Heritage River SUP Tour

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Wa’ SUP Newquay? Paddles From The Past // Vol 1 Part III

By James Fisher

Wa’ SUP (whassup… what’s up… The pun *definitely* works…) and good morning from Newquay Activity Centre! We’ve recently been looking back at some of our classic stand up paddle board lessons in Cornwall and appreciating how they’ve helped to shape our future. We know that there’s always room for improvement, and that’s why we always aim to offer the most enjoyable paddle board lessons in Newquay. Check out our full range of SUP lessons here

If you’ve missed the first instalments of this mini-series, have a look back at some of our other recent classics starting with Vol 1 Part I.  Feel free to use this experience and information to learn about our particular stretch of captivating Cornish coast. You can even take notes and use some of our classic ideas as inspiration for future stand up paddle boarding lessons in Newquay! 

We’ve recently looked back at our previously offered Eco River Tour and River SUP & Forage Tour. Both of which are now new and improved – jam-packed with more fun, more learning and more laughter! Find them here and here respectively.  Today’s look at an old classic concludes this current volume, and it’s the turn of our old Heritage River SUP Tour. 

“Heritage River SUP Tour”

History Inspired River SUP Lesson & Tour

  • 2-hour river SUP lesson and guided tour
  • History focussed – discover the heritage of the River Gannel
  • SUP tuition from our expert, friendly instructors
  • Ideal for beginners

Second World War bombings, haunted creeks and smugglers deeds! We’ve combined fun facts with a SUP lesson on Newquay’s River Gannel estuary. Learn how to navigate the river on a SUP whilst discovering the history of one of Newquay’s secluded spots.

Newquay’s River Gannel – steeped in history

Up until the 1800’s, sailors used the River Gannel as passage to deliver coal and limestone to Newquay – once called ‘Towan Blystra.’ You’ll paddle past the remains of an old shipyard and lime kiln, used to burn limestone for spreading on soil to improve its quality.

Listen out for the cry of The Crake on your tour – a wailing sound unique to the River Gannel heard at various times during the day and night. Is it a bird or a tortured human soul? You decide! 

Second World War shipwreck

But that’s not all. And the sea isn’t the only place you’ll discover shipwrecks.

In the Second World War, enemy air forces targeted the museum ship Ada, mistaking it for a warship. The bombs missed and landed at nearby Trethellan Farm. The Ada fell into disrepair and later burnt in 1959.

SUP skills and techniques

As well as a history tour, you’ll develop basic SUP skills to navigate your way along the river. Before hitting the water, you’ll get a full brief and kit familiarisation talk with our instructors. They’ll run through some safety procedures and give you the essentials on-land first. From basic paddle strokes to using your knees to get to your feet, they’ll guide you every step of the way.

What’s Included

  •  2-hour River Gannel heritage SUP lesson and tour
  •  Expert SUP tuition – basic paddle strokes, turns and balance techniques
  •  Full safety brief
  •  Wetsuits, buoyancy aids, helmets, SUP and paddles
  •  History and heritage focus
  •  10% off our other adventure activities
  •  Discount card for apres surf food/drink and the Rip Curl shop (15%)

If history and heritage is totally your thing and you’re a bit gutted that this particular tour is now off the menu, fear not! We have a new and improved Heritage SUP Tour which is now entirely ocean based. Uncover the myths and legends that surround this curious coastline, and see for yourself the old smugglers coves once frequented by tea-smuggling pirates! 

If you would like to see what else paddle boarding in Newquay can offer you, feel free to get in touch via our online chat. Alternatively you can head over to our SUP FAQ page where you’ll find all of the answers you’re looking for. Check out our full range of paddle boarding in Cornwall activities here. Booking can be completed quick and easily online through our website for any activity you may be interested in. We hope to see you in our new centre soon!


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