Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Top 5 SUP Spots UK


1. The Blue Lagoon - (Abereiddi) Pembrokeshire. 

This flooded slate quarry known for its stunning bright blue-green water is bordered by beautiful beaches and craggy rocks. The contrast of these grey rocks and vibrant waters is really quite breathtaking. This natural beauty spot does get busy, even on a chilly day in early April the lagoon was full of swimmers, paddlers and cliff divers, so my advice would be to get there early to avoid the crowds (this was taken at 6 am and even then we weren't the only ones there!)

Parking / Launching 

Although the site is now looked after by The National Trust, members may be disappointed to learn that there is no National Trust car park at the Blue Lagoon. The car park (SA62 6DT) is a fixed fee of £4, it's a fairly small car park for the volume of visitors this site attracts, especially in summer months, so I would again advise to get there early. It is a short 5-10 min walk along the coastline from the car park to reach the lagoon. The pathway for the most part is flat, so a fairly easy walk with the boards. 

2. Derwentwater - Lake District 

Whats not to love about this stunning location, with its dramatic backdrop and views of the surrounding hills; Skiddaw, Catbells and Borrowdale in the distance. This is, in my opinion one of the 'prettiest' lakes to paddle. As with many of the lakes in the Lake District however, you will have to be prepared for sharing the lake with rowing boats, motor boats and the occasional steamer. That being said, we did find this to be one of the 'quieter' lakes to paddle in the summer and with a number of sheltered coves and islands to explore it's the perfect SUP spot!

Parking / Launching 

On our visit we stayed at the Camping and Caravanning Keswick Club site which offers guests the option to launch straight from the campsite from their own private beach for just £2 per day. For those not camping there is parking available at The National Trust Kettlewell Car Park (CA12 5UN) and launching is easy as the car park is right next to the lake! 

3. Wastwater - Lake District 

A firm favourite for me and one that I am already itching to visit again! It's surrounded by mountains including: Red Pike, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike. One of the things I loved most about this lake other than the dramatic backdrop is that there are no motorised/sailing/row boats on the water. This meant I wasn't having to constantly watch over my shoulder for oncoming hazards and was able to enjoy a relatively peaceful paddle. I say that because its quite exposed it was pretty damn windy! Definitely one to visit if you want to escape the crowds. 

Parking / Launching

Look out for parking spots dotted along the banks of the lake, alternatively you can park in The National Trust Lake Head car park (CA20 1EX) where you can launch straight onto the lake after crossing the road. 

4. Lake Vyrnwy - Wales 

Designated as a Site of Special Scenic Interest and set amidst the remote Berwyn Mountains this idyllic paddle spot has a certain fairytale vibe thanks to the picturesque straining tower. Nestled amongst thick, dense forest it's often described as one of Wales' hidden gems! 

Parking / Launching

Launching is from the boat house only (Bethania Watersports). There is free parking available at the boathouse with a £5 launch fee. It is worth noting that when we visited the owners had a very energetic and rather large off lead dog that was left to roam free. He was jumping all over our boards as we were trying to inflate them and chasing Murphy around as we walked down the hill to launch. My advise would be to check this before you start setting up and ask the owners if they could put it on a lead first! 

5. Ullswater - Lake District 

Ullswater, the second largest lake in England after Windermere, is around 9 miles long. Surrounded by gentle rolling hills it's another picturesque paddle spot. Easily the busiest of the spots featured in this top 5 however, if you want a peaceful paddle I'd recommend heading out after 5 pm once the crowds have departed and the hire of boats / steamer trips have closed for the day! I love Ullswater for its numerous coves which are perfect for pulling up in for a chilled beverage before paddling back! 

Parking / Launching 

With the sheer size of the lake there are numerous different spots to park and launch. We've always launched from Glenridding (CA11 0PD). Parking starts from £3 for upto 2 hours and costs upto £8 for the full day. 

We can't wait to visit more paddle spots across Britain, hopefully adding some from Scotland soon! 

Love Kelly & Murphy x

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