5 Paddleboard Adventures In The UK To Check Off Your Bucket List
The appeal and beauty of paddleboarding revolve around its accessibility. Even if you have never paddle boarded before, you can take to the water, escape your everyday worries, and discover new worlds of beauty and wonder. This is your ultimate beginners’ guide to packing, standing up, and exploring.
There are both ocean and inland routes on this list, all of which will be affected by the weather to some degree; some of the inland routes involve wind funneling through the valleys created by the mountains around them. However, they are generally safer than the ocean, so if you are unsure, start near the shore or inland.
In that case, here are 5 of the most popular spots to go stand up paddleboarding in the UK:
- Ullswater, Lake District: Best for big lake downwinders, Southwesterly winds funnel down Ullswater, creating rolling waves of 3-4ft that are easy to ride. Despite its length of 13 kilometres and depth of 60 metres, Ullswater evokes an image of a big lake due to its looming mountain. An ultimate stand-up paddle tour on Lakeland’s length starts from Glenridding’s Steamer Pier car park and finishes at Pooley Bridge in the north.
- Mawddach Estuary, Mid-Wales: With its wide waters and forested hillsides, the Mawddach Estuary is the perfect destination for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) excursions. Take a pub-to-pub paddle between the George III at Penmaenpool and the Last Inn in Barmouth, where the river empties into the sea. You can hire equipment from SUP Barmouth and book guided tours through them; they will deliver and collect your boards, ensuring that you do not have to paddle back after your pint.
- Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire: Pembrokeshire’s National Park coastline is a spectacular place to SUP for its coastal wildlife, limestone cliffs, sandy bays, and crystal clear waters. Stackpole Quay and Barafundle Bay on the southeast coast are particularly scenic – join Outer Reef Surf School for a guided paddle along cliffs and caves, with dolphins, porpoises, and basking sharks for company. Additionally, Outer Reef offers camping SUP tours at Haven Estuary, and surfers can catch waves around the corner at the Atlantic.
- Symonds Yat, Wye Valley: As you stand-up paddleboard along this forested river gorge, near the border between England and Wales, you will pass kayakers, canoeists, and peregrine falcons. Kerne Bridge is a great place to launch – from here it is a lovely paddle upstream to the pub.
The ocean beneath your feet is full of ancient sea caves, hidden beaches and serene scenes. Paddle boarding in UK is an ideal way to discover and explore. Nonetheless, you can expect to fall off a paddleboard at some point as a beginner – which is all part of the fun. Hence, a good rule of thumb is that when in doubt, hold on tight to your paddle!