Danson Park Watersports Centre


Danson Park Adventures

The Boathouse, Danson Road, Bexleyheath, Kent, DA6 8HL

Email: watersports@bexley.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8303 2828

How to find us

Located in the London Borough of Bexley, Danson Watersports Centre offers a wide variety of activities and courses perfect for anyone over the age of eight with any skill level.

Our centre has qualified instructors for all activities on offer. All of our instructors are enhanced DBS checked. All equipment is provided, and changing facilities are available. We recommend that you bring a change of clothes and a towel for our activities and courses.

Discover what we do and get in touch to see what we offer.

Please note: In order to take part in any activities at Danson Watersports all participants must have a completed participant card before going on the water. A new one will need to be completed for each new participant.

This can be completed on the day at the centre. If completing on the day please allow for extra time before your session starts.

For enquires or to discuss your needs please contact the centre.



RYA Level One course - 9.30am to 4.30pm

The RYA Level One course is the introductory beginner's course into dinghy sailing. It is aimed at those who have done little or no dinghy sailing before.

It is the first part of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) training scheme and its aim is to provide basic boat handling techniques and essential background knowledge.

By the end of the course, you will be able to sail safely under supervision.

Participants must be aged 16 and over.

A change of clothes is required for each session.

Included in the course:

  • RYA Level One Certificate
  • RYA Start Sailing Book
  • RYA Sailing Logbook
  • all equipment provided

RYA Level Two course - 9.30am to 4.30pm

The RYA Level Two Course is the second part of the RYA training scheme for those who have completed their level one or have equivalent experience.

Its aim is to consolidate your basic knowledge of sailing and develop awareness of safety.

It will be assumed that every student starting this course has already mastered the practical skills and absorbed the background knowledge required to start sailing.

By the end of the course, you will be capable of sailing a dinghy alone, without an instructor on board.

Participants must be aged 16 and over.

A change of clothes is required for each session.

Included in the course:

  • all required equipment
  • RYA Start Sailing book and national scheme


Courses are available for those aged 8 to 16, individuals can take part in RYA Stage One, Two, Three and Four courses.

Each Stage is based on a two-day course running from 10am to 4pm.

Stage One - gives a basic understanding of how to handle the boat, steering and wind awareness.

Stage Two - focusing on basic sailing skills, rope work and turning whilst controlling the boat speed.

Stage Three - covers everything from man overboard recovery to sailing around a triangular course

Stage Four - looks at sailing both single and double handed dinghies focusing on more in-depth techniques and manoeuvres.Canoeing/kayaking


We offer British Canoeing (BC) accredited courses for beginners and for those who want to get better and improve their skills.

We provide all the kit and resources you will need. All you will need to bring is a change of clothes and a towel.


Just because the initial BC Level one course is tailored for those over the age of 14, youths can still take part in our canoeing and kayaking schemes!

To complete your Paddlepower Start, Passport and Discover come and join our youth night sessions.

British Canoeing One Star course

Designed to recognise the level people would typically reach after an introductory course of six hours quality on-water time.

Participants must be aged 14 and over. The course runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm

Included in the course is all the required equipment and a British Canoeing certificate on successful completion.

Course content
  • safety, leadership and group skills
  • personal paddling skills
  • rescue skills and techniques
  • theory and more


We offer RYA Powerboat Level One, Two and Safety Boat courses.

As an Inland Centre, the courses offered are Inland endorsed courses. Working closely with our local tidal club on the River Thames we can arrange for a Coastal Conversion day for the Level Two and Safety boat course.

For RYA Safety Boat Courses please contact the Centre.

RYA Powerboat Level One Courses (1 day) 9.30am to 4.30pm

Minimum age

Eight years old. Candidates aged under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate.

Course content

  • launch and recovery
  • preparation of the boat and crew
  • boat handling
  • picking up and securing to a mooring buoy
  • leaving and coming alongside
  • being towed


Able to drive under supervision. 

RYA Powerboat Level Two Courses (2 day) - 9.30am to 4.30pm

Minimum age

12 years old. Candidates aged under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate.

Course content

  • the Powerboat Level One syllabus
  • low-speed close quarters handling
  • man overboard recovery
  • an introduction to driving at planing speed


Self-sufficient powerboat driver in the right conditions, aware of own limitations and those of craft.

