Want a great place to start your canoeing journey?

Master the art of the open canoe as you will learn the skills required to pilot your craft, watch wildlife and enjoy the scenery. No previous experience is necessary and we provide all safety equipment - ideal for anyone over the age of 7 years.

Friendly, very experienced and British Canoeing qualified instructors to lead all our canoeing sessions. How Stean Gorge has sole rights to use Yorkshire Water's Scar House Reservoir. This makes it the ideal place to learn canoeing and have fun with friends.

All our activities are available to books as individuals, families and groups


Full Day Trips, Multi Day Canoeing Expeditions and River Trips

Multi-day canoe expeditions and river trips can also be provided for groups of 8 or more. A typical trip takes place along the River Ure and River Ouse taking in the scenery from Ripon to York. Ideal for friends and family groups, hen do and stag do parties and school and college groups.

So, what's the difference between canoeing and kayaking?

Kayaking is using a boat where the paddler faces forward with the paddler's legs in front of them using double bladed paddles. Some kayaks have closed decks. Cock pit and 'sit on top' kayaks have open areas. In canoeing, the paddler either sits or kneels and uses one bladed paddle. More information is available on the wiki how 'how to tell the difference between a canoe and a kayak' pages.

Book Your Open Canoeing Adventure Now

If your selected date is within the next 12 days you wont be able to book online. Don't worry we can probably still fit you in please call our office on 01423 755666

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Please read our Terms and Conditions Prior to Booking

The staff were so friendly and attentive, nothing was too much trouble and they tried to accommodate everything we asked.
Mrs G, Harrogate - Canoeing

Canoeing and Wildlife

Enjoy the stunning scenery and natural wilderness of this special area as you paddle your canoe and attempt to stay dry! See how many different types of wildlife you can spot from your privileged position on the water. There are many different kinds of raptor that circle the skies above Scar House. Keep your eyes peeled you never know what you might spot!

Canoeing FAQ's

  1. How much does it cost?
    This 3 hour experience costs £45 per person with sessions starting at 09.30 am and 2pm daily. Please arrive approximately 30mins early to complete medical forms.
  2. What‘s included?
    • Briefing
    • All Safety Equipment including Wet Suit, Buoyancy Aid and Helmet
    • Teaching of Basic Canoeing Skills
    • Canoeing for almost 3 hours
    • A Friendly, Highly Qualified Gorge Walking Instructor
  3. How fit do I need to be?
    You will need to have a basic fitness level to participate in this session. If you want more of a challenge talk to our team about arranging a visit to more challenging white water locations and try tackling some rapids.
  4. Why choose How Stean Gorge?
    You will be safely cared for by our professional experienced instructors who use How Stean Gorge and surrounding area for outdoor activities on a daily basis. You may find cheaper products elsewhere but our location, facilities and expertise are second to none. After your canoeing adventure, use our hot family sized showers, changing facilities and restaurant. With many outdoor providers, you need to change on the road side. There is also a 3-star campsite if you want to take part in our outdoor weekend adventure packages.How Stean Gorge is a spectacular limestone ravine carved out over thousands of years by waterflow and is the perfect location for outdoor activities like via ferrata, gorge walking, caving, rock climbing, canyoning and abseiling. It is geographically unique, as it’s one of the only places in the UK where you can comfortably enjoy both rocksports and canoeing – in a single day. It is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Nidderdale, An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – why choose anywhere else?
  5. Can I take the whole family?
    Of course! Anybody aged 7 or over can take part. It is suitable from 7 to 80+ years. Those who do not take part can watch the canoeing or you can while away the rest of the time exploring the gorge and caves tourist attraction or enjoying refreshments in our onsite café.
  6. What is the minimum number of people I can book?
    Individuals and groups are able to book, as there's no minimum number to book, just make sure you book in advance. This is an ideal choice for a family gathering, corporate event, stag do or hen party with a difference.
  7. Where do we meet?
    You'll meet the instructors in the reception area of How Stean Gorge (HG3 5SY) the canoeing will take place at Scar House Reservoir a short drive away. Please note you will need to provide your own transport to canoeing and caving activities from How Stean

What do I need to bring?

Please bring a set of spare clothes just in case you get a little bit wet. Wind and waterproofs may also be appropriate depending on the days conditions. Wellies tend to be the best footwear as you can paddle out a little way to step in and out of your Canoe whilst staying dry. All safety equipment is supplied.

Medical Consent Form

We have so much to offer

Find out more about the facilities and services available on-site

Read about our facilities here