Accessible Family Paddling

“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats” 

Kenneth Grahame, Wind in the Willows

Accessible Boating Thames is a charity based at Bisham Abbey near Marlow that provides opportunities for people with all types of disability to go boating on the River Thames.

The paddling sessions use one or more of our specially designed boats. These have two hulls like a catamaran so are extremely stable. Coupled with the addition of two ABT volunteers (one to steer and one to paddle) makes it is ideal for beginners and experienced paddlers alike.

There is no pressure or expectation that everybody must paddle all the time and individuals can paddle as much or as little as they feel able although we do expect at least some of the group to be actively paddling. It is even ok if some people don’t paddle at all but simply enjoy the sensory experience of being on the water.

With no pressure on people having to paddle energetically it allows us to take a leisurely trip along the river getting close to the wild life and watching all the other river users. That said for the more energetic who want, we can also arrange races between the boats. No prizes just for bragging rights.

One of our boats has a modified seating position that is suitable for many wheelchair users who require more support when sitting. We can lift the paddler into and out of the boat using our hoist allowing them to get on the river and either paddle of just enjoy the experience of seeing the ducks close up.

Trips can be organised for weekdays and weekends, and the stretch tent by the riverside with picnic benches can provide a welcome break for paddlers.

Click here for Accessible Boating Thames’s website for more information and to make an enquiry.