We are a very small company here in South Devon, on a mission to make the fun of the River Dart estuary accessible to people. We focus on the upper two thirds of the estuary between Totnes and Dittisham, and run our rental service from the picturesque, riverside village of Stoke Gabriel.
We're a friendly bunch of guides, skippers, group leaders and outdoor professionals. We know the river and local area well and have a lot of experience of putting together fun and rewarding adventures and trips out for people of all ages and abilities. We love it out on the river. We live here, work here and raise our kids here. And we love sharing it with other people.
Totnes Kayaks backstory
In 2005 Totnes Kayaks Ltd was originally established as a shop and academy in Totnes by Tom Morris, a Level 3 Inland Coach. As the rentals side of the business grew, Tom relocated the operations out of the permanent shop premises and to its seasonal base in the village of Stoke Gabriel, where he lives.
In 2020 Mark Burton, Hal Gillmore and Hugh Clifford took over ownership and operation of the company. They are part of the crew behind Canoe Adventures which operates big, 6-12 seater canoes that are a significant feature of the River Dart estuary.
Everyone who works on the river has two or three jobs to keep them across the seasons. For Tom, this meant running a very interesting project developing community housing projects for South Hams and West Devon Councils. This grew to a full-time job with the increasing need for affordable housing, along with assisting communities dealing with Covid 19, leading to a difficult decision for Tom. “It has been great fun, challenging, and incredibly rewarding getting 1000’s of people into kayaking and enjoying the beautiful river Dart, but it is now time to move on. Thank you to everyone that has provided support and has come paddling with me, I hope it has given you the skills and enthusiasm to continue kayaking!! ”
The new team say “We are very pleased to be able to employ our experienced skippers again to help people get out onto the water. We’re very grateful for the warm reception from the village and well-wishers we have met in the past few weeks, and we’re keen to make those magical summer evening high tides accessible so will be working late on those days."
Totnes Kayaks no longer operates a Kayak Academy, with formal coaching to British Canoeing qualifications. Instead we focus on 'getting people out there' through our guiding and rentals services, and providing fun and educational group activities on the water and on the shore. We are also involved in the River School initiative, with a focus on developing softer, life skills, and making the benefits of playing and learning in this special environment accessible to more people.
Totnes Kayaks Ltd is registered in England No: 06822560.
Registered Office address: 16 Brooklands, Totnes, DEVON, TQ9 5AR.