Paddling Around the UK: A Guide to the Best Kayaking and Canoeing Spots
The United Kingdom may not be known for its vast open waters, but don’t let that fool you—it’s actually home to some of the best kayaking and canoeing spots in Europe. And no matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, there’s something here for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert looking for a challenge, these are some of the best places in the UK to explore by kayak or canoe.
River Wye, Wales
The River Wye is one of the most popular kayaking spots in the UK and it’s easy to see why. The river winds through some stunning scenery in Wales, with lush greenery on either side and plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. This is also one of the best places for beginners as there are lots of calm sections where you can get used to paddling without having to worry about tricky white water rapids. Two-person kayaks are perfect for those looking to explore the UK’s stunning waterways in tandem, allowing for a more comfortable and enjoyable ride than a single-person vessel. With extra space for gear and supplies, they can handle longer journeys with relative ease. Check out the best 2 person inflatable kayak at Water & Outdoors.
Windermere, Lake District
For those who are looking for a bit more adventure, Windermere is just about perfect. This lake has enough challenging white water rapids to keep even seasoned paddlers on their toes and offers stunning views of England’s beautiful Lake District. Plus, if you’re feeling really brave—and your safety equipment is up-to-scratch—you can even explore some hidden caves beneath the surface!
Ely Ouse Navigation (River Great Ouse), Cambridgeshire
If you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed than white water rapids but still want a taste of adventure then Ely Ouse Navigation may be just what you need. This stretch of river takes in some gorgeous countryside views along with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities as well as a few mild rapids here and there. Just make sure to bring your own boat or rent one nearby; this stretch isn’t suitable for swimming or wading so you’ll need your own vessel!
There are so many great places in the UK—both inland and along its coastlines—for kayaking and canoeing that it can be hard to know where to start. But whether you’re just getting started or already have years’ worth of experience under your belt, these three spots should give you a good place to start your exploration of Britain’s waterways! So pack up your gear, grab your paddle, and get out there! The adventure awaits!