Monday, September 16, 2019

Rutland Water Sports Canoeing and SUP

Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

I’ve wanted to try canoeing and paddle boarding with Murphy for a while now, so I thought what better way to celebrate his birthday than going with friends! As it’s recently become quite a popular sport to do with your dogs, finding somewhere that was fairly close by and dog friendly was actually a lot easier than I thought! We were originally supposed to be going to Rother Valley to do it but unfortunately, it’s currently closed due to blue green algae on the lake so we went to Rutland Water instead (both are dog friendly)

With four different car parks Rutland Water is a big place, so if you’re going for the water sports centre it’s the Bull Brigg Lane, Whitwell car park you need LE158BL. Located in the most picturesque setting it’s the perfect place to try something new for yourself or with the pup! Offering everything from sailing and windsurfing to kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding there really is something for everyone to have a go at whether you’re a complete beginner like myself or an expert (which I hope to become!) 

An up to date price list of everything available can be found HERE all of the prices are per hour and include the hire of life jackets (essential) and wet suits (optional) They do ask that all dogs wear a life jacket or harness themselves too and can supply you with a doggy life jacket if it’s not something you own. 

Murphy wears his Blue Atoll float coat from Ruffwear. Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

We were so incredibly lucky to have such beautiful weather this weekend but they do offer hire all year round for those of you who are incredibly brave (or stupid) and don’t mind getting out on the water in the colder months. 

I cannot fault the staff on the day who were really helpful and laid back and nothing was too much trouble (even when Graham accidently pushed a paddleboard back out into the water in his excitement for treats!)

We started the day canoeing; we split into pairs and shared a canoe. They were easily big enough to comfortably hold two adults and two dogs. All of the dogs loved it, minus Graham but he was very brave for giving it a go! To say how busy the place was it was so peaceful and relaxing out on the water and felt like you were a million miles away from the rest of the world. 

Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

Having worked up an appetite we had a break from the water sports to enjoy a picnic by the water. The dogs were fully included in this too (their food actually looked and smelt better than ours)

We were very kindly gifted the most amazing doggy picnic items from Cheddar Paws Bakery 

which included doggy scones which I filled with cream cheese and strawberries (to look like clotted cream and jam) a rainbow birthday cake, personalised biscuits and doggy doughnuts. Needless to say, every item went down well and the pups couldn’t get enough of them!   

                                                                                                                               Images captured by: Jessica Coates Photography
Murphy literally stole as many biscuits as he could fit into his mouth once he realised I was giving them away to his friends (evidently he loves them, but not that much)

After lunch it was back to the water to enjoy an hour of paddle boarding. This is the one I was most looking forward to and have wanted to try for so long! In all honesty I was fully expecting Murphy to jump from the board into the water and opt to swim alongside me but he really surprised me and stayed on the board the whole time! 

Captured by Emma edited by: Jessica Coates

He did seem a little nervous at first so I took him back so that he could jump off and have a little run around solid ground but when he saw me heading back out into the water without him, he quickly jumped back on and was a lot more settled after that. He is a typical spaniel though so didn’t sit still on the board, intrigued by everything and what everyone else was doing he was constantly moving around which made it impossible for me to stand! 

Captured by: Jessica Coates Photography

(Can’t fully blame Murphy, I had a little go without him on the board and still didn’t manage’s a lot harder than some people make it look!) 

For people wanting to walk their dogs there, the place is huge and you could easily walk for miles, however due to the nature of the place and wildlife there is a strict policy that dogs have to be on lead at all times. There is a designated dog walking area at Sykes Lane car park 5 minutes down the road where they can run free in a secure woodland area if you do want them to have some off lead time. 

I literally had the best day and it’s definitely something I will do again and would recommend to anyone. I can’t thank Jess and Echo, Abby and Binky and Emma and Graham enough for joining us and making the day so special and memorable. We really couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies and pups to share the day with. 

Captured by Emma edited by Jessica Coates

Love Kelly and Murphy x

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