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The best places to paddleboard in Devon holiday cottages

The best places to paddleboard in Devon

Stand-up paddleboarding is a sport that has dramatically increased in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. It’s incredibly easy to pick up, great for core strength, stamina, for seeing some of the BEST views and now boards are readily available to hire across the UK so there’s no excuse not to give it a go. If you’re heading off on a Devon holiday this season, here are the places we highly recommend testing out your SUP skills!

1. Watermouth Cove, North Devon

Paddleboarding at Watermouth Cove, Ilfraconbe

Photo credit to @activeescape

This is an excellent place for beginners as the sheltered cove eases you into the paddleboarding experience but still excites the more experienced paddlers. For the first 15 minutes, you’ll receive basic tuition from one of the instructors to help you get going, then you can roam free and explore the many secret coves and stunning coastal sights.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water type: Sea

Lifeguards: Yes

Stay nearby in Ilfracombe.

2. Croyde, North Devon

Paddleboarding spot in Croyde

When the sea conditions are just right, Croyde is a magnificent spot for paddleboarding. With fantastic beach facilities and wide-open sea to explore, the beach itself is suited to the more experienced boarders. However, Croyde Surf Academy offers paddleboarding lessons in the area; sessions typically take place on a lake with much calmer and quieter waters, not too far from the beach.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water type: Sea   

Lifeguards: Yes

Stay nearby in Croyde.

3. Wimbleball Lake, North Devon

Paddleboarding at Wimbleball Lake, Devon

Photo credit to @wimbleballlake

Wimbleball Lake is a great place for a number of water sports and is perfectly suited to beginners due to the lake’s stillness. Here you can book tuition, hire boards or launch your own and enjoy a day of paddling around in a relaxing and beautiful environment. Plus, the readily available facilities make it all the more enjoyable.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water type: Lake

Lifeguards: No

Stay nearby in Exmoor.

4. Burgh Island, South Devon

Paddleboarding spot, Burgh Island, Devon

Often praised as being the best paddleboarding spot in the South West, we highly recommend a visit to Burgh Island. Head off from Bigbury-on-Sea for a shorter trip, or Hope Cove for more of a challenge. Circumnavigate around the island, keeping an eye out for hidden caves and coves. Having been the inspiration behind two of Agatha Christie’s novels, it’s definitely one to add to your itinerary.

SUP hire: Yes – from Discovery Surf at Bigbury Beach

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Intermediate +

Water conditions: Sea

Lifeguards: Yes – at Bigbury Beach

Stay nearby in Kingsbridge.

5. Salcombe, South Devon

Paddleboarding spot at Salcombe Estuary

Photo credit to @salcombepaddleboarding

The sheltered position on the estuary means that you can enjoy a SUP session at all tides – and this makes it perfect for learners. During high tide, the man-made ‘kiddy pool’ is the perfect place for the little ones to have a go. Or, make the most of guided adventures with Salcombe Paddleboarding where you can create your own itinerary and see the true beauty of the area.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water conditions: Estuary

Lifeguards: Yes

Stay nearby in Salcombe.

6. The River Dart, South Devon

The River Dart, a paddleboarding spot in Devonb

The meandering River Dart is a spectacular place to enjoy time on the water. Drift from bustling towns such as Totnes, along the tranquil tree-lined banks and rolling hills into serenity, stopping off at any of the pubs along the way that take your fancy. We’d recommend the route from Totnes to Dartmouth which is around 9 miles long to make the most of your day here.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water conditions: River

Lifeguards: No

Stay nearby in Paignton.

7. South Milton Sands, South Devon

South Milton Sands, a paddleboarding spot in Devon

The sheltered position of South Milton Sands is perfect for a day on the water. Hire your equipment from Surfin’ Sam, a UK Women's 14’ Stand Up Paddleboard champion and get her top tips on the area. See if you can carefully navigate your way through Thurlestone Rock and explore the open sea, gazing back at the beauty of the beach.

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: No

Ability level: Beginners +

Water conditions: Sea

Lifeguards: Yes – only during summer school holidays

Stay nearby in Kingsbridge.

8. Exmouth Marina, South Devon

SUP yoga at Exmouth Marina

Photo credit to @edgewatersportsuk

Exmouth offers a plethora of different paddleboarding routes, from the River Exe to the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site that stretches to Lyme Regis. Whether you’re looking for a challenge or a quiet day of paddling in the marina, this is a great place to start. You can also enjoy SUP yoga sessions here from Edge Watersports: a fantastic activity for core strength!

SUP hire: Yes

Lessons: Yes

Ability level: Beginners +

Water conditions: Mixed

Lifeguards: Yes

Stay nearby in Exmouth.

9. Dartmoor, Mid Devon

Paddleboarding at Spitchwick, Devon

Photo credit to @the_adventure_diary

There are plenty of incredible places to paddleboard on Dartmoor, ranging from the more popular spots of Spitchwick, an area that can be more crowded in the summer, but in other seasons lies peacefully quiet, to the lesser-known spots of Sharrah Pool, where you are in for a crystal clear treat of a pool if you can brave the 40-minute hike over!

SUP hire: No

Lessons: No

Ability level: Beginners +

Water conditions: Rivers

Lifeguards: No

Stay nearby in Dartmoor.

If you’re ready to head off on a stand-up paddleboarding adventure, or simply want to stay near the coast to make the most of the sea, why not take a look at our holiday cottages in Devon? With family-friendly, dog-friendly and luxury properties in our collection, there’s something to suit your every need.

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