Find out where to paddle board in the UK, whether you're new to SUP and need calm waters or are looking for more advanced adventures around the British Isles
Have you fallen in love with stand up paddleboarding (SUP) or want to know the best places to try it?
With gorgeous coastal spots and inland waterways and a relatively short learning curve, it’s easy to see why so many enjoy “walking on water”.
Here are ten of the most beautiful places to go:
1. Ganavan Sands and The Sound of Kerrera, Oban, west coast of Scotland
Four kilometres north of Oban, the “gateway to the isles” in the Scottish Highlands, Ganavan Sands is a beautiful family-friendly beach with stunning views to the Isle of Mull, Morvern and Lismore.
Spot sea urchins and golden seaweed as you follow the coastline south to Little Ganavan, or north to Dunstaffnage Castle.
"Paddle the short stretch across to the island of Kerrera, where you’ll spot a gorgeous old ship wreck"
Alternatively, travel five kilometres south of Oban and paddle the short stretch across to the island of Kerrera, just six kilometres long, where you’ll spot a gorgeous old ship wreck and perhaps be joined by seals.
Take a tour of the coast with the Puffin Dive Centre.
2. Loch Tay, Kenmore and Killin, Perthshire
Launch from the family-friendly beach at Kenmore on the north east point of this 23 kilometre loch. Enjoy delicious local ice cream, paddle to the Isle of Holy Women and visit the nearby Scottish Crannog Centre, a living-history museum documenting life on an Iron Age island.
At Killin on the south west, SUP along the River Lochay to the loch and after walk to the famous Falls of Dochart. Explore the area with Matt Gambles of Paddle Surf Scotland.
3. Cullercoats, north east of England
St Mary's Lighthouse is linked to the coast by a small causeway, which you can cross on your stand up paddle board
The enclosed harbour and RNLI lifeguarded beach of this village in the north east, 16 kilometres from Newcastle, is a perfect spot for beginners.
For more experienced paddleboarders, SUP along the coast passing Whitley Bay to the magnificent St Mary’s Lighthouse, where you might spot a seal. At high tide paddle through the caves. Take a guided tour with CBK Adventures.
4. Ullswater, Lake District
Experience the beauty of the Lake District on this 12 kilometre-long “ribbon” lake thought to be the focus of William Wordsworth’s 1807 poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”.
"Experience this 'ribbon' lake thought to be the focus of William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”"
Launch from Pooley Bridge—after a visit to the beautiful Verey Books bookshop—or from Glencoyne Bay, a short walk from Aira Force waterfall, or Glenridding, by the Ullswater Steamers.
5. Leeds Liverpool Canal, Lancashire and Yorkshire
The 26 kilometre stretch from Foulridge Tunnel in Lancashire to Skipton in Yorkshire passes through rural fields of oystercatchers, sheep and butterflies and under the double arched bridge at East Marton and Greenberfield Locks—the highest point of the canal.
Enjoy a stroll to Skipton castle or relax at the pub next to this historic canal. Local lessons are available with Learn to Paddle, Knaresborough.
6. Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk
Paddle through saltmarshes and sea lavender, feel the soft golden sand as you pass the pretty beach huts and admire the beautiful Lifeboat Horse sculpture in the harbour, before visiting Wells Maltings' arts and heritage centre.
Take a tour with Samantha Rutt of Barefoot SUP.
7. Regent’s Canal, London
Traversing London's canals by SUP shows the bustling city in a more tranquil light
SUP in the city with a unique view of Regent’s Zoo, buzzing Camden and the gorgeous homes of Primrose Hill lining the route near the capital’s Little Venice and Paddington Basin.
Launch with Paddleboarding London and you’ll also be donating to the Pirate Castle, a charity providing paddle sports to adults and children with special educational needs or disabilities.
8. Llyn Tegid or Bala Lake, Snowdonia
Explore the largest freshwater glacial lake in Wales surrounded by three mountain ranges and teeming with birdlife and wildlife.
"Explore the largest freshwater glacial lake in Wales surrounded by three mountain ranges"
Stay close to the shore or paddle the six kilometres to the end of the lake, passing the Pant Yr Onnen shepherd’s huts, and listen out for Alice the Little Welsh Engine train. Paddle and savour a hot chocolate at the end with SUP Lass Adventures.
9. Llangrannog to Tresaith, Ceredigion coastline, west of Wales
Spot dolphins, seals and magnificent jellyfish on this stunning four kilometre stretch of the Welsh coastline.
Look for the mythical Carreg Bica rock, pass the sandy cove and high cliffs at Traeth Bach ("The Little Beach" in Welsh) and admire the Afon Saith waterfall as you reach the lifeguarded Tresaith beach.
Feast on award-winning pizza at Tafell a Tan in Llangrannog. Enjoy the coast with Leanne Bird Adventures.
10. The Gannel, Newquay, Cornwall
Paddle the warm turquoise waters of this Cornish tidal estuary. Spy egrets, pretty sea aster flowers and remnants of the area’s trading history near the stunning Crantock beach.
Dip in the sea at the RNLI lifeguarded beach with an ice cream from the Cargo Coffee truck. Let SUP with Steph be your guide.
Jo Moseley is the author of the bestselling Stand Up Paddleboarding in Great Britain—Beautiful Places to Paddleboard in England, Scotland and Wales
Read more: 9 Great British islands
Read more: My Great Escape: Actively relaxing
Loading up next...