Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

Our Favourite Water Sports and Activities to Try on Your Next Staycation

This World Water Day we wanted to chat about our favourite water-based activities and water sports to take part in on holiday and our top picks for places in the UK to try them!

Remember to book your staycation with Charitable Travel by 30th April 2021 and be in with the chance of winning a National Trust Annual Family Pass, and you can donate 5% of your holiday price to the UK charity of your choice at no extra cost to you! Find out  more here.

1. Wild Swimming

During the past year, we’ve all had no choice but to satisfy our travel bugs by exploring our local areas and spending more time outdoors in natural spaces taking part in various nature-based activities. One such activity is wild swimming, which is essentially swimming in outdoor spaces, like lakes, rivers, or the sea.

Our top picks for wild swimming in the UK:

Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire
Mourne Mountains, N. Ireland.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
Walpole Bay Pool, Margate, Kent
Grantchester Meadows, Cambridgeshire

Read this article from Countryfile before you go wild swimming for tips and safety advice!

If swimming outdoors appeals to you, but not so much in rivers and lakes, head to one of the UK’s lidos for a dip. There are over 100 lidos across the UK and are very popular in the summer. Our favourite lidos are the Saltdean Lido in Brighton, Jubilee Pool, Cornwall, and Ilkley Pool & Lido, West Yorkshire.

2. Surfing

Surfing has long been a popular water sport up and down the UK Coast, and during our year of staying home, it’s become clearer that we don’t need to journey to places like Maui, Bali, and Bondi Beach to catch some waves and rays.

Here’s a few of our favourite places to surf in the UK:

Portrush, Co. Antrim
Sennen Cove
Saltburn, North Yorkshire
Porth Neigwl, Gwynedd

3. Paddleboarding

In recent years paddleboarding has become increasingly popular among us Brits, and it’s an ideal activity to try out during the age of the pandemic, it’s easy to socially distance, it’s a great workout for your core, and you get to explore some truly hidden gems around the UK. Make sure to check out this beginner’s guide to paddleboarding before you hit the water.

Our top picks for paddleboarding in the UK are:

Wast Water, Cumbria
Loch Harport, Isle of Skye
Mawddach Estuary, Wales
Burgh Island, Devon

4. Boating

Whether you choose a yacht, a motorboat, a narrowboat, or a canoe there are plenty of waters up, down and around the UK for you to traverse. 

For a city break with a twist, hire a narrowboat on the Oxford canal and explore the historic city, hit the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads on a yacht to marvel at the wildlife, if you’re feeling adventurous you could head out to sea on a yacht and try out your sea legs, or to keep things a little more chilled,  rent a kayak or canoe and explore waters of the Lake District.

Our top picks for boating breaks in the UK are:

Norfolk and Suffolk Broads
Oxford Canal
Hayling Island, Portsmouth
Lake Windermere, Cumbria

5. Rockpooling and Crabbing

If you’re more beach bum than adrenaline junkie, but you still want a piece to the fun, an afternoon spent rockpooling or crabbing is an afternoon well spent in our books.  Rockpooling is a traditional seaside pastime that doesn’t have to be limited just to summertime. You can discover these brand new worlds year round.  Read up on some great hints and tips about how to get the most out of the experience in this post by findingnature.co.uk.

Here’s our favourite places to dip our buckets in the UK:

Rhossili Bay, Swansea
Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire
Loch Harport, Isle of Skye
Botany Bay, Kent
Wembury Beach, Plymouth