The weather might not be quite warm enough for taking on the waves but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying all the activities that can be enjoyed on Devon’s rivers and coast. The county is known for having some of the best surfing spots in the UK and with much of the North coast providing the perfect environment for watersports of all kind, getting out on the water is an absolute must when visiting Devon. Plus, with organisations running tuition and equipment hire, everyone can have a go, no matter what your age, ability or experience!

Here are our favourite places to grab a board and get the blood pumping!


Not content with being picturesque, Salcombe’s estuary also benefits from having a mild climate and the perfect conditions for a variety of sports, including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding among other sports. The waterways around Salcombe, Kingsbridge and Noss Mayo are well known for their crystal clear waters and stunning scenery, so there are fewer places to indulge in some sports with a view so pretty.


Another popular spot, particularly for surfing in South Devon is Bantham where you’ll find multiple surfing academies just waiting to show you the ropes. Both Bantham and Salcombe are also great places for coasteering, which is perfect for the adrenaline junkies among you. This activity combines rock climbing and wild swimming, so the rockier parts of the coast in this area provides the ideal environment to try it out.


A constant winner of the UK’s Best Beaches lists, Woolacombe is also a bit of a mecca for those that love the water, particularly surfers. Like many of the beaches along the North Devon coast, Woolacombe is fed from the Atlantic Ocean which produces some of the best waves in the region. Woolacombe is a good one for beginners or those that are a little less confident on a board because the waves tend to be a bit more gentle here compared to other places.

Croyde Bay

When you think of surfing, this is likely the beach that springs to mind. There is even a watersports festival that takes place every year in Croyde. The beach is served by a variety of surf schools who cater for all ages, abilities and experiences so no matter whether you’re a seasoned pro wanting a little refresher or a complete novice, you’ll be in good hands here.


As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county, it is no surprise that Torquay and its neighbours Paignton and Brixham have a host of watersports on offer. From kayaking, canoeing, boating, swimming, paddleboarding and surfing, there is something for everyone here and in the summer months, you’ll find lots of pop up instructors and equipment hire companies.

Jurassic Coast

One of the best ways to enjoy those iconic cliffs is from the water, so what better excuse do you need to get out there? There are opportunities for watersports in several of the towns and villages along the Jurassic Coast, including Sidmouth and Seaton. At certain times of year, you’ll find the waves are more suitable but there are companies operating all year around so you can give it a try whenever you’re there.

River Dart

For those of you who want to give paddle boarding or wild swimming a go, the River Dart and Dart Estuary is the place to go. Dartmouth has always been a sailing port, but in recent years it has become much more popular with paddleboarders, kayakers and canoeists. Much like the Jurassic Coast, taking the waterways is the best way to experience the beauty of the River Dart and you might even be lucky enough to spot a dolphin or seal on your travels!

Tamar Valley

Another great river for watersports is the River Tamar near Plymouth. With canoes, kayaks and sailing on offer from a host of companies catering for every occasion, even romantic breaks and stag and hen weekends.

Want to find out more about watersports in Devon? Click here.