Canoeing and Kayaking

Unsure of the difference? In its most simple terms, a kayak is an enclosed boat that you sit in with your legs straight out in front of you, and you will have a blade (the flat bit) at either end of your paddle. These are usually built for one person but some kayaks have multiple ‘cockpits’. A canoe is something that the purists would kneel in but beginners (and those of us with bad knees) would normally sit on a raised seat. The boat will be open and your paddle will only have one blade. Normally, there would be two or three people in a boat until you start getting good!


Having full access of the adjacent Stanley Reservoir, these are very popular activities offering total participation of your group at all times. All sessions start with the very basics of controlling your boat, but after that, you can choose what you want. We can offer a session full of games and activities or one or more sessions where you can develop the skills of paddling and we can even present you with BCU Star proficiency awards. Many of our guests choose sessions that are a combination of the two.

Feeling a bit more adventurous? We can put our boats on a trailer and take you to a local waterway. It might be for a gentle paddle around North Staffordshire’s picturesque canals or a more challenging day on some moving water at one of our local rivers. Our instructors are fully qualified and experienced to deliver a range of paddling days out to suit your requirements.

Stanley Head can offer guided tours of Stoke-on-Trent's newly established Canal Heritage Trail. For more information click here or contact the centre.

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