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Kayaking In Cornwall – Your Guide To The Best Spots!

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An insider’s guide to the best kayaking spots in Newquay and across Cornwall

Here’s our insider’s guide to the best kayaking spots in Cornwall. With clear blue water beneath you and eye-popping coastal scenery around you, sitting on top of a kayak is a pretty idyllic place to be.  Read on, plan your excursion, and prepare to be blown away. 

Cornwall has it all on offer, from the exciting swell and dramatic coastline of the north, to the romantic and usually sheltered waters of the south, plus the gorgeous tidal river estuaries that snake their way inland, offering exploration of secret coves and secluded spots.

With access to both the north and south coast, kayaking in Cornwall offers conditions and environments to suit everyone. It’s a family friendly place, suitable for beginners to gain confidence and develop their skills in sheltered waters; those looking for gentle adventures will be spoilt for choice. Cornwall also offers options for those seeking adrenaline and genuine challenges, simply pick your day, choose your vibe, check the forecast and select the appropriate spot.

Top tips: A couple of free apps which will help you pick the right location for your kayaking adventure, and have the most fun, are:

Surfline: This app can tell you the predicted swell, wave height, wave period, wind speed and direction at most beaches in Cornwall. It will also give you the tide times and tide heights. This will be useful if you are planning to launch from a beach through the surf, or want to time your paddle to perfection on a tidal river estuary.

surfline.com

Windy: This free app shows you the forecast for wind speed and direction in an easy to understand format. You’re very exposed to the wind on a kayak, but especially if you have children or less experienced paddlers, or anyone in the group on a stand up paddle board. So if you are planning an unguided excursion you’ll want to check  the conditions in advance to ascertain whether a return trip will be possible, or whether you’re better taking 2 cars and planning a one way paddle… or perhaps moving to plan B and changing locations all together.

windy.com

Kayaking In Cornwall

Kayak Towan Headland, Newquay

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Tour:

Towan Headland and Newquay Bay

Towan Headland

We’ve got to start with our homeland. At Towan headland, everything aligns in spectacular style. The golden sands of Towan beach, the bluest of waters, the incredible wildlife and the impossibly beautiful craggy cliffs packed with secret beaches, fascinating history and hidden caves. This is where kayaking gets super special and where no two paddles are the same. In fact Sea Kayaking at Towan is perfect for repeat visits due to the large tidal range, every trip is vastly different.  Spring and Neap tides change the dynamic of the journey in so many ways and caves will become available to paddle into and marine life that can only be seen at low tides will become visible.

If you choose to kayak with Newquay Activity Centre we will launch from a secret spot just beyond the breaking waves, which gives you direct access to explore the wide expanse of open water that is Newquay bay. If you’re kayaking independently you’ll be best off launching from the beach through the breaking waves. Watch out for boat traffic, as you paddle past the mouth of Newquays iconic working harbour.

Paddle out of the bay to the Gazzle, a 2 km stretch of Atlantic coastline where tales of piracy and shipwrecks will get you up close with Newquay’s fascinating history. The Gazzle is the home of Coasteering in the region so your kayak session will usually pass one or more groups traversing along the cliffs or jumping in from various heights.  Why not combine the two adventures and add a guided Coasteer to your kayak trip, it will allow you to explore more areas on the Gazzle and find more of those adrenaline pumping jumps and sluice rides that are synonymous with Coasteering in the region.

The Gazzle is teaming with marine wildlife and unique features, here the kayak becomes a unique viewing platform into the underwater world below. Glide along the ocean surface and keep your eyes peeled because you’re guaranteed to encounter an array of marine wildlife, as rich and diverse as any coastline in the world. Large populations of resident cormorants and great northern divers can be seen fishing the waters throughout the year, and migrant wonders such as manx shearwater and puffins are not uncommon. This part of the coast is also home to one of the last remaining kittiwake nesting sites in the south-west, a rare honour to host a bird now RSPB RED listed under the RSPB’s conservation status. 

Just a short time spent in these waters will almost certainly bring the intrepid kayaker into contact with one of the Cornish coast’s most charismatic creatures: The Grey Seal. Over a third of the entire world’s grey seal population can be found in UK waters, many of which make their home in Cornwall, and the Gazzle is a regular haunt for grey seals hunting. Though always best enjoyed from a distance, their curious disposition can make for some intimate encounters, and memorable experiences. To top it all off, this stretch of coast is routinely visited by pods of larger marine mammals. Common and bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, and even whales have all been spotted from land and sea, collectively making Towan one of the most enticing prospects for wildlife in Cornwall and beyond.

