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At Canoe2 – the kids are alright!

Fun on the Nene never looked so good!

For those of you who thought Rushden Lakes was just about the fabulous shops and eateries, think again! Set in the heart of the beautiful Nene Valley, Rushden Lakes is a haven for wildlife lovers – with over 200 acres of natural wetlands to explore by foot, bike or, thanks to Canoe2, by boat. Muddy staffer Sarah Wootton went along with her rug rats to see what it’s all about!

On the last weekend in October I was thrilled to be invited to try out the lake hire for myself (I’d been to the shops there, which are brilliant, but understandably, not always a fun day out for the kids). So with my two boy’s (aged 11 and 9) and sister (aged considerably higher) in tow, we headed off to the Lakes for some fun on the water.

Depending on how energetic you’re feeling, Canoe2 offers lake hire for 30 or 60 minutes and you can undertake your adventure on the water in either a canoe (2 or 3 person), kayak (single or 2 person), katakanu (up to 6 people) or swan pedalo (up to 4 people). Lake hire is very reasonably priced and ranges from £8 for 30 minutes in a single seat kayak to £27 for one hour in a swan pedalo or katakanu.

The weather was a little chilly, to say the least and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m definitely more your fair-weather adventurer, so we opted for a 30-minute cruise on the lake in a swan pedalo.

The staff at Canoe2 were brilliant. Within no time at all we were sporting life jackets, followed by a quick safety brief and we were all ready to board our vessel! The boy’s were keen to provide the power for the pedalo, which met with no resistance from me or my sister, and so we sat back and enjoyed a very relaxing cruise on the lake, surrounded by stunning scenery.

I think Rat summed it up best in the children’s classic Wind in the Willows, when he said to his friend Mole, “there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”. It’s a great way to spend some quality time with family and friends and gives you the chance to see some of our stunning nature up close and from a different perspective (our other Muddy staffer took her kids in the summer , and they had a fab time too).

As well as lake hire, Canoe2 offers river canoe hire trips and glamping (in a choice of Mongolian yurt, tipi or bell tent) or B&B short breaks from 1 to 5 days. These short breaks look amazing and my boy’s can’t wait to go on one next year – when it’s a little warmer! Anna-Lou, Muddy’s esteemed editor (she told me to say that ; ) went on one of the canoe trips last year, and said it was absolutely beautiful, (pics below, including a group of horses they passed on their trip).

Canoe2 have also partnered up with The Wildlife Trust and will be offering early morning dawn chorus walks with river paddles and evening paddles with bat spotting walks in 2018. The dates have yet to be confirmed so keep an eye out on their website for further information. Or you can contact them via email at or phone them on 01933 522223 (phone line open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week).

The lovely folk at Canoe2 make sure you are well prepped before your voyage

Sadly, the lake hire is now closed over the winter period but I know we shall definitely be back when it reopens again next year, the fab guys at Canoe2 make it a really enjoyable experience and your kids will smile all day!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Northamptonshire