Please find below our FAQs.
If you still have a question that is not covered by our FAQs, please contact us by using the contact us form.
Please click on the question to see the answer below:
All bookings are non-refundable.
Please arrive 15 minutes ahead of your booked tour. All Tours go ahead promptly. No refunds given for late arrivals.
Tours Frequently asked Questions
Do we need to be able to swim?
Yes, you must be able to swim 10 metres minimum confidently.
Are we going to get wet?
Yes, you can get wet from splashes but we can provide spray decks keeping this to a minimal. We recommend you wear water proof clothing or bring a spare set of clothing to change into afterwards. We can provide rain jackets to prevent you getting wet and towels to dry you off for an Extra fee at time of booking.
What do we wear?
We suggest you avoid jeans if possible and wear comfortable clothes suitable for a physical activity to wear in the kayak. Please bring a rain jacket and a fleece/sweater on colder days. Wear trainers/crocs or similar in the kayak - shoes must be soft soled and avoid open toe shoes/slip off shoes and flip flops. We also recommend fingerless gloves - e.g. as worn by cyclists. Waists should be covered and long hair should be tied back. Please remove or tape over body piercings for comfort and any open wounds or cuts should be covered with waterproof plasters.
What do we bring?
Please bring a rain jacket/coat (these can be provided by London Kayak Tours Ltd for a small fee at the time of booking). We also suggest a change of clothes in case you get wet and a towel - ideally a travel/sport towel (these can be provided by London Kayak Tours Ltd for a small fee at the time of booking). Please bring a sunhat and sun cream in summertime. Also a bottle of water or in winter a hot drink in a thermos is recommended.
Is there somewhere for us to change our clothes or use the toilet or shower?
There are toilets within 5 minutes walking distance from all our tours which enable you to change your clothes and use the facilities if necessary. For the Regents Canal Tour, you can change in the Hub near the outer circle of Regents canal where they have toilets and locker facilities or toilets in Primrose Hill Park. For Windsor Tours you can change in the Leisure Centre within walking distance.
Do you have kayaks or canoes?
We use single recreational touring kayaks for all our Tours.
What is the difference between a kayak and a canoe?
A kayak is where the person is enclosed in a small space often with a spray skirt and a canoe is open enabling one or two participants to paddle, not enclosed.
What is the maximum weight you can take on a Kayak?
110kgs / 17 stone / 240lbs
What is the maximum height?
2 metres in height.
What type of kayaks do you use?
We use Recreational Touring kayaks.
Do we have to wear wet suits?
No, a wetsuit is not required but if you prefer to wear one that is fine.
Can we wear flip-flops?
No, not advised due to the risk of slips etc. We recommend wearing crocs/ trainers or similar in the kayak.
Do you provide ‘life jackets’?
Buoyancy aids (life jackets) are provided, and it is obligatory that they are worn at all times throughout your Tour.
How do I train/ practice for kayaking tours?
We recommend practicing with a broom handle, using rotation movements as you would with a paddle.
How fit do I need to be?
You must be able to endure moderate exercise for the duration of your tour, be able to swim 10 metres and have a reasonable level of balance.
What happens if I injure yourself?
All our instructors are qualified First Aiders and carry First Aid equipment.
Is it dangerous?
No but you must follow the guidance given by the Instructor. As a company, we provide fully qualified Instructors who have expert knowledge of the waterways. Safety induction prior to commencing your Tour is provided. All the necessary safety equipment is given including buoyancy aids.
What sort of history do we get close to?
This depends on the Tour chosen. Kayaking with London Kayak Tours enables you to see London from a Unique angle passing by World famous landmarks such as Hampton Court Palace, Regents Park and Windsor Castle. Commentary will be provided by your Instructor on the Tour.
Do we start and finish at the same point on the Tours?
Yes, on all our Tours, we start and finish at the same location
Do I need to know how to roll out of a kayak?
No, the aim of the Tours is that inexperienced kayakers can enjoy the tour without the need to have any previous kayaking skills. Our qualified instructor guides you throughout the Tour.
Will my hands get sore?
It is possible that you may get slight friction blisters, and if you are worried about getting blisters, it is recommended that you wear/bring gloves such as cycling/gym gloves.
What if it rains on the day of the Tour?
If it is only light rain the Tour will go ahead but if it is heavy rain, thunder and lightning or very high winds Tours will not go ahead and an alternative arrangement will be made by the Company.
Can I still Kayak if I cannot swim?
No, as we recommend that you must be able to swim 10 metres.
Do you hire out the kayak equipment for trips (outside the tour format) and what’s required in terms of licenses for this trip?
Our insurance does not allow just the hire of the kayaks that is why all the tours are accompanied by a qualified instructor. All craft on the non-tidal Thames need to be licensed with the Environmental Agency (as all of ours are) or via the British Canoe Union. All our craft /kayaks have been inspected.
Are there any restrictions on taking children?
The minimum age for ALL tours is 9 years old. A parent must accompany a child under 12 years old. They also need a basic ability to swim at least 10 meters. On the canals parents can walk along the towpath if they do not wish to travel in a kayak. All our British Canoe Union Instructors are CRB checked.
Are refreshments provided on the Tours?
No, but we recommend that you bring a bottle of water to keep hydrated as kayaking is active. We can provide bottles of water (while stocks last) and extras for a fee.
Do we have a tour guide?
Yes, a British Canoe Union Instructor accompanies the Tour and provides historical commentary about the sites we pass.
Can we store our valuables: camera and phones etc. safely without getting them wet?
Yes, we provide dry bags where we can store valuables and electronic equipment ensuring nothing is damaged.
What time should I arrive for the Tour?
We recommend you arrive 15 minutes before the start time of your Tour as all Tours go promptly and this enables you time to organise yourself and meet your Instructor. The Tours will start promptly. WE DO NOT WAIT ON LATE ARRIVALS. No refunds given for late arrivals or no shows.
What happens if I leave my gear behind?
All lost property must be collected from our office at 14 Eton Square. Berkshire. SL4 6BG. We do not deliver lost property. Your belongings are your responsibility so look after them.