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8 family-friendly water activities to do this summer

Extreme heat? We've got the answer: have some fun waterside and enjoy a cooling paddle/SUP/boat ride and a picnic or pint (of Pimms?). Here's the best places for water fun.

Paddle Cabin, East Peckham

We love this watersport venture, offering Super-friendly SUP sessions for all levels, from their cute cabin in East Peckham. The River Medway is a hidden gem, offering a tranquil and wide waterway, passing through meadows, woods, and villages, offering a wide variety of birds and wildlife. They offer loads of options for paddleboarding lessons, coaching, experiences, and a community of local paddlers. Book a family session and have some fun!

Hever Castle, Hever

Hever Castle set in rural countryside, most famously – Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, it’s one of our favourite historic destinations. It’s not too big and sprawling, so easy to negotiate, and stands in a beautiful area that’s steeped in all that marvellous Tudor history. With stunning gardens and lots of year-round events, there’s plenty to do here.

We especially love the Water Maze which is now open for the summer and the perfect spot to cool down (don’t forget your towel)! It’s a maze with a difference that consists of a series of concentric stepping stone walkways sitting over water, at intervals, the stones tilt when stood on and hidden water jets spring into action to soak the unwary visitor. The aim is to reach the stone grotto in the centre without getting wet but few are successful! Can you do it?

Canoe Wild, Canterbury

This brilliant water sports company is your one-stop-shop for messing about on the river in Canterbury. Join the friendly team at Canoe Wild on the beautiful River Stour where you can hire canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and much more. A brilliant activity to do with the kids and what’s more, the hire centre sits on the Grove Ferry Picnic Site, the perfect spot for enjoying refreshments alongside the picturesque banks of the Great Stour River.

Bewl Water, Lamberhurst

As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the heart of the High Weald, Bewl Water is a beautiful place to visit. Plus their Aqua Park is loads of fun – muddy tried and tested! Now open for the summer season, experience 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun – consisting of two trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboards, overhang climbing frame, giant iceberg… You get the idea. The brilliant thing about this day out is that it appeals to girls, boys, kids of all ages, and even teens. It’s a great holiday activity for groups, families, and children from 6 years old (there are some sessions times/restrictions for younger children).

Bodiam Boating Station, Bodiam

Ok we’ll tell you about this lesser-known gem if we have to! Bodiam Boating Station is a brilliant river activity centre and a real Muddy favourite. Perfect for a family day out, with every kind of boating you can imagine on offer. Amble up the River Rother at your own leisure in one of the rowing boats, kayaks, tandem kayaks, Canadian Canoes or SUPs. After all that work, you’ll want to stop by their seriously gorgeous rustic restaurant, where they offer a whole host of delicious treats on offer.

Canterbury River Tours, Canterbury

Why not book a picturesque trip through the centre of beautiful, historic Canterbury? Canterbury Historic River Tours provide a range of multi-award-winning guided tours – fun for all the family! View the stunning architecture as you journey through the heart of Canterbury on the River Stour and discover parts of the city that are only accessible by these tours. Each boat is chauffeured by a helpful guide, who presents the historical facts of the passing buildings and monuments in an entertaining manner. We like the sound of their Evening Tours – take a relaxing trip along the Stour on a warm summer evening. We likey.

Mote Park, Maidsone

Visit the award-winning park with 450 acres of mature parkland and a 30 acre lake. Enjoy Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP), kayaking, canoeing, sailing, dragon boating, raft building, boat hire and much more. There’s also walking and cycling routes, a BMX track, segway tours plus two children’s play area. Don’t forget to stop off at the cafe to enjoy their selection of hot and cold drinks, warm food and snacks with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

St Andrews Watersports, Haling

Slip and slide at their Aqua Park, open swim in their beautiful clean waters, hire from their fleet of sit-on kayaks, Canadian canoes or RED Paddle boards and there’s even a sandy beach – there’s so much fun to be had at St Andrews Watersports! Plus with their fantastic team to help and guide you, take part in Paddleboard tuition, Jet Boards, Yoga and even Diving classes. It’s the perfect spot to learn something new and make new memories!

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