The UK is arguably one of the best places in the world for paddleboarding - we are an island after all! Not only that but within our relatively small patch of land, we are lucky to have some absolutely breathtaking landscapes and serene waterways that are waiting to be explored.
But where specifically are the best places to paddle board in the UK? I take a look below including epic regions like the Lake District, Cornwall, and the Norfolk Broads.
The Lake District
The Lake District is one of the best places to try your Tidal Rave paddle boards - it’s more a case of trying to decide which lake to visit first! This national park is not only jaw-droppingly beautiful, but it has some of the best paddleboarding locations in the country.
Places like Lake Windermere, Coniston Water, Grassmere, Rydal Water, Haweswater Reservoir, and Ullswater are all vast, and accessible, and will make for some memorable paddleboarding experiences.
For many, Cornwall is one of the best places to paddle board in the UK and it’s just a fantastic destination all around. It’s one of the more remote locations to get to, but this county is like entering another world and it has some of the more beautiful coastlines on the island.
Popular destinations for surfing like Newquay and St Ives are also incredible for paddleboarding and I particularly like the River Gannel that runs inland between Cranktock and Nequay. This is sheltered from the sea and offers a pleasant paddleboarding experience for beginners.
The stretch of coast between Porthcurno and Pedn Voucher is another epic spot and this is a great paddleboarding place if you are staying near Penzance.
Dorset has the amazing Jurassic Coast (named because of the abundance of dinosaur fossils found here) and it is similar to Cornwall in that the coastline is dotted with lots of beautiful sandy beaches and accessible water that makes it ideal for paddle boarding.
Studland Bay is a well-known spot that boasts gorgeous scenery and a sheltered bay for paddleboarding. The adventurous can head out to Old Harry Rocks and round to Swanage Bay too. Lulworth Cove is another epic spot too and I don’t think there is another bay in the UK that is so idyllic in terms of the circular shape of the beach and cliffs.
Spreading across Suffolk and Norfolk, The Broads is one of the largest waterways in the UK and although it’s popular for boating, it offers endless opportunities for paddleboarding too. If you want a relaxing paddleboarding experience, the Broads are ideal due to the calm nature of the water and the canals and waterways that are dotted with pubs and mooring points to stop and take in the scenery.
I could write an entire article on Scotland itself as it dwarfs the Lake District in terms of the volume of lakes and lochs you can paddleboard on. The scenery is varied too and you can paddle board on lochs next to immense mountain ranges, or that pass out into the sea.
Loch Ness is obviously a popular choice, but there are plenty of other options such as Loch Lomond, Loch Melfort, and Loch Tay. If you want to travel further afield, you could explore the Outer Hebrides and go to the Isle of Skye or Lewis and Harris.
Wales has no shortage of paddleboarding locations, but perhaps the best spot is the vast Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. This coastline stretches along the west and southwest coast of Wales and is dotted with some gorgeous beaches and pleasant coastal scenery.
Towns like Fishguard, Milford Haven, and Tenby are all relatively popular for tourism and you can easily find parking for the starting point of your Welsh paddleboard adventure. There is also the vast Cleddau Ddu inlet that goes for miles inland with arms jutting towards Haverford West and Blackpool.
City Paddle Boarding
Not only do we have amazing national parks and stunning coastlines, but many of the UK’s major cities have canals and waterways that are ideal for paddleboarding. The following are just some of the main cities that have accessible waterways:
I advise checking out the Canal River Trust website as they have a complete list of the 2000+ miles of canals in the UK and you can view them either on a map or an alphabetical list of cities.
Stay Safe and Check Paddle Boarding Permissions First!
The UK has some incredible paddle-boarding locations but always be mindful of the regulations and codes of conduct before you take to the water. Ideally, you need a waterway licence to paddle board on rivers and canals, and if it’s a private waterway, always seek permission first. Be respectful of others too, and stay aware of boats, canoes, and other people on or in the water.