Kayaking is not only a therapeutic and exhilarating sport, it also offers the chance to explore some incredible scenery. You don’t have to go abroad to sample this scenery, either – some of the world’s finest kayaking hotspots are on these shores!
Here’s our guide to the best kayaking holidays in the UK.
The Highlands are blessed with an abundance of beautiful landscapes, including the breath-taking coastline of Loch Torridon.
Situated in the Northwestern Highlands, Loch Torridon provides a truly unique and memorable kayaking experience.
Its crystal-clear waters house a diverse range of wildlife including seals and otters and are engulfed by the towering Torridon mountains. You might even spot the occasional guillemot and white-tailed sea eagle as you paddle!
Around 40 miles south of Loch Torridon is the village of Plockton, which is a popular destination among tourists. From here, you can visit remote coral beaches, take on the challenging waters of Loch Carron, or go paddling along the Isle of Skye, which is a 10-minute drive away.
Be warned, though – the Highlands is known for its volatile weather conditions, so getting kayak insurance before you get in the water is a must.
The Lake District
The Lake District is not just the home of forests, mountains and great poetry – it also provides some valuable kayaking opportunities.
Its peaceful, flat waters make it an ideal holiday destination for beginners who want to paddle and sightsee at their own pace.
Arguably the most popular Lake District kayaking spot is Derwent Water, which is close to the town of Keswick and is surrounded by the fells of Skiddaw, Cat Bells and Borrowdale.
Derwent Water’s sheltered coves and abundance of wildlife make it a fantastic lake to explore by kayak.
Then, of course, there is Lake Windermere. At 10 and a half miles long, Lake Windermere is the biggest lake in England and is perfect for the whole family, boasting iconic views of fells, islets, yachts and ferries.
The 220-mile Pembrokeshire coastline in Southwest Wales is a rite of passage for kayakers. Its inspirational landscape features just about everything you could want from a kayaking holiday, including caves, cliffs and small secluded beaches.
Like Loch Torridon, it is home to some eye-catching wildlife. Limpets, seals, otters and porpoises are among the creatures you could come across on your journey through Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Britain's only coastal National Park.
If you’re a seasoned kayaker, why not try out The Bitches, a famous stretch of water near St Davids? Located just off Ramsey Island, The Bitches has one of the fastest tidal flows in the UK, with speeds of up to 18 knots creating large eddies, waves and whirlpools.
With more than 200 miles of coastline to choose from, you might want to explore Pembrokeshire over a number of days or even a week.
Should you decide to do this, you need Boat (Hull & Machinery) & Third Party Liability to cover the potential theft of your kayak during an overnight stop.
Cornwall is synonymous with water sports, so it’s no surprise that this picturesque county features on our list. After all, if surfers can take advantage of its natural beauty, why can’t kayakers?
One of Cornwall’s most popular kayaking locations is Lizard Point at the Southern tip of the Lizard Peninsula.
Lizard Point, the southernmost part of mainland Britain, is awash with emerald waters, hidden caves, and aquatic wildlife. You even get a perfect view of the Cornish coastline as you paddle. What’s not to love?
Away from the water, you can take a five-mile walk from Lizard Point to Mullion Cove. This route passes through magnificent cliffs and colourful heathland, and en route you are likely to encounter traditional breeds of pony, sheep and cattle.
You can also go to some of the spectacular beaches within a 20-minute drive of Lizard Point, including Gunwalloe, Poldhu and Kynance Cove.
The final point of our whistle-stop tour takes us to the gorgeous county of Dorset.
Among other things, Dorset is famous for its stunning Jurassic Coast, which runs along a number of kayaking hotspots.
Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and Swanage Bay are just some of the Jurassic Coast’s best-known vantage points, which are visited by kayakers the world over.
For a real bucket-list kayaking experience, you can take an organised tour of the Jurassic Coast, paddling from Lulworth Cove to Man O’War Bay and through the arch of Durdle Door.
If you’d prefer a lighter paddle and the chance to witness a stunning sunset, you can take your kayak down to Sandbanks Beach.
Not only does the beach provide unforgettable sea views, it’s also an exclusive area featuring such historical landmarks as the Haven Hotel and the Café Shore.
You’re certainly not short of places to stay or things to do when it comes to taking a kayaking holiday in Dorset!
We hope you found this useful in deciding where to go on your next kayaking holiday! Where will you be heading to? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook! If you are planning on heading out on the water, be sure to check out our Kayak Insurance.