Along your journey, there are many different iconic venues that you must see.  From the famous island house with its 90 ft suspension bridge, to the Harbour and fly cellars used for pilchard fishing during the 19th century and also for smugglers to store china tea, brandy, wine and silk.  Moving further round the headland will take you to the old lifeboat slip which was once one of the steepest slipways in Europe.  This is the scene of one of Newquay’s most famous rescue attempts by the Lifeboat in 1917 to rescue the upturned Osten.  This resulted in the crew being caught out by the huge swell and having to survive for 3 days in the Tea Caverns cave which you can paddle into.  

With the amount that Towan Headland has to offer, it is easy to see why this has become one of the most popular kayaking in Cornwall venues.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

Newquay Activity Centre can plan your trip and guide you on a sea kayaking adventure.

In the summer time the boat house street food market based in Newquay harbour, is an ideal place to find a range of tantalising refreshments. You can park up your kayak on the beach and wander over for a whole host of delicious snacks and drinks… who needs holidays abroad when you have this set up. It’s dreamy!

For a more adrenaline orientated adventure then make sure you go when there is a bit of swell.  The paddling becomes more exciting and challenging and you can play around, rock hopping in the dynamic water features along the route.

At the end of Towan Headland you will then encounter the mighty Cribbar Reef.  Whilst completely flat for most of the year, during the winter swell season it’s home to Newquay’s big wave surf spot where you can see waves in excess of 30 feet. On days when the Cribbar is breaking we would recommend downing your paddles and taking up storm watching instead.

Kayak The Gannel Estuary, Newquay

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The Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach

Gannel Estuary Kayaking

Fancy a mindful and calming experience on the water? Our guided tours of the Gannel Estuary offer you a chilled paddle where the mood is peaceful, the conditions are lagoon-like, and the scenery is full of natural wonders. The stillness of the Gannel Estuary is often a stark contrast to the open ocean, it’s a protected marine environment where you can relax, catch your breath and soak in the surroundings. From the mystical overhanging trees of Penpol Creek with its fun rope swings, to the abundant wildlife and perfect swimming spots, the Gannel Estuary is a little piece of river kayaking heaven and also a dream venue for Stand Up Paddleboarders.  The Gannel is the perfect place to learn all of your necessary kayaking skills in a relatively safe environment whilst still being able to take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife.

Best explored at dawn or dusk when the spring tides are at their biggest, keep your eyes peeled for an array of birdlife. At low tides this estuary becomes a twitcher’s paradise, where wading birds from the pedestrian to exotic have been known to plunder the sand for burrowing creatures. Common sights include Plover, Greenshank and Godwit, the peculiar curved beaks of Curlew and Whimbrel, distinctive blue flash of Kingfishers, and brilliant white feathers of Little and Cattle Egrets. Visitors here shift with the seasons and are as reliable as the overwintering of wetland ducks like Wigeon and Teal, or as rare as surprise stopovers from distant travellers such as Dalmatian Pelican, occasionally losing their way on migratory flights. If you fancy trying your luck at fishing you might just catch a school Bass or small Mullet (please be aware of the strict catch and release policy). 

Those with an interest in the uncanny may wish to seek out the ghostly presence known to locals as ‘The Gannel Crake’, whose chilling call can be heard in the twilight hours. Whether the cry of a tortured soul, or the call of an unknown bird, the Crake contributes to an area of natural beauty that is a true jewel in Newquay’s crown. The Gannel’s recent classification as a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) means this location and its abundant wildlife will be preserved for generations to come.

And if you like your paddle with a side helping of heritage take in the remnants of an Iron Age Village and the remains of an old quay and lime kiln which hint at the Gannel’s previous life as a busy hub of activity.  Check out millionaires row on the Pentire side of the river to view some of the largest and most stunning properties in the area.  Don’t forget to stop at Crantock beach for an ice cream, or slice of cake, there are a few pop up venues on the sand in the summertime.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

The most ideal time to venture out is an hour and a half either side of High Tide and ideally on a 6m+ tide to really get the most out of this epic kayaking journey.  Don’t get caught out as the tide drops quickly as you may find that you have to drag your kayak back to the car.  

