Lake Canoeing / Kayaking

Canoeing Kayaking

We use many different lakes to canoe or kayak on but our local venue is the best. Llyn Padarn is just 5 minutes drive from the centre and is approximately 3kms long with interesting lagoons to explore on both sides of the lake. A great starting point for beginners and those starting out. We also offer sea kayaking, white water and menai straits trips.

Big smiles all around as the groups play games in middle of the lake.

"I really enjoyed racing the canoes and using the paddle to splash my friends"
Megan Bailey

Lake Canoeing

We use open canoes (similar style to ‘Indian’ canoes) for journeying and exploring. In each boat you can seat 2 or 3 people, plus it is also possible to raft the boats together to make a stable platform for bigger groups. The open canoes glide nicely on the water and are great for beginners to quickly pick up basic maneuvering strokes. We will explore the lake’s lagoons which offer interest and calm water while the open lake is great for going on a journey. We coach how to paddle and control the boat with great team building opportunities as the groups need to work together for effective paddling.

Canoe games are always fun and there are many variations. Racing, weaving and catching or if you enjoy a swim, jumping and balancing.

lake canoeing adventure activities

Lake Kayaking

The kayaks are generally single person boats. We have both sit on tops and closed cockpit (sit-in) kayaks, depending on the group’s preference. People often enjoy having full control themselves to race and navigate around the lake. We move together as a group and encourage everyone to help each other should some need an extra hand in directing the kayak. There will be plenty of coaching too with tips and tricks of how to paddle.

Favourite kayak games include polo, scoring goals with a ball, relay races or balancing on and running over the kayaks – trying to avoid landing in the water.


Rafts are a fun way to explore the beautiful surroundings.  They are perfect for a half day session to quickly get the group out on activity. They offer a chance to travel a fair distance, using the skills of all members of the group.  The young people have to work as a team to move the craft in different ways to reach their final destination.  Along the way there are chances for games, enjoyment and a dip in the water, for the brave!

rafting residentail trips in wales
outdoor activity centre of rafting in snowdonia

Learning Outcomes

For Outdoor Education Courses

  • Control a water craft using different strokes.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as a member of a team, to reach an end goal.
  • Identify ways to succeed in different challenges and games.
  • Look at geographical factors such as weather and location to make informed choices about risk e.g the appropriate clothes to wear, whether it is safe to enter the water.

Activity Venues

Our closest lake is Llyn Padarn located near Llanberis and just 5 minutes from Arete Outdoor Centre. There are sheltered lagoons on both sides of the lake with journeys possible between them. The lake is 3km in length.

Llynnau Mymbyr lake is in Capel Curig. It is split into two via a channel with nice views of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). There is a jet of water that flows out of the lake to experience some waves.

Llyn Geirionydd is on the edge of the Carneddau. An open lake with a gorge at its bottom end to allow a combination of activities to take place.

Canoeing & Kayaking Courses

Canoeing and kayaking forms part of our outdoor education courses at Arete, it is popular half day activity, allowing groups to get moving quickly. Through the outdoor adventures, and residential stay, we incorporate a range of educational benefits for the pupils. Canoeing and kayaking can also be part of geography field work, looking at river processes and lake ecology.

Courses of all lengths available throughout the year. A dedicated and experienced instructor is allocated per group. They will tailor the outdoor education programme, that will be flexible to adjust to pupil progression and weather.

Costs: As an example, a 5 day fully catered course starts from just £235 per pupil for courses in November – February.

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know the time of year, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

 See our Primary or Secondary section from more information on our outdoor education courses. We also have a general Teachers & Leaders Guide.

All of our activities,  including canoeing and kayaking, can be booked as a private session for any type of group. This can be a half day or full day activity. It is also possible to combine with one other activity for a full multi-activity day. Possible combinations include gorge scrambling and canoeing, abseiling or rock climbing.

Costs: Regardless of activity combinations, £70 per person for a full day of activity, £50 per person for half day of activity.
Minimum payment of £280 for a full day or £200 for a half day of activity.

Discounts: For groups, every 10th person can attend for free. 10% discount for schools, colleges, scouts & guides, cadets and certain youth charities.

Ratios: We run our courses at low ratios of 1:11 or less to ensure your safety and maximum participation.

Included: Safety kit, wetsuit and / or waterproofs as necessary. Transport can also be provided if you’re staying at Arete Outdoor Centre.

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know your preferred date, approximate size of course, year group and any aspirations or learning objectives you may have.

More information: Please see our page on Adult Groups, Youth Groups or Family Activity.

We run Gold DofE Residential courses and Summer Camps during the holidays. Canoeing and kayaking can form a part of this 5 day multi-activity course. The accommodation is fully catered. You will meet like-minded individuals and have a great week of adventure.

2018 Dates: 9-13 April, 20-24 August, 27-31 August, 3-7 September.

Cost: £295 per person fully catered

How to Book: Please email or use our contact form. Let us know you preferred date.

More information: See our Gold Residential or Summer Camp page. Alternatively contact us if you have further questions.