Kayaking Holidays in The United Kingdom

Paddle on peaceful lochs and lakes, below chalky cliffs and beside the frothing coastline.

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Popular Kayaking Holidays

In United Kingdom

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With 2,200 miles of rivers and canals, around 31,460 lochs in Scotland, 387 lakes in England and countless miles of rugged coastline to explore, kayaking in the UK offers adventure in all shapes and sizes.

During the long summer days, sea kayak in the far northwest corner of the country along the remote coasts of Orkney and Shetland in search of orcas, seals and otters. Or, paddle out to the Hebrides’ idyllic, remote beaches.

Calm, flat inland lakes and rivers in the Lake District and Bala Lake in Wales reflect the mountains backdrops, and white-water rapids create Olympic-style slaloms on River Glenarm in Northern Ireland and the River Orchy in Scotland.

Here are a few of our best-loved spots for kayaking trips in the UK.

Trossachs National Park

There are 22 large lochs surrounded by 21 Munros in Scotland’s Trossachs National Park, and the banks of Loch Lomond are among its long list of idyllic canoe and kayak spots whether you go in winter or summer. The calm water is ideal for all abilities and wildlife-watching, including red squirrels in the woodlands, golden eagles soaring above the glens and otters and birds along the lochs.

It’s located just an hour outside of Glasgow, and with Scotland’s right to roam you can make a weekend of it and pitch your tent to sleep on the sandy banks of a loch.

Cornwall and the Dorset Coastline

Kayak along the north coast of Cornwall underexposed cliffs and navigate into secret coves, beaches and hidden sea caves. Placid estuaries and inlets also give way to the Atlantic’s boisterous waves for an awe-inspiring kayaking expedition that’s best for those with some previous experience.

Then Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, offers a 95-mile stretch of coastline between Orcombe Point and the bright-white Old Harry Rocks. In between, you can skirt under surreal golden cliffs, sweeping bays and staggering rock formations jutting out into the sea.

Lake District National Park

Kayaking in the Lake District is on many a wish list, and the 16 serene lakes dotted around the mountainous national park provide a safe haven for all levels of experience on a canoeing trip or kayaking trip. Derwentwater, often referred to as the ‘Queen of the Lakes’, is near Keswick and its setting amongst the wooded Borrowdale Valley is a sight to behold.

The ever-popular Lake Windermere has been a kayaking favourite for a long time, and stretching for 10.5 miles, it’s the longest lake in England. Ullswater is also surrounded by lofty fells and green shores, making it a pretty spot to practice kayaking for the first or hundredth time. Have a full day kayaking experience before heading to shore.