Best places to paddleboard in the UK

Best Places for Paddle Boarding in the UK

As a group of islands, the UK is an ideal location for paddleboarding. Indeed, it has some amazing paddleboarding locations and offers stunning scenery and varying water conditions. Whether you are a seasoned paddleboarding veteran or have never stood on a board, you can find somewhere in the UK to suit your level of skill and confidence!

If you want to explore closer to home, we have selected 10 of the best places for paddleboarding in the UK. This includes locations in England, Scotland, Wales, and both Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland – enjoy!

The Lake District

In Cumbria, you can find the Lake District. This dramatic location is one of the most beautiful in the UK. It is also one of the best places for paddleboarding in the UK. This is due to the many lakes you can find nestled between the hills and mountains.

The best paddleboarding locations in the district are usually considered to be Coniston Water, Ullswater, and Windermere. These are the most famous lakes and have the best facilities. You can also find hiring locations where you can get quality equipment from. Coniston Water in particular has some beautiful shorelines and scenery, and calmer paddleboarding conditions.

Coniston Water in the Lake District

Coniston Water in the Lake District

Loch Lomond, Scotland

There are many Lochs to explore in Scotland and it is difficult to pick one – so we settled with the epic Loch Lomond. There are other notable choices too that are some of the best places for paddleboarding in the UK like Loch Ness, Loch Tay, and Loch Rannoch.

Loch Lomond, however, is the most impressive, and largest. You cannot hope to board its expanse in one session as it is 22.6 miles long at its longest point. Aside from the amazing banks of the loch and the surrounding scenery, Loch Lomond also has a host of islands waiting to be explored. You could paddleboard to places like Inchmoan Island and spend time relaxing on the sandy beaches.

The Norfolk Broads

The Norfolk Broads is an incredibly popular holiday destination in the east of England. It is also amazing for paddleboarding – especially for beginners. The waters are calm and gentle, and the scenery beside the network of canals and lochs is just sublime.

Hickling is the largest broad and the different waterways here are lined with gorgeous reed beds. Along the way, you will also see quaint cottages and typical architecture that you would expect from this part of the country. If you wanted, you could hire a canal boat, or a motorboat and use it as your paddleboarding base – what better way to explore the broads?

The peaceful Norfolk Broads

The peaceful Norfolk Broads

Newquay, Cornwall

Traveling into the south-west of England you will reach Cornwall. Cornwall in general is an excellent place for paddleboarding due to its warmer weather conditions and an array of amazing beaches and waterways. However, the coastline surrounding Newquay is a particularly good spot.

Newquay is known as a surfing haven, but you can also have fun paddleboarding here. In Newquay itself, there are several beaches such as Fistral Beach, and Newquay Beach from which you can paddleboard. Also, if you travel further down, to the small village of Crantock, you can paddleboard down the gorgeous Gannel Estuary. The waters here are incredibly calm and it is the perfect location for beginners.

Carrick Roads Inlet, Cornwall

Continuing in Cornwall, if you head to the opposite coast from Newquay, you can find the Carrick Roads inlet. This is a large inlet of water and the historic town of Falmouth is also located here. If you travel inland from the Carrick Roads, you can find a myriad of quiet and beautiful waterways that spawn from it.

These locations include Percuil River to the east, the River Fal in the north, and Restronguet Creek in the west. The whole area is begging to be explored and you could spend weeks here navigating the various waterways with your paddleboard with Falmouth serving as your base of operations.

Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has some truly immense loughs like Lough Neagh which is the largest in the UK. However, one of the most popular for paddleboarding is Strangford Lough. This large body of water is located on the east coast not far from Belfast.

The lough is dotted with over 70 islands which you can have fun exploring and navigating around. Also, there is a myriad of smaller waterways and canals that span off from this vast lough. Killyleagh in the south and Newtownards in the north are two suitable locations on the lough that you could use as a starting point for your Strangford adventure.

Lough Corrib, Ireland

Moving into the Republic of Ireland, we have the huge Loch Corrib. This is another immense lough and the largest in Southern Ireland. Throughout the stretch of water, you can find over 300 islands – some of which are inhabited, and some which have old castle ruins on.

The popular city of Galway is an excellent point to start from and the River Corrib runs from the lough into the city and eventually out into the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery surrounding Lough Corrib is amazing, and you can find many small villages and towns along the water that would make great places to stop.

The River Tay, Scotland

The River Tay is the longest in Scotland. It is also a brilliant place for paddleboarding. The widest parts of the river are near Dundee and these would present the most challenging paddleboarding conditions and choppiest waters.

However, if you travel further along, the river becomes much narrower. It winds gently past the city of Perth and eventually distributes in Loch Tay. Along the way, you can see some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Also, you may get the chance to see salmon swimming in the waters.

The end of Loch Tay leading into River Tay

The end of Loch Tay leading into River Tay

Anglesey, Wales

The Island of Anglesey sits on the north-western coast of Wales and is a superb paddleboarding location. It has numerous different areas suitable for paddleboarding. Firstly, the Menai Strait that passes between Anglesey and mainland Wales is a great stretch to test your skills on.

Alternatively, the coast and inlets surrounding Holy Island and the Cymyran Strait are relatively peaceful and you can spend time meandering past gorgeous beaches and dramatic cliffs. The wilderness of Anglesey is also perfect for wild camping – you could combine these two activities to create an exciting adventure holiday.

Best places for paddleboarding in the UK - Anglsey

Anglsey in north Wales

The River Thames

Paddleboarding doesn’t always have to be about finding beautiful natural scenery. You can also enjoy paddleboarding in modernized and built-up areas. What better example than The River Thames in London? This is the second-longest river in the UK and passes through a large part of southern England.

The stretch of the river is home to a myriad of different paddleboarding experiences. For example, you could travel through the central section in London and check out major sites like Tower Bridge. The waters can be more turbulent and busier here, however.

Alternatively, if you follow the Thames out of London, and past Maidenhead and Reading, it becomes much narrower and calmer and offers a completely different experience. The scenery also becomes greener and more beautiful.

Central London and the River Thames

Central London and the River Thames

Explore the UK With Some Amazing Paddleboarding Locations

This is just a small snippet of what you can expect from SUP in the UK. There are so many locations to explore – this list could be endless! As a result, we have tried to select some of the best places for paddleboarding in the UK that give brilliant water conditions, and breath-taking scenery – a solid overview of the places you can find in each country.

If you have experience paddleboarding in the UK and have some amazing locations we have missed – please feel free to share in the comments below!

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