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The best places to go paddleboarding in Cornwall  holiday cottages

The best places to go paddleboarding in Cornwall

Sarah P 18 November 2020

With over 300 miles of coastline to explore and the highest coastal sea temperatures in the UK, Cornwall is a dream destination for SUP lovers! Discover secret caves, secluded beaches, and peaceful spots far from the Cornwall crowds. Whether you are a paddleboarding pro or you’re up for a new challenge, we’ve found some of the best places to stand-up paddleboard in Cornwall, for all abilities.

Porthcurno Beach, South Cornwall 

Image credit: a_cornish_life on Instagram


With white sands and turquoise waters, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were on a tropical island. Porthcurno is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful Cornwall beaches, and one of the best places to paddleboard in Cornwall. Launch your board from the beach at low tide and head left towards Logan Rock, along a dramatic section of coast with jagged rock formations, and secret coves and sandy islands that can only be reached by paddle or boat. These secluded coves make stunning spots to pitch up for the day and enjoy a little solitude, just you and maybe a few other seasoned paddleboarders.

Highlights:

  • Secret beaches and hidden coves
  • Dramatic rock formations
  • Peace and quiet away from the summer crowds


Stay nearby: The Pottery | Sleeps 2 + 2 dogs

Sennen Cove, South Cornwall 


Keep an eye on the weather before you launch from the little harbour in Sennen Cove; while it is one of the country’s most beautiful spots, there can be an unruly swell too. Located just around the headland from the most westerly point of mainland Cornwall and England, paddling left from Sennen Cove can deliver an entirely alternative viewpoint of the ever-popular Land’s End landmark. It's great for wildlife lovers too as you can get a close-up view of the seal colony that lives within a secluded sea cave beneath the Land’s End headland. Beginners can experience the wonders of Sennen Cove and Porthcurno by booking a tour through Ocean Sports Centre Tours based in Carbis Bay.

Highlights:

  • An alternative view of Lands’ End
  • Spot the resident seal colony
  • Wild and wonderful paddling

Stay nearby: Tremoor | Sleeps 2

Fowey River 

Located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is one of the best places to SUP in Cornwall for bird and wildlife lovers. There is loads to see, from fascinating wading birds and marine flowering plants to rocky headlands, extraordinary caves and sandy beaches. If you’re heading out on your own board, you can park up at Caffa Mill car park opposite Daphne Du Maurier’s house, Ferryside. Here you have the choice to head upriver towards Golant and Lostwithiel or towards the mouth of the river and out to sea. The safe waters are also perfect for those trying out their paddleboarding skills for the first time and you can book lessons and hire equipment from nearby Polkerris Beach.

Highlights:

  • Great for novice adventures
  • Popular with birdwatchers
  • Experience Daphne Du Maurier country from the water


Stay nearby: Quayside – Fowey | Sleeps 6 + 1 dog

The Gannel, North Cornwall  

Image credit: cornwall_lover on Instagram

 

Complete with turquoise waters and breathtaking scenery, the River Gannel is a firm favourite for paddleboarders of all abilities, whether it’s a group of you keen for some light-hearted fun or you’re looking to polish your skills. The River Gannel runs from Newquay to Crantock Beach on the west side of the Pentire. There are several places to launch along the river, but we recommend parking in the National Trust car park at Crantock Beach because you can leave the car all day. There can be a bit of a rip tide around the mouth of the beach, so it’s best to set off upriver around 1.5 hours before high tide and take in the salt marshes, wildlife, sheltered water, sweeping sands and blue lagoons that the tide reveals. Don’t have your own equipment? Book a SUP safari through Newquay Activity Centre.

Highlights:

  • Look out for kingfishers
  • Turquoise waters
  • Ideal for paddlers of all abilities


Stay nearby: The Tall House | Sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Portreath, North Cornwall


This dramatic stretch of coastline is a paddleboarder's dream with towering cliffs, remote coves, and remarkable caves. There’s also a high chance you’ll spot seals and dolphins along this stretch too! We would suggest that this particular paddle is reserved for the more experienced SUPer because there can be a swell here, but on a calm day, it’s truly awe-inspiring. Head out to sea and turn left towards the dramatic Western Cove which, with no land access, it is a magical spot to pull upon. The real gem though lies a little further down the coast: Ralph’s Cupboard, a huge collapsed sea cave with a beach inside! If you don’t have your own board or you're not confident to explore solo, Sup in a Bag hosts tours between Portreath and St Agnes on calm days.

