Canoe & Camp

Due to COVID-19, these trips are not currently available. View available trips here

Experience the peaceful and relaxing nature of our woodland, whatever the season. Our canoe camping trips give you the opportunity to enjoy outdoor life and paddle through some stunning Bedfordshire rivers and countryside.

Canoe and Camp


Choose Trip



Our unique offer of woodland camping only accessed by boat has quickly become a popular choice. We have added extra routes to our camping packages to allow those with less time, or those wanting to paddle multiday trips the opportunity to do so. Once you arrive at the woodland, you have your own clearing complete with long drop loo, log store, and most importantly campfire. Our luggage service will allow you to paddle a light boat and make portages easier, with your luggage waiting for you in your clearing for when you arrive.

Canoe camping is the water equivalent to backpacking, carry enough to travel and camp for several days but do so in a canoe or kayak. It is also known as touring, tripping, or expedition canoeing. We have a number of different trips available which includes a camp in our woods adjacent to the river. Choose your route and then relax and enjoy the nature of the woodland. 

CHOOSE YOUR SHELTER

Bring Your Tent. You can bring your tent, we have plenty of space with 4-5 large clearings as well as lots of nooks and crannies between trees. If you pitch a tent just remember pack size and the weight you will be carrying. For an additional cost, we can offer a tent drop off service.

Hire a Tent. We have a wide selection of tents from 2 person up to Vango 3 and 5 person options from their Force 10 range. The 3 and 5 options are geodetic in design.

Hire a Teepee. Canoe Trail has fantastic 8-10 person teepee tents that have been specifically selected for their simple erection and lightweight design. Our teepees are traditional in design but weigh a fraction of the weight of a canvas type. They are flame retardant and light enough to take with you easily in a canoe.

Build A Woodland Shelter. Matchstick Wood is a great place to hone your bushcraft and survival skills. We have plenty of large staves and branches already cut to make shelters from. Although requiring a bit of elbow grease there is nothing more satisfying than sleeping in a shelter built by you.

Try our Hammock Trees. Sleeping the night in a hammock strung between two trees in our woodland campsite is a great experience. If the weather is good then just string your hammock and climb into your sleeping bag. If it is a little more liquid in complexion then string a tarp over the hammock and sleep easy. We can hire hammocks and kit if you don’t have one.


FIRES & COOKING

Campfire. One of the best bits of camping is being allowed to have a real campfire. The woodland main clearings have a campfire circle. We often pack a tarp and paracord in case it is raining and we need shelter around the campfire.

Wood Stores. Each main clearing is equipped with a lean-to, pallet wood store to keep the wood dry and ready to use. We work on an age-old system of “leaving the wood store as you would wish to find it”. Keep it full of nice dry wood ready for a good fire whatever the weather. Don’t forget to bring a fire lighting kit such as a good lighter, matches or a flint and steel. You may also need some tinder, paper or other good material to start it.

Cooking Kit. Don’t forget to bring a grill or something to cook on over the campfire. You can, of course, bring your stove. We have a wide selection of cooking kit that can be hired including:

    • * Kelly Kettles
    • * Trangia stoves (using meths)
    • * Large campfire grills
    • * Dutch ovens

 

Campfire Cooking. Why not research campfire cooking before you start your paddling adventure and make some lovely campfire treats. We recommend:

  • * Green & Blacks Chocolate Banana Melt
  • * S'mores
  • * Campfire Popcorn
  • * Gourmet Woodland Breadsticks
  • * Campfire Orange Muffins

FACILITIES & RULES

Matchstick Wood is a riverside woodland campsite on the banks of the River Great Ouse. It is not accessible by road or car. So pack light. Please don’t bring the kitchen sink! You will need to bring a kit for camping as well as:

    • * Water (we have containers for bigger groups)
    • * Toilet roll
    • * Fire lighting kit

 

Long Drop Toilets. Long drop toilets or composting toilets are what we lovingly call “loo with a view.” They have a simple screen and toilet seat on a wooden frame. Try to leave them clean and as you would wish to find them. There is usually a citronella air freshener and some hand sanitiser. Please bring toilet roll.

Campsite Rules

  • * Be respectful of other people.
  • * Keep noise to a sensible level.
  • * We suggest you don’t run as there are plenty of rabbit warrens and holes to trip you up.
  • * Don’t burn more wood than you need to, it’s a waste.
  • * Replenish the wood store as you would want to find it.
  • * Don’t leave smouldering fires, please put them out when you have finished.
  • * Leave no trace (no rubbish) take your plastics, and waste with you.

 

To find out more, contact us on Facebook or via our Website.