How to combine your passions for food & drink with some activity to burn those calories off? This method is called temptation bundling and I think Secret Adventures have this down to a fine art! I was lucky enough to join the Secret Adventures kayak expedition on a lovely summer’s evening, with a gang from Love Pop Ups London.
*Full disclosure – I received this Secret Adventure for free, via Love Pop Ups London, in exchange for this blog review*
Kayaking with Secret Adventures
We met at the Limehouse Basin to sign our life’s away and receive our paddles and life jackets. The instructions on how to use the paddles were fairly straightforward – 2 people per kayak and the one at the back is responsible for steering. Sounds easy right? Well you’ll find out later!! (I do have some experience in kayaking already – so I think that was helpful, however beginners are welcome!)
Once jacketed up we left our belongings in the van – these would be driven to our end point so we could get them later. Because the life jackets only had small pockets I could only take my phone with me in the pocket and my water bottle (as you could see it was a sunny day).
Then we were paired up and loaded into our kayaks – getting in and out of the kayaks was a little tricky, but no one fell in! In total I think we were 30 people – so 15 kayaks plus our guides.
From the Limehouse basin our instructions were to turn left and keep paddling for about an hour or so…Seems simple right? Except it was like a floating dodgems especially at the start.
We were warned not to go between house boats at the marina and along the canal and keep away from animals and birds. But then the lack of any practise steering etc came in and instead we were bouncing off the sides of the canal and colliding with the other kayaks! 😂
There was plenty of street art along the canal and lots of different styles of buildings and flats. There were a lot of industrial buildings – some of which had been converted into flats. Leanne and I decided to pick out the ones we would stay in, given unlimited budgets!
We saw plenty of interesting things – lots of water birds and their young babies, some swans (which are dangerous and should be avoided, not sure Joanne was in control of her kayak when she got this close!)
When we saw the lock in the canal we weren’t sure what to do – waiting for our guides we were told to paddle into the lock, keeping close together with the other kayaks. When everyone was in we all held on to each other’s kayaks and they closed the lock gate behind us and up we went!
When the lock flooded with water we rose with it and could exit out the other side at the higher portion of the canal. I’ve never been in a lock in a kayak before (actually I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a boat in a lock!)
The lock was about an hour into our journey, so we knew we didn’t have long left – however it felt like a lot longer! Reinvigorated by the short break Leanne and I got into paddling when we saw a canal side bar – the end was near!! A short while later we saw a bridge and some more canal side restaurant/ bars – Crate was the other side of the bridge, but first we needed to get out of our kayaks.
Climbing out with some help, all the kayaks were removed from the canal for transport back to the start. We left our life jackets with the guides and making sure we had all our stuff (amazing how many phones, sunglasses etc were left in the jacket pockets) and headed to Crate.
Whilst the post trip beer and pizza at Crate is not part of the Secret Adventures event, team Love Pop Ups London decided to stop and grab some food and drink.
This was a great trip – I got my exercise (boy did my shoulders and back feel it he next day!) and a treat at the end! It was a fab day to be out and about on the canal, despite the rubbish and weeds (you definitely don’t want to swim here!). Whilst wearing quick drying leggings, as you need to be prepared for getting wet, I still felt a little cold by the end (presumably as I managed to splash myself and the leggings got wet!). It was colder by the time we were finished at Crate so I’d definitely recommend having dry layers in your bag at the end to put on.
The guides were good to stop us getting stuck anywhere and explaining the lock and what we needed to do (float there and hold together!)I really enjoyed it and despite it being a group trip I could see it being the perfect secret adventure for a date night.
To find out more about Secret Adventures and to book your own Secret Adventure, check out their website: Secret Adventures