BEST Watersports Locations in the UK

December 4, 2016

As a windy island, it’s not surprising that the UK is a haven for water sports. Diversity is the key. It’s not about just offering perfect surfing waves or spectacular dive sites, for TOAD the best water sports locations in the UK are all about the breadth of activities you can try in one place.

Of course quality also matters, and the best UK spots below all provide world-class conditions, facilities, and instruction. Plus they all offer you the chance to get wet many different ways!



The waters of the Solent on the South Coast offer consistent wind and wide open spaces, perfect conditions for dinghy sailingwindsurfingjet skiingkitesurfing and power boating – amongst others.

Hayling Island has become an internationally renowned water sports venue and is home to the National Watersports Festival each year, the largest participation water sports event in the UK. The event is a great day out for adults and kids, offering a chance to see some of the UK’s best talent in action, as well as the chance to try many activities for yourself!

For sailing and kayaking try: Portsmouth Watersports Centre

Windsurfing at Hayling Island

Windsurfing at Hayling Island



Brighton might be more associated with fun on the beach, music, hedonism and liberal attitudes, but it’s also a top water sports destination. There’s a dedicated wake park at Hove Lagoon that also offers stand up paddleboarding, windsurfing and dinghy sailing.

On the sea there’s the chance to explore the beach and coastline through kayaking, sailing, kitesurfing, windsurfing and various powerboat options. You can even surf when conditions are right.

For a great base in Brighton Marina: Lagoon Watersports

Brighton watersports

Brighton watersports



From one extreme to the other – the Gower couldn’t be further removed from the big city lights of Brighton. The serene and beautiful Gower Peninsula is home to some of the UK’s best kitesurfing conditions.

Enjoy surfing in Mewslade, canoeing around Brandy Cove and Pwlldu, as well as sailing and windsurfing. There are also a number of local waterski and wakeboarding providers you can hook up with.

For dinghy sailing, jet ski and more try: Swansea Watersports






Camber Sands is an award-winning, four mile long sandy beach, which is perfectly suited to a range of water sports. Located from the village of Camber to the East Sussex and Kent border, there’s plenty of room for kitesurfers, windsurfers and SUPers to play nicely together.

The location is one of the best places in the country to learn to windsurf or kitesurf, with shallow water, favourable wind directions and lots of sand!

The exposed position on the coast also means that wind conditions are reliable throughout the year. And when the swells are right, it’s also a top surfing spot too. What more could you ask for?

For windsurfing try: RYE Watersports

For kitesurfing try: Kitesurf Centre

Camber Sands Kitesurfing

Camber Sands Kitesurfing



Across the Lakes, you’ll find a huge array of water sports to try, with everything from dragon boat racing to gorge scrambling on offer. One of the best spots is Windermere, where you can explore the many islands, beautiful rivers and stunning coastline by canoe or kayak. It’s also possible to windsurf here depending on the conditions.

There are a number of other water sports centres scattered throughout the region, including the marina at Derwent Water, where you’ll find sailing, water skiing, and flyboarding.

Coniston and Windermere offer reliable winds and incredible views of the mountains. Both receive a sea breeze in the afternoon around 2pm during warm weather.

For multi activity try Thursdon Outdoor Centre or Ghyll Head OEC




Ken might not be the most exhilarating name for a loch but with two marinas offering superb water sports facilities, you’ll soon realise there’s more to this place than just it’s slightly mundane name.

Set in the beautiful Galloway hills, there’s a sailing school and water ski school, offering some of Scotland’s best water skiing, wakeboarding and windsurfing.

At over nine miles long, there’s plenty of water to explore!




One of the largest estuaries in the UK, the Wash is situated in North Norfolk and offers a big selection of water sports. Try kite or windsurfing at Hunstanton, with some of the best conditions in the UK with flat shallow perfect for the prevailing south and south-westerly winds.

There are sailing and powerboating options in Brancaster Straithe, and the sheltered waters of Scolt Head Island are perfect for beginners.

For a multi activity day try: XUK Summer Camps

The Wash Norfolk

The Wash Norfolk



The Orkney Islands lie just off the very northern tip of mainland Scotland and include incredible scuba diving at Scapa Flow. It’s a 50 square mile expanse of deep water and a natural lagoon that’s home to a graveyard of sunken ships and wrecks – including numerous German WWI ships.

It’s not all diving, however, with top sailing, surfing, SUP, kitesurfing, windsurfing and kayaking opportunities also available.





Latest blogs

7 Best Laptop Backpacks for the UK in 2020 (January Update)
7 Best Laptop Backpacks for the UK in 2020 (January Update) SwissGear 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack SwissGear produce great kit and the 199 ScanSmart laptop backpack doesn’t disappoint. Life in the 21st Century is an exciting place to be. Technology is developing all the time and there are any number of adventures to be had all over the
Best Running Headphones for the UK in 2020 (January Update)
Best Running Headphones for the UK in 2020 (January Update) MPOW Wireless Headphones Performance on a number of levels that runners will appreciate. As you can see, they’re well-priced, but more importantly for when you’re on the move, they don’t fall out! Whether you prefer to pound the pavements, take in the views of a trail, battle a
Best Mountain Biking Helmets for the UK in 2020 (January Update)
Best Mountain Biking Helmets for the UK in 2020 (January Update) King Bike Road and Mountain Helmet - Hybrid Whether you’re the type of mountain biker who likes to rumble along country lanes, or rocket downhill, there are times when the ground you’re on throws you unexpected bumps, ridges, or holes. Most of the time you’ll react in time, and
Best Value Mens' Cycling Helmet for the UK 2020 (January Update)
Best Value Mens' Cycling Helmet for the UK 2020 (January Update) Prowell F59 Cycle Helmet A great-looking, very comfortable helmet with good venting and visibility. Broken arms and legs can heal, and a scrape or two will only add street-cred to you as a dedicated cyclist, but take a hard enough knock on an unprotected skull and you could be in for a
Best Mens' Cycling Shoes for the UK 2020 (January Update)
Best Mens' Cycling Shoes for the UK 2020 (January Update) Pearl Izumi The Pearl Izumi cycling shoe is classically-styled to make a statement, and technically designed to ensure an efficient, comfortable ride. Serious cyclists need a shoe which will keep you warm & dry in cold, wet conditions; cool & comfortable on hot days; and which
BEST Bike Lights for the UK in 2020 (January Update)
BEST Bike Lights for the UK in 2020 (January Update) Cycleafer A good-looking, solid light with good features, at a good price. Commuting by bicycle has become more than a fringe fad. With fuel prices higher than ever and environmental concerns growing, more people are leaving the car keys on the hook by the door, avoiding the crowded
Best Dive Watch for the UK in 2019 (November Update)
Best Dive Watch for the UK in 2019 (November Update) Phoibos – PX005B It appears as if Phoibos set aside all pretence and hype, and invested in one primary concept – make a watch that functions well at significant depths. At a price point of £150, they did a very efficient job... As a recreational or professional diver in 2019,
BEST Skis for Your Ski Holiday in 2020 (January Update)
BEST Skis for Your Ski Holiday in 2020 (January Update) The Head Supershape Magnum are fast, can handle short carves and long carves and also are at a great price. Written by Ollie Denton There are a lot of skis on the market for this season, but fear not! We have compiled a list of our favourite skis on the market right