Have you taken to paddleboarding like a duck to water? Relatively new to the scene, the sport has exploded in popularity in recent years. Perhaps you’re one of many who have invested in a board and are busy planning where to head next.
The UK is awash with excellent paddleboard destinations, which are greater in number and more diverse than those available to surfers. That said, you should still exercise some caution. The RNLI has reported an increase in paddleboarder incidents and rescues in recent years.
Checking the weather, using a suitable leash and carrying a floatation device are all wise moves. Advanced boards don’t come cheap either, so you may want to research paddleboard insurance.
With these precautions in mind, here are five of the best locations to paddle in this year:
Ullswater, Lake district
The Lake District has long been a popular destination for active holidays, and rightfully so. But no longer confined to walkers, paddleboarders are taking over its waters, with the 12km-long Ullswater one of the most popular options.
Paddling its length beneath the watch of the mighty Helvellyn Mountain will take you around three hours.
Stackpole Quay to Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is another popular UK holiday destination for families and adventurers alike. Exploring its coastline by paddleboard is spectacular fun, with the sheltered stretch between Stackpole Quay and Barafundle Bay being particularly scenic and accessible.
If you’re lucky, you could have dolphins, porpoises and even basking sharks swimming with you.
Symonds Yat, Wye Valley
Symonds Yat in Herefordshire is perhaps best known for its picturesque views and walking trails, but its waterways are popular with all kinds of paddlers too.
You’ve got multiple options to suit your stamina and experience too. Set off from Kerne Bridge to the Saracens Head Inn, continue to the Grade 2 rapids, or travel some 13 miles upstream.
Burgh Island, Devon
Burgh Island is a small tidal island just off the coast of South Devon, famous for inspiring not one but two Agatha Christie novels. You can head out from Bigbury beach and navigate its circumference in around an hour, exploring its nooks, crannies and caves on the way.
The Rabbit Islands and North Coast 500, Scotland
You can reach the uninhabited Rabbit Islands and their white-sand beaches from the hamlet of Talmine in the far north of Scotland. The Highland Coast offers plenty more opportunities too if you follow the famous North Coast 500 driving route.
This trip is one of the riskier ventures available to paddleboarders, so make sure you check the local tides and currents before setting off.
Do any of these adventures catch your eye? Start planning your itinerary and see where you can get to by paddleboard this summer.