01690 720214

Discover Canoeing

Course Overview

A two day introduction to the canoe. You'll learn foundation canoe handling skills as part of a tandem crew along with the principles required to paddle safely as part of a supervised group. On the second day you'll refine your skills during a journey on a local river or lake.

Experience Required

None necessary

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?
This course is for anyone who would like a safe and enjoyable weekend discovering the sport of canoeing.  You do not need to have any previous paddlesport experience, but should be physically fit.

Course Content

The course will be spent on local lakes and rivers, minimizing travel time.  We intend to look at the following areas:

  • Basic boat handling skills for tandem crews

  • Introduction to solo boat handling skills

  • Safety principles of the sport of canoeing

  • A journey by canoe

Useful Books

  • Path of the Paddle by Bill Mason
  • Song of the Paddle by Bill Mason
  • Paddle your own Canoe by J. McGuffin

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Thin fleeces/thermals/rash vest for going under a wetsuit

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Wetsuit boots (or training shoes you're happy to get wet)

  • Wetsuit socks to wear with wetsuit boots/training shoes if cold

  • Warm clothes for when you get off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sun screen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course

Customer Reviews For This Course

Great Weekend

Beverley Wood

Great weekend learning canoeing. Thanks very much Chris :)

Positive,cheerful constructive coaching


Group size, 5 people, meant that we received close supervision / support. Problems were swiftly dealt with. The people whose canoe capsized were attended to very quickly and sympathetically.

Pre-course kit list appeared to be a generic one. A more specific one would be better.(e.g.We did not require wet-suits, but they were on the list.)
We practised our skills in interesting, beautiful venues.
Breaks were at appropriate times. Overall, very enjoyable. I felt I learned a lot.
Our instructor was excellent. Very supportive, encouraging, interesting and entertaining. A very good teacher.

Thank you very much

5 stars

Simon Knightley

Fantastic weekend


Spent a very wet and cold weekend in August last year canoeing. Staff were very knowledgable and kept us interested the whole time. Definitely recommended.

What a brilliant few days....


Thank you so much to Chris, our fabulous coach for all of your patience and consideration over the past two days. Our group had lots of different levels of ability and you manage to both test and support each of us - no mean feat!
After a lovely few days paddling, I've a remembered how much fun canoeing can be and I can't wait to get back on the water again!

Canoeing discovered!

Mark Jones

An excellent course with a first class instructor, David. Relaxed, exciting and interesting introduction to an activity that I will definitely be doing more of! Very comfortable accommodation and excellent food.


Sian Roberts

Fantastic all round. Great activities. Instructors were top notch. Cant wait to do it again! Thanks Dan and Will xxx

Great location, top instruction...

Simon Broome

PYB is a great place to take your first steps in an open canoe. The facilities are great, the location is perfect and the professionalism of the team is clear from the moment you arrive.
Our instructor, Sid, was a top bloke as well as a great coach. The mix of practical experience, straightforward guidance and handy tips was just right and enabled us all on the course to learn at our own pace.
If you are thinking of having a go at open canoeing, this has got to be one of the best places to start.

Great first step

Paddles Gillespie

Fantastic instruction from Sid for beginners - avoided jargon, helpful, supportive and informative. Kit also great quality. Lake, river and whitewater experience - location lovely. A bit more effort into keeping the rooms better maintained and you couldn't fault this weekend course. Still, nothing the instructor could do about that.

Discover Canoeing 6-8th August

Davd Croft

First can I say how impressed I was with your premises. Excellent conditions and very friendly staff. I liked the air of efficiency and professionalism about the place.

On arriving I was relieved to find parking was well catered for and I quickly checked in. I was given my key card by your friendly reception team and I found my room. Snug, warm and functional which is all I hoped it would be, given how little time we all intend to spend in them.

The bar was next and a delicious evening meal at an excellent price.
I didn't realise I was sharing a room so it was a surprise when I went back after my meal to find another chap in there. No worries we got on well and he didn't snore.

The two characteristics of efficiency and professionalism pervaded our two day course which I was extremely pleased with. Our two instructors Chris and Chris where highly personable and professional throughout. After an initial briefing we got kitted out (the kit was excellent) and got onto the water quickly which pleased the group. There were eight of us, three couples, a chap from Yorkshire and myself. Naturally he and I teamed up. What would happen if you had an uneven number though, given that the course specialises in tandem canoeing?

We were given a good grounding in the basic techniques for two person crews and we had a go at soloing which I found difficult, if not a bit frustrating as I was so slow at picking it up.

On Sunday we went to Llyn Padarn and that was an excellent opportunity to perfect what we had learned on Saturday, and to try out new skills. I finally got the hang of steering the boat from the rear position which really pleased me.
I also spent some time with Chris (from Lancashire) as front man in my canoe and that instructor proximity helped me improve some strokes I was struggling with.

We all loved being on the Padarn and it was a shame when 1500 arrived and we had to come off.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and it has inspired me to do more canoeing. I will thoroughly recommend this course and Plas y Brenin to anyone who may show an interest in this really enjoyable outdoor pursuit.

Please thank again both Chris and Chris for an excellent weekend.

David G.Croft

Flexible pensioner

Sylvia Beckles

Tutor Jules gently introduced me to canoeing. I'd imagined paddling quietly along rivers, but this was not the serene experience I'd imagined.
My title of flexible pensioner is because I still work although I've taken my pension. On the flexible side manouvering into the canoe was a little tricky. My two companions on the course. Barbara and John didn't laugh too much. The wind was strong on the second day, which meant applying the skills taught was quite difficult to implement. Altogether the challenge was well worth the journey from Newcastle on Tyne to this beautiful part of Wales. It's nice to see an old building like the centre being used so well. The staff were extremely helpful. It is a bit of a rabbit warren inside and I don't think I left the building by the same route twice, but there were plenty of cheerful people to direct me. Thanks for an enjoyable weekend.

Worth every single star

Tim Trapp

This weekend definitely deserves the full five stars five stars. I arrived thinking there wasn't much to it all really and I was amazed to find there's masses to learn. I was surprised by how much I had learned by the time I left though and I feel as if I have a completely new hobby at my fingertips now. I'm truly inspired, the coaches filled me with confidence and made me want to get out there and do more paddling on my own. They do a good job of not making you feel small or inexperienced, you really feel as if they want you to get it all and they want to see you really achieve things. Not what I expected at all.
I will be back next year for sure, even if it is just for the cakes.

Great Weekend!

Sean Williams

The accomadation in the aptly named Kings House was great, food was superb.

Quality leadership and instruction from Roger and Sid throughout the weekend.

Really enjoyed the trip along Conwy Estuary and then the last couple of house playing on the moving water just outside the centre, practicing breaking in and out of eddies and other basic manoeuvres. ..... Whet our appitete for more moving water and the feeling of working well as a team.

Certainly hope to gain more experience in a Canoe and sign on for one of your expeditions to the NW Highlands providing it fits in with the school holidays!

Thanks for an inspirational introduction to what I hope will become a gresat past time...

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

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