We are blessed in Shepperton to be close to water in any direction we turn. But we don’t always know how to make the most of it. So here are a few thoughts.
Canoe and Kayak hire
Last year I had a memorable kayak trip up the Thames and around Desborough Island. It was great exercise and you see things from a different view being so close to the water. A kingfisher darted across Shepperton Marina as we set off. Swans stretched their wings and geese honked at us. As we came back, the sun was setting and you couldn’t wish for a more beautiful way of spending an evening.
You can hire a canoe or kayak from Whitewater Canoe Centre at Shepperton Marina. Full details of prices and options are at www.canoeandkayakthethames.co.uk
Sunbury Skiff and Punting
Despite the name, Sunbury’s Skiff and Punting Club is no longer based in Sunbury. They moved to Shepperton last year and are based at Desborough Sailing Club off Ferry Lane. The objectives of the club are to teach, coach and promote skiffing and punting in traditional Thames skiffs and punts. They take part in a lot of local regattas, including of course Sunbury Regatta. They are always looking for new members so why not give this sport a try: www.sunburyskiff.club
We have a huge choice of sailing options nearby: Aquarius on Lower Hampton Road, Littleton Sailing Club, Queen Mary and Desborough. This is the season all the clubs are looking for new members, so have a look online at when open days are on and give them a try. Desborough has an open day on May 11th or 25th from midday.
Littleton Sailing Club, awarded Sports Club of the Year in the 2018 Spelthorne Sports Awards, also have an open day on May 11th. They are down Littleton Lane, Shepperton. www.littletonsc.co.uk.
Open Water Swimming
You may not know that there is an open swimming lake where hundreds take part in a refreshing dip every week from May to October. There are open water races and events during the season and in August they even do a night swim. This year they open on May 12th. You can find the down Ferry Lane, Shepperton by the Desborough Sailing club!
Thames Gourmet Dining
If you want to make the most of the river without the effort, but with a whole lot of luxury, how about this new idea. Enjoy a lunch/dining and cruising experience on a beautiful old yacht. Longer stays also possible. www.theriveryachtcafe.co.uk
Accessible Boat Trips
We even have a choice of accessible boat trips on offer. Impossible Dream is the Spelthorne community boat, offering accessibility to those with disability. You can get aboard from Cowey Sale, Walton.
The River Thames Boat Project also makes the Thames accessible to people of all ages and abilities. Operating out of Teddington, the boats pass through Sunbury lock and Shepperton going upstream. Www.thamesboatproject.org
Yes, there is even an aqua park near us. Liquid Leisure opened quietly on a lake behind the Charlton Village car boot venue last August. You can clamber across a 400 square foot floating obstacle park or try stand up paddle boarding. www.liquidleisuresurrey.com