Visit our sister company
Lime Wharf Cafe

Boat Hire




Messing about on the river …

Enjoy a paddle in a rowing boat, kayak, canoe, or SUP board

Whether you want a work out or time out, there are over 12 miles of flat river to explore at your own leisure. Make a day of it by enjoying a breakfast, lunch or cheeky cocktail & lunch after at Lime Wharf Cafe. Perfect for families & groups.

Have your own kayak or SUP? Scroll down for self launch info BEFORE visiting

Stable. Stay Dry.

4 Available

Fast & Fun.

14 Available


8 Available

Great Fun. May Fall In!

12 Available
Canadian Canoe

Pack a Picnic

4 Available

Rowing Boats

Number Available: 4
Max People: 4 Sorry but we can’t allow 5 people even if kids are tiny!
Suitability: All ages. Some experience an advantage
Dogs? Allowed

BEST FOR: Keeping dry, ample space for picnics, least wobbly vessel! 
BEWARE: Can be hard work & slow – if you are not an experienced rower, you will probably find kayaking easier

£20 First hour / £15 per subsequent hours
single kayak - Bodiam Boating Station

Single Kayak

Number Available: 14 
Max People: 1 OR 1 + child <1.25m
Max capacity 17st (108kg)
Suitability: All ages. No experience needed.
Children can usually handle their own kayak at 7/8yrs. Younger kids can sit between the paddler’s legs; a great way to get toddlers on the river
Dogs? Small one only
BEST FOR: Stability & speed in water. Beginners
BEWARE: Likely to get a soggy bottom; bring spare shorts

£15 First Hour / £12 per subsequent hours

Tandem Kayak

Number Available: 8 
Max people: 2 OR 2 + child <1.25m
Max capacity 33.5st (213kg). 
Suitability: Much larger than the single kayaks; there are 3 seats. All ages. 
Dogs? Allowed

BEST FOR: Very sturdy – difficult to tip over. More spacious than single kayaks. 
BEWARE: Teamwork essential here or you’ll end up turning in circles & bouncing off the banks!

£20 First Hour / £15 per subsequent hours .
3 in a boat 1220 x 695

Canadian Canoe

Number Available: 4
Max people: 2 + child <1.25m
Max capacity 35st (220kg)
Suitability: Experienced adults & older kids. Dogs allowed, but can flip canoes!
BEST FOR: Staying dry, long distance & carrying  provisions
BEWARE: Avoid if nervous as can be wobbly; easy to flip!

£20 First hour / £15 per subsequent hours

Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP)

Number Available: 12
Max people: 1 OR 1+ small child 
Max capacity 18st (120kg)
Suitability: Beginners from around 7yrs to adult for solo paddling. Sorry, no dogs!
BEST FOR: The view, fun, your abs & your balance!
BEWARE: Might be hard to keep up with friends in kayaks

£15 First hour £12 per subsequent hours
arial view of river

Terms of Hire

  • 24h notice required for changes to booking to avoid charges
  • Please arrive 20 mins prior to your booking
  • Buoyancy aids compulsory for EVERYONE
  • Under 18s must be accompanied by a responsible adult
  • Return your boat(s) at the agreed time to avoid charges & delaying others


BODIAM CASTLE: Upstream 3.61m
HALF WAY TREE: Upstream 1.75m
IRON BRIDGE: Downstream 1.03m (1st bridge)
WITTERSHAM BRIDGE: Downstream 6.1m (2nd bridge)
MILITARY ROAD: Downstream 7.7m (4th bridge & furthest point for boats)


The river is locked at Scott’s Sluice in Iden (just outside Rye) and therefore has no current as such. However, windy conditions can make rowing tough. Depending on the weather and your ability, it will take 1h 30 mins – 2h 30mins to row to the castle & about half an hour less in a kayak. However, the National Trust have recently requested that you do not disembark at the castle, due to bank erosion. Please remember that once you leave our jetty you are responsible for all of our equipment.


You are welcome to launch from our jetty during quiet times for £5 per kayak/SUP (sorry nothing bigger allowed).  However, we prioritise customers hiring our equipment and at busy times we cannot always allow you access (unless you are camping with us); we simply do not have enough space in the car park and jetty areas. Please call us before leaving home; IF we can accommodate you then we will, but sadly this isn’t always possible.

Please respect this rule & do not turn up without calling as you will likely be turned away.

At the weekends please use the alternative car park down Lossenham Lane, Newenden, which has access to the river or the small carpark by the village hall.

We strongly recommend wearing a buoyancy aid; available to hire for £2.50

The jetty is strictly out of bounds when we are closed

Important Information

* Please note that the maximum number of people stated is irrelevant of weight.
* We are strict on timings – returning the boats late unfairly affects other bookings. If you are late back YOU WILL BE CHARGED for another hour. 
* Do not underestimate the danger of water. If you are unfit, unused to physical activity or are unwell, do not go out on the river.
* Buoyancy aids, for those hiring our equipment, are available FOC & compulsory for EVERYONE. Our smallest aid is safe for babies over 10kg.
* Children <18yrs can paddle their own vessel ONLY IF there is an adult paddling alongside them. We do not allow under 18s to go out alone, even if an adult is walking along the river bank. Please respect this rule; we are simply looking out for the safety of your children.
* Please arrive 15 mins prior to your booking & make sure you return your boat(s) at the agreed time to avoid charges & delaying others.
* Please be respectful of fisherman on the banks & pass on the opposite side of the river as quickly & quietly as possible.
* You won’t need specialist clothing, but these tips might help: Gym clothes & layers; cycling or neoprene gloves; non-slip shoes. Most boats have space for extra clothing/food.
* We recommend putting valuables in a waterproof case – for sale at reception

Special Offers, Packages & Suggested Itineraries

These include different combinations of some or all of the following: river cruises, guided and non-guided paddling, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and camping.


WhatsApp Image 2024-01-09 at 15.18.35
3 Nights Camping, Meals & River Activities

Day 1: Pitch up & enjoy a choice of welcome drink on arrival
Day 2: Breakfast & unlimited paddle on the river
Day 3: Unlimited paddling & 2 course lunch including a bottle of wine to share
Day 4: Breakfast. Depart

£275 per couple
Based on 2 people, 1 standard pitch & 1 car
For arrivals any Sunday, Monday or Tuesday in term-time April-June
Pre-Erected Tent Avail at extra cost


2 Hour Paddle & Meal Deal

Enjoy two hours paddle on a kayak or paddleboard & breakfast or lunch main course at Lime Wharf Cafe.
Quote ‘Messing About on the River‘ when booking to qualify.
Mon-Fri Term-Time Only £35pp


Bodiam Boating Station reserves the right to cancel trips without notice if weather and/or flood conditions make such actions necessary. The company accepts no liability for any loss or damage to property aboard a vessel. If you or any of your group are unable to use a booked ticket, please inform us in good time to allow us to re-sell the ticket. You may be charged if less than 24 hours notification has been given.