessible journey by canoe through unspoilt and wild northern Canada.

This amazing adventure will be run by Steve Banks and Martin McCarthy who have combined canoe expedition experience of over 60 years.  Steve and Martin are both British Canoeing Guides and Guide trainers.  All Steve’s qualifications are available to view on this website.

The trip includes  the first and last night’s accommodation in Whitehorse, all land and float plane transportation, all canoe outfitting and all food during the trip.

If you’re interested in finding out more please get in touch with Steve who will be able to tell you all about it and provide a video of an earlier trip for you to watch: and +44 07796 213817.  You can also check the webpage here: Canadian Canoe trip.

By |November 1st, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canadian canoe trip 2022

Cumbria Canoe Leader training

Canoe Leader training

Our next courses are British Canoeing’s Canoe Leader training for both the Open Water Canoe Leader Award and the White Water Canoe Leader Award.  These will take place on the 6th and 7th November and will be based in Cumbria, as close to Keswick as conditions allow.  If you’re interested in either or both of these training events please get in touch with Steve so he can brief you on the content, provide any information you need to prepare, as well as to answer any questions you may have.

2022 UPDATE: Our next Canoe Leader training courses are March 26th (Open Water) and March 27th (White Water)   07796 2132817

By |October 26th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Cumbria Canoe Leader training

Canoe Leader Open Water training

Canoe Open Water Leader

Steve ran a Canoe Leader Open Water training course last weekend.  This newly separated (from WW) award permits more focus on open water skills and knowledge – an opportunity we took full advantage of.  An excellent day on Derwentwater was had building and using sailing rigs for solo boats as well as rafts, personal paddling on open water in waves and wind, group leadership on open water in more challenging conditions as well as the management of a variety of incidents requiring first aid, rescue, improvised craft and self rescue.  This award is already proving popular, particularly with those working in outdoor centres, as they are more likely to be leading on open water rather than rivers.

Special thanks go to Dave Crooks at Endless River in Worcester for so rapidly providing support and equipment to enable everyone’s solo sailing.  Endless River’s solo sailing rig (as in Steve’s boat in the image) is ideal for the task – Steve has no trouble sailing across the wind with this rig using his paddle as a leeboard.

If you’d like to advance your knowledge and understanding of open water canoeing, or to work towards British Canoeing’s qualifications in this environment, please get in touch with Steve – he’ll do his best to help.

By |October 18th, 2021|Canoe|Comments Off on Canoe Leader Open Water training
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