Avoid paddling on the Gannel when the wind is blowing Westerly, Northerly or southerly winds are fine though.  

Launch from Crantock Beach for a longer journey, or the small car park that is just off the Gannel link road in Newquay gives you a fairly central start and end point.

Kayak St Agnes

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Trevaunance Cove and Trevellas Cove

St Agnes Kayaking
Image: Visit Cornwall

For an undoubtedly unique kayaking in Cornwall experience launch from St Agnes, a characterful north coast village home to Trevaunance Cove. This is where Cornish mining history comes to life, so much so that the area has World Heritage Site status putting it on a par with the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal. Iconic engine houses stand proudly on the cliff tops and smugglers caves hide away at the foot of the dramatic cliffs ripe for discovery by paddle. With a unique perspective from the sea, visualise Cornwall’s mining heyday and throw yourself into a Poldark-like exploration. 

An excursion reserved for the more experienced paddlers amongst you, due to distance and potential swell, is a magical paddle from St Agnes to Ralph’s Cupboard. Head out to sea and head south (left) round St Agnes Head, past the amusingly named Sally’s Bottom, towards Portreath and Western Cove. Here you’ll find Ralph’s Cupboard, a huge collapsed sea cave with a beach inside… and the spirit of Ralph, the giant who inhabited it. It’s only reachable by boat, and not for the faint hearted.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

When you have finished your Kayaking trip, don’t forget to tuck into one of St Agnes Bakery’s world-famous Sausage Rolls.  If you ever doubt that they are the best, then just check out all of the amazing reviews!

Stretch your legs with a breathtaking walk up to St Agnes Beacon, or circular walks to Perranporth to the north or Chapel Porth to the south.

Take a wander round the WWII airfield at Perranporth that is just a short walk away. There is a moving war memorial there and potentially the opportunity to see some memorabilia and a classic plane or two.

Kayak Porthcurno

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Pedn Vounder Beach and The Minack Theater

Image: Unsplash

Oh Porthcurno, Cornwall’s ultimate beauty spot, how we adore you. Rivalling exotic locations from far-flung destinations around the world, Porthcurno is all about crystal waters, fine, golden sand and head turning scenery.  Launch your kayak and head left (east) towards Logan Rock and Pen Vendor beach, there are sand bars, naturist opportunities and the opportunities for pure magic.  There are regular summer visits from Basking Sharks which makes for some epic travelling companions.   If you want to make your Instagram grid pop, jump on a kayak here and see the likes come flooding in.  The access to the beach can be a little tricky but it is definitely worth the effort and in winter it turns into a great spot for both Surfing and Bodyboarding.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

During the season, tie in your visit to Porthcurno with a visit to the world famous Minack theatre. This unique slice of Corniush culture is mere moments away from the sands of Porthcurno and overlooks the bay that you’ll have kayaked across. You can visit for a matinee, evening performance or simply a tour of the beautiful gardens.

Visit the interesting telegraph museum. Did you know that it was here in Porthcurno that the first transatlantic telephone cables were laid?

Take a 30 minute walk from Porthcurno car park to reach Pen Vendor beach, it’s a bit of a scramble, but this stunning beach is worth the walk. Clothing is optional here, so it’s a place you can relax and let it all hang out.

Kayak Fowey Estuary

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Fowey and Golant

Fowey Estuary Kayaking
Image: Unsplash

For a paddle full of varied interest, the Fowey Estuary could be accused of over delivering. There are secluded little beaches, hidden inlets, bustling docks and beautiful vistas, and of course the novelty of arriving at the chic town of Fowey, or the fishing village of Polruan by water. 

There are boats as far as the eye can see here, and in fact this is the spot where author Kenneth Graham was struck with the inspiration for The Wind in the Willows… as the quote from the iconic book goes ‘there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.’ 

As a tidal river estuary, there are the tides and currents to consider but time it right and it’s difficult to get bored on this characterful stretch.  The river is nice and wide and meanders around so that there are plenty of places to explore.  The added bonus to this little piece of paddling heaven is that you can start paddling right from the car park which reduces any carry time… Perfect.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

Fowey is pronounced ‘FOY’, so if you want to blend in with the locals, don’t fall into the trap of pronouncing all of the letters.

If conditions are suitable take an excursion along the coast to Lantic Bay, east of Polruan, by Pencarrow Headland. It’s a remote and beautiful spot, and if conditions are favourable it will be a wonderful pit stop.

