Learning to Row on Caldecotte Lake

Corona Virus

After much deliberation, the Committee has reluctantly decided that we have no choice but to suspend all club activities with immediate effect, until at least the end of May, due to the risk of spreading Coronavirus.

We feel that this is necessary in order to comply with government guidance; rowing and training could not reasonably be considered as essential activities.

In detail, this means that the Taster sessions and LTR courses in April are cancelled. Those who have booked on these courses are being contacted individually

Learn to Row course information

Throughout the year we run 'Taster' sessions and 'Learn-To-Row' courses. These are aimed at newcomers to the sport or for those who have rowed before (perhaps at University) and want a refresher.

The 'Taster' sessions provide a 2-hour basic introduction to rowing and sculling. Each session covers some basic indoor coaching on the rowing machines before transferring that basic coaching out on the lake, in stable boats.

The cost of a taster session is £10 and they are open to adults (16+) who can swim 100m and are in reasonable health.

The 'Learn to Row' course follows on from the 'Taster' session and takes you through the initial steps, including familiarisation with boats and rowing terminology (for those who have not rowed before) and then into water based training. The course consists of eight sessions and covers both sculling and rowing, with plenty of water based sessions in stable training boats. The course should lead to you being confident and capable to row in a coxed four by the end of the course.

Sign Up here

2020 Taster Sessions

Our first Taster sessions of the year will be taking place on Good Friday 10th April and Easter Monday 13th April. These are full length (2 hour) taster sessions costing £10, for which advance booking is needed. The sessions will run throughout the day, starting from 10:00.

During the taster session, we will give you an introduction to the club, show you how to use a rowing machine (properly!), and put you out on the water in stable boats to have a go.

Taster sessions are aimed at complete (or almost complete) beginners, and give you the opportunity to have a go before deciding whether or not you would like to book onto the full Learn-to-Row course (details below).

If you've done some rowing before, please reply and let us know about it as we might be able to invite you down to a regular club session and get you started sooner.

If you cannot make these dates, then there will be a further Taster Session on Saturday 18th July, further details in due course.

We will allocate the places on these sessions on a 'first come, first served' basis, based on when we receive payment. The Taster Sessions will be based at the Watersports Centre on Caldecotte South Lake. Directions and a map can be found at the foot of this page


We advise that you wear close fitting sports clothing - lycra leggings/shorts/joggers or similar are good - and then t-shirts and several warm layers. It can get hot on the rowing machines and cold out on the lake. A light waterproof jacket in case it rains or a sun hat may be useful depending on the weather. No jeans, trousers, heavy jackets or hoodies please. A water bottle is also essential. A change of clothes is also recommended in case you get splashed or in the unlikely event you fall in.

Sign Up here

2020 Learn to Row courses

If you enjoy the Taster Session and wish to continue you will then be able to sign up for a Learn to Row Course.

Our first set of courses, following the Taster Sessions, will run between 18th April and 16th May, on Saturdays and Mondays. There are eight sessions in total.

  • Session 1: Saturday 18th April
  • Session 2: Monday 20th April
  • Session 3: Saturday 25th April
  • Session 4: Monday 27th April
  • Session 5: Saturday 2nd May
  • Session 6: Monday 4th May
  • Session 7: Saturday 16th May
  • Session 8: Monday 18th May

Monday sessions are 18:30-20:30
Saturday sessions are 09:30-11:30

(Don't worry if you think that you'll have to miss the odd session - most people do).

The cost of the LTR course is £120, which includes all coaching and equipment use over eight sessions, a Learn to Row handbook, and your first year's British Rowing 'ROW' membership if you decide to join the club at the end of the course.

Whilst we try to offer places on the Learn to Row courses to all those who have completed a Taster Session, in the event that the courses are oversubscribed, places will be allocated according to the order in which first enquiries were made to the club. If you are unable to make these dates, there will be a second course later in the year, running from Saturday 1st August to Saturday 29th August.

As with the Taster Sessions, the Learn to Row Courses are based at the Watersports Centre on Caldecotte South Lake and there's a map of how to find us at the bottom of the page.

If you have any further queries please contact us.

Sign Up for the course here

After the Course

Once you have completed the course we'd love you to carry on rowing with us! To help with this, we have very keen men's and women's Development Squads, many of whom have done the Learn to Row course and you would be able to start rowing with them.

The Development Squad members pay reduced fees and row on Saturdays at 9.30am and Mondays at 6.30pm (during the summer). Development Squad membership also covers you for all land training sessions during the winter months. Several members of this Squad, graduates of last year's Learn to Row courses, have raced at various events during this year, including taking part in last year's Milton Keynes Regatta, winning many races.

More information about our training schedule can be found here and details of membership fees here.

Rowed before?

If you have rowed before and are looking to get back into the sport, or want to change clubs for any reason, we also offer taster memberships or pro-rata annual fees. If you'd like to know more, drop us a line at membership@mkrowing.org.

If you row currently at University or College and want to carry on during the vacations, we also offer a Student Away membership at reduced rates. Again, just drop us a line to find out more or see our membership page for details.

Sign up for the next Learn to Row course

Please fill in the form below and then click on [Send]. If you could let us know a little bit about yourself (for example, other sports and hobbies) and also what has attracted you to find out about rowing, that would be really helpful. Lastly, if you could tell us how you heard about Milton Keynes Rowing Club, that would be great!
Access to personal data:

MKRC makes every attempt to comply with General Data Protection Regulations and to minimise the number of Officers who have access to personal data. Details provided on this form will be provided to the Learn to Row Co-ordinator and Captains only. On becoming a member, any data from the form will be shared with the Committee, the Membership Secretary and the Safety Officer.

Powered by BreezingForms