Rowing is a sport with many great benefits. It exercises and strengthens muscles both in your arms and your legs, it is challenging, but also fun, it can be competitive, but also relaxing, and it allows one to explore and experience a range of exciting, interesting, and breathtaking locations. From rivers to lakes across the world, and from familiar, but also interesting, waterways in the UK, to exotic bodies of water in far flung corners of the world, there is a wide range of rowing experiences out there.
Rowing is more than just exercise
There is a big wide world out there to explore for rowing enthusiasts, packed with thrilling sights and experienced that must be savoured. Rowing is about the exercise and the thrill of the race, but it’s also about the beauty of the world around you, the sounds and the smells, and the unique quirks of a location, and how it affects your game. Every location is different and brings with it new excitements, new twists and new turns, and new approaches to what is otherwise a familiar activity.
Here are 3 of the best locations in the world to row. These are areas with beautiful, historic, or iconic sights to be seen, which deliver exciting new experiences, and which will give you a new challenge or the opportunity to do things differently. They are areas that any keen rower should try to row before they die if they want to see more of the world, enjoying rowing in new ways and new places, and make the most of their passion.
1. The River Thames, United Kingdom
The second longest river in the UK runs from Oxfordshire through the capital city of London, out to the Thames Estuary, where the river meets the North Sea. The river is, by far, one of the world’s greatest locations for rowing, for a number of reasons. The long and varied river boasts a lot of different experiences along its 346 km, including a tour of history through central London.
As one rows through the Thames, you see British history laid around you on both banks, as well as a big variety of different and breathtaking landscapes. The large river has plenty of room for traffic, and is at the heart of the country’s rowing community. One of the world’s most watched boat races (the annual University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities) is held in the Thames every year, and it’s no wonder why.
2. Schuylkill River, United States of America
Known as the mecca of American rowing, so called for its iconic location and its draw for rowers across the country, the Schuylkill River runs throughs the city of Philadelphia in the state Pennsylvania, in the US’ North East. Boathouse Row, an iconic area of the city from which the rowing community is based, was first constructed in 1858 and some of the river’s race courses are among the most picturesque in the world.
Philadelphia itself is worth seeing, boasting some towering skyscrapers, alongside historic landmarks. The city will be particularly worth visiting in April 2024 when a total solar eclipse will be visible across the central United States – including Pennsylvania – making it a perfect time to stop by to row this iconic destination whilst enjoying an iconic natural phenomenon.
3. Chungju, South Korea
Meaning centre in Korean, Chungju is located at the very centre of the Korean peninsula, and boasts many stunning views and thrilling rowing locations. The city is surrounded by mountains, and is located between two rivers. The iconic Tangeum Lake was home to the world championships in 2013 for a very good reason. Hot and humid, rowing here is hard work and a challenge – perfect if you’re looking for something different and tough, whilst soaking up an exotic environment and rich local culture.