Active NAtion

arguably southampton's most beautiful paddling

If you're thinking about going on an adventure or always wanted to get out and explore Southampton by Kayak, then hiring your equipment from Woodmill is the perfect place to start.

We have a great range of equipment available for hire, which means you can enjoy the Woodmill boating lake or the picturesque stretch of the river Itchen. Our fleet includes sit-on-tops, tandems, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, which you can take out per hour or longer if you want to make a trip out of it!

Our private lake is a beautifully secluded space and the perfect place for a weekend escape from the city.  Alternatively, you can follow the slowly meandering river through Riverside Park, which is perfect for a family picnic or an afternoon trip to the White Swan pub (when they're allowed to reopen!) 

If you’re new to paddling and need a little guidance, don’t worry – you'll be able to book a paddle tour guide very shortly - and leave the rest to us!

BOAT HIRE - NEED TO KNOW

Boat hire from Woodmill couldn't be easier. You can hire for 1 hour, 2 hours, half a day or a full day. Pricing is dependant on how long you book for.

Your kayak hire will include a boat, paddle and buoyancy aid. However we do recommend you bring the following:

- Clothes for on the water
- Closed toe footwear
- Spare set of clothes for after water activities (including shoes)
- Towel
- Sun cream

SUP Boards and Kayaks are suitable for 1 person.  Canoes and Sit On Tops are suitable for 1 - 2 people.  Katakanu's can fit 4 - 6 people. If you need anymore information, check out the FAQ's below. 

LEARN MORE

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

No not at all, provided you can swim at least 50m then you can have a go.

– Loads of enthusiasm

– Warm comfortable clothing (avoid jeans)

– Shoes you could get wet in (avoid flip flops)

– Money for an ice cream or coffee

– A hat and sun cream

– A towel

When visiting us for boat hire, please use the free parking available 1oom up from the Centre, in Riverside Park. This can be found at: 299 Woodmill LaneSouthamptonSO18 2JR.

Normally, you can make use of the centres changing rooms and hot showers to change after an adventure on the water, should you require them. Unfortunately, during COVID-19, these are not available.  Lockers are available to leave your small personal affects, such as a mobile phone or wallet. Please note we do not hold responsibility for bags or larger items and we recommend these be left in the car or at home.

Woodmill sits at the head of the tidal estuary on the River Itchen, a beautiful chalk stream river running through the heart of Southampton. There are only around 200 chalk streams globally, and 85% of these are found in the UK. They are a rare and delicate habitat, home to many species of wildlife and fish and the River Itchen won’t disappoint.

You can paddle about two miles upstream to Gaters Mill but the presence of an old lock makes the river impassable beyond that point.  Hire is available to The White Swan Pub which is a lovely spot to stop for a drink or lunch.  The river is steeped in history and with its gently moving water, this section offers plenty of great wildlife to see on your journey.

Downstream from Woodmill, the tidal river follows Riverside park as the river heads into the heart of urban Southampton.  Hire is available downstream to Cobden bridge (or further with experience) although its worth checking the tidal information as getting back to the centre on an outgoing tide is hard work.

Whichever direction you head, the River Itchen is the perfect place to escape the city and experience life from the water.

You can find further information here.

For those seeking a little more of a challenge you can head down river on the tidal estuary to Cobden Bridge or even as far as the Southampton Water Activities Centre. It’s just worthwhile checking if the tides coming in or going out.

We prefer for children to be 4 years or older, however this is a hire activity and younger children can attend. We would struggle to fit a lifejacket to any child under 2 years, but our private and secluded lake is the perfect spot to build their sea legs from an early age!

We have a great range of equipment available for hire, which means you can enjoy the Woodmill boating lake or the picturesque stretch of the river Itchen. Our fleet includes sit-on-tops, tandems, kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, which you can take out per hour or longer if you wish.

OPENING TIMES

BOATING LAKE & RIVER ACCESS

Wednesday - Friday 12:00 - 18:00

Weekends - 11:00 - 18:00

PLEASE NOTE:

Last hire at 16:30 daily.

Proof of competence required for longer term and overnight hire.

We prefer for children to be 4 years or older, however this is a hire activity and younger children can attend.

WHERE TO PADDLE