Whether you’ve been paddleboarding for years or you’re new to this increasingly popular watersport, you’ll likely have noticed that Devon is a haven for anyone indulging in water based activities. The beauty of paddleboarding is that you don’t have to be incredibly fit or have any training to give it a go – it’s something you can do at your own pace and with a host of companies offering board hire, it’s something you can do all over the county.

Here are our top places to paddleboard in Devon.

The River Dart

The River Dart is full of people sailing away on kayaks and paddling around on boards, so whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete novice, you’ll fit right in here. The River Dart is known for being fairly calm and so it’s a great place for beginners or anyone wanting to work on their skills. It’s usually always busy too, which makes it ideal if you’re still learning, as there will always be someone around to help out if you need it.

One of the best places along the River Dart to set off is at Dartmouth, we recommend launching from the smaller slipway on the downstream side of the ferry and then follow it down river. By following this route, you’ll be able to see Dartmouth’s waterfront in a whole new light as well as catch a glimpse of Bayard’s Cove Fort.

Hooe Lake

Located in Plymouth where the River Plym merges with the Sound is Hooe Lake, a tidal lake created from a flooded quarry. The area is lined by wharves and is a quieter spot, with only the occasional fishing boat passing by. It is fairly calm, but because it is a quieter spot, we would only recommend that confident paddleboarders head out to here.

Wembury beach

While we’re in the Plymouth area, we’ll mention another of our favourite paddleboarding spots – launch from Wembury beach and you can follow the Yealm Estuary along to Noss Mayo. Both spots are incredibly picturesque and well worth exploring, beginners and those less confident will have plenty to keep them occupied at the launch site, but if you’re experienced, you might like the challenge of heading along the estuary towards Noss Mayo. It can be challenging in places and is full of incredible marine life including dolphins and seals, but if you’re up for it, it is well worth it.

Be aware that there is a charge to enter the Yealm Estuary, which will need to be made to the Harbour Authority.

Bigbury Beach

Elsewhere in South Devon, there is Bigbury Beach and the iconic Burgh Island. Launch from the beach and head towards Burgh Island, where you can enjoy a scenic paddle and even discover some hidden caves and a secluded cove.

Just be aware to time it right, otherwise, you could end up walking between Burgh Island and Bigbury Beach rather than paddling there!

Lee Bay

For those of you in North Devon, there is a lovely paddleboard route around the Lee Bay. This part of the coast is very rocky, so make sure you’re aware and confident enough to steer clear. Start off at Lee Bay beach, launching from the slipway and make your way towards the sea, you can choose to either turn west towards Appledore or east Broadoar Bay, which is only accessible from the water.


Want to check out some of these places? Here’s our checklist of everything you will need:

  • Spare pair of dry clothes
  • Sun cream
  • A water bottle
  • Towel
  • Waterproofs
  • Thermals or a wet suit
  • Life jacket

Make sure to always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back and if you are able, keep a mobile phone or some other way to contact help if needed. You can borrow equipment from companies dotted around the area, especially in popular paddleboarding spots and if you can book tuition should you need it. Don’t forget, you may need a licence to paddleboard in certain spots, so check with local clubs before heading out just to be safe.