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Exploring Norfolk Waterways By Canoe

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Canoe -Man -Norfolk -Waterways

Mark Wilkinson AKA The Canoe Man is an expert in bushcraft and navigating the waterways of Norfolk by canoe - he’s so revered he has been featured on the BBC programme Country Tracks.

We tried getting an interview with him over the summer months but he was so busy it had to wait until now - which inspired our first question;

Is canoeing just for the summer?

You can certainly go canoeing in the winter, some of the nicest days are out on the broads in the winter.

You get in crisp winters morning with the sun out can be absolutely stunning making great photos as well as quite a lot of wildlife still around to see.

What are your favourite Norfolk waterways to canoe?

My personal preference is for the smaller, quieter waterways at the very top ends of the river Bure and Yare, where no motor boats can get to.

Places that you won’t get to in a motor boat are by far the nicest stretches, to help people experience them we run some one-way trips where one of our staff will transport them and their canoe up to the top of the river.

Then they can paddle their way down the river and, depending on how far their going, normally end up finishing at a pub (which most people seem to like!) which will bring them back to their car.

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What wildlife is best seen from a canoe?

All sorts of wildlife can be out seen from a canoe, particularly things like kingfishers which we see a lot of and, occasionally, you can see even see Otters.

Of course the beauty of being in a canoe is that you’re virtually silent in a canoe and you’re also down at a low level so you get up unique view.

People who usually go out on motor boats who then go out on a canoe have said what a different experience it is to see the river and it’s wildlife wholly at eye level.

What are the most common canoeing mistakes?

People sometimes have the wrong perception that they are unstable and you're going to get wet - the majority of the time we have no problems at all!

It's very surprising, considering the amount of canoes we hire out, that we only have incredibly few capsizes. We have somewhere in the region of 10,000 people go through our boats every year, and the number of capsizes you can count on one hand!

Is there anything we should’ve mentioned?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or views on the best way to explore Norfolk and it's waterways?

Is there anything you think we should have mentioned?

If there is get in touch and let us know – you can also do it on Facebook or Twitter.


By Alastair Baker at 24 Oct 2019, 00:00 AM