Paddling Britain

50 Best Places to Explore by SUP, Kayak & Canoe

Publication Date:  04th Oct 2024


Paddling Britain guide. Expert advice on Britain’s 50 best places to stand-up paddleboard, kayak and canoe, from Cornwall to Norfolk, Wales to Scotland. Offers detailed routes for each location, plus wildlife and secret spots. Advises on where to stay and eat, getting there and when to go. Includes tips on kit, weather and paddling responsibly.

About this book

This new, thoroughly updated second edition of Bradt’s Paddling Britain remains the definitive guide to stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing – increasingly popular waterborne activities that explore British coastlines and inland waterways. Written by Lizzie Carr (aka Lizzie Outside, Britain’s best known paddleboarder), it showcases Britain’s 50 best places to enjoy recreational paddling from Cornwall to Norfolk, Cumbria and the Cairngorms.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), in particular, is sweeping across Britain, giving people the opportunity to explore waterways ranging from city rivers to remote and untouched areas that would otherwise be left inaccessible. Whether you’re looking for a nice day out, a weekend adventure or a more daring paddleboarding challenge, Bradt’s Paddling Britain will inspire and inform.

The waters of England, Wales and Scotland are all featured, from rivers and canals to coastal strips and island circuits. Described in loving detail and with gentle humour, each location contains practical information about how to find these distinctive spots and what to expect on your journey. With Bradt’s Paddling Britain, you can paddle between two of the Scilly Isles in under 10 minutes, or kayak across the UK’s highest and longest aqueduct. Alternatively, you can paddle along Dorset’s prehistoric Jurassic Coast, visit the Lake District’s sole inhabited island, which opens just five days a year, or paddle in self-indulgent tranquillity through the hustle and bustle of London.

Alongside detailed routes for each location, plus tips on wildlife and secret spots, Paddling Britain advises on where to stay and eat, getting there, and when to go. It also provides the low-down on everything you need to know for successful and enjoyable stand-up paddleboarding, from safety tips to kit, weather watching to paddling responsibly.

The author, Lizzie Carr, says: ‘this book responds to the countless questions I receive from paddleboarders looking to explore new places and get new experiences from their SUP. Whether people want to take their families for a weekend adventure or enjoy a camping getaway with friends, Paddling Britain aims to answer these questions and inspire people to get outside and explore the UK water scene both coastal and inland.’

About the Author

Lizzie Carr, aka Lizzie Outside (, is a natural-born adventurer, activist and author. A blogger and environmentalist, she has dedicated herself to exploring the length and breadth of Britain on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), while using her journey to highlight environmental issues affecting our inland waterways and the world’s oceans. As a result, she has become Britain’s best-known paddleboarder. In 2016, Carr became the first person in history to paddleboard the length of England’s waterways, solo and unsupported. She completed the 400-mile journey in 22 days, taking more than 2,000 photos of plastic pollution she encountered. In 2017, she became the first woman ever to cross the English Channel alone on a stand-up paddleboard. Carr is passionate about championing Britain’s waters as rivals to international destinations. In Bradt’s Paddling Britain, her first book, Carr offers a glimpse of some of her favourite places to explore.

Updater for this edition Patrick Kinsella is a highly experienced journalist, editor and author who specialises in outdoor pursuits and adventure sports. Pat has written several guidebooks to outdoors activities, including Bradt’s Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering… 30 Exhilarating Adventures Around Britain plus 100 Great Pub Walks, Dorset: 40 Coast and Countryside Walks and Devon: 40 Coast and Countryside Walks. He has also edited and contributed to dozens of Lonely Planet books, such as The Atlas of Adventure and The Joy of Water, and regularly writes for outdoor magazines and websites including CountryFile, Sidetracked and The Great Outdoors. On the water, as well as rafting in five continents, he has been paddling (kayaks, surfskis, canoes, rafts and stand-up paddleboards) since the late 1990s, and once set a speed record for consecutively paddling the longest lakes in England, Wales and Scotland in a single day.

Additional Information

Table of Contents

Paddling: The Essentials
Paddling Safely
Paddling Responsibly
Using This Guide
01. Tropical island-hopping (Isles of Scilly, Cornwall)
02. Simply beachy (Isles of Scilly, Cornwall)
03. A world apart (The Lizard, Cornwall)
04. Sea safari (Penzance, Cornwall)
05. Heavenly Helford (Helford River, Cornwall)
06. Three in one (Rivers Truro, Fal and Tresillian, Cornwall)
07. Southwestern sundowner (Portmellon, Cornwall)
08. And then there were none (Bigbury Bay, Devon)
09. Bullseye (River Dart, Devon)
10. Cornish challenge (Godrevy–Portreath Heritage Coast, Cornwall)
11. Steer along the Stour (River Stour, Christchurch, Dorset)
12. Meet the meanders (Cuckmere River, East Sussex)
13. Ballet of the starlings (Brighton Pier, East Sussex)
14. Beaulieu beauty (River Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire)
15. Wey to go (River Wey, Surrey/London)
16. Paddle fit for a king? (Kingston-upon-Thames, London)
17. A trip to Paddlington (Regent’s Canal, London)
18. Rumble in The Mumbles (The Mumbles, Swansea)
19. Gower power (Rhossili Bay, Swansea)
20. Welsh waterway secret (Cresswell River, Pembrokeshire)
21. Locks, Banbury Cakes & dreaming spires (Oxford Canal, Oxfordshire)
22. The only way is Essex (Chelmer and Blackwell Navigation, Essex)
23. Jewel in the crown (Newgale, Pembrokeshire)
24. The deep (Fishguard, Pembrokeshire)
25. Varsity va-va-voom (River Cam, Cambridgeshire)
26. As you like it (Stratford Canal, West Midlands)
27. Gold-medal paddle (Mawddach Estuary, Gwynedd)
28. Broadly brilliant (Hickling Broad, Norfolk)
29. Midlands magic (River Trent, Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire)
30. Little Italy (Black Rock Sands, Gwynedd)
31. The stream in the sky (Llangollen Canal, Denbighshire)
32. Let’s twist again (Bangor-on-Dee, Clwyd)
33. Norfolk’s saltmarsh solace (Deepdale Marshes, Norfolk)
34. Snowdonian secret (Llyn Padarn, Gwynedd)
35. Medieval magic (Conwy Bay, Conwy)
36. Mancunian secrets (Bridgewater Canal, Greater Manchester)
37. Skip to Saltaire (Leeds and Liverpool Canal, North/West Yorkshire)
38. Waterway jungle (Lancaster Canal, Lancashire/Cumbria)
39. Wild West paddle (Wast Water, Cumbria)
40. Nutkin’s nirvana (Derwent Water, Cumbria)
41. ‘I wander’d lonely as…’ (Ullswater, Cumbria)
42. The Scottish Riviera (Rockcliffe, Dumfries and Galloway)
43. Holy histories & craft ale (Isle of Arran, North Ayrshire)
44. Seabird spectacular (Farne Islands, Northumberland)
45. Sound of silence (Loch Craignish, Argyll and Bute)
46. Repel the Vikings (Lunan Bay, Angus)
47. Highland fling (Loch Sunart, Highland)
48. Loch love (Loch Laggan, Highland)
49. Skye’s the limit (Loch Harport, Isle of Skye, Highland)
50. Desert island delights (Rabbit Islands, Highland)