6 Best Places to Go Kayaking in the UK
With buckets of wild, rugged beauty, the United Kingdom makes for the perfect place for a kayaking break. London is probably your best bet for starting your trip as it is the most connected city in the UK, especially for flights. There are multiple websites out there like the GoEuro travel platform that can assist with researching and finding the most affordable flight for you. And once you arrive, follow these pointers for the best places to go kayaking in the UK.
1. Scotland’s West Coast
Scotland is a playground for outdoor activities, but if you want to go kayaking, head to the west coast. The jagged shorelines directly west of Fort William are abound with kayaking opportunities, along with plenty of companies that can take you out on the water. We paddled around Arisaig and Glenuig for a feature in our travel journal, A Year in the UK & Ireland, last year, and were blown away by the area’s isolated beauty.
2. Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland
Strangford Lough is a sea loch just east of Belfast in Northern Ireland. As the largest inlet in the U.K. and Northern Ireland’s first marine reserve, this is the perfect place to enjoy some watersports. The Strangford Loch Canoe Trail and calm waters here make it an ideal place to hire kayaks and guide yourself around the many islands dotted across the loch.
3. Pembrokeshire, Wales
As Britain’s only coastal national park, Pembrokeshire is one of the best places to go sea kayaking in the U.K. The national park’s boundaries loop for 220 miles along the shoreline, offering numerous opportunities for people who want to discover this part of Wales from a kayak’s viewpoint. Popular spots here include St. Govans Head and St. Davids Peninsula. Consider hiring a guide to help you tackle the tides.
4. The Lake District
Known as one of the most naturally stunning parts of the U.K., the Lake District makes an incredible backdrop for kayaking. There are many companies that run kayak excursions on the lakes, and Derwent Water is one of the most popular options. There’s something in the Lake District for people of all abilities.
Lizard, Cornwall. Image via Flickr by ARG_Flickr
5. Lizard, Cornwall
For decades, Cornwall has been a popular destination for travelers in the U.K., and Lizard is the place to go for outdoor adventure. The peninsula here is a labyrinth of hidden caves and secluded beaches, places that you can only really find and explore by crossing the water.
6. The Caledonian Canal, Scotland
Scotland’s west coast is certainly a top spot for kayaking, but then there’s also the Caledonian Canal. The Great Glen Canoe Trail runs through here along the canal from Fort William to Inverness for around 60 miles, making it perfect for a longer kayak trip taking in the country’s wild beauty. You can paddle this route guided or independently.
This is just the start of all the places you could go kayaking in the U.K. The lakes, rivers, canals, lochs, and whitewater centers across the country, as well as the surrounding seas, offer the perfect opportunity to learn how to kayak or polish your skills.