Water ACTIVITIES

Don your swimming costume, flippers, snorkel, board or boat and and get ready for an action packed adventure in or on the water! The UK is blessed with some of the world’s best natural locations for watersports. Whether it’s windsurfing on Hayling Island, surfing in Devon, exploring the Scottish Islands by sea kayak, Coasteering the Dorset coastline or a tranquil canal boat ride along the Norfolk Broads, there is something for everyone.

The best news is, you’ll find a selection of activities as close to or far from home as you’re prepared to travel thanks to the prevalence of rivers, lakes and coastlines around the UK. To help get you started we’ve pulled together some top tips for planning what to do and where to go.

  • Be realistic about whether you can hack the cold.

Although the idea having the cold sea air whipping around your face might seem very heroic, the reality may be a lot less appealing. Consider with you and your family or group are prepared to take a dip in the cold weather or if you’re better off waiting for the summer and autumn months to roll around.

  • Figure out how far you can travel, and how you’ll get there.

Certain coastline and sea activities may not be easily accessible if you don’t own a car but never fear, there are usually plenty of public transport options in and out of big seaside destinations such as Newquay, Southampton and Cornwall. Equally, there are opportunities for sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing etc. on lakes and reservoirs around the country that would easily rival the sea.

  • Decide if you want a solo or group activity.

Many water-based activities are better suited to individuals, but there are still opportunities for families or small groups. Sailing and white water rafting are fantastic days out or even for a stag party.

  • Is everybody involved of a similar age or ability?

Some water sports are more demanding than others, and naturally most of them require a certain degree of swimming ability. Even if you don’t start in the water, you may end up in it! To get the most out of your day, make sure that everyone will be able to get involved and enjoy it.

  • How much are you looking to spend?

Water activities vary massively in price, ranging from absolutely free to a few hundred pounds. So figure out how big or small you want to go and plan accordingly.

Now you’ve got an idea of who is coming and where you might go, you’re ready to choose an activity. Take a look at some of the below themes and get ready to hit the water.

 

Feeling inspired? Check out the options below to find out your nearest location.



 

  • Sea-based

Probably the first thing you think of when it comes to water activities are those that happen on the sea. So grab your board and head out into the waves.

Windsurfing: Windsurfing combines surfing with sailing, with riders standing on a longboard and using a movable mast to catch the wind and propel themselves forwards.
Kitesurfing: Perfect for anywhere breezy, riders use a giant kite to power themselves forwards. A good one for toning up your arms!
Bodyboarding: Easy and cheap, this just involves a small foam board, lying on your stomach and catching a wave to help take you into shore.
Surfing: Everyone knows what this involves, so grab a big foam board if you’re just starting out and get ready to spend a lot of time falling off!

  • Coastline

If you’re not someone that is keen to lose sight of shore and head out into the open blue then why not try one of these activities?

Coasteering: Navigate your way around the cliff face as you scramble along designated routes overlooking the sea.
Cliff jumping: This is a fun part of coasteering that involves jumping into the waters below.

  • Rivers

One of your best options if you’re looking for something a little bit more adrenaline-filled. Just note that some activities won’t run or may not be quite as thrilling when water levels are low – usually when it hasn’t rained in a while. So make sure to check when booking.

White water rafting: Get a group together or just go with a friend and take on the rapids as you fly downstream in a rigid inflatable boat.
River bugs: This is another type of whitewater sport where a single person navigates a given stretch of river in their own inflatable craft.
Canal boating: A little bit more laidback and a great option if you’re short on money but long on time. Turn a cruise down the river into a mini break and see a whole new world.

  • Lakes and Reservoirs

Something that the UK has plenty of is big bodies of still water, perfect for recreational activities. Without tides or flowing water to worry about, lakes and reservoirs are a great place for young participants to try out something new.

Sailing: Anyone of any age can learn to sail, and you can go solo in a smaller optibat-type boat, or tackle something bigger as a team.
Windsurfing
Dragon boating: This fast and fun team activity involves small groups paddling to the beat of a drum in long, narrow boats. Great for team bonding or a good laugh.
Kayaking: Take to your nearest lake and get paddling. If you’re heading north just keep an eye out for the Loch Ness Monster

Feeling inspired? Check out the options below to find out your nearest location.

 

Product Reviews

As a recreational or professional diver in 2018, it’s advisable to include a good dive watch with your gear, especially one with an integrated dive computer. It's the best way to stay on top of
One piece of footwear that almost everyone needs at some point during the year is good a pair of wellington boots. Wellies should be reliable and sturdy so that they keep us going in a number of
On camping trips, a log or tree stump can often become the go-to seat, but nothing gives you the much-needed support and comfort after a day of activities quite like a camping chair. With many
When preparing for family camping, there is one item that is indispensable. Your tent. Shelter is essential to survival; a good tent keeps you dry, warm and safe. Family tents should have enough
Choosing a waterproof jacket can seem like a major task when you see just how many options there are on the market. From the different types of shells, varying materials and waterproofing
Whether you’re heading to the mountains, for a weekend out on the trail, or simply for a jaunt in the hills, one thing you can’t afford to be without is good quality waterproof gear. At some
One part of camping that is often underrated is enjoying a warm meal. While there is nothing wrong with cold beef jerky, a warm meal can give you the boost you need at the end of a tiring day of
One of the most important aspects of kit when you are camping is a good quality sleeping bag. You will not want to embark on a journey without being properly equipped and this includes a quality
On one end of the spectrum are the huge hi-fi systems with various speakers, soundboards and cables that sound great but take up a tonne of room and can’t be moved – at all. At the other end are
With the summer season fast approaching, it won’t be long until you’re packing up and heading down to your nearest lake, reservoir or seaside destination to engage in some water sports. Whether
Power banks and portable chargers are one and the same, although as the name suggests the latter is usually slightly smaller. They are small external battery packs which contain rechargeable
The BEST value action cameras for outdoor adventures! Choosing the right action camera isn't easy. There are lots of options for outdoor enthusiasts, ranging from feature-packed 4K action cameras to
Head torches are an essential piece of kit for any outdoor adventurers, fell runners, hikers, watersports enthusiasts or weekend campers! These small but extremely powerful torches are mounted on a
Whether you’re skiing, yacht sailing, hiking or anything else for that matter, the chances are that you’ll want to track your progress. Smartwatches give you the ability to monitor your heart
You might love the outdoors, but no one likes having wet clothing, sleeping gear, toiletries or damaged electronics. Dry bags do exactly what they say on the tin; they protect your kit - come rain or
The most important part of your kit when you set off on the trail is a good pair of hiking boots. Everything else you can beg, borrow or steal but wearing the wrong pair of boots will only end in
Written by Ollie Denton There are a lot of skis on the market for the 2018/19 season, but fear not! We have compiled a list of our favourite skis on the market right now. Skiing is by far the
Choosing Your Canoe or Kayak If you’re looking for an affordable watersport which is accessible to all, inflatable canoes or kayaks are the way to go! Fishing, camping, star gazing, relaxing,
When it comes to choosing your paintball mask, choose wisely. If you think your paintball gun is the most important piece of equipment during the game, it's time to think again! The mask is by
The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to choosing your next inflatable stand-up paddleboard (iSUP)   Written by Ollie Denton – Level 3 ASI Stand Up Paddle Coach Inflatable stand up paddle