About us

A brief story of Canoe Cornwall, its foundations and some moments of inspriation that have gathered together to be a business of lifestyle and pleasure rolled into one.

At the heart of Canoe Cornwall is Jay Dorman. He is a canoe guide,  bushcraft enthusiast,  film/TV advisor, qualified skipper and above all a Dad. He has brought together all of the passions of his life and packaged them up so that others can share the lighter and quieter side of the great outdoors. That’s not to say that life is always quiet out on the estuary or when sleeping under the stars on a remote island but if you seek it for long enough, it will find you.

A little about the roots

Jay has been working outdoors for over thirty years. As a qualified skipper he spent his more youthful days fishing from the local port of Falmouth, watching the sunrise over the ocean and sharing in all the traditions of the open seas. This early lifestyle set Jay on a life-long path of seeking, finding and sharing his adventure with the outdoors.

We all make changes in our lives and Jay was no exception. He left fishing as a profession and pursued his other passion involving the water, open canoeing. His natural skills as a canoeist and canoe coach took him into management of an adventure Centre and launched him into the world of the big screen in the capacity of Television and Film advisor. It has even been said that he coached Ray Mears to canoe. Being modest, he always underplays this topics, but we all know it’s true.

From here Jay had started to build a lifestyle for himself and others around him that could never be suppressed. Changing professional roles one more time, and temporarily leaving behind his outdoor professional career, he sought a more contemporary vocation. Throughout this change of career he managed to maintain his passion for the outdoors deep within his soul, never relinquishing to the call of a normal life. After several years of thought , he and some fellow professionals carefully selected from friends and family decided that the world needed to see this unique way of life that they all shared… Canoe Cornwall was founded in 2013.

Highlights of Canoe Cornwall….So far….

Like many businesses, they often out-grow their initial offering and become bigger and wider than first conceived. It is simple to see with Canoe Cornwall that it is now so much more than just canoes. It has also been so much more than just Cornwall for a while. But at it’s heart is still Jay’s love of canoeing and the bushcraft lifestyle that holds the spirit of the buisness together.

Within it’s lifetime Canoe Cornwall has provided guided bushcraft trips to canoe the Swedish Lakes, played host to the Bear Grylls Instructor Academy and brought the Vikings and their axe-throwing skills to the Port Elliot festival. It has introduced the youth of Cornwall to the outdoors through it’s Kids Academy and now holds regular summer camps for the schools at the National Trust Trelissick Gardens, Pill Farm estate.

Never able to sit and wonder what-if, Jay has now established his adventurous activities at Heligan Gardens and his latest venture is his guided kayak tours from Mevagissey harbour. Where the business will finally settle is still unknown but isn’t that just the way with the outdoors, it’s never about the destination, it’s always about the journey.

Written by a friend and enthusiast of Jay, Canoe Cornwall and the outdoors life… I hope you don’t mind Jay. After-all, it’s all true.

All the best

Paul Seymour