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  1. Home
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Get to Know… CBK Adventures

We talk to CBK Adventures, a water-based adventure company bringing unique kayak tours to Newcastle’s Quayside and beyond

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CBK Adventures on the River Tyne

It’s no secret that we’re pretty passionate about Newcastle and the North East here at NE1, so it’s always a treat to meet like-minded people and we found just that in CBK Adventures, a Cullercoats-based company that offers water-based adventures on the River Tyne and beyond and are passionate about showing the best our region has to offer.

Though it’s been around since 2014, CBK Adventures recently came under new ownership so we spoke to new co-owner Helen Henderson to find out about her journey with the company so far, what kind of experiences they offer and what plans they have for the future.

CBK Adventures

Helen initially joined CBK Adventures in September 2023 as group sales manager and immediately loved the role and the opportunities it presented to promote her North East homeland, but when the company was forced to close a short while later she found herself facing a difficult decision – find another job elsewhere or save CBK.

She luckily chose the latter, joining forces with her brother-in-law Gary Clark (who brings a wealth of thrill-seeking knowledge as co-owner of Ski Instructor Academy and Basecamp Adventures) and taking over the CBK Adventures brand in late 2023.

It was a big leap, obviously, but something that Helen felt in her heart was the right thing to do.

To tell you the truth, it wasn’t something I would have ordinarily considered,” she says. “But as a firm believer in ‘if something is meant for you, it will not pass you by’, everything was telling me it was the right time to take on this new venture.

Photo by ADM12Photography Photo by ADM12Photography

That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing (pardon the pun) – taking over a company is no small feat, of course – but thanks to a lot of graft, CBK Adventures is going from strength-to-strength under Helen and Gary’s co-ownership.

With a lot of hard work, a great team behind us, the support of family, friends and the local community, we are really starting to see the fruits of our labour,” Helen says. “The potential to expand our range of activities whilst promoting the North East is super exciting for us and we are really looking forward to bringing more amazing experiences to the city centre throughout the year.

Those amazing city centre experiences are exactly what we’re here to shout about. CBK Adventures offers two brilliant guided kayak tours that depart from NE1’s very own Newcastle City Marina – the Tyne Bridges & Quayside tour, which happens year-round, and the Quayside Glow tour which runs from October to March, and offers the experience of seeing the city at night from the river atop an illuminated kayak.

We love our Quayside tours. They’re such good fun and an amazing way to see the city from a new angle and we give guests some great history and facts about Newcastle and Gateshead from years gone by,” explains Helen. “They’re a must-do for anyone who lives in the area or is visiting Newcastle!

That’s not all CBK Adventures offers the intrepid either. From their base in Cullercoats, the company offers a whole host of other experiences too, from wildlife-spotting kayak adventures around St Mary’s Island and ‘Ice Dip Socials’ to private, bespoke tours and hire of their kayak and paddleboard equipment.

Some might be reading and thinking that the experiences CBK Adventures offers are solely for thrill-seeking outdoorsy types with tonnes of experience on the water but that’s not the case as Helen explains:

You certainly do not need to be an experienced paddler. We cater for everyone and all abilities, whether that be simple equipment hire for a couple of hours, a kayak or paddleboard lesson to one of our amazing tours.

In fact, it’s often first-timers or the relatively inexperienced that get the most out of going on a CBK Adventure tour.

People get a feeling of adventure and trying something a bit different – maybe even pushing their comfort zone a little,” says Helen. “They get a real buzz afterwards and it’s great to see.

Thanks to a host of reviews as glowing as their illuminated kayak tours, the future is certainly looking bright for CBK Adventures under its new ownership and Helen already has some exciting (yet still under wraps) plans in the works.

We do have some plans for the future, some bigger and grander than others, but all will focus on the water,” says Helen. “Our main priority at the moment though is making sure our current programmes run smoothly and the service we offer our customers is first class. You need strong foundations before you start building, otherwise you’re up the creek without a paddle!

Personally, we can’t wait to see what Helen and the CBK team have up their sleeves and couldn’t be prouder that NE1’s Newcastle City Marina gets to be a part of the action. For more information about their tours, services and pricing visit the CBK Adventures website.

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