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Fun, exciting and adventurous – canoe trips are the perfect way for the whole family to escape into nature together. Here are four of the best in Europe

scotland glen coe canoeing

Hereford to Symonds Yat

The River Wye is great for a multi-day journey, and the section between Hereford and Symonds Yat is just perfect for a family paddle. From Hereford the Wye winds southward through a green belt of rolling farmland. There’s many wonderful riverside pubs along the route, and you also pass through the lovely village of Ross-on-Wye. For the more adventurous you can continue all the way through the Forest of Dean to Chepstow where the Wye meets the Seven.


Chateaus, Cliffs and Farmers Markets


The Dordogne in Southern France is a mostly shallow river during the summer months. Seeing little, if any, powered craft, it’s ideal for a young family canoe adventure.  Headwater offers a lazy canoe holiday between the stunning hill top village of Martel and the regional capital of Sarlat. Days of chilled river journeys, passing fortified chateaux and limestone cliffs, are broken with rest days in the region’s historical villages and markets. 


Scotland_Glen_Coe_River.jpgGreat Glen Canoe Trail

This epic journey between the west and east coasts of Scotland runs through the spectacular Great Glen loch and river system, which also includes the legendary Loch Ness. Taking five days or more, and wild camping on route, the Great Glen Canoe Trail can be tackled by the unexperienced, but isn’t advised for young children, as days are long and if the weather comes in, cold too. Five trips are available from £695pp with Wilderness Scotland.


Sweden_Varmland_canoeing.jpgCanoe the Klarälven

The Klarälven canoeing tour, with Nature Travels, takes you through an area of rural Sweden in the Värmland County, an area east of Stockholm on the Norwegian border. You’ll paddle through areas of vast forests and wilderness, yet often close to small villages allowing you to restock provisions. The Klarälven cruises along at 2kph, making for a wonderfully slow journey through this picturesque region.

4 and 7 day wild camping excursions are priced from £134 and £164 pp


Shorter Trips

If you don’t want to overnight, or simply fancy a little try at canoeing, see the Go Canoeing website, which has a comprehensive list of all the English canoe trails, from a simple 2-hour trip to more challenging expeditions. It also has tips on starter sessions, canoe clubs and guided tours.

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