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Surviving Lockdown 2021 – Andy

a group of people swimming in a body of water

We are celebrating how our community is using the 5 ways to well-being to get through lockdown (connect – be active – take notice – give – keep learning)

To share your story please drop us a message!

Next up is Andy, regular paddler with Glasgow Kayak Club and coach and business owner of Kayak Caledonia

Here is Andy’s story:

“So as I live in Glasgow and as I am locked down here I thought I would do something on Glasgow paddling in Glasgow, and how lucky we are.

There are 3 x great Glasgow venues that I use, there are more but these are the ones I use. The Clyde, the Forth & Clyde Canal and the Kelvin.

So first of all the Canal, it is a fantastic resource for all types of paddlers, running through the North and West of the City. These days it is very Paddle friendly with lots of pontoons making access really easy. I use the canal to work on my basic strokes and skills In the summer I also practise rolling every time I am on the canal. The great thing about the canal is it suits all types of craft from SUP to Open boats and everything in between and all levels of skill.

The Canal is also great just to go for a paddle you can head into town, and when Covid allows stop for a coffee at Spears Wharf. You can head west to where the canal forks, with the choice of heading towards Clydebank or Bishopbriggs. Both sections of the canal are really interesting with lots to see and lots going on. Great for your fitness or just to chill and enjoy the scenery as you go past. There is lots of wildlife to be seen, on recent trips I have been lucky enough to encounter, Roe deer, Kingfishers, Cormorrants, Herons and lots of other birds.

Now the Clyde, what a great venue right in the middle of the city, where you can Sea kayak or white water kayak or like the canal can take virtually any craft you like on it.

I am a member of Glasgow Kayak club and we have 4 x sea boats stored at the transport museum. This allows us really convenient and easy access on to the river at Govan. Once on the water you have miles of gentle flowing river, you can head into town and right up to Glasgow Green or head West and all the way to America (Covid allowing). With options to head up the Cart into Paisley town centre of the Gryffe up to Bridge of Weir.

I also use my white water boat on the Clyde and often go to a grade 2 feature at Cambuslang where you can again practise all your basic skills on moving water. Like the Canal lots of Wildlife to be seen and recently I have regularly seen Sammy the seal down at the Tall Ship.

Last but not the least the River Kelvin. Not paddled by many people because it has a reputation for not being very clean. I have been very unfortunate on 2 occasions to get unwell as a result of swimming and getting stuck in a stopper and drinking copious amounts of the river. This has not stopped my enjoying this great river though. It can be paddled from the very North of the City all the way to the Clyde. It is grade 2, 3 and 4 depending on what section you decide to paddle, and I would contend there is a grade 5 at the right of the bottom drop when it is high. It can be run from about 0.8 to above 4.0 on the Sepa gauge, once it gets above 3 it is a serious river with huge volume and needs to be taken very seriously.

There are some great play spots on the river with 2 x great surfing waves behind Kelvingrove Art Galleries and another great wave under Kelvin bridge.

I regularly put on under Kelvin bridge and do circuits around the main pillar holding up the bridge. This is a great spot for practising your skills and technique. The river also has some great boofing spots, with easy access to do laps and hone your boofing skills ( a work in progress for me) .

Like the Clyde and the Canal lots of wildlife to be seen, with Deer, Kingfishers, Salmon, Corrmorants, Heron and lots of other birds.

So if you are locked down in Glasgow there is no excuse for not getting on the water with these 3 x gems on your door step.

If you are not sure about where to get on or get off or would like more info on any of this please get in touch.

Happy Paddling.”


By Pinkston

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Our Start Kayaking sessions are all about getting you on the water and experiencing the joys of kayaking in a safe and fun way. These adult sessions are for anyone over the age of 16 who want to get on the water and learn the basics of kayaking with basic skills and challenges. We use our great sit on top kayaks meaning that we have the best platform for learning skills without the challenges or fears of ‘getting stuck’.

This session includes your British Canoeing Paddle Start Certificate.