Best places in the UK to stand-up paddle (SUP)

Ever feel like you’re paddling upstream in life? Well, how about doing it for real, but with a whole lot more fun! Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is the perfect mix of chill and thrill, and the UK is positively swimming with fantastic SUP locations. So, grab your paddle, don your wetsuit (or brave the British chill) and let’s check out the top spots to get your paddle on.

1. River Thames, London

paddleboarding london

How about swapping that crowded tube journey for a paddle down the Thames? You heard me! Paddleboarding on the Thames is not just possible but utterly enjoyable. SUP experiences starting from around £65. Perfect for beginners and city-slickers, it’s a unique way to take in London’s iconic sights.

Getting there: If you don’t live in London, just get a train into the city. Then again, if you’re not already there, do you really need to go?

Pro tip: Keep an eye out for those colossal cruise boats – they’re not as nimble as you on your paddleboard!

2. Rutland Water, East Midlands

paddleboarding rutland water

At Rutland Water, you can paddle on one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. Beginner-friendly, you can hire equipment or get lessons starting from around £20.

Getting there: Drive to Edith Weston (there’s plenty of parking), or catch a train to Oakham and hop on a bus. Easy peasy.

Pro tip: Remember, this isn’t the sea, so you might not have waves, but you may encounter rogue ducks.

3. Newquay, Cornwall

paddleboarding cornwall

Newquay’s stunning coastline makes it a veritable SUP paradise. From sheltered bays for beginners to exciting surf for advanced paddlers, you’re spoilt for choice. Lessons are available from £35.

Getting there: Newquay is about a five-hour drive from London. Trains take a similar time but include glorious views.

Pro tip: Mastered the basics? Try SUP Yoga. That’s right, Downward Dog on a paddleboard!

4. Bournemouth, Dorset

paddleboarding dorset

Known for its beautiful beaches, Bournemouth is great for those getting started with SUP. Hire and lessons start from £20.

Getting there: A two-hour train ride from London Waterloo, or just hop in the car.

Pro tip: Make sure to check out the Pier, and for the love of paddleboarding, don’t get blown underneath it!

5. Loch Lomond, Scotland

paddleboarding scotland loch lomond

Looking for serene beauty? Loch Lomond has it in spades. It’s a fantastic place for SUP, suitable for all skill levels. Local hire starts from £20 per hour.

Getting there: Driving from Glasgow takes about 50 minutes, or there are regular trains to Balloch.

Pro tip: Beware the beast of Loch Lomond! Just kidding, it’s not Loch Ness. But do respect local wildlife.

Remember, paddleboarding is all about relaxation and enjoyment, so don’t forget to take in the beautiful scenery around you. See you on the water!

6. Oxford, England

paddleboarding oxford

Ready for a dose of academia mixed with some SUP fun? Oxford, with its majestic architecture and the serene River Cherwell, is a winning combination for paddle boarders of all abilities. Local hire starts at around £18 per hour.

Getting there: Oxford is well connected by both train and bus services. If you’re driving from London, it will take you roughly 1.5 hours.

Pro tip: Try not to get distracted by the dreaming spires whilst you’re on the water. Remember, it’s the SUP board under you, not a magic carpet!

7. Coniston Water, Lake District, England

Coniston Paddleboarding

Fancy paddling in a setting that’s been the backdrop to many an adventure? Coniston Water in the Lake District, with its stunning scenery and calm waters, is a top-notch SUP spot for beginners and seasoned pros alike. Local hire can start from £15 per hour.

Getting there: A 20-minute drive from Windermere will get you to Coniston. Trains are available to Windermere from various parts of the UK.

Pro tip: Be sure to shout ‘Swallows and Amazons forever!’ at least once during your paddling session. It’s tradition, or an old charter, or something…

8. Ullswater, Lake District, England

Paddleboarding Ullswater

Craving a lakeside SUP session that combines tranquillity with epic mountain views? Look no further than Ullswater. As the second largest lake in the Lake District, Ullswater is a haven for paddle boarders. Local hire starts at around £20 per hour.

Getting there: Ullswater is about a 30-minute drive from Kendal. Regular bus services also run from Penrith railway station.

Images by Jaykaydee; Pete; InspiredImages; Roman Grac; CameraMan095; Sara Price; Pete; Dave Noonan

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Co-founder and Chief Adventurer

I am Max, the co-founder and CEO of adventuro. We are on a mission to help you get into the sports you have always wanted to try, or develop in the sports you love, exploring new skills and locations. We do this by partnering with the best instructors, guides, and activity centres to get a great spread from beginner all the way to instructor training.

For too long, it has been way to confusing to find your next steps, or even to know where to start when getting into adventure sports. I am an experienced and/or qualified paraglider, skydiver, scuba diver, freediver, power boat driver, snowboarder, kitesurfer, kayaker, mountain biker, surfer, dirt biker, wakeboarder, and sailor.

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