Fowey is well known for its association with author Daphne du Maurier. Du Maurier came to Fowey and fell in love with the village. She lived for many years at Ferryside, right next to the Bodinnick Ferry.

Kayak The Falmouth Estuary

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Mylor and Trelissick

Kayaking Falmouth Estuary

A historic waterway known as Carrick Roads, the tidal Fal Estuary has played an enormous part in our trade, industry and defence for centuries. Chosen for its sheltered waterways, and incredible deep water channel (of up to 30m depth) the estuary can accommodate some of the largest ships in the world. The castles on either side of the entrance to the estuary, and the traces of WWII defences tell us of the strategic importance this location has held for centuries… but in peaceful times we can now simply enjoy it for pleasure. The Fal Estuary offers so many options for launching and pit stops, that a leisure paddler could easily spend their holiday exploring just this body of water alone.

On the eastern side of the river you have iconic St Mawes and St Just In Roseland. On the western bank you have Falmouth, Penryn, Flushing, Mylor, Restronguet, Loe Beach, Feock, Trelissick and more… right up to Truro. There are numerous points to stop and explore, the river banks are lined with quaint villages, boat yards, tea plantations and exotic gardens.

Be sure to check out the conditions and tides before planning your trip, and be aware of strong currents if crossing the river at its widest (and deepest) point near Falmouth. It is easier and safer to hug the coastline and cross further upstream towards Trelissick where the river significantly narrows and becomes less exposed.

Also be aware that the numerous creeks you’ll want to paddle up and explore, that adjoin the main Fal estuary are only accessible at a higher tide, and are often just a muddy river bed at low tide – so plan your trip around the tides.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

On the right tide, you can paddle right up to the county capital of Truro, using the convenient slipway at Boscawen Park as your end point, or stop slightly short of Truro at Malpas and enjoy the hospitality and situation of the Heron Inn. This will take some serious paddle power to cover the distance, but with numerous launch points along the river you can judge your fitness and launch accordingly.

St Just In Roseland is proof that heaven exists! It is a magical spot, with a tidal lagoon and an atmospheric church, and graveyard full of tropical plants. Please make this peaceful pit stop and spend a mindful moment in this enchanting corner of Cornwall, you will not regret it. The 13th century church is widely considered the most beautiful church in the UK, and well worth a visit. 

One of the most magical pub experiences can be found at The Pandora, on the Restronguet passage. This quaint old pub has a floating pontoon covered in picnic benches. Paddle up to the pontoon, tie up and enjoy your food and drink on the water – it’s an experience best enjoyed at a higher tide.

Kayak The Roseland Peninsula

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Tour:

Nare Head and Porthscatho

Roseland Peninsula Kayaking

Bordered by the Fal Estuary to the west and the St Austell Bay to the east, the Roseland is a lesser visited part of Cornwall, due to distance from main tourist attractions. This makes it pure bliss for those looking to kayak and escape the crowds, and offers numerous launching points for kayaks that have easy access to the water.

We love Carne Beach for ease, it has a National Trust car park, toilets and simple access to the sand. Just a short paddle along the coast is Porthcurnick Beach, where you can enjoy a treat from the Hidden Hut, a local favourite beach shack with refreshing drinks and daily, seasonal specials.

Continue along and you’ll reach the beautiful hub of Porthscatho, which is a wonderful pit stop for lunch, or a swim in the harbour. At our last visit there was a pontoon in the harbour which served as a brilliant diving and sunbathing platform.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

If you want to stretch your legs then a wonderful circular walk can take you along the south west coast path, to St Anthony’s Head, and back inland towards the coast. There is much to explore on foot here. 

As mentioned in our Fal River Estuary section, St Just In Roseland is proof that heaven exists! It is a magical spot, with a tidal lagoon and an atmospheric church, and graveyard full of tropical plants. Please make this peaceful pit stop and spend a mindful moment in this enchanting corner of Cornwall, you will not regret it. The 13th century church is widely considered the most beautiful church in the UK, and well worth a visit. 

The name Roseland has nothing to do with the many blooms that decorate the area, it actually comes from the Cornish word Ros, meaning promontory. And there are several promontories to choose from if you’d like to kayak around one and admire it from the water, The Dodman at the eastern end, Nare Head overlooking Gerrans Bay and St Anthony Head at the mouth of the Carrick Roads are all spectacular from the water and from land.

