Explorers Connect

Powering an Adventure Revolution

River Journey and Woodland Wild Camp
31st August - 1st September 2019

To canoe, kayak, or SUP down the Great River Ouse has been voted ‘Top 52 weekend activities in the World’ by Lonely Planet. We take this incredible experience one step further, with woodland teepee accommodation, delicious campfire food, and bushcraft skills - all just 35 minutes from central London.



Escape for a weekend of paddling and wild camping in rural Bedfordshire, on one of the most beautiful rivers in Britain. Travelling by canoe, kayak and/or stand-up paddle board (SUP), no experience is necessary, you'll start your adventure with coaching from professional instructors learning different paddling techniques before heading off downstream.

You'll paddle through Bedford's Victorian embankment and out into miles of pristine river. This stretch is known for otter sightings, kingfishers, herons and loads of other wildlife. Bring your swimming costume for some optional wild swimming and rope swings.

This is a great adventure to travel to by public transport as you'll start and finish just a short walk from Bedford railway station.


  • Day 1 (Saturday): You’ll meet Richard (see below) at 9am for a warm welcome and run through as to what’s going to happen. You’ll then set out for half a day of paddling before arriving at a secluded riverside woodland to enjoy a night wild camping under the stars. Shared tepees are available or you can bring your own tent or hammock. You’ll cook a free-range woodland feast over the camp fire, learning some top tips for preparing bush tucker. Then it’s time to relax around the fire and toast marshmallows before settling down for the night under a blanket of stars.  

  • Day 2 (Sunday): You’ll start your day with a campfire breakfast before returning to the water to pick up more new skills, ready to put them to the test on some faster moving water in the afternoon.



Our River Journey and Woodland Wild Camp is hosted by the brilliant Richard Harpham, an old friend of Explorers Connect, who has guided many canoeing and kayaking adventures for us over the years. Rich is no stranger to adventure having completed over 10,000 miles of human powered expeditions by canoe, kayak, bike and on ski. Rich is a born story teller with plenty of amusing tales and inspiring accounts of authentic adventure.

Rich will be accompanied by the one-and-only Neil Froggitt. Neil is a true a veteran of Explorers Connect, and has led many of our most popular trips. With a huge passion for outdoor adventure, Neil also is equally happy (and qualified!) leading groups in and out of the water.

Together, they perfectly bring to life the Explorers Connect ethos of gently encouraging people outside their comfort zone to find out what they are capable of, whilst ensuring everyone is having a lovely time and making new friends. Find out more about the core values that run through all our trips here.



Download our recommended kit list for canoeing trips HERE.


You do not need to be able to swim (you will be wearing a buoyancy aid) but you need to be confident on/in the water.


  • Two days of expert kayaking / canoeing / SUP instruction

  • 1 night in a teepee in a private woodland campsite

  • Campcraft hints and tips (eg camp cooking)

  • 1 x free range dinner (day 1)

  • 1 x free range breakfast and lunch (day 2)

  • All specialist watersports equipment

  • Camaraderie of a friendly group

  • Transfer back to start-point if on-the-water route doesn’t take you there!


  • Dates: This adventure runs from 9am on Saturday 31st August to approx 4pm on Sunday 1st September 2019.

  • Price: £229 (member price: £214)

If the trip is full, this button will take you to join the waiting list.


If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email enquiries@explorersconnect.com or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.