Top spots for Summer paddling in the UK!


The Great British Summertime is here! For anybody with a love of paddlesports, that means one thing – getting out on the water as much as possible.

Having a break from the norm is a good thing in the summer months, so finding somewhere new to get out onto the water can be a real treat.

Here at Gill, we love finding new areas to explore and places to enjoy doing what we love most. This summer, we want to help you locate new blue spaces to enjoy your favourite hobbies in.

For any paddlers out there, we have put together a list of some of the best paddleboarding locations in the UK, as well as some excellent spots for canoers and kayakers alike.

These 10 places offer something special, so take a look and find the perfect spot for some summer paddling fun this year.

Great Glen Canoe Trail

Starting off our list of 10 of the best paddling locations in the UK is the Great Glen Canoe Trail, the perfect trail to enjoy the natural beauty of Scotland.

The full trail covers 60 miles from Fort William to Inverness, including the River Lochy, Loch Lochy, Caledonian Canal, Loch Ness and River Ness.

With so much beauty to take in on this route, any lover of paddling in Scotland simply has to tick this route off at some point. And of course, you do not have to do the trail all in one go. A day on any of the water bodies or routes is well worthwhile.


One of the most iconic bodies of water in England, Windermere’s tranquil location in the Lake District makes it a hotbed for visitors from all walks of life.

Paddlers can also enjoy the pristine waters of Windermere this summer, with ample centres and paddlepoints to access around Windermere’s shores.

Scar House Reservoir

Working our way down the British Isles, Yorkshire is one of the most scenic counties in England. There are plenty of natural spots for watersports throughout Yorkshire, as well as some manmade options too.

Scar House Reservoir is a manmade creation, but makes for the perfect spot for some paddling up high in the Yorkshire Dales. Located in the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Scar House Reservoir is a haven of quietude, and sits about 45 minutes’ drive from the town of Ripon. The perfect spot for some peaceful summer paddling.

Llangollen Canal

One of the best things about paddling is that any water body over a certain size presents the possibility of getting out there. This includes plenty of the UK’s rivers and canals, and a beautiful one in Wales is the Llangollen Canal.

Winding its way across the beautiful countryside of the Anglo-Welsh border, the canal is a haven for scenic water activity, while the nearby River Dee also offers ample opportunity to get into the water.

A highlight of this route is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, which is a world heritage site carrying the canal across the Dee Valley.

River Wye

Staying in Wales, the River Wye is one of the most celebrated rivers in Britain thanks to its unbelievable beauty.

The Wye is in fact the fourth longest river in the UK, covering some 150 miles from its source in mid-Wales down to the Severn estuary. Pretty towns such as Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye and Ross-on-Wye all have excellent paddlepoints, allowing any paddling lover to indulge in the Wye’s famous waters.

River Soar

For paddlers in the East Midlands, the winding waters of the River Soar in Leicestershire are worth a visit this summer.

Ebbing through gentle countryside, the stretch between Leicester and the River Trent is a great spot for beginners.

There are also plenty of small villages with pubs and cafes to enjoy along this route, making the Soar an excellent selection for a paddling day trip.

River Cam


One of the most picturesque rivers in the east of England, the River Cam lends its name to the famous city of Cambridge and has been an iconic waterway for centuries.

The river is often seen with gondolas in the city of Cambridge itself, but there are ample paddling points dotted up and down the length of the Cam, making it the perfect spot for some summer paddling.

Lee Valley Park

For those out there looking for a rush of adrenaline and some testing conditions, the Lee Valley Park is a must-visit.

Built for the London 2012 Olympics, the Lee Valley Park has a selection of paddling activities for people to get involved with.

The water centre at Lee Valley Park offers a variety of lessons and activities. So if you want to get involved with paddling this summer, a trip to Lee Valley Park is well worthwhile.

River Wey and Godalming Navigation

Across the other side of London is the River Wey and Godalming Navigations, which are perfect for any paddlers located in the big city but looking to reconnect with what paddling offers this summer.

With miles of gorgeous water to explore, these navigations take some beating when it comes to a day getting away from it all.


Rounding off our list is the quaint seaside town of Exmouth in the county of Devon. Sitting at the base of the Exe estuary, Exmouth offers a great chance to get out on the water and enjoy the summer doing what you do best.

Exmouth is also a really pretty town, making it a great base for a paddling break this year. And what’s more, it is likely to be a place you return to again and again.

Get Paddling this Summer with Gill


Hopefully this blog has given you some food for thought as to where to head to if you want to visit some of the best paddle board locations, kayaking locations and canoeing locations in the UK this summer. And if you want to stay closer to home, a list of all the paddlepoints near you is available through GoPaddling’s paddlepoint finder.

Before planning any further though, look into getting a waterways licence sorted if you do not yet have one. British Canoeing has plenty of information on this, so take a look into how to secure yours as soon as possible.

A vital piece of safety wear while out on the water is a buoyancy aid. This is key whether you are starting out or an experienced paddler, and Gill has a brilliant buoyancy aid to help keep you safer out on the water.

If you are new to paddling, have a read through our tips for new paddlers blog, and also take a look at our do’s and dont’s guide for paddlers (add link when ready).

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