We get many lovely comments from people saying how much they love how adventurous we are, but I’m hands up going to admit that heading off solo down a river with a 5-year-old on a kayak had me filled with nerves as well as excitement!
We had our eye on Let’s Get Lost kayaking trips for a while, so when we spotted the Kids Go Free offer over the Easter holidays, just as outdoor sports could restart after lockdown 3 (or was it 4?!), I decided it was time to book our spot.
Sadly for us, the trip was cancelled and then again cancelled in early May due to the crazy storms (safety first, of course!), so we were truly buzzing by the time it came to our trip this weekend, and we were lucky to finally have a break in the weather to enjoy this fantastic adventure.
What is Let’s Get Lost?
Let’s Get Lost run kayaking trips for anyone from the age of 5 in Leicestershire, starting from The Waterside Inn, Mountsorrel. There are various trips you can book, whether you’re looking for a family adventure or a unique day out with friends, all along the River Soar.
There are options for Explorer sessions, where you can head off on your own with your group to explore the river, Paddle to the Pub where you can explore some of the beautiful pubs along the waterway, a Picnic & Paddle trip, where you stop off for a picnic, as well as the Twilight Paddle to enjoy the last of the evening sun.
Whether you’re looking for something different to do at the weekend with the family or a day out with a difference in the Leicestershire school holidays, look no further!
Anthony Ball, owner of Let’s Get Lost, told us: “Honestly, the part I love the most is making the waterways accessible for everyone to explore and discover new areas of the local environment people have never seen before.
Hearing the phrase ‘I didn’t realise Leicestershire had anything like this’ over and over again always reminds me why I created Let’s Get Lost.”
What to expect – Booking
We took part in the Explorer session, where we used a code online to book myself and my 5-year-old onto the Explorer session.
We paid a small deposit, with the rest paid automatically just before the trips. You also have the flexibility up to 2 days before your trip to change your dates at no extra cost too.
You are also sent a link to an online consent form to fill out details for each of your party.
I always ask plenty of questions to plan for trips, and the team at Let’s Get Lost were fantastic at answering my queries. Booking was easy and instructions were sent out just before the trip so we knew where to meet and what to bring.
The team were also great at keeping us updated on the trips. Obviously, safety comes first, so we were almost relieved that it was cancelled during the storms and rearranged for a calmer day.
What to expect – Arrival
We were greeted when we arrived by the team and given a short briefing. They also gave us a laminated map to point out the landmarks along the river, a bit of safety information as well as a brief instruction on how to paddle.
We signed a consent form and were each given a life jacket, before being led to the water to our kayak. There was one other family who went off first, which gave Lily time to use the pop-up tent toilet. There is another pop-up tent to use for changing too if you wish.
We came dressed in our waterproofs, so then headed straight to the water. Probably the hardest bit is getting in (just don’t put your hand straight in the nettles like I did!), and then the rest was smoother than we could imagine.
The team were so friendly and really made us feel at ease – Lily was bouncing like a yoyo with excitement and they were so friendly to her.
What to expect – the kayaking adventure
Lily and I went off in a double kayak and set off down the river. We were using this as a trial session for ourselves so didn’t want to go far in case of any problems, but we had up to 2 hours to enjoy the river.
It was just beautiful!
We found it so relaxing and although Lily’s initial attempts at paddling completely counteracted what I was doing, we soon found our rhythm and enjoyed seeing all the beautiful nature and wildlife along the river.
There are beautiful barges parked up to paddle past, as well as cows, lilypads, swans, and plenty of wild flowers too.
It was so peaceful, relaxing and we really enjoyed our time on the river. We passed no one else on the water, except one couple walking along the riverbank, and really felt like we escaped for the morning – even more needed after this past year.
Was it difficult to paddle? Well, although it was relaxing, I definitely felt my arms and even my legs after the paddle! It was definitely worth it though! We didn’t get too wet, although I can see how it is easy to get quite soaked through from the water off the paddle – so be prepared 🙂
We had such a fantastic time and Lily really enjoyed it as much as I did – a huge thank you to the team at Let’s Get Lost for making it happen. We really do recommend it, whether you’re a family, a group of friends, a couple or even just want to head off on your own.
It would also make a unique day out in the school holidays with the kids too!
Tips from Let’s Get Lost for kayaking with kids
Looking to take your kids kayaking? Thanks again to Let’s Get Lost’s Anthony for his top tips for kayaking with kids:
- Use sit-on-tops – Sit-on-tops are a perfect way to explore with comfort, stability and a great way to learn and explore the inland waters with the added benefit of if you capsize of being naturally buoyant so no need to pour out the water, just flip it the right way up and jump on it again.
- Paddle in 3’s – For families with younger children, paddling with double or triple kayaks can be a great way for you and your children to explore and learn even more. Paddling on their own can be quite tiring especially for ages under 10.
- Explore hidden areas along the water – The local waterways have an abundance of hidden sections to explore which aren’t accessible by foot so kayak can be the only way to explore these sections. Be sure to make sure it’s not privately owned and is safe to do so.
- Inflatables are great but…Inflatable kayaks are great for first-time paddlers and families, with smaller investments, easy to transport and store with minimal space taken up but with the risk of a puncture ‘sinking’ the ship mid-trip especially when exploring the more remote river sections we prefer polyethylene made kayaks (which are the standard kayaks nowadays) which are a lot more robust and provide a much longer life span.
What to wear & bring
- Waterproof clothing – Lily wore her Didriksons Slaskeman Waterproof Set from Little Trekkers and I wore waterproof overtrousers
- Towel – you can leave it in the car or take it for if you stop off at the pub along the way
- Change of clothes – keep some dry clothes in the bag
- Waterproof bag – I used my snowboarding backpack for my wallet, snacks and a water bottle.
- Snacks – Lily worked up an appetite along the way – you could take a picnic if you wanted to stop.
- Water – We each had a bottle of water. You could easily take a soft drink or flask with you too.
- Shoes – Lily wore her Cotswold Ducklington Walking Boots from Little Trekkers and her feet were bone dry at the end. I wore some trainers and had spare trainers to swap into back at the car.