Since the end of March and the start of lockdown, we have all been staying at home, every day, much like the one before, that is, until today – Monday the 25th of May! Today the Brook family are taking to the water for a bit of adventure!
We had booked a half-day trip with Shire Canoes and were looking forward to paddling our way down a 6.5 mile section of the river Severn. We meet Alex and his team at a lovely spot just outside Ironbridge at Jackfield. There was a lovely looking pub there called the Half Moon, and if we weren’t in lockdown would have been the perfect place for a well earned drink afterwards. Never mind that will have to wait till next time!
Alex gave us all the equipment we needed and gave us some pointers on how to stay in the canoe! We have done some canoeing before, but this trip is suitable for beginners, so don’t be put off if this is all new to you. Ella decided to pair up with me leaving Fern with Jon, she was a little sceptical that daddy wouldn’t be able to steer but clambered in nevertheless.
This stretch of the River Severn, with its gentle rapids and stunning scenery, is arguably the most beautiful, and I have to say I agree. The sun was shining, and it really was fantastic to be floating on the current downstream. The rapids weren’t the white waters of the Zambezi, so even we managed to negotiate them easily.
Ella and Fern really relaxed into the day. As they were both in the front of the canoe Jon and I could see when they weren’t paddling (which was often) and found a flick with the paddle into the water to soak them helped them to stay on task! The canoes were surprisingly comfortable and very stable, we didn’t even have a ‘that was close’ moment, and our spare clothes went unused. It was a warm day, and if you’re lucky enough to enjoy the same weather then a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must.
We had packed a picnic and, just after the halfway point, found a lovely beach area to pull up onto. It was lovely and quiet, and we only had a few sheep for company. If you plan to do the same, I’d mention this to Alex so they know that you will be a little longer.
We completed our trip at Bridgnorth, where Alex was there to collect the canoes. As we couldn’t return to the pub for a drink we headed to the ice cream parlour in the town instead, after all that paddling, we decided that we had earned it!
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