Core strength: How we learnt to stay afloat on a paddle board in the River Stour


Paddle boarding is the new talked about water sport and frankly the endless pictures of elegant paddlers taking a gentle afternoon’s exercose in some picturesque spot have become a feature of so many of our feeds. So there was only one thing for it- we had to join them.

Beyond having FOMO, there was a more grounding excuse for messing around on the water last week. Personally, I wanted to prove to myself that I could pass a major milestone in my ongoing recovery from leg surgery by actually standing up and balancing on a board and for the Bloom Stays team, it just seemed a brilliant way to start the summer holiday period with a wet and wild team get together.

So did it live up to our expectations? Yes it did- and some more. We had the whole team there including our latest recruit, Gemma, and for us, just as importantly, we could see Canoe Wild at work. If all went well, we could add them to our list of recommended companies for our guests. Since we founded Bloom Stays nearly three years ago, one of promises we made to ourselves was that we would always try to recommend places that we’ve actually tried out ourselves… so here was the perfect opportunity and Canoe Wild certainly lived up to our expectations.

Canoe Wild have every type of watery aide for paddling, canoeing or kayaking you could wish to hire. Their enthusiasm for everyone having a go is infectious and they hold teaching lessons for everyone regardless of their age. You don’t even need to be able to swim with their buoyancy aides but they do recommend a change of clothes just in case.

We started from the Fordwich site on our paddleboards with ambitions to get back to Grove Ferry just outside Canterbury. It was one of those brilliantly hot summer days son the opportunity for a dip in the river was most welcome… which was lucky as most of us got wet even if we didn’t want to. Apart from us being chased by some territorial swans it was brilliant fun and although it took us 2.5 hours to arrive at our lunch (thanks Larder Catering Company!)… it was the most we’d all laughed in a long time.

It also proved that all our hard work in our other team workout groups has been paying off… our core strength was amazing!

Thanks to everyone at Canoe Wild and everyone on the Bloom Stays team. If we ever need to get anywhere by river at least we’ll know how to do it!

The team all ready to go!


Rowena enjoying the paddleboarding


Team selfie!


Micheala on her paddleboard