East Riding gears up for the arrival of The Desmond Family Canoe Trail with free kayaking sessions

Free kayaking sessions are being offered at the Yorkshire Waterways Museum in Goole to mark the arrival of The Desmond Family Canoe Trail this August.


The Desmond Family Canoe Trail is a project that encourages young people aged 16 to 25 to use and look after their local waterways. Spanning 162 miles, the trail has been made possible by businessman Richard Desmond who has funded the project through the Desmond Foundation. It is run by national waterways and wellbeing charity The Canal & River Trust.

This summer’s kayaking sessions will run on Wednesday, 8 August at 10am and 12noon and on Thursday, 16 August at 10am and 12noon. Each session lasts for 90 minutes and is limited to eight participants. 

Booking is free, however you must pre-register by calling the Yorkshire Waterways Museum on (01405) 768730.

If you are interested in taking part, please note that you should be able to swim 50 metres and you will get wet! You are also asked to wear appropriate footwear or none at all, and to bring a towel and change of clothes.

Don’t worry about kayaking equipment – you do not need to have any to take part in these sessions. A kayak, paddle and a buoyancy aid will be provided.

During the session, you will learn basic paddling skills and then get on the water for a series of fun and interactive games. It is a great way to meet people and get active outdoors. 

The Yorkshire Waterways Museum is the perfect spot for running these sessions. In addition to kayaking, you can visit their collection of historic artefacts, interactive activities and local artwork for free, have a bite to eat in the cafe or take a boat trip about the Associated British Ports Docks. 

For more information, visit www.waterwaysmuseum.org.uk 

These activities are being organised by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the East and North Yorkshire Waterways Partnership, Sobriety Project and Kingston Kayak Club with support from The Canal & River Trust. They are part of an initiative called, ‘Goole’s Great Outdoors’, which encourages local people of all ages to access and enjoy the town’s waterways, walking and cycle paths, parks, nature reserves and outdoor recreation spaces. 

Danny Matley, Desmond Family Canoe Trail Programme Manager, said: “The Desmond Family Canoe Trail has a lot to offer the area – not only giving young people in and around Goole the chance to try a new activity, but also providing ways for them to give something back to their community or learn a new skill.

“We’re really excited to reach the East Riding of Yorkshire and are looking forward to helping people get out on their local waterway and find out why life is better by water.”

Councillor Richard Burton, the council’s cabinet portfolio holder for leisure, tourism and culture, said: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been working with a range of partners to help create interest in kayaking ahead of the arrival of the Desmond Family Canoe Trail. We are delighted to be part of this national project and becoming one of the key destinations on this coast-to-coast route.”

To book a session, contact the Yorkshire Waterways Museum on (01405) 768730 or email info@waterwaysmuseum.org.uk

For more information about Goole’s Great Outdoors, contact Annabel Hanson, waterways partnership coordinator, on (01482) 391678 or by email at annabel.hanson@eastriding.gov.uk

To find out more about the Desmond Family Canoe Trail and how to get involved, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/the-desmond-family-canoe-trail

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