Paddleboarding is on the rise. According to the Watersports Participation Survey cited in The Times, the number of UK paddleboarders grew from 502,000 in 2008 to 1.4 million in 2018 – a number that’s almost certainly grown over the last 18 months of lockdowns.
If you’ve been considering taking to the water, perhaps with your family, know that paddleboarding doesn’t require much equipment – and with inflatable paddleboards, portability is never a premium! The UK have many places where paddling is amazing too. Here are ten of our favourites.
Ullswater, Lake District
A picturesque lake framed by impressive mountains and hills, Ullswater is a great place to learn to paddleboard. There are plenty of providers around the area to choose from, but if you’re heading out on your own be sure to check Ullswater Yacht Club’s site for up-to-the-hour weather conditions.
Windermere, Lake District
While you might think England’s largest lake is a little too large for paddleboarding, there are plenty of clubs up and down the impressive body of water, including Bowness and Ambleside.
The River Cam, Cambridge
If you want to give your paddleboards a glide down south, Cambridge’s River Cam is a sublime choice. With a lazy flow and lots of greenery, it’s the perfect laid-back location to learn the pastime.
The River Tay, Scotland
The longest river in Scotland has plenty of spots to paddle on, including Dunkeld and Birnam, where there are exciting wave trains to enjoy and lovely forest sights. Make sure avoid the stretches near Grandtully and Stanley if you’re a beginner – these are two of the more treacherous white-water sections of the river.
Lochs Insh and Morlich, Scotland
Located together, with relaxed waters, and flanked by beaches and woodlands, Loch Insh near Balnespick and Loch Morlich near Glenmore in the Scottish Highlands are a top choice for an adventure holiday punctuated with plenty of paddleboarding.
The River Wye, Wales
Rolling through Wales, the River Wye passes through all sorts of gorgeous countryside and offers much for paddleboarders looking to take in some riverside nature.
This reservoir near Pontypool, Cardiff and Cwmbran has 174 hectares of lightly lapping waters – perfect for paddles organised from the Llandegfedd Lake and Watersport Centre.
Woolacombe Sands, Devon
Woolacombe Sands in Devon is host to particularly calm and idyllic waters, so if you’re travelling with the kids and want to introduce them to the world of stand-up paddleboarding, it’s a great spot, with plenty of interesting cliffs, coves, and other places to explore.
With multiple paddleboarding centres to choose from, the Cornish seaside retreat of Penzance is a lovely place to paddleboard, thanks to clear waters, picturesque scenery, and warm southern English surf.
Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
Nestled within the North Yorkshire countryside are the ancient ruins of Bolton Abbey, which resides on the banks of the slow and shallow River Wharf. Here, you can take a relaxed paddle through beautiful countryside – a perfect activity for people staycationing in Gods’s Own County.