London Kayak Tour on the Thames and Canals.
There are two sides to London’s personality, the “big and bold side”, defined by the hustle and bustle of tubes, cabs and crowded streets. Little did we know there is a “sensitive, calm side” to our City which I had the pleasure of exploring recently kayaking on the Hampton Court Tour.
The Hampton Court Tour is situated opposite Hampton Court Palace next to Molesey Lock. It is fun from the start…just trying to get the buoyancy aid on correctly! First we learn a basic knowledge on how to kayak and manipulate our boats and more importantly stay balanced. We then receive a safety briefing from an expert British Canoe Union Instructor who in our case was the quintessential New Zealander. Danny had a friendly, warm but practical approach.
We headed through “rollers” which are a type of see-saw lock paddling downstream at Molesey lock. We paddled gently along at a steady walking type pace and admired the stately houseboats and English countryside within the urban metropolis. We headed downstream initially which was relatively easy towards Ravens Ait working our muscles and gaining an appetite for our Pub lunch. Great exercise for the bingo wings!
This was definitely the best seat in the house in terms of viewing the main attractions without the crowds and queues. It felt like being upgraded from stalls to a private box.
The Tour is perfect for anyone who wants to play tourist for a day avoiding the chaos for some well-deserved ‘R and R’. It is truly a unique way to visit London from a slightly lower level without venturing near the underground!
Further info. on the Hampton Court Tour and others www.thamesriveradventures.co.uk