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The country of Wales is located in the southwest of Great Britain and has incredible mountains and rugged coastlines.
Although Wales is known for having a tremendous amount of rain, on the days where the sun is shining (or even when it’s overcast), many fantastic locations can be found all over that are great for paddle boarding.
We’ve broken down the 13 best places to paddle board in Wales and to make it even easier, we’ve separated the country into north and south.
So if you’re heading to Wales and you’re looking for an incredible place to SUP, keep on reading.
Wales’ most famous and tallest mountain Mount Snowdon is located in northern Wales in the Snowdonia Mountains.
Many tourists flock to northern Wales to hike Mount Snowdon, but there are also some well-known spots amongst local paddle boarders where you can take in the surrounding mountain scenery from the water.
The Menai Strait separates mainland Wales from the island of Anglesey by a narrow stretch of shallow tidal water. The Strait was initially carved by ice flowing from Snowdonia around 20,000 years ago.
As you paddle down the Menai Strait, you can take in views of the Plas Newydd House and Gardens, Caernarfon Castle, and Britannia Bridge. You can also find little islands as you paddle along the 16 mile-long stretch of water.
The center point of the straight, between the two bridges, sees fast-moving tidal currents called the Swellies that are especially apparent during spring tides. Beginner paddlers should avoid the middle part of the Strait, but experienced paddlers with an understanding of tides will enjoy the added challenge that the strong current provides.
Off the west coast of Anglesey is the small tidal island of Ynys Llanddwyn that can be accessed through the local village of Newborough.
Paddling at Ynys Llanddwyn is recommended at high tide as the water is fairly shallow along the beach, and when low tide hits, you’ll be carrying your SUP for quite some distance to reach or get out of the water.
Once you’re on the water, you can paddle and explore the rocks that line the coast, and you can even admire the lighthouse on the top of the hill from the water.
You can find local toilet facilities and a car park a short walk away from the beach.
Bala Lake, with the Welsh name of Llyn Tegid, is a freshwater glacial lake in northern Wales and is fed by the river Dee which slopes from the Snowdonia mountains.
The waters in Bala Lake are tranquil and great for those just starting out on a paddle board.
When visiting the lake, you’ll see it is relatively popular with paddlers who enjoy taking in the surrounding views of the mountains from their kayak, canoe, or SUP.
Rhosneigr is a seaside town in Anglesey and has two main sandy beaches, named Traeth Llydan and Traeth Crigyll.
The waters at Rhosneigr are a popular windsurfing destination, and you can find many surf and SUP schools throughout the town.
Sand dunes and rocky outcrops line the outskirts of the beaches, and if you’re an experienced paddler looking for a challenge, you’ll enjoy the slight waves that occur near the shoreline.
Lake Vyrnwy is on the outskirts of The Snowdonia National Park with beautiful sights of waterfalls, the Berwyn Mountains, and the untouched countryside.
The lake is a popular nesting spot for peregrine falcons, and the water at Vyrnwy is so calm that you could even practice SUP yoga.
Free car parking is available around the lake, and you can launch your SUP next to the boathouse, which opens at 10 am.
The man-made reservoir of Llyn Clywedog was built in 1967, and the dam is the tallest mass concrete dam in the whole of Britain.
Wildlife watchers head to Llyn Clywedog to catch glimpses of buzzards, red kites, tawny owls, and ospreys.
The reservoir is completely bordered by beautiful rolling hills and forests, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing paddle.
The Blue Lagoon has become an extremely popular place for paddle boarders, swimmers, and kayakers because of the deep blue water that flooded the former slate quarry. The lagoon also gained even more popularity after the Red Bull Diving World Series in 2012 was held there.
Parking is limited near the Blue Lagoon, and parking during summertime is a sport in itself, so we recommend parking further out and catching one of the local buses that stop at the lagoon.
Barafundle Bay is a beautiful beach in Pembrokeshire on the Welsh Coast backed by pine trees and dunes, giving the beach a Mediterranean feel.
The beach is tucked away and only accessible by a half a mile walk from the nearest car park, so if you’re taking a SUP, you should take an inflatable one.
There are no facilities at Barafundle Bay so if you choose to visit, make sure you’re fully equipped with everything you could possibly need or want for your day trip.
It’s also important to note that tides and strong winds can create hazardous water conditions, so if you’re an inexperienced paddler, it’s best you only paddle when the water is smooth and calm.
The River Wye is the UK’s fourth longest river, forming part of the border between Wales and the UK.
Limestone cliffs, woodlands, and castles can all be spotted along the water, and if you paddle around the area of Symonds Yat, you’ll experience grade 2 rapids that’ll challenge and thrill even the most experienced paddlers.
You can launch your SUP at numerous points down the river, and paddle boarding schools also provide rentals and classes.
The Mawddach Estuary in Barmouth is the perfect learning spot for inexperienced paddlers due to its calm waters and tranquil atmosphere.
The estuary has a backdrop of mountains and harbor views, and you can even paddle under the grade II listed railway bridge.
Colwyn Bay is another popular windsurfing destination in Wales, but the waters are occasionally calm enough for stand up paddle boarding.
The beach does, however, get pretty busy in the summertime, so it’s best to arrive early.
Gower in southwest Wales has long stretches of beaches with excellent paddling conditions, some of which are in Caswell Bay, Langland, the Mumbles, Limeslade, and Pwlldu Bay.
With over 30 beaches to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a location in Gower that is quiet and great to launch your SUP from.
For slightly more advanced paddlers, larger waves are common in Llangennith and Langland, where you can practice your SUP surfing, among other water sports.
Cardigan Bay in New Quay is one of the most popular locations to paddle board in Wales and the UK.
The water in the bay is sheltered from the weather and relatively flat all year round, giving new or young paddlers excellent conditions to practice in. For the family’s more experienced and adventurous paddlers, the coastline also has some stunning scenery, rock formations, and beaches that you can explore from the water.
Wildlife is also in abundance at New Quay, and you can expect to catch glimpses of Atlantic grey seals, bottlenose dolphins, and a variety of seabirds.
You can paddle board in most Welsh waterways, but some rivers, waterways, and canals require you to have a license, so it is essential to thoroughly research your destination before heading there.
Although it may not seem like it, Wales is a paradise for paddle boarding, and there are a selection of destinations all over the country that will appeal to even the most experienced paddlers.
Some of the best places to take your paddle board in South Wales include:
Some of the best places to take your paddle board in North Wales include:
There are many paddle board rental shops all over Wales, and a quick Google search will pull up all the shops in a close proximity to you.
To paddle board in Wales, there are a few necessities you’ll need to keep you comfortable and safe out on the water.
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