Explore Cornwall on a Paddleboard: The Best Spots You Can’t Miss
If you’re like me and love gliding over water with a paddle in hand, then Cornwall is your go-to destination. This place is a treasure trove of SUP spots, each with its own unique charm. Let me walk you through some of my favourites spots.
Cornwall’s coastline stretches over 400 miles, interspersed with golden sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and tranquil estuaries. Inland, the scenery transforms into calm rivers and wooded creeks. The county’s unique geography makes it ideal for various paddleboarding activities.
1. St. Ives Bay
- What’s Cool About It: The water in St. Ives Bay is so clear, you’d think it’s straight out of a postcard. It’s perfect for beginners, with calm waters most of the time. Start at Porthminster Beach and paddle your way around to Carbis Bay – you won’t regret it!
- Ideal Time to Visit: Hit it up on a summer morning. Trust me, it’s like the sea’s personally welcoming you.
2. The Helford River
- Why You’ll Love It: If you’re into a peaceful paddle surrounded by lush greenery, the Helford River is your spot. The river is calm and full of secret coves to explore. Launch from Helford Passage – it’s a great starting point.
- Best Season: Spring or early summer – it’s quiet and absolutely gorgeous.
3. Perranporth Beach
- What Makes It Special: Picture this: a wide beach, gentle waves, and a chance to catch some surf on your board. Start at the Watering Hole pub – you can literally paddle out from the bar!
- When to Go: Late summer. The water’s warm, and the waves are just right.
4. Fowey Estuary
- The Draw: The Fowey Estuary is a maze of hidden inlets and stunning backdrops. It’s like a different world. You can start your journey right from the town quay and make your way around Polruan.
- Time to Visit: Autumn is magical here, plus you avoid the summer crowds.
5. Padstow Harbour
- Why It’s a Favorite: Padstow Harbour is buzzing with energy. It’s great for people who love a bit of a social vibe. You can start at the harbor and explore the Camel Estuary – it’s both scenic and fun.
- Peak Time: Early summer or late spring – it’s lively but not too crowded.
6. River Fal
- Why You’ll Love It: River Fal is like paddling through a history book. You’ve got the historic Carrick Roads to explore, and the waters are as calm as they get. Start at Malpas village, a peaceful launch spot with stunning scenery.
- Best Time: Spring is incredible. The nature along the river is in full bloom, and there’s so much wildlife to see.
7. Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth
- What’s Great: This spot is a family hit. The waters are calm, and you get a beautiful view of Pendennis Castle. There’s plenty of space to launch your board, and the beach vibe is just perfect.
- Ideal Visit: Go in the summer. The water’s warm, and the beach has a fun, lively atmosphere.
8. Hayle Harbour: A Hidden Gem for Paddleboarders
- What Makes It Special: Hayle Harbour, with its unique blend of industrial heritage and natural beauty, offers a tranquil paddling experience. The sheltered waters of the estuary are perfect for spotting wildlife, and the views of the dunes are spectacular.
- Ideal Visit: Summer and early autumn are perfect, with calmer waters and fewer winds. The estuary becomes a serene paddling spot, especially during high tide when the water is deeper and more navigable.
- Paddling Route: Start at the town quay and head towards Copperhouse Pool. You’ll pass by an array of birdlife and might even spot seals. The contrast of the old industrial buildings and the natural surroundings makes for a unique experience.
- Why It’s a Favorite: Hayle Harbour is less crowded than more popular Cornish spots, offering a peaceful paddle. It’s a place where history and nature intertwine, providing a unique backdrop to your SUP adventure.
9. The Lizard Peninsula: SUP in Cornwall’s Most Southerly Point
- Why You’ll Love It: The Lizard Peninsula is a mix of rugged cliffs, secluded coves, and picturesque fishing villages. The waters are crystal clear.
- Best Time to Paddle: Late spring through to early autumn is ideal. The weather is milder, and the sea conditions are generally more stable, making it perfect for a range of paddling experiences.
- Suggested Route: Start at Kynance Cove, famous for its turquoise waters and serpentine rock formations. Paddle along the coast towards Mullion Cove or, for the more experienced, head around the Lizard Point itself. Be sure to check the tides and weather, as conditions can change quickly.
- What Makes It Stand Out: The Lizard Peninsula is a place of natural beauty and diverse wildlife. It’s not uncommon to see seals, dolphins, and a wide variety of seabirds.
So, there you have it! Cornwall isn’t just about the beaches – it’s a paddleboarder’s paradise. Each of these spots has its own story to tell and beauty to show. Whether you’re cruising down a serene river or paddling along a bustling beach, Cornwall has something for everyone. Grab your board, hit these spots, and let the adventures begin. See you on the water!
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.