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Experienced and Established

Rapid Horizons is an experienced outdoor adventure activity provider and professional paddlesports centre, offering activities and courses in the Peak District, Lake District & North Wales.

Rapids range of adventure activities and paddlesport courses are developed to entertain, educate and inspire.



Rapid Horizons was founded by experienced and accomplished kayaker and coach Jon Best.

Jon's passion began on the water at the age of eleven but escalated quickly by the age of sixteen when he was selected to represent Great Britain as a member of the GB Freestyle Kayaking Team. He then quickly became one of the Uk's top Freestyle Kayakers and continued to compete internationally until his retirement in 2009, having achieved British and European Cup titles.

After retiring from competition Jon continued to travel and began working as a kayaking coach, river leader and raft guide.

His work gave Jon the opportunity to paddle in some of the most beautiful and diverse locations in the world whilst gaining a vast amount of qualifications and experience within the paddlesport industry.

After returning to the UK, Jon saw an opportunity to provide water based activities with the aim to make sports like Kayaking, Canoeing and Rafting accessible in the areas around the Peak District and North Wales. His passion was to pass on his knowledge and experience to people who may not otherwise have thought about jumping into a Kayak to enjoy a gentle paddle or take to a Raft and crash down a white water river.


Jon is the Director of Rapid Horizons and is a British Canoeing paddlesport coach, leader and National Association Trainer for British Canoeing. Jon delivers white water safety and rescue training and is a stadium and river raft guide provider, he also works as the Technical Advisor for the Nottingham based National Water Sports Centre and the YMCA.



Emily is the other half of Rapid Horizons and manages operations and day to day activity logistics.

With a degree in Outdoor Education and a passion for adventure, Emily brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team.

Emily comes from an Equine background and is a qualified British Horse Society stage 3 coach and stage 4 in care and management. Her love of horses, coaching and the outdoors led her towards a career within the outdoor industry where she gained a passion for canoeing, kayaking, climbing and mountaineering.

Emily is a kayaking coach but her passion for teaching horse riding remains number one. You're more likely to see Emily teaching in a menage than on a river, that said Emily has paddled many rivers in many countries including, Spain, France, Canada and Costa Rica.


Rapid Horizons is ranked highly on Trip Advisor for adventure activities in and around the Matlock, Derbyshire area, it's also achieved the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence award 5 years running!

In 2019 Rapid Horizons won 'The Adventure Awards' Best Rafting Experience in the UK award.

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Rapid Horizons is Licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority.

AALA is the licensing service for outdoor activity centres for young people in Great Britain.
Part of the Health and Safety Executive AALA inspects the safety standards of outdoor activity centres and issues licenses accordingly. 

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Rapid Horizons is a British Canoeing Delivery Partner.

British Canoeing are the National Governing Body for paddlesport in the UK. 

Quality Mark is British Canoeing’s Kite Mark for canoe clubs & paddlesport centres.
The achievement of this standard also meets the criteria specified in Club Mark, Sport England’s cross sport accreditation scheme. This demonstrates best practice in the running and management of sports clubs and is recognised throughout England. 

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