Stand up paddle boarding went from an activity that almost nobody knows to the fastest growing water sport in the world within 10 years. In the UK, you can now easily spot people riding on a paddleboard on many different popular bodies of water. If you’ve heard about stand up paddleboarding but never considered doing it, you are missing out on a lot of great stuff. You’ll be having fun and getting a good workout when paddle boarding. Paddleboarding can be done on basically any bodies of water you can find, and that’s one of the reason why it’s so popular. Here we’ve picked out some of the best places where you can have fun paddle boarding on in the UK. No matter if you are a rookie SUP paddler or an experienced SUP rider, you shouldn’t miss these spots.
- Ullswater, Lake District
In the Lake District in Cumbria, you can find all kinds of lakes and rivers to do stand up paddle boarding on. One of the top choices for paddle boarding among all those wonderful spots is Ullswater. If you are bringing friends and family to your SUP trip, the second longest lake in the District would make a fine destination for it. Also, if you are a thrill-seeker, you can always find some great cliffs around the lake to try cliff jumping. There will also be southwesterly winds blowing wildly on the lake that you can take advantage of to cruise the lake downwind. If you get too tired paddling through the lake and don’t want to paddle your way back to your car, there’s always the water taxi on Ullswater you can use to take you all the way back to where you start the SUP trip.
- Kingston upon Thames, London
The River Thames is undoubtedly the most iconic waterway in Britain. It starts from Gloucestershire and stretches a whooping 345km all the way to Essex. You can easily find a nice spot to launch your SUP board. Of all those wonderful SUP spots along the way, the area between Kingston and Richmond is the kind of place you must visit. You can find famous cultural landmarks and enjoy the beauty of nature right in the suburb of London. If you want a getaway that can be easily accessed, this area would make a fine destination for you. While riding on your inflatable SUP board, take your time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and see if you can spot some wildlife along the way. When closing in to Richmond, there are some wonderful restaurants along the riverside for you to take a break and grab a bite in.
- The River Tay, Perthshire, Scotland
Be prepared because paddling on the longest river in Scotland is going to be one heck of a SUP trip. You can find different SUP spots for SUPers of different skill levels. There are beginner-friendly spots like the winding channel with calm waters which flow through Tay Forest Park. For experienced stand up paddle boarders, head over to the stretch between Stanley and Thistlebrig and you will find the rushing waters and standing waves waiting for you.
- Strangford Lough, County Down, Northern Ireland
If the main purpose of your SUP trip is exploration and adventure, it’s hard to find a destination that can surpass Strangford Lough. Being the largest inlet in the UK, Strangford Lough has channels that will remind you of a maze. And with more than seventy islands, you will never run out of place to explore. Here are a few places to note：Salt Island Bothy, the perfect place for island adventure, and Daft Eddie's restaurant on Sketrick Island where you can enjoy a delightful meal after your SUP adventure.
- Symonds Yat, Wye Valley
If you love adventure and exploring nature, then this forested river gorge would make a wonderful destination. You will be sharing the experience with other water sport lovers and thrill-seekers on their kayaks and canoes in the area when cruising down the river on your paddleboard. The Kerne Bridge is just a few miles upstream and a nice spot to launch your paddle board and start your adventure. One recommended route is from the Kerne Bridge to the Saracens Head pub at Symonds Yat. The Wye’s Grade 2 rapids are very challenging and a great place to test your SUP skills, if you think of yourself as a skilled SUP paddler, you can give it a shot. Also, if you enjoy long-distance cruising, you can go upstream from Ross-on-Wye for a 13-mile long SUP trip.
There are way too many wonderful places you can be paddle boarding on in the UK and here are just 5 of them. If you are interested, you can easily find out more online. Stand up paddle boarding is a wonderful way to explore a new location and enjoy a vacation. There are also some wonderful places to SUP in Europe.