Kayaking in Cornwall


Beautiful Cornwall may be famous for surfing, but standing on a board is definitely not the only or best way to navigate its coastline, not to mention the intricate network of waterways inland. Canoeing and kayaking (yes, they're different) are both excellent ways of seeing the spectacular seas and rivers of the region while getting in touch with the water first hand. So whether up Frenchman's Creek (with a paddle) or circumnavigating the rugged coastline in a sea kayak, Cornwall is a most desirable destination for the paddle-powered.

Kayaking the Lizard with © Lizard Adventure

Best sit-on-top trips

The beaches of Kernow are epically suited to paddling sit-on kayaks, the go-to watercraft for many paddlers these days. Although we don't recommend you take them out in the surf unless you are an expert, sit-ons are suitable for all abilities and are easy to deploy on any sandy shore. If you'd like a guided trip to see the sights of the south coast, look no further than Lizard Adventure, whose sit-on kayak trips out of Mullion Cove (taking in the iconic Kynance Cove) or Cadgwith Cove (the other side of the Lizard Peninsula) are renowned for their scenery, wildlife, and beautiful waters. And on the north coast, perhaps enjoy the St Agnes Heritage Coast with Koru Kayaking.

Best canoe trip

In our opinion, the best canoe trip by far is the historic and ever-so-slightly Jurassic Park experience that is the Tamar Valley. Between the sea at Saltash and the highest tidal point at Gunnislake is fifteen miles of exceptional countryside, architecture, villages and increasingly dense forest. If you don't have your own boat, then check out Canoe Tamar, who can provide an effortless guided day-trip with all equipment supplied.

Best sea kayak trip

Without a doubt, the gold standard sea kayak trip in Cornwall is the journey to the Isles of Scilly, some 27 miles as the seagull flies from the tip of the mainland. This is only a trip for the experienced sea kayaker with navigation skills and all the right equipment. The record is held by Cornish kayaking legend Richard Sims, who completed the crossing from Sennen Cove in just over four hours, but most groups take six or seven hours, and the tides are treacherous and confusing. For sea kayakers who'd prefer to remain in sight of land, Cornwall has the perfect answer. Take a look at the South West Coast Path; almost every day-trippable section on this walking route could equally be undertaken in sea kayaks. The distances are right for paddling, and the get in and out points selected for proximity to civilisation - and car parks!

Clear seas off Land's End and Sennen © Richard Sims

If you’d like to canoe or kayak in Kernow this year, we have lots of lovely properties available throughout Cornwall.