Whether you are looking for a gentle trip or a mad day catching the surf, Northern Ireland is the place to try canoeing or kayaking!
In Northern Ireland you will find everything from calm lakes and meandering rivers to dramatic coastline, raging white water and powerful waves. Beginners will love the quality of instruction and excellent choice of canoeing disciplines on offer while experienced paddlers will be blown away by the access to superb waters and great facilities. And that's not to mention the breathtaking scenery and rugged settings.
For families and novices, flat water touring is an excellent option. There are numerous activity centres that offer lessons and tours, and for those who are a little more confident, why not set your own itinerary using one of the high quality canoe trails, simply perfect for a canoeing holiday.
And then there is sea kayaking... The Northern Ireland coastline is spectacular and just waiting to be explored, with a choice of sheltered inlets or more exposed stretches. There are cliffs, headlands, sea arches, caves and islands, and you will see porpoises, seals, eider duck, cormorants and shags. Or for a real adrenalin rush try some of our surf kayaking - one of the world's best extreme sports! Check out website www.canoeni.com for more information of Northern Ireland’s unique canoe trails on Lough Erne, River Blackwater Lower Bann, Lough Neagh Strangford Lough, Foyle, and South East Coast.
How to get started
Tuition is important for anyone wanting to try canoeing or kayaking. Lessons can be booked with a wide range of activity providers.
Is it easy?
The level of experience and skill required depends largely on the type of canoeing / kayaking you wish to take part in. For some disciplines, such as open canoeing, where boats are stable and you are not enclosed, it’s easier to learn the basic skills you will need. You may only need a few lessons before you feel confident on flat or gentle water. Others require more skills and you can learn these by attending Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) approved centres where qualified instructors are based.
Is it expensive?
Half day lessons including equipment are available from around £10 per person. Group and family rates are available. A starter kit including boat, buoyancy aids, and paddles can be bought for around £900.