Kayak Sennen

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Lands End and The Cot Valley

Sennen Cove Kayaking
Image: Visit Cornwall

This is definitely one you’ll want to check the forecasting apps for, before you head out from the little harbour at Sennen Cove. One of Cornwall’s quaintest beauty spots, but super exposed; so on its day it picks up wicked swell and is a perfect storm watching spot – don’t get caught out. Located just a short stroll from Lands End, the most westerly dot on the map of mainland England, kayaking from Sennen can give you a different perspective of the world famous landmark, and a perfect way to escape the crowds that are drawn to tick this box on their sightseeing wish list. Kayaking in Cornwall doesn’t get any more wild than this!

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

Underneath the Lands End headland there is a seal colony, housed in a secluded sea cave. This is great for nature lovers, please keep your distance, but you’ve got the chance to catch a glimpse of a sight that most visitors will never even know exists.

Paddle right along the coast and you’ll reach the Penwith Heritage Coast, and stunning views of crumbling cliffs and historic ruins.

A bit more of a paddle and you’ll reach the iconic spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Irish Sea, at Cape Cornwall. Have you ever straddled two oceans in your kayak before? Well now is your chance. The name Cape Cornwall first appeared on maritime charts around the year 1600, and was purchased by the kind folk at Heinz (beans) in 1987, and donated to the nation for protection and prosperity. The National Trust now maintains this landmark and will offer you lovely refreshments if you wish to park up your kayak here and explore on foot.

Kayak The Helford River

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Helford Passage and Port Navas

Kayaking Helford River
Image: Forever Cornwall

If you’ve ever read the enchanting story of Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek then you may be able to imagine the romance of the woodland lined estuaries and peaceful waterways of the Helford.  

In calm conditions, it’s an idyllic, quiet paddle, perfect for novice kayakers and family groups. It’s an ideal location to learn the basics, find your rhythm and enjoy gentle waters before you venture out into the main waterways of Falmouth Bay. 

You can launch from the bustling beach on the Helford Passage, right in front of the Ferry Boat Inn. From this start point you have good access to both the Lower Helford and Upper Helford. Just be sure to check the tides before you set off as this is a tidal estuary and will be easier to access on a higher tide. 

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

If you are a fan of birdlife then you’ll love the Helford River, it is alive with wildlife. Majestic herons stand tall as statues, and at low tide, oystercatchers are in their element as swathes of oysters are exposed for the picking.  

You’ve got the choice of two wonderful pubs which face each other across the Helford Passage. The Ferry Boat Inn and the Shipwrights Arms give you two wonderful riverside options, and offer a fun (and easy) paddle between the two.

Nearby Trebah Gardens offers a slice of paradise, with its tropical gardens and sensational planting schemes, it is a wonderful environment to walk around, or pause and enjoy a refreshment. There is also an open air theatre here which offers entertainment periodically through the summer months.

Kayak The Camel Estuary

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Padstow and Wadebridge

Kayaking The Camel Estuary
Image: Rohrs and Rowe

The Camel Estuary is a beautiful area to explore, but does take some planning and common sense. Padstow is a bustling town near the mouth of the estuary with a huge amount of boat traffic and strict maritime rules of the road which need to be adhered to. You should only consider the popular paddle towards padstow if you are aware of etiquette and can paddle safely amongst the boat traffic. This is recommended for experienced paddlers only.

For a peaceful experience we recommend launching from the small beach at Dennis Cove, which is at the eastern edge of Padstow. The inland paddle towards Little Petherick Creek is a pleasant route that will put you in the path of herons, egrets and other wonderful wildlife. Once a month, when the spring tides are at their peak you’ll have enough depth to paddle all the way up Little Petherick Creek, and enjoy a cream tea at The Old Mill House. We highly recommend this.

This is a tidal river estuary so plan your trip carefully to maximise the water under your boat.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

The wonderful Camel Trail runs inland from Padstow, to Wadebridge, Bodmin and beyond. If you fancy stretching your legs this is a wonderful excursion.

Rick Stein is famous for his prominent foot hold in Padstow, however there are a wealth of other restaurants and cafes to choose from. We love Sabzi, an Iranian vegetarian deli owned by Cornish masterchef runner up Kate Attlee. It’s a fresh, interesting and tasty choice that will fuel your paddling and won’t break the bank.

