A decade ago, few people – in the UK especially - would’ve been able to tell you what paddleboarding is. Today, it’s one of the UK’s fastest growing water sports and it’s easy to see why - anyone can do it, it’s surprisingly serene, not too fast-paced and lots of fun
What’s more, because you don’t have to be located near the coast to do it, the UK has plenty of spots you can dip your paddle into. If you’ve already mastered the basics and are keen to get exploring, here’s our pick of the most scenic places to paddle board in the UK.
1. Snowdonia, Wales
When you think of Snowdonia you think of mountains, right? It might seem like it doesn’t deserve a place on our list but hear us out! Snowdonia is home to an extremely picturesque glacially-formed lake called Llyn Padarn that plays host to a magical SUP adventure.
Hitting Llyn Padarn to SUP will see you glide across it’s tranquil, marble-like surface while looking into the distance at the snow-capped mountain ranges of Glyderau and the Snowdon Massif. You can also paddle board on the lake at night while being guided by the moon and stars – it doesn’t get much more beautiful than that!
Image credit: Alice Gartland
2. Port Quin, North Cornwall
It’s hard to discuss water sports without bringing Cornwall into the conversation. Cornwall is abundant with SUP locations – you only need water to paddleboard after all – but Port Quin is one of the most scenic.
Port Quin is just a couple of miles around the corner from the very popular Port Isaac and is a magical near-deserted cove with a rugged natural harbour. On a summer’s day, it boasts calm, clear water the Caribbean would be proud of – the perfect environment for SUP.
Image credit: Cornish Coast Adventures
3. Ullswater, Lake District
Second to Cornwall, the Lake District is the next port of call if water sports are your thing. Ullswater lake is 14.5km long and 60m deep and, if you feel up to it, you can paddle its entire length – from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge.
Although paddling the entire length of the Lake District’s second largest lake would certainly be tiring, taking in the views of Helvellyn Mountain as you do it would certainly make things easier!
Image credit: Ullswater Paddleboarding
4. Pembrokeshire National Park
If you love wildlife as much as you love paddle boarding, why not combine the two by hitting Pembrokeshire’s National Park coastline? It boasts limestone cliffs, sparkling waters and hidden caves. The sheltered stretch between Stackpole Quay and Barafundle Bay is particularly picturesque.
SUP here and you’ll find yourself paddling past sandy bays and caves, all the while being kept company by dolphins, porpoises and even sharks (harmless ones don’t worry!).
Image credit: Outer Reef Surf School
5. Arisaig, West Coast Scotland
Embarking on this aquatic paddle board escapade just off the coast of Arisaig will mean you truly find yourself off the grid.
The west coast of Scotland needs no introduction, but just in case you were unaware of how awe-inspiring it is: rugged cliff-faces, rare wildlife, breath-taking sunsets over the isles of Eigg and Rùm are just some of the sights to expect when you SUP here.
Image credit: Wilderness SUP
6. Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
If one Scottish SUP escapade isn’t enough for you, here’s another. The Cairngorms National Park boasts the magic combination of high mountains, crystalline lochs and some of cleanest rivers in Europe.
Nearby is Strathmashie Gin Distillery, that offers the chance to combine sipping and SUPing. The Distillery invites you to stay in a cottage and gives you paddleboard tours to search for botanicals, so you can make your own gin later. Of course, we advise you save the gin tasting for after you’re off the water!
Image credit: Ed Smith Photography
7. Burgh Island, South Devon
The last entry on our list is so picturesque that it was the inspiration for the setting of two Agatha Christie novels – And Then There Were None and Evil Under the Sun. You can SUP around the island, exploring all its nooks and crannies while basking in the brilliant blue waters.
After you’ve worked up a thirst, reward yourself with a pint at the Island’s 700-year-old pub The Pilchard Inn, which first served smugglers and wreckers who found themselves on the island.
Image credit: Discovery surf
Did any of these picturesque places take your fancy? If they did make sure to take out Specialist Paddle Board insurance so you can take in the scenic views without unnecessary worries.