RYA Sailing Courses

Course Duration Cost per person Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
RYA Level One Sailing 2 £190 - 4/5 18/19 29/30 20/21 24/25 21/22 -
Concession 2 £133 for 16 to 18-year-olds or over 60s              
RYA Level Two Sailing 2 £190 - - 22/23 6/7 3/4 7/8 5/6
Concession 2 £133 for 16 to 18-year-olds or over 60s              
RYA Youth Scheme Stage 1 2 £120 8/9 15/16 28/29 - - - - 21/22
RYA Youth Scheme Stage 2 2 £120 10/11 17/18 30/31 - - - - 23/24
RYA Youth Scheme Stage 3 2 £120 - - - - 13/14 20/21 - -
RYA Youth Scheme Stage 4 2 £120   - - - 15/16 22/23 - -

RYA Powerboat Courses

Course Duration Cost per person Apr Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
RYA Powerboat Level One 1 £150 20 1 - 17 - -
1 to 1 1 £250            
RYA Powerboat Level Two - 3 people per course 2 £300 - 11/12 14/15 - 29/30 11/12
1 to 1 2 £400            
Coastal Conversion Day   £150            

British Canoeing Courses

Course Duration Cost per person Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep
One Star 1 £71 6 25 29 20 24 14
Concession 1 £49 for those under 18 or over 60            

Youth activities

Course Duration Cost per person Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
School holiday programme (10am to 3pm) - £25 per day £100 per week 8-12 15-18 28-31 - 22-26 29-2 5-9 12-16 19-23 27-30 - 21-25
Youth night (Wednesdays 5pm to 7pm) - £8 3, 10, 17, 24 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 5, 12, 19, 26 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 7, 14, 21, 28 4, 11, 18, 25 -
Youth club (Saturdays 2pm to 4pm) - £8   4, 18 1, 15, 29 13, 20 10, 24 7, 21 -

All equipment provided. Minimum age for all activities and courses is eight years old. Youth sailing courses 10am to 4pm all other courses 9.30am to 4.30pm. Certificate included in the course cost on successful completion.

Youth night

Aimed at children aged 8 to 16, Wednesday Youth Night will include fun games afloat as well as tailored sessions for those wanting to get their logbooks signed off and develop through their sailing and kayaking syllabus.  

Sessions run on Wednesdays from 5pm to 7pm between April and September (weather dependent).

Youth club

Aimed at those aged 8 to 16 years old who may be looking to learn various watersports, develop their current skills or just have some fun!

Sessions run every Saturday from 2pm to 4pm and will include a range of activities such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing and bell boating.

Pre-booking required.

Cost £8 per session.

Schools provision

Danson Watersports Centre is open for bookings for schools with the option of taking part in a wide variety of activities such as sailing, kayaking, canoeing and bell boating.

Our outdoor and adventurous activities are planned for progressive learning for all ability levels and experience.

Types of session:

  • two-hour introduction taster sessions
  • multi-activity enrichment days/week
  • accredited courses (RYA/British Canoeing certified tuition)

How these activities contribute to key aspects of the Physical Education National Curriculum:

  • students are challenged intellectually and physically to tackle complex and demanding activities
  • promotes competence, confidence, communication, teamwork, leadership, building trust, decision making and developing skills to solve problems
  • provides opportunities to continue to take part in water sports outside school
  • Edexcel GCSE PE kayaking training and assessment (2 days)
Group size 8 16 24 32 40 48
2 hour session £100 £200 £300 £400 £500 £600
Full day 10am to 3pm £200 £400 £600 £800 £1000 £1200

Current pricing is valid for activities that take place by 31 March 2019.

Centre staff are NGB and first aid qualified, DBS enhanced checked and experienced in working with all ages and abilities including disability groups.

  • all equipment is provided
  • risk assessment available on request
  • accessible facilities
  • being able to swim is not compulsory
  • children must be 8 years and over

School holiday programmes

Offers sailing, kayaking, canoeing and bell boating for 8 to 16-year-olds of all abilities.

No experience is necessary and our instructors will teach the basics to get everyone on the water and taking part as soon as possible.

