2 Days: Kempston to Matchstick Wood to Great Barford Canoe & Camp


Duration: 1 Long day and 1 short day
Start Postcode: MK42 7FB
Finish Postcode: MK44 3LF

This is an adventure to test yourself on; the combination of a long full day paddling coupled with a relaxed second day, sandwiched with an overnight camp in the beautiful Matchstick Wood.  This trip is specifically designed for those who want a little more of a challenge compared to our more relaxed itineraries.  You will get the massive sense of achievement by completing an 10 mile paddle on day one, followed by an easy 2 miles on the following day.  You will get the very best of our most popular trips by covering the extra distance and by doing so, you will have many more stopping points for the odd drink or well-earned lunch.  You will begin just downstream of Kempston Mill in rural Bedfordshire. A short paddle later and you reach the Bedford's stunning Victorian Embankment. You portage by the Longholme Cafe (a good place for tea and a snack) before re-joining the countryside on the lower river and paddling 7 miles to Matchstick Wood.  You will get your own private clearing in the woodland, complete with long drop loo, log store and most importantly, a campfire, to sit round under the starry night sky. 

Once you’ve pitched your tent, have the campfire roaring with the wine/ beer cooling in the brook this trip will seem like the ideal tonic to a busy life, allowing you to time to relax after a good days paddle.  The following day, you will have a stunning paddle through some of the best voted wild swimming sites in the UK, winding your way through the leafy countryside before arriving in Great Barford.  This way you get to have a relaxed start to the day, enjoying the woodland before your paddle to the finish point just 90 mins away.  You can always book our luggage service to lighten the load, and your camping kit will be in the woodland waiting for you when you arrive.