Nothing is like stepping out onto the water and finding beautiful views awaiting you. Luckily, here in the United Kingdom, we have various locations and water types to explore. From steady lakes with mountain backdrops to bays stretching into the unending sea, the options are limitless.
Whether you are taking your inflatable stand up paddleboard out for the first time or you are a seasoned paddle boarder wanting to branch out to new locations, finding a variety of water sources is the best way to practice the sport.
Here, we will explore five of the UK’s top paddle boarding spots, according to Country Living, differences in their waters, and any popular locations nearby to make the most out of your experience.
Isle of Wight
If you are looking for open stretches of water with scenic views of white cliffs, look no further than the Isle of Wight, with approximately 57 miles of coastline. Appearing first on Country Living’s list, Compton Bay is a popular place for any paddleboarder.
The water can sometimes get choppy, so this is a great place to practise your skills at an intermediate level. But if you are looking for some flatter settings to start, or if your kids are testing out their first children’s paddleboards for the first time, then why not try Colwell and Totland?
If you are taking your pooch for a paddle, then make sure to check the restrictions in the area beforehand. Locations such as Compton Bay actually have a dog ban during the May to September season.
There are many other activities you can do if you decide to take a trip to the Isle of Wight. For family activities, you can explore the beaches and go fossil hunting – including finding real dinosaur fossils. And for adventure seekers, paragliding is a popular sport if you’re looking to conquer land, air, and sea all in one day.
An open, all-natural beach, Compton Bay doesn’t boast any restaurants or pubs, but it does have a frequent ice cream van to visit, which can dispense drink and snack options too. This could be a great opportunity for you and your paddle boarding crew to pack a picnic and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
If you are looking for more varying options of water, then second on the list is Glencoe Lake, Loch Leven in Scotland. A beautifully scenic place with valley views and steep hills, Glencoe can offer you lake, river, and coastal opportunities.
Lock Leven boasts an impressive 14.1km in length and up to 1.6km in width. While some locations around the United Kingdom might require you to have a licence to paddleboard on in-land waters, this isn’t always the case. It is best to check with your specific area and season whether you need a licence or not. Loch Leven does have some water access guidance that you should follow, however, to help preserve their water birds.
If you’re looking to spend a few days in Glencoe, think of a wild camping and exploring the valley’s nature trails. Food options are also vastly available in this area, with Loch Leven even having an award-winning café nearby called the Loch Leven Larder.
English coastline offers amazing views and paddle boarding opportunities, including Bournemouth Beach in Dorset. Whether you are a seasoned professional or someone just looking to explore the seaside from a different view, this location is great for all levels of paddleboarders.
Bournemouth Beach is approximately seven miles long, and it has won multiple awards for its water quality. Here, you don’t have to worry about what is lurking under the waves as you explore – you can fall into crystal clear water. Keeping locations like this pollution and plastic-free is crucial for preserving good water conditions. Here at Wave, we believe in keeping our natural landscapes clean and well-kept – have a look at our sustainability measures to find out more.
A popular tourist attraction, Bournemouth is great for more than just your water sports. The pier is a great place to start if you are looking for entertainment or great food options on the water.
Fourth on the Country Living list is the famous River Thames, which runs through Surrey. You can explore the country’s longest river, enjoying its history and beauty.
Spanning 215 miles in total, with approximately 20 belonging to Surrey alone, this is a great opportunity to explore river paddle boarding while remaining close to the hustle and bustle of life. But with the majority of inland waterways requiring a licence, check with the local authority before exploring the water with your paddleboards.
You can even find lakes, including privately owned ones, around Surrey, including Shepperton, where Walton-on-Thames offers paddleboarders of any level to join a paddle boarding club.
Around Surrey, you can find a number of food and drink locations to explore – including the aptly named The Thames Court. And only 15 miles from the capital, you can always enjoy a day trip or even a morning dip.
Finally on the list is the beautiful Penzance in Cornwall. Tucked neatly at the bottom of the country, Penzance offers approximately 7.5 miles worth of open coastline. With sandy beaches and even the Abbey Slip making it comfortable to enter the water, this is the perfect place for some sea adventures
And if you are looking for more water activities in Cornwall, why not try taking a dip in the open-air Jubilee Pool? Other activities in the area include visiting St Michael’s Mount and walking along the promenade. You can even visit The Turks Head, the oldest pub in Penzance, dating back to the 1200s.
Paddleboarding can be as remote or in-city as you like, and finding new waters can be a part of the fun. Whether you want to paddleboard in Penzance or take a dip in Dorset, the UK has many waterways and coastlines. From family-friendly flat waters surrounded by Scottish hill views to more skilled choppy waters to balance in the Compton Bay area, there is so much to explore.
While paddle boarding, it is important to keep safe. That is why we have a blog on how to stay safe doing water sports, even on cold days.