When it comes to paddleboarding locations in the U.K, we are truly blessed. There are countless locations suited to all skill levels. There are lakes, lochs, rivers, islands and coastlines to explore, to get lost in, to be in awe of etc. For the purposes of this blog, and to save you your precious time we have whittled down the U.K’s seemingly endless stock of excellent paddleboarding locations down to just ten. Let’s get started!
Pembrokeshire: Barafundle Bay to Stackpole Quay
Visit Barafundle Bay and travel to Stackpole Quay for a coastline adventure like no other. The National Park in Pembrokeshire is picturesque in its own right, with a coast unmatched for natural beauty. Grab yourself a group of SUPers or strike out on your own to drink in the cliffs, the clear waters and the natural wildlife all of which you will find in abundance. Dolphins and porpoises are no strangers to this stretch of coast!
Cambridge: River Cam
Made famous initially for punting, the River Cam has now become a popular spot for paddleboarders; novices and professionals alike. Traversing the Cam will take you past some of the most famous Colleges of Cambridge, including Kings and St John’s, with the route itself culminating in a slow slide under the wondrous Mathematical Bridge.
The Lake District: Ullswater
Nestled in the Lake District National Park and undoubtably one of the U.Ks most beautiful areas, the lake of Ullswater is a body of water in possession of some jaw-dropping scenery and boasts some truly impressive size to it as well (about 13km in length alone). It is perfect for newcomers to the SUP scene and seasoned practitioners as well. With Helvellyn as your backdrop – the third highest peak in the whole of England – you will not be disappointed.
Wye Valley: Symonds Yat
This is a river that moves seamlessly through a popular forest that borders both England and Wales. A river with real personality, comprising of multiple sections; some best for beginners, others better for the experienced SUPers, namely, clear sections of calm river for the former and grade 2 rapids for the latter!
Scotland: Rabbit Islands and North Coast 500
Not for the faint hearted! Before you take a trip to the Rabbit Islands, be sure to check the tides, and the weather as they can each pose a risk to safety. Once you hit the islands themselves, you’ll be greeted with stunning sand beaches and shores empty of inhabitants. For more of the Scottish coast, and should you want a real adventure, trace a line along the North Coast 500 road.
East Sussex: Cuckmere Haven
If you are worried about tides, waves, rapids or uncertain waters then Cuckmere Haven could be your next favourite paddleboarding spot. You can meander along the clear and still water (an hour or so from the beach if you start upstream), and then back to where you started, or back to your car, without much effort whatsoever.
Devon: Burgh Island
Burgh Island was made famous by Agatha Christie, and the unique Art Deco hotel that calls it home. Fast forward a few decades and Burgh Island itself is now amassing a loyal fan base of paddleboarders. Take a circular route around the island, which won’t take all that long, and explore the caves and crevices that pepper its circumference.
Scotland: The River Tay
Scotland’s longest river, and the 7th longest in the United Kingdom, as with the Wye Valley this river has sections that are best suited for beginners eand other sections (particularly the rapid sections!) that are better suited for those with some SUP miles under their belt. Keep your eyes peeled for otters and salmon!
Wales: Mawddach Estuary
If you want to glide from pub to pub, cruising between river and sea with forests lining the background and Snowdonia’s top on the horizon, then you might want to visit the Mawddach Estuary in Wales.
Northern Ireland: Strangford Lough
Comprising more than 70 separate and distinct islands, Strangford Lough is one of the U.K’s best spots for SUP island hopping and exploring. Spend all day soaking up the inlet and its islands, or drift lazily between them on serene and still waters, the choice, as is always the case with paddleboarding, is completely up to you.