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Best places to paddle board UK: Exploring Scenic Waters Safely

6 June 2024

Paddle boarding in the UK offers enthusiasts a diverse range of scenic locations to explore, from tranquil lakes and canals to rivers and rugged coastlines. From seasoned paddle boarders to novices looking to dip their paddle into the sport, the UK has something for everyone.

Here are just a few of our favourite places to paddleboard and tips on protecting yourself while enjoying your adventure.

Lake District 

With its stunning lakes and majestic mountains, the Lake District is a paradise for paddle boarders. Windermere, England's largest lake, offers plenty of space to paddle and breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Coniston Water and Ullswater are also popular choices, with calm waters and beautiful scenery.

Cornwall 

Known for its rugged coastline and pristine beaches, Cornwall is another fantastic destination for paddle boarding. Explore hidden coves, paddle past towering cliffs, and even catch a wave or two at popular surf spots like Fistral Beach and Polzeath, before taking a rest on a sandy beach.

Scottish Highlands 

For a truly wild paddle boarding experience, head to the Scottish Highlands. Loch Ness, famous for its mythical monster, offers deep, dark waters surrounded by rolling hills and ancient forests. The Isle of Skye and the Inner Hebrides are also worth exploring, with their dramatic seascapes and abundant wildlife. You can also check in with Paddle Surf Scotland if you want to get some extra paddle board lessons while you're there. You can also explore Scotland's longest river, the River Tay, through Tay Forest Park, and even take a tour.

Norfolk Broads 

The Norfolk Broads are the perfect choice if you prefer inland waterways. These picturesque waterways wind through the Norfolk countryside, offering peaceful paddling and plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities.

It’s also worth noting that different types of water call for different skills and knowledge. Some also require permissions or waterway licences.[1] Wherever your adventures take you, safety is paramount. Paddle UK and the RNLI have set out key messages for staying safe on the water.[2]

Snowdonia National Park

Nestled in North Wales, Snowdonia National Park boasts some of the most stunning and varied landscapes for paddle boarding. The park is home to numerous lakes, such as Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), which is the largest natural lake in Wales and is ideal for paddle boarding with its clear waters and mountainous backdrop. Llyn Padarn and Llyn Gwynant are also popular spots, offering calm waters surrounded by dramatic peaks and lush valleys. Paddle boarding here provides a unique opportunity to explore the serene beauty of the Welsh countryside while enjoying the tranquillity of the water.

Northern Ireland 

If you’re looking for a unique and adventurous paddle boarding experience, head to Salt Island Bothy in Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland. This area offers calm, sheltered waters ideal for paddle boarding. The bothy provides somewhere to rest. Strangford Lough is renowned for its rich biodiversity, including seals, seabirds, and various marine life. Paddle boarders can explore the numerous islands and inlets, enjoying the stunning scenery and peaceful atmosphere. 

Paddle boarding insurance

When it comes to insuring your paddle boarding adventures, it's not just about protecting yourself, but also your valuable equipment. That's why it's essential to choose the right insurance policy. While some homeowners' or renters' insurance policies may offer limited coverage for paddle boarding, it's often wise to invest in a specialist paddleboard insurance policy for comprehensive coverage.

In summary, the UK offers a wealth of fantastic paddle boarding destinations, from serene lakes to rugged coastlines. When planning your paddle boarding adventures, take time to arrange the right insurance cover to protect yourself and your equipment. Consider working with a trusted insurance broker to ensure you get the coverage you need with the personalised service you deserve. With the right insurance and destination, you can enjoy your paddle boarding adventures with peace of mind.

Find out more about paddleboard insurance from Bishop Skinner Marine here. What’s more, if you are a member of the RYA, you can benefit from free third party windsurfing and stand-up paddle boarding insurance arranged by us. Find out more about free cover for RYA members.

 

Sources

1. gopaddling.info/the-river-licence-explained
2. gopaddling.info/safe-paddle-summer

 

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