Sea kayaking – a peaceful adventure
Sea kayaking feels adventurous but is also very relaxing. In a small boat, under your own steam, you can explore the UK’s beautiful coastline with unusual independence. We spent a day on the water this summer and fell in love with the sense of freedom.
We set out from the faded seaside glamour of Teignmouth, Devon, just as the tide was falling. The flow of water out of the river mouth meant we whooshed along with minimal effort. And once clear of the estuary, we were free to explore the coastline.
Just along the sheltered shoreline, we passed a small beach. Ness Cove is accessible only from the sea or via the ‘smugglers’ tunnel’. Despite (or perhaps because of) the unusual access, it was packed full of people enjoying the sun and cooling off in the sea. We continued further down the coast, admiring the occasional building perched precariously on the distinctive red cliffs.
In a kayak, you sit just above the surface of the water. This gives you a perfect vantage point as you glide over rocks and seaweed in shallow water. The lack of an engine also means that a trip by kayak is silent – great for sneaking up close to wildlife.
The boats vary from long, streamlined vessels designed to slice through the water, to wider, indestructible plastic boats whose main virtue is their stability. As a beginner, the latter are what you’ll generally use but for longer distances or maximum speed, a sleeker silhouette is essential.
Give sea kayaking a go!
There are plenty of great places to try your hand at sea kayaking in the UK. Conditions can change quickly at sea so we would suggest a guided tour with an experienced instructor.
As well as introductory courses in multiple Cornish locations, Sea Kayaking Cornwall offer week-long guided tours around the stunning Isles of Scilly. Perfect if you’ve been bitten by the sea kayaking bug!
Arisaig Sea Kayak Centre in Scotland offers day and half-day trips for beginners against a backdrop of crystal clear water and white sands.
Down in Dorset, a trip with Jurassic Coast Activities will take you from Lulworth Cove through the iconic Durdle Door.