The UK’s best canoe / kayak rivers

We’ve tracked down eight of the best spots to get your paddle on, from gentle day tours to gnarly white water rapids – these are OAG’s best kayaking rivers

The River Stour |

The River Stour |


1. The River Wye, Wales/ West Midlands

A classic kayaker’s destination which OAG has been in love with since we first put hand to paddle. Whether you’re craving whitewater or a gentle paddle it’s a must do!

2.  The Stour, East Anglia

The River Stour in the Essex/Suffolk borderlands meanders through Constable Country and its idyllic villages.

3. The Swale, Yorkshire

Safe waterfalls await you in the upper section, but if that’s too much, the lower sections offer some gentler cruising.

best kayaking rivers

The Swale

4. Tees, North East

Looking to start some more technical kayaking? The Upper Tees Valley is your spot. Looking for pure adrenaline and high volume fun? Head to the lower section and you will not be disappointed

5. East Lyn, West Country

The perfect source-to-sea trip, complete with clean drops, technical paddles and grade 3 rapids.

6. Etive, Scotland

An action packed route that’s a must do for any avid canoeist: epic rapids mixed with gentle pools await you.

7. Blackwater, Northern Ireland

Great for tourers of all abilities, the Blackwater is part of Northern Ireland’s Canoe Trails network, flowing through County Armagh and Tyrone, before flowing into the majestic Lough Neagh

8. Mersey, North West

For an urban kayak, head off from Stockport town centre and follow 8 mile designated paddle route to Carrington.

Have you got any you think we should add to the list of best kayaking rivers in the UK? Let us know in the comments below!