Who guides the trips?
Our trips are led by qualified Fowey River Boatman who operate from our Safety Kayaks or Safety Boat. They’re all experienced kayakers who know the Estuary well, are trained First Aiders and carry medical kits, safety gear, mobile phones and VHF radios.
What kit do I need to bring with me?
- Clothes appropriate to the weather conditions - Sun hats, Hats, Gloves, Warm Clothes and Waterproofs (you’ll probably get a bit wet even if it’s not raining)
- Old trainers or crocs (feet often get wet)
- Medication/ Inhalers / Suncream
- Bring a set of spare clothes to leave in your vehicle - just in case
- A small airtight food tub to put valuables in (mobile phones, watches, ipods, Cameras, Electronic Car Keys)
- Glasses / Sunglasses must secured by a suitable strap
How fit do I need to be?
You need to have a reasonable fitness level (can comfortably walk 2 or 3 miles). Please advise us when booking of any relevant medical conditions i.e. Asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, allergies, heart conditions etc. If you have any concerns please ask.
We are passionate about this beautiful part of Cornwall, and are keen for as many people as possible to have the opportunity to experience our wonderful estuary, its wildlife and history. Many parts of the estuary can only be accessed by water, which we believe is part of its special attraction.
For those visitors who have a disability, whether visible or invisible, and who feel fit enough to paddle, we will do our very best to accommodate your needs so that you can have a wonderful time on the water. Experience has taught us that every person will have unique requirements, and so the earlier we can discuss these the better for us to understand the needs and put in place any necessary arrangements to make the trip enjoyable. For instance, our ‘Creeks & Backwaters’ trip are better for thosewho have difficulty walking or who are in wheelchairs as we launch only a few metres from our Boatshed base – the ‘Wildlife & Waterfronts’ will need to travel along to the beach, which is possible, ( you can drive almost onto the beach) but it very much depends on the paddler’s mobility. We have waterproof bags for medication, hearing aids etc; false limbs are not usually a problem as we can normally transport them if necessary. Knee & hip replacements will need consideration to choose the best type of kayak. There is a gentle slope into the Boatshed, and then it is all flat, and although we have toilets, there is also a fully equipped public disabled toilet just across the road. We are happy to accomodate pregnancies, but please discuss this with your GP before booking, so you are comfortable - if you bring a partner, they are often willing to take over the main share of paddling! If you are worried that your condition will make a trip difficult for you, or you have any other requirements or difficulties please get in touch and we will do everything we can to make your trip fun, comfortable and memorable!
For those who choose not to or are unable to travel by car, Par Station is approx. 2 miles away, and the no.24 bus from St Austell bus station stops at the top of the hill at Golant (called Tywardreath turn). They leave St Austell at 21mins past the hour, and Tywardreath Turn back to St Austell at 52mins past the hour. They take about 40mins and cost £2-£3. For the most up to date info, please check www.firstgroup.com/cornwall/plan-journey/timetables (put in route 24), or www.travelinesw.com .
There are also a number of local taxi services -
Coastal Cars of Fowey. Tel: +44(0)1726 832372,
Yeo's Taxis. Tel: +44(0)1726 814095,
White River Cars. Tel: +44(0)1726 810980/07968259466,
South Coast Private Hire Tel: +44(0)1726 814892.
What if I capsize?
We operate in sheltered waters and our double kayaks are very stable. We only have a handful of capsizes each year (about 1 per 500 people). We normally operate close to the foreshore, so if you do fall out (our kayaks have open cockpits) our staff will quickly and safely get you ashore and reunite you with your kayak.
What is the minimum and maximum age?
There is no upper age limit providing you consider yourself reasonably fit and we’ve had many paddlers in their 70’s and a few in their 80’s. We take children from 3 upwards with a parent or parents. Our larger double kayaks can take an additional child seat which is suitable for 3-5 year olds. Suitable Buoyancy aids are always provided.
Can Under 16’s and Under 18’s join trips?
Under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult. Well behaved 16 and 17 year olds are able to join our trips without an accompanying adult.
What if we’re an odd number?
We normally put one of you (the most experienced or water confident) in a single kayak. However, if you are all beginners we can sometimes team you up with another singleton or member of staff if available.
Do I need to be able to swim?
Non swimmers are welcome and as you have a buoyancy aid you will be quite safe. However, we do need to know you can't swim in advance as we limit the number of non-swimmers on each trip.
What about the Weather?
We paddle in most weather conditions with the exception of heavy, persistent rain or strong winds. If we do have to cancel a trip we normally do it 24 hours in advance and send you a text to save a wasted journey. We try to move the trip to another date to suit but if this is not possible for you or us we refund any monies paid in full.
What is the Maximum Weight and Height?
Most or our kayaks are suitable for those weighing under 16 Stone and up to 6 feet tall. If you are heavier and/or taller than this let us know at the time of booking and we will reserve one of our larger kayaks or a double kayak which you can paddle on your own if available (additional charges may apply).
What type of kayaks do you use?
We use a mix of sit in and sit on double kayaks which we allocate according to weather conditions and the make-up of the group. All our single kayaks are sit ins.
Are refreshments provided on the Tours?
Our 3 hour tours include a 30 minute refreshment break where drinks and food can be purchased. Alternatively you can bring your own food along and have a picnic. Our shorter 2 hour Sundowners don’t allow time for a break – so bring along a snack. Arrive early or stay on to enjoy coffe & cakes or a cream tea at our seasonal Boatshed cafe.
Can we store our valuables: camera and phones etc. safely without getting them wet?
The tour guide has a dry bag which can hold small valuables.
What time should I arrive for the Tour?
Please arrive 15 minutes before the departure time or earlier if you want a pre-paddle bite and a drink at our seasonal Boatshed cafe – time and tide wait for no man! We cannot guarantee that the group will be able to wait for latecomers. Please be aware that Cornish roads are very busy during peak holidays, so allow extra time for your journey.