School canoeing at Islington Boat Club started in 1972 and, since then, tens of thousands of local children have attended sessions here. We also have considerable experience working with excluded young people who are sent to us via local pupil referral units.

We have a large fleet of canoes and kayaks for one to three people or bellboats for 12 people. Powerboats carry three people and the narrowboat 12. All our equipment is maintained to an excellent standard as safety is our number one priority.

Our instructors are all experienced and qualified coaches with British Canoe Union, Royal Yachting Association, Mountain Bike Award Scheme or Bikeability qualifications. All staff have enhanced DBS checks and are first aid trained.

Schools watersports take place all year round. Protective clothing is provided for inclement weather conditions. The wearing of buoyancy aids is compulsory for all water-based activities. The centre has hot showers and separate changing facilities.

For more information please email  [email protected]

Age and group sizes

Our sessions are aimed at young people aged nine to 19 who can swim 25m in light clothing. Our group ratios for kayaking, canoeing and bellboating are 12 per instructor. It is possible to accommodate more than one at a time in multiples of 12. Mountain biking is for groups of eight and powerboating for groups of three. We welcome groups or individuals with special needs. To ensure safety it may be necessary to reduce the group size for people with special needs, disabilities or challenging behaviours.

Activities available

We offer a range of water-based activities. These include canoeing, kayaking, bellboats, powerboating, mountain biking and narrowboat trips. A whole day will include two or more of these activities. The group members should wear old clothes and shoes and bring a full change of clothes, shoes and a towel. If the weather is sunny, a cap and sun screen is advisable.

We can also offer first aid courses – please contact us for more information.

About visiting staff

Whilst the Islington Boat Club takes full responsibility for watersports activities, visiting workers are reminded that when not under watersports tuition they are expected to supervise their own group. Visiting workers are not only welcome, but encouraged, to participate with their own young people in watersports activities. You are reminded, however, that Islington Boat Club cannot be responsible for the safe-keeping of valuable items.


Our school’s sessions at Islington boat club were wonderful. With no time to waste, the children were in the water and having a go themselves. The instructors were very positive and supportive and it was a great chance for the children to feel like they had achieved something as a team. It was hands down their favourite trip this year!

Eve Kirby, Hanover School


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