The Pirate Castle

The Pirate Castle is Camden Town's iconic community boating charity - we've been flying the flag for opportunity and adventure on central London's waterways since 1966!

The Pirate Castle organisation logo

Donate to this charity

Total raised so far £2,237

Gift Aid + est. £459.00





From our fully-accessible base on the Regent's Canal, moments away from Camden's locks and bustling markets, we promote learning, life chances and healthy living through a raft of paddlesport (kayaking, canoeing and bell-boating), canal boating, training and volunteer initiatives. 

We focus on providing low-cost (often free) activities for local youngsters (many of whom face disproportional levels of hardship), disability groups of all ages and communities most in need. We also work with specialist and mainstream schools, Pupil Referral Units, local youth / community groups and family / frontline support agencies to broaden the health, wellbeing and enrichment opportunities available to our local community and beyond.

As the only British Canoeing / Royal Yachting Association club and National Community Boats Association (NCBA) operator / training provider in our Borough, we provide unique opportunities for people to access the waterways and participate in inclusive, rewarding activities which help them get active, gain skills, feel better about themselves and connect with others in a supportive and stimulating environment, regardless of ability or personal circumstance.

Through our combined commitment to affordability, inclusivity and opening up the waterway for all to enjoy, The Pirate Castle is a truly irreplaceable community asset. 

Examples of how your donation will help:

  • £40 funds a new buoyancy aid or essential safety kit for youth, disability and community paddlesport sessions
  • £100 funds a British Canoeing paddlesport instructor to run a day's activities for up to 8 kids. Larger groups need 3 - 4 instructors each day!
  • £250 funds a 3-hour cruise on our accessible canal boat for SEND groups, families in hardship or vulnerable local residents
  • £400 funds accredited canal boat skipper or crew training & mentoring for one of our amazing volunteers 
  • £1,700 funds essential annual safety checks, maintenance, licensing, insurance  & running costs for one of our canal boats 
  • £7,800 funds a month's core running costs - retaining key staff and keeping our venue & boat fleet operational are vital to running our raft of community projects

Your donation will make a huge difference! YarrRrr!

Find out more about our amazing charity on our website, or read on...

Canal Boating
All of our boat trips are voyages of opportunity, discovery and learning. A founding member and affiliated training provider for the National Community Boats Association, we offer accredited boat management and crew courses for service users, volunteers and the wider community. The majority of our boat trips are run by our amazing team of volunteer skippers and crew, all of whom are trained in-house by our Boat Manager.


Our 'Camden Community Cruises' initiative enables passengers of all abilities to get involved with the practicalities of boating. ‘Black Pearl’, our traditional narrowboat, is perfect for cruises and boat handling training, whilst ‘Pirate Prince’, our purpose-built, fully accessible wide-beam opens up the canal to special needs and disability groups. Equipped with a state-of-the-art joystick control and hydraulic steering platform, we're proud that ‘Pirate Prince’ is the only canal boat in central London that can be operated by wheelchair users and people with severe mobility restrictions.


Our amazing team of British Canoeing instructors, coaches and trained volunteers are passionate about sharing their paddling skills and helping people gain confidence, skills and formal accreditations on the water. Our paddlesport projects include Holiday Schemes for local kids, term-time after school and weekend 'Pirate Club' youth sessions, ‘Upperdeckers’ sessions for the over 50s, 'Men's Wellness on the Water' and 'Rainbow Paddlers' - run by and for the LGBTQ community. We also provide low-cost services for visiting schools, youth and community groups - along with free activities for those most in need.  

Through combining sport, challenge and stimulating play, we see first-hand how paddling can be a powerful force for good in people's lives by nurturing life skills, broadening horizons and improving health and wellbeing.


We rely on our incredible volunteer crew to help run our community canal boating and paddlesport projects and ensure that our service users are safe, supported and get the most out of their time with us. As a British Canoeing-affiliated club and National Community Boats Association training centre we offer a range of volunteering initiatives, formal accreditation and coaching / mentoring pathways for ages 14+, enabling people from all walks of life to get involved, learn new skills and help others enjoy the unique benefits of boating and being on the waterway.

Our six Trustees also volunteer their time to oversee strategy, finance and governance to keep The Pirate Castle ship shape.


Community Centre
Built in 1977 to replace our original club-house barge, our iconic castle home also provides fully-accessible, affordable community spaces overlooking the canal. These are used by a diverse range of charities and support groups, local residents and businesses for projects and events, therapy, training and activity sessions, celebration events, conferences, team building days – and more.




Jenny Salter
23rd May 2024 at 6:42pm

You are doing a great job. Well done.

Jenny Salter
23rd May 2024 at 6:42pm

pledged £20 + an est. £5.00 in Gift Aid

Jenny Salter has also backed 2 other projects

6th May 2024 at 3:01pm

pledged £5 + an est. £1.25 in Gift Aid

27th February 2024 at 11:28am

pledged £50 + an est. £12.50 in Gift Aid

Randy Banks
19th December 2023 at 2:12pm

pledged £50 + an est. £12.50 in Gift Aid

Randy Banks has also backed 5 other projects

Phil Bedford
9th December 2023 at 11:34am

pledged £10 + an est. £2.50 in Gift Aid

E Culwick
26th November 2023 at 8:04pm

pledged £185 + an est. £46.25 in Gift Aid

S J Whitehouse
13th August 2023 at 3:15pm

Good luck with all you are doing. It's superb!

S J Whitehouse
13th August 2023 at 3:14pm

pledged £100 + an est. £25.00 in Gift Aid

Benjamin Rogers
31st July 2023 at 10:25pm

Thanks very much to Karl and Kal for welcoming some folks from the states to your waterway.

Benjamin Rogers
31st July 2023 at 10:24pm

pledged £20

Kathleen M O'Leary
25th April 2023 at 5:26pm

pledged £40

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