The Cuckmere Valley Canoe Club was formed in the late seventies and has developed immensely as a paddlesport club, particularly over the last few years. It is a friendly club with membership levels normally of around 100 and is an ideal place to start paddlesport. The club caters for all abilities from those who’ve never seen a kayak before to the river running gods of the Alps! We also offer a range of boats so you can try a kayak, canoe, sit-on-top or SUP to discover all the joys of paddling.
The Club’s Barn is situated in the Seven Sisters Country Park – Cuckmere Haven, between Eastbourne and Seaford on the South East coast.
We use the meanders of the Cuckmere River which provide shallow and still water to introduce newcomers to our sport. Much of the meanders are only 2-3 feet deep, which is excellent for building confidence in those who are initially a little unsure of paddlesport.
We also have easy access to the Cuckmere River which leads down to the sea at Cuckmere Haven. The river is tidal so we plan our paddles but it does provide for a good challenge once anyone has mastered the basics.
It is a good mile or so down to the river mouth where there is a bay below the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. When conditions are suitable we use the bay for kayak surfing which can be very exhilarating if you have never tried it. From here experienced paddlers can paddle east along to Birling Gap or west towards Seaford Head – both directions providing some wonderful coastal scenery.
Our fleet of canoes and kayaks are of many types: single and two person kayaks, open canoes, general purpose kayaks and some specialised kayaks for freestyle and surf kayaking. You do not need your own equipment – use of the Club’s equipment is included in your membership. We can provide a kayak or canoe, paddle, helmet and cagoule if necessary.
The Barn has basic showering facilities, toilets and changing rooms. We also have a kitchen with the all important kettle for those colder mornings.
Parking right by the Barn is limited and available to Coaches and Instructors on a first-come-first-served basis. There is ample parking on a Sunday morning in the main Pay and Display car park. You can get an annual Discovery Pass from the Forestry Commission that includes parking.
From April to October, we meet on Sunday mornings at 9am and expect all paddlers to be fully kitted out and on the water by 9.30am.
For those who want to develop their paddlesport skills and achieve recognition we run the British Canoeing awards, which include training sessions and an assessment, which if successful, results in a nationally recognised certificate.
Outside of the club, many paddlers go on to tackle more challenging water and during the winter months some of us search out the white water rapids both at in the UK and abroad.
Once you have reasonable paddling skills you will find yourself invited to day trips, some of which are club run and others by private arrangement. Examples are day trips to the Nene Whitewater Canoeing Centre, local river trips such as the Cuckmere, Medway and Ouse. We have also run weekend trips to Wales and Dartmoor to paddle such rivers as the Wye and Dart. We also have an active CVCC peer paddle Whats App group where members with their own kit arrange to meet up and support each other in a paddle.
During the winter months pool sessions are run, which allow training during the cold when most members hang up their wetsuits.