About Us

Backwater Adventure

The quality of life for everyone, now and in the future, depends largely on protecting and where possible enhancing the natural environment. Outdoor recreation, both organised and ad-hoc provides valuable life experiences, which rely on cared for and protected countryside landscapes. In Devon, we are fortunate enough to have at our disposal, some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. To ensure these areas can be enjoyed by future generations, we insist that all our activities are delivered with minimal environmental impact. Quite simply, we never leave any trace of our visits behind.

Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA)

Backwater Adventures are licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority who have undertaken an audit of our procedures, qualifications, insurance and risk assessments with regard to all applicable activities.

Kayaking and Canoeing
Climbing and Abseiling


We are covered by Public Employers Liability Insurance. Details can be provided on request.

Our Centre

Our Centre is situated close to Dartmoor at Colehayes Park. We can offer a range of both tented and indoor accommodation with a variety of food options to cater for all of your needs. We can run a huge selection of activities onsite in addition to a number of activities off site to.


Covered Dinning Room/ Classroom with seating for large groups, covered Bushcraft/ Forest School Area, Composting Loo’s, Washing Area, Outdoor Kitchen and Office / First Aid Station which are all linked together by marked pathways through the woods.

Our Staff

All of our instructors are highly qualified and experienced in the activities they provide. Whilst maintaining the highest levels of safety they will bring out the best in everyone, providing a challenging and fun experience for all involved. All staff hold a current first aid and Qualifications are gained from the National Governing body (NGB) in each of the main outdoor pursuits  as well as undertaking an enhanced  DBS check. Main awarding bodies include British Canoe Union, Mountain Leader Training and Mountain Bike Instructor Award Scheme.
All of our instructors are highly experienced and qualified individuals, maintaining the highest levels of safety. They will bring out the best in everyone, whilst providing a challenging and fun experience. Our staff are also experienced in all areas of group management, first aid and rescue in all environments.

Qualifications are gained from the leading body in each of the main outdoor pursuits organisations and national governing bodies in the UK and all staff have passed a CRB check. Main award bodies are BCU, MLT and MIAS.

Rosie Crowder

Rosie Kayaking - backwater adventures Devon

I have been instructing since 2007 and have loved it from the very first tastes of it- kayaking down the Exe canal! Since then I have been lucky enough to do lots of different things from open canoeing down the river Wye camping out for several nights to coasteering in the tropical looking blue waters of Anstey’s cove in Torquay! I have, over the years, gained several qualifications including my UKCC level 2 paddle sports coach (as canoeing is my first love!) and my cave leader which is my favourite activity to do in the rain! Alongside a surplus of experience and fun memories of all the great activities we do at Backwater Adventures- crawling and climbing around the river gorge scrambling, great evenings around a camp fire with our clients and the exhilarating moments when people overcome nerves and enjoy an activity they never thought they would! Outside of working, I genuinely enjoy to go canoeing on my days off or spend a day surfing (trying!) and generally being outside in the open doing something active and fun!



Guy has 16 years experience in the outdoor activities industry, mostly working in the UK but also as  an overseas expedition leader, working mainly in Southern Africa and South East Asia.
During this time he has worked with just about every age and ability you can think of, from 4 years to 80+.
Starting out with a bit of a year off to go and work at an activity centre after learning to rock climb, he soon became hook on the outdoors and took up canoeing, caving, body boarding, ice climbing and cycling (mountain & road). He has specialised in mountain activities and in the running of personal development courses for much of this time. When there is some free time, he will often be found at the beach or on the side of a cliff.


I have been working in the outdoor industry for 5 years instructing kayaking, canoeing, climbing, caving, bushcraft and forest schools. In my spare time I enjoy surfing, practicing survival skills, fishing, camping and walking.

Andy Miller


Andy is the founder of Backwater Adventures, he has worked in Outdoor Education for over 20 years, leading and coaching a large range of activities and pursuits from Caving to Kayaking and Bushcraft to Biking. His main passion is Open Canoeing and is never as happy as when he’s out paddling his Apache canoe with Harris the spaniel.

Pete Miller

Pete has a wealth of experience in the outdoors, he’s raced dinghies locally and nationally, is a keen canoeist, an expert shot, shooting both target and game with shotgun and rifle. He saw service with the Royal Navy in South Georgia and The Falklands. Also being a professional carpenter and lover of green wood work Pete is the man to see for all Bushcraft building projects and whittling work, his hand made Stag Antler knives are a thing of beauty and his knowledge of wild foods and game preparation is second to none.

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