Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Walk On Water: Paddleboarding Lessons!

Go! Get out. Dare yourself to try something new. North Cambridge's country park plays host to one of the fastest growing water sports in the UK as paddleboarding returns to Milton Country Park between May and September 2015.

Easy to get the hang of without falling in, paddleboarding involves standing on a large surfboard and using a paddle to glide through the water. Starting at just £10 there are taster sessions, lessons and courses this summer. You can even hire a board and do your own thing once you've mastered your turns (tip: look straight ahead, towards your goes a bit wrong when you look down!) The park, a series of lakes (originally old gravel pits) is 95 acres in total, with 2 miles of cycle and wheelchair-friendly paths. Dog owners have a designated area for off-lead walks and there's a great visitor centre with cafe and a balcony overlooking the lake. It's a social hub, and a great place for other activities such as birdwatching.

The paddleboarding sessions are being run by South Cambridgeshire District Council in partnership with Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust. Fully qualified instructors are on hand at all times to guide you. Helen Stepney, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Sports Inc­lusion Coordinator and qualified paddleboard instructor, says: 'Paddleboarding is great fun and we’ve taught families, friends and people of all ages to confidently give it a go over the last few years at our Parklife Family Fun Day as well as through taster sessions and courses. Some of this year’s dates are already getting busy, so book your place today.'

Taster sessions are 45 minutes long and cost £10 per person:
Fridays from 1 May to 25 September: 4pm to 4.45pm and 4.45pm to 5.30pm
Every other Saturday from 2 May to 19 September: 10am to 10.45am, 10.45am to 11.30am, 11.30am to 12.15pm and 12.15pm to 1pm
Five-week beginners ­­courses costing £60 are also available, running on Thursday nights from 5pm to 6pm or 6pm to 7pm. Courses will run from 30 April, 11 June and 3 September and are open to adults and children over 1.3m tall.
A three hour course is also available for over 18s who already have some paddleboarding experience and want to be able to hire boards and paddle independently. Costing £40, the course will run on Saturdays 9 and 23 May, 6 and 20 June, 4 and 18 July, 12 and 26 September.

'What's going on?!' Herons and other wildlife abound at Milton Country Park

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