British Canoeing Canoe Award

Explore the scenic waterways of North Wales while honing your canoeing skills with our expert coaches. This course is aligned with British Canoeing's 'Canoe Award' and focuses on skill development, decision-making, and safe journeying.

Plas y Brenin

5 Days

Instructor Ratio1:6


Plas y Brenin


5 Days

Instructor Ratio


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North Wales offers a picturesque backdrop for canoeing enthusiasts. With serene lakes and gentle rivers, it’s the perfect setting to enhance your canoeing abilities. Our experienced and highly qualified coaches will guide you through the British Canoeing ‘Canoe Award’ curriculum, helping you improve your open canoe handling skills and decision-making for safe and enjoyable outings on the water. You’ll learn to understand how factors like wind and river currents can impact your journeys and what to do in case things don’t go as planned. By the end of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to undergo assessment and develop a roadmap for your ongoing progress.


The British Canoeing ‘Canoe Award’ attests to your skills, judgment, and decision-making when embarking on canoe journeys. You’ll gain the confidence to plan and undertake canoe trips in winds up to force 3, primarily on grade 1 rivers with simple eddy lines. This award serves as a solid foundation for advancing your experience and knowledge, paving the way for the Progressive Canoe Award, which has replaced the 3* Open Canoe award.

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Your journey begins on day one with an assessment of your current skill level at our local lake. Together, we’ll chart your progression for the week. The assessment will be spread across the course, giving you ample time to practice and showcase your skills. You can opt for either solo or tandem canoeing, but you’ll experience both during the course, learning how to apply your canoe skills effectively. While following the course syllabus, you’ll explore other local venues, providing opportunities to soak in the stunning Snowdonia scenery.

* Please note: Itinerary is subject to weather and availability.

What to Expect

To participate, you should have prior experience as either a solo or tandem paddler, depending on your preference for assessment. The British Canoeing ‘Discover’ Paddle award or the old 2* standard is a useful indication of your starting ability.

Experience Required

You should have canoed as either solo or tandem paddler before depending on how you’d prefer to be assessed. The British Canoeing ‘Discover’ Paddle award or old 2* standard would be a useful indication of starting ability.


A fee will be payable to British Canoeing upon successful completion of the assessment. For your comfort and convenience, we provide comfortable accommodation with Wi-Fi and hearty meals. Our friendly and highly qualified staff will support your learning and skill development, helping you formulate an action plan for further growth. You’ll also have access to our extensive range of paddling equipment and clothing for testing out new gear. All you need to bring is your determination and a ‘can do’ attitude – we’ll take care of the rest.

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Note: Our instructors will assess any safety equipment you bring with you. If they consider it to be below the required standard, you will be asked to use equipment provided free of charge by Plas y Brenin.

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Why Plas y Brenin?

Plas y Brenin is at the forefront of outdoor instruction. Whether you are starting a career in the outdoors, or just want to take an adventure holiday, PYB is the place for you.

We inspire explorers. We train trainers. We’re internationally recognised. We’ve been around since 1798, with our earliest guests including Queen Victoria. Since then, we’ve focussed on providing the best customer experience, working alongside some of the greatest, 007 included.

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Expert Tuition

You’ll receive expert supervision from fully qualified and psyched instructors, creating the perfect environment to learn and enjoy something new!

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Explore Eryri

Your experience will take place in the heart of the extraordinary Eryri National Park. Our National Outdoor Centre features accommodation, a bar, dining, and more. And while you’re here, why not check out some local gems?

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Develop a Passion

Everyone at Plas y Brenin, from staff to visitors, is excited about adventures and inspired to get outside. Our guests return year after year to experience all that North Wales offers.