Highlights:

  • Pull up on secluded coves with no land access
  • Marvel at Ralph’s Cupboard, a huge collapsed sea cave
  • Spot seals and dolphins bobbing in shallow waters


Stay nearby: Tregoose – Portreath | Sleeps 8 + 3 dogs

The Camel Estuary, North Cornwall 


Launch from the small beach at Dennis Cove to experience one of the most peaceful ways to explore the beautiful Camel Estuary. The paddle to Little Petherick Creek is a pleasant route that will take you past many birds like herons and egrets. Once a month, when the spring tides are at their highest, you can make it to The Old Mill House where you can pull up and enjoy a cream tea. A popular route for the more experienced paddlers is to head to Padstow and arrive in the harbour in true style. It’s only recommended to paddle to the busy seaside town if you understand the maritime ‘rules of the road’ though because it’s a busy stretch with lots of boating activity to be aware of. When you choose to paddle will very much be dependent on the tide, with the best time being an hour either side of high tide. Camel Ski School provides lessons and SUP safaris.  

Highlights:

  • A peaceful way to explore the Camel Estuary
  • Popular with bird watchers
  • Arrive in Padstow in style


Stay nearby: Padstow – The Linhay | Sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

Helford Passage, West Cornwall 


In calm conditions, this is a pleasant paddle for novice paddleboarders, and a beautiful spot to get to grips with the board if you are a newbie. Once you’ve found your balance, take a moment to breathe in the beautiful wood-lined estuary and peaceful creeks or venture out to the stunning coastline of Falmouth Bay. Launch from the busy beach of Helford Passage, where there are many moorings and SUP hire, so this is the ideal place to paddle if you don’t have your own equipment. If you’re a keen birdwatcher, the Helford River is alive with wildlife; herons stand tall and, at low tide, oystercatchers are in their element with swathes of visible oysters.  

Highlights:

  • A peaceful way to explore the Camel Estuary
  • Popular with bird watchers
  • Arrive in Padstow in style


Stay nearby: Trewartha House | Sleeps 8

Porthallow, The Lizard, West Cornwall 


If you’re an experienced SUP boarder and you’re looking for somewhere that’s away from tourists and a little bit wild, then The Lizard Peninsula might be one of the best places to SUP in Cornwall. Launch from one of the small pebbly beaches of Porthallow, Porthkerris or Porthoustock and explore a quiet and untouched section of coastline with lots of rocky outcrops to explore. One spot you’ll probably want to venture to is just south of Porthoustock, The Manacles, which history suggests has had over 200 boats shipwrecked on them and is now a haven for marine wildlife. While the coast is mostly quiet, you will pass Polkerris Dive Centre so keep an eye out for people and boats in the water.

Highlights:

  • Quiet and remote paddling
  • An escape from the summer crowds
  • Get up close to The Manacles


Stay nearby: Little Pebble | Sleeps 4

St Michael’s Mount, West Cornwall 

Image credit: ocean_high_cornwall on Instagram.

 

The waters below St Michael’s Mount in Marazion have to be one of the best places to SUP in Cornwall for SUP pros, beginners, adults, and children. Not only are the conditions more often than not perfect SUP weather with the water rarely getting rough, but the views are pretty spectacular too. You can launch from the beach in Marazion and paddle across to the picturesque island, landing at the harbour for hot chocolate and cake in the café. Set off again and head around the island, taking in the many beautiful viewpoints and the site of the stunning 14th-century castle. You can hire equipment and book lessons through Ocean High, based in Marazion.

Highlights:

  • The water rarely gets rough here
  • It's a great place to learn to paddleboard
  • World-class views of St Michael’s Mount


Stay nearby: Petra 2 | Sleeps 2

Sup hire in Cornwall

If you’re a beginner, or you don’t have access to your own equipment here’s a round-up of some of the activity centres that offer SUP hire in Cornwall, or where you can book lessons and tours. Thinking about trying your hand at some more extreme sports, or learning to surf? We've written guides to help to plan your active experiences in Cornwall!


Book a cottage in Cornwall

Ready to pull out the board and take to the water? We hope you have been inspired to explore hidden caves, secluded beaches and peaceful rivers in some of the best places to paddleboard in Cornwall. Start planning your adventure holiday on the Cornwall coast by booking one of our cottages in Cornwall.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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