BEST Watersports Locations in the UK
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!
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
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.
For a great base in Brighton Marina: Lagoon 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
THE LAKE DISTRICT
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.
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 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.