Frequently Asked Questions
What time do I need to arrive?
Please arrive at the pontoon near Richmond Bridge around 10 minutes before your session is due to start, and allow extra time if you need to get changed. We cannot accommodate late-comers. If you have not attended the safety briefing, you will not be allowed on the water.
How far will we go?
This is very much dependent on the prevailing weather conditions, the state of the tide, and the strength of the group of paddlers. You will usually start by paddling downstream towards Richmond Lock, and then upstream towards Glovers Island, Ham House, Eel Pie Island and Teddington. On most sessions we reach Eel Pie Island before turning back to Richmond, and on High Tide sessions expect to get to Teddington Lock and back in a two hour session.
How hard is it?
It’s a brilliant body workout, and you’ll certainly feel it the day after (in a good way), but as we use the tides / sheltered water, your physical ability on a beginner’s session shouldn’t be something to worry about.
Is the water clean?
The Thames is currently one of the cleanest rivers running through a major city in the world, and recognised as a massive environmental success story. It currently boasts about 325 species in its tidal stretches, including; cormorants, herons, seals and salmon, some of which you’ll be sure to see on your trip. You’ll also find lots of people using the river for recreational activities, especially rowing and kayaking.
As a precaution for paddling in any open water, open cuts should be covered with plasters and tape, and you should wash your hands with soap / antibacterial gel before eating any food. Take a shower if you fall in.
How likely am I to fall in?
Not very likely - but there’s a small chance. We will teach you techniques to help you feel more stable, and get down onto your knees if you need a break from standing.
Do sessions even get cancelled?
We occasionally cancel group trips with 24 hours’ notice if we do not have the minimum number participants to run the session (this is rare between spring – autumn). We will also cancel, if we deem conditions to be unsuitable (e.g. very strong winds, fast fluvial flows, etc.), but we are not put off by a bit of rain. If your session is cancelled by us, you will have an option to reschedule or obtain a full refund. If you’d like to cancel or rearrange your session you must inform us 48hrs beforehand.
How to find us
Meet at the Pontoon opposite the boathouses just downstream of Richmond Bridge.
Train/Tube - Richmond Train Station is a 10 minute walk away. There are frequent overground trains from London Waterloo and Clapham Junction, as well as Underground trains on the District Line. You can check train times and destinations on the National Rail Enquiries website.
Bike - you can cycle along the tow path to Richmond Bridge and chain your bike up to the railings next to our pontoon.
Bus - Richmond Bus Station is 5 minutes walk away. For routes and times please visit the Transport for London website.
Parking - Easiest parking is at Friars Lane Car Park 5 minutes from Richmond Bridge. https://goo.gl/maps/SdhYGi1GLCG2