These holiday schemes are available on the following dates:

Easter holidays

  • 8 to 12 April
  • 15 to 18 April

May half term

  • 28 to 31 May

Summer holidays

  • 22 to 26 July
  • 29 July to 2 August
  • 5 to 9 August
  • 12 to 16 August
  • 19 to 23 August
  • 27 to 30 August 

October half term

  • 21 to 25 October

Times: 10am to 3pm
Cost: £25 per day, £100 for the week 

Row boat hire

Fancy just taking a nice adventure on the lake with the family? We have over 20 row boats for hire at Danson Watersports Centre. Our boats are available from 10am to 6pm every day between April and October.  

  • each row boat can seat a family of five (size dependent) 
  • no pre-booking required
  • available for groups 
  • life jackets are available for all 
  • anyone under the age of eight must wear a life jacket
  • dogs are welcome

Cost: Before 12pm - £8 half hour / £10 hour after 12pm - £10 half hour / £15 hour.

Mini ships

Fancy something different for your little ones? The Centre has fun electric Miniature Ships for hire that can hold up to two adults and two children.

We have three mini ships to choose from - a fire boat, ferry and police boat.

Mini ships are available from 10am to 6pm every day between April and October (weather dependent).

There is no need to book in advance – just turn up and set sail.

Mini ships are available and can be booked for birthday parties and group bookings.

Cost: £5 for 30 minutes

Bell boating

Looking for a fun activity for people of all ages? Then look no further than bell boating. The boat can hold up to 12 people at a time and is a stable craft. The boat is constructed of two hulls where the paddlers sit connected with a platform in the middle. The boat is steered by a helm positioned at the back.

From adult team building activities to disability activities on water sessions the bell boat is definitely the perfect choice for you. As well as sessions for everyone we are fully inclusive to all needs of our participants – get in touch today. 

Costs: £117 half day / £234 full day per group of 12.

A half day is a two-hour session throughout the day. A full day is 10am to 3pm.

Want to try something different for your child’s birthday? Danson Watersports Centre offers birthday parties for a minimum of two hours and a room available for an hour afterwards.

During your two hour party on the water, our instructors will teach you and your friends the basics of an activity of your choice, from kayaking, sailing, canoeing or bell boating. The session will involve plenty of fun and games, whether it's kayak walking or racing your sail boats around the island. Kayaking sessions can also include a game of canoe polo on our international sized pitches subject to availability on the day.

All party goers must be eight years old or over on the day of the party. For those siblings/friends under the age of eight why not hire a row boat?

Cost: £160 for 10 children. Extra children £16 each.

Have you thought of an adult birthday party with us as well? Why stop at the children. All of the above can be tailored for adults. Ask for more details.

We offer one to one tuition in the following activities at the Centre – sailing, kayaking, canoeing and powerboating.

If you cannot make any of our course dates or prefer a course tailored to your needs then this could be the best option for you.

Our one to one tailored sessions can be completed with an instructor on a date and time to fit with you any day of the week.

For One to One tuition bookings please contact the Centre on the details at the top of the page.

Danson Lake is home to a great range of coarse fish, including large carp, Tench, Rud, Perch and Roach. We offer day permits from the Centre for fishing for people who have a rod licence.

As well as bank fishing, there are a number of platforms available that are also suitable for disabled users and give full access to the water's edge.

Fishing rules;

  • fishing is only to take place on the south side of the lake
  • all fishermen must have a day ticket from the watersports centre to fish at the lake
  • all fish caught must be returned to the lake – No keep nets permitted
  • all fishermen must have a rod licence with a maximum of two rods per platform
  • all fishermen must use the disinfectant stations around the lake before and after fishing in the lake
  • fishermen are not to cast out further than the orange marks set

Please contact the Centre for further enquires; our team is here to help.

Cost: £8.50 adults, £5 concessions per day.

Adult Evening runs every Monday from April to September. These two-hour sessions are a great way to try a new watersports activity each week!

These activities include Sailing, Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding. Pre-booking is essential. All equipment provided. A change of clothes is required for each session.

Key information:

  • no experience necessary but you must be water confident
  • all equipment provided
  • pre-booking essential. You can attend as many sessions across the year as you like with no strings attached

Cost: your first session is free, £10 a session

Time: Mondays 6pm to 8pm


  • 1 April
  • 8 April
  • 15 April
  • 22 April
  • 29 April
  • 6 May
  • 13 May
  • 20 May
  • 27 May
  • 3 June
  • 10 June
  • 17 June
  • 24 June
  • 1 July
  • 8 July
  • 15 July
  • 22 July
  • 29 July
  • 5 August
  • 12 August
  • 19 August
  • 26 August