The West Country is famous for its stunning beaches, quiet beauty spots and laid back lifestyle. Popular pastimes include hitting the swell on a surfboard, drifting down the river in a kayak or exploring on a stand up paddle board.
Nothing beats being able to throw your wetsuits and boards in the back of your Mercedes-Benz Approved Used Van and heading down to your favourite place to hit the water for the day. We’ve picked out some of the South West’s best loved watersport hotspots that you can load up the van and spend the day at:
Burgh Island, Bigbury-on-Sea:
Home to the hotel that inspired two Agatha Christie novels, the tidal Burgh Island offers a stunning paddle adventure. Take on the circumference of the island at high tide and explore the caves and nooks you may not have known were there. Burgh Island is just off the coast of Bigbury so you can enjoy the beach as well as exploring the island.
Croyde Bay, North Devon:
Sitting on the North Devon coast, Croyde Bay is rated as one of the best surfing beaches in the world. This wide sandy beach is sat between two headlands protecting it from the wind making it a lovely day out for all.
Paddle or kayak away from the city and into nature in moments. Exeter Quay offers a calm, flat and wide river to take on an adventure and is the perfect place for first timers to try out something new. There are also a number of loops you can venture along that will take you further along the River Exe.
Fistral Beach, Newquay:
Probably the UK’s most famous surfing beach, Fistral beach in Newquay is the go to for surfing enthusiasts. The home of many competitions over the years, Fistral offers waves not to be missed. The ideal place for beginners and the advanced.
Helford River, Falmouth:
The Helford River has easy access to the Falmouth Bay coastline, plus the creeks and tree lined river making it a great place to paddle board whether you’re a beginner (dependent on the conditions) or a more established paddler. The clear waters make this a firm favourite.
Polzeath Beach, North Cornwall:
A great spot to spend the day with the family, Polzeath is a wide beach with plenty of room to build sandcastles but it is also easily accessible making it a popular location for surfing. The waves are often long, slow breaking and consistent making it a local favourite.
Porlock Bay, Nr Minehead:
A favourite destination on the Exmoor coastline, Porlock Bay is a calm flat setting that is ideal for paddle boarding or kayaking whatever your ability.
Porthtowan Beach, St Agnes:
The conditions change regularly at Porthtowan Beach with the swells being wild some days and much calmer the next but this doesn’t deter surfers from heading down to tackle the waves! Be sure to check the conditions and whether there is a lifeguard on duty before heading down to this corner of Cornwall.
River Dart, South Devon:
You’re bound to spot a wealth of wildlife when travelling down the River Dart. Whether you prefer to kayak or paddle board, there’s plenty to see along the way. If you’re travelling towards Dartmouth and looking for a bit of added adventure, head out past Dartmouth Castle to explore the hidden coves.