A trip across the estuary to the other side will enable you to visit Rock beach. Well worth a look and a beautiful walk along the coast to St Enodoc where there is a blissful church you can nose around.

Kayak St Michaels Mount

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Tour:

Marazion and Newlyn

Kayaking St Michaels Mount
Image: Unsplash

If you want to combine your paddling with sightseeing and bucket list ticking, then look no further than the waters around St Michael’s Mount. Located just off the coast of Marazion, a few miles west of Penzance, this is undoubtedly one of the best places to go kayaking in Cornwall for adults and children alike, newbies and seasoned pros.

Historically, St Michael’s Mount was the Cornish counterpart to the famous  Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. Mont-Saint-Michel is a similar tidal island, with an iconic conical shape, although the French version is much taller.

The water here rarely gets too rough, and the views are iconic whichever way you look. There is a handy beach car park in Marazion which offers you ideal conditions to launch straight off the beach, just steps from your car.  

A short paddle takes you across to the picturesque island, where between 01 October and 30 April access to the harbour and village is free for everyone during opening hours. During the main season (May to September) access is by ticket, and those who are not National Trust members will have to pay. You can easily paddle right around the island, taking in the vista of this 14th century castle from every angle. The beach is also a wonderful place

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

If you fancy a day trip to the iconic Scilly Isles then the ferry leaves from penzance, just a stones throw from Marazion. It’s the UK’s very own slice of the tropics.

Your 360 degree kayak around St Michaels Mount is best timed for high tide. At low tide a stone causeway emerges from watery depths so the island can be accessed on foot.

Please be observant and watch out for boat traffic, as there is a regular shuttle that takes visitors to and from St Michaels Mount when the causeway is covered by the ocean.

Further afield...

Kayak Isles of Scilly

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Tour:

Hugh Town and Porthloo

Kayaking Isles Of Scilly
Image: Unsplash

The Isles of Scilly is a group of over 200 islands and rock outcrops some 28 miles off the Cornish coast. It’s been part of the Cornish Duchy estate since the 14th century and in terms of flora and fauna is the jewel in the Cornish crown. A handful of the main islands are inhabited, but most of the islands are uninhabited, but ripe for exploration by kayak, as long as you have experience and are clued up on the currents and conditions.

With relatively simple hops between the islands of St Martin’s, Trescoe and Bryher suitable for novice paddlers, there are more advanced stretches of open water ideal for experienced paddlers, that will take you out towards the Eastern Isles, St Agnes and beyond.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

The hardest thing about visiting the Isles of Scilly is the shortage of accommodation available, so make sure you plan ahead and get your accommodation sorted early.

If you fancy visiting a tropical desert island then this is without a doubt your easiest and best best. The gulf and jet stream mean that like mainland Cornwall, the Scilly Isles have higher water and air temperatures than the rest of the UK. It’s our own tropical paradise.

The gardens on The Scillies are world famous, so don’t leave without soaking up the flora. You can either pay to visit the formal gardens on Trescoe, or simply take a walk around the coast path and enjoy the exotic plants that grow wild as weeds. It’s a delight for all the senses. 

Kayak The Lower Dart / The Dart Loop

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Tour:

Totnes and Dartmouth

Image: Visit Totnes

For higher adrenaline Kayaking, a move further afield is in order to our neighbouring county of Devon.  Here you can find the mellow Lower Dart river or its bigger brother, the Dart Loop. These are perfect examples of classic grade 2 and 3 rivers which will offer the Kayaker a combination of fun, challenging and technical sections.

Local ‘Insider’ Info: 

From New Bridge, it is 100m ish to a small play-wave which at times offers a breaking wave which can be surfed or even cartwheeled! In flood, this play wave becomes quite superb, it is difficult to get up to, but worth the effort.

Watch out for trip hazards. Trees often fall into the river and so please be observant. Holne weir is very dangerous at certain levels.

If you want to gauge the level of the river and the condition of the rapids on the Dart before you set off, look out for a rock ledge on the left of the river at New bridge. If the river covers most (or all) of this, then the river is at a medium or high level, and if water is flowing through all 3 arches of the bridge, then it’s very high. If the water level does not reach the ledge, then the Dart is low. You can also judge for yourself how messy or clean the flow of the rapids under the bridge are, it’s fair to assume that the rapids on the Dart will be similar.

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