Cornwall is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning, crystal-clear waters, so what better location for a spot of kayaking? The home of UK watersports, there is an abundance of locations that are calm and quiet enough for a spot of paddling and sightseeing. If you’re staying at Cornwall resorts like St Michaels Resort and want to know which locations are worth a visit, then keep on reading.
In this guide, we take a look through some of the best kayaking locations with recommendations and suggestions from Cornish locals and water sport enthusiasts alike.
We spoke to Sam Williams, owner, and head instructor at Cornish Coast Adventures, he explained why Cornwall is a great location for those looking to enjoy a spot of kayaking: “My recommendations would be to look at the weather and tides which will likely dictate the best places to kayak in Cornwall on any given day. We are very lucky that the peninsular of Cornwall normally has shelter from the wind or swell on one coast or another. Generally, the north coast of Cornwall is more exposed and rugged and better for more experienced kayakers or with a guided trip such as with us at Cornish Coast Adventures. The south coast is generally, but not always, more sheltered so better for beginners. There are exceptions from this and sheltered coves and inlets or rivers can be good options on either coast. The main thing to always check is the wind strength and the size of the swell or if in doubt speak to a lifeguard, local or a kayak guiding company such as ours.”
The best places to kayak in Cornwall:
· Swanpool Beach, Falmouth
· Port Gaverne, Port Isaac
· The Fowey River, South Cornwall
· The River Fal: Fal-Ruan Nature Reserve
· Bude Canal & Tamar Lakes
Offering you a sense of freedom and the chance to explore some of the rugged Cornish coastline, Swanpool Beach near Falmouth provides the best of both worlds, seawater kayaking that stays calm and gentle and wonderful rugged alcoves and an abundance of Cornish wildlife. Swanpool Beach was a location recommended by Frankie from the blog Meet Me by The Sea, she explained a little more about why she loves this beach for kayaking.
“Kayaking around the coast in Cornwall can’t get much better! I often venture to the south coast and rent a kayak from Swanpool Beach in Falmouth. From there my friends and I make our way around the secret coves and explore the little creeks and caves. You’ll be amazed at how clear the water can be in the shallows – it makes you feel like you’re abroad rather than in England! Also, it’s probably worth mentioning… keep an eye out for the nudist beach!”
Port Gaverne is a great location for those looking to take to the waters for the first time or are new to kayaking. Its secluded location that is sheltered by the rocks means the waters are often calm and level making it easier to paddle. Situated close to Port Isaac, known for its feature in the TV drama Doc Martin, this location offers itself to wildlife watching of all varieties.
Era Adventures recommends the location for kayaking beginners too, commenting more on their website: “Port Gaverne is a beautiful cove nestled around the corner from Port Isaac completely unspoilt and sheltered from the elements - perfect for a cruise on a sea kayak! With sheltered beaches, rock pools and caves in this pretty port of Cornwall you can while away the rest of the day after your kayaking session and enjoy cliff walks, the local port town and plenty more history.”
Starting on the moors of Bodmin, Fowey River stretches 27 miles and ends its voyage when it spills into the sea at Fowey. This stunning river is the perfect location for those looking to get a glimpse of the Cornish countryside from the water. Passing over the Bodmin Moors, through Lostwithiel and along the stunning Fowey coastline.
Experience tranquil waters, an abundance of wildlife including fish and birds and even dolphins when you meet the sea at the mouth of the Fowey. This location is perfect for kayakers of all talents, as well as families looking to enjoy a water sport together.
Fal-Ruan Nature Reserve is as beautiful as it sounds. Home to some of the rarest species in Cornwall and protected by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, this location is unbeatable for those looking to get the most out of a kayaking experience.
For those wanting to know a little more about what to expect on a kayaking trip to the estuary, then the Cornwall Wildlife Trust supply a little more information on their website: “This reserve covers the wide, flat-bottomed Fal estuary, whose mudflats contain white china clay waste once washed downriver from the clay extraction sites near St Austell. The land contours create sheltered conditions and oak trees grow down to the tidal waters. Greenshanks are often seen here, and small numbers of black-tailed godwit visit from July to January. Invertebrate animals live in the mud and create the rich estuarine ecosystem.”
Near Bude and nestled on the Cornwall and Devon border, Tamar Lakes is a great spot for kayaking. There are two lakes on the site, Upper and Lower Tamar and both offer scenic views and settled waters that are the perfect setting for watersports.
Day Out With The Kids talks about Tamar Lakes on their website and explains the activities you can enjoy at the activity centre onsite, commenting: “The Activity Centre offers a variety of watersports including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and canoeing. You can hire a craft or launch your own and experience a completely different view of Tamar Lakes. Whether you are looking for a quiet retreat or an action-packed break, Tamar has something for all to enjoy.”
Kayaking is a great sport for people of all ages and St Michaels Resort is the perfect base for those wanting to try it in the stunning Cornish surroundings. For more articles like this, then head to the St Michaels blog.