There are many different variations of kayaking; sea kayaking, white water and touring. There are also very obvious levels in terms of ability, especially when it comes to white water. If your interested in involving kayaking with your country cottage holiday then here you can find information about the best destinations to visit in the UK and Ireland that meet your kayaking needs.


If you're looking to enjoy some Sea kayaking on your self catering holiday then the guardian has made some suggestions for the best places to visit, these include the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Man, Anglesey and the Isles of Scilly.

Starting with the west coast of Scotland, there is just too much to explore with its beautiful islands and sea lochs, making this the perfect place to enjoy sea kayaking in Europe. Take part in a Kayakers whiskey trail and visit the islands of Jura and Islay, visit the deep sheltered sea lochs for endless adventure and discover stunning lunches on the deserted white sand beaches. A great get away for Kayaking enthusiasts from all over the world. If that doesn't take your fancy then why not spend your country cottage holiday on the Isle of Man, enjoy some fantastic sea kayaking off the coast, taking in all the wonderful sights and maybe even spotting a whale shark or two.

Wales is also a very popular place for Kayaking, not only can you enjoy all three disciplines within this wonderful country but the Isle of Anglesey provides some of the best sea kayaking in Europe. Although Anglesey may only be appropriate for the disciplined and experienced kayaker due to the turbulent waters and tidal races Anglesey can also offer a gentler ride in the sheltered east coast with near shore islets of Ynys Dulas and puffin island where explorers can find amazing wildlife including seals and magnificent bird life.

Finally another recommended destination for sea kayaking is the Isles of Scilly. Its warm and sunny micro climate presents a pleasant trip as well as its sheltered shallow lagoons which can be paddled in almost any weather conditions. More experienced thrill seeking Kayakers may enjoy the Atlantic swell and dramatic reefs.

Many people looking to experience kayaking for the first time may prefer to give Touring kayaking a go. Although all types of Kayaking are popular in the Lake District as well as parts of Scotland and a lot of Wales, touring kayaking is more focussed and very popular in the lake district due to the fact that it gives you a chance to appreciate the spectacular scenery around you. Lakes such as Coniston Water are regarded as easy for white water kayaking and perfect for touring, this also includes Derwent Water and Lake Windermere. You can also find fantastic touring kayaking on Bala Lake in Wales.

In terms of White water kayaking there are some fantastic opportunities throughout the UK, as mentioned before, focussed to Scotland, the North west of England and Wales. More experienced kayakers will find locations such as Aberglaslyn Gorge in Wales, Coe in Scotland and Doe in the north west more of a challenge if you're looking for a thrill seeking experience. Intermediate Kayakers may prefer sites such as Afon Gain in Wales, Black water in Scotland and Crake in the North west whereas easy rides can be found in Afon Glaslyn in Wales and Coniston Water in the north west.


A famous area of Britain that is known for its waterways would have to be the Norfolk Broads and according to Enjoy England, the Norfolk Broads are also the best place to have a go at canoeing. With so much to explore and take in such as brilliant wildlife, haunted buildings and stunning scenery why not try something different and rent your own canoe for the day. Canoeing enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this fantastic area of England as well. Anyone who enjoys Canadian Canoeing can also expect to have a fantastic experience on the River Tamar in Devon. Abundant with wonderful wildlife such as otters and salmon, you can get up close and personal with some beautiful west country wildlife. In terms of additional places to enjoy canoeing, they are very similar to Kayaking, with popular places being the lake district, Wales and Scotland, please refer to the kayaking information for specific places.

You can also enjoy both kayaking and canoeing in the beautiful country of Ireland whether your looking to add an adrenalin pumping ride to your country cottage holiday or a relaxing paddle. The seas surrounding Ireland provide excellent opportunities for both sports, from the open decked Canadian canoe to the closed deck kayak, the kayak being the favourite in Ireland. Ireland boasts both fantastic rivers, beautiful lakes and excellent coastal possibilities for kayaking and canoeing, experience some excitement with the small rivers where you can find plenty of rapids, small waterfalls and rocky ways or take a chilled and relaxed touring kayak or canoe out to explore the wildlife in one of the local lakes. To enjoy flat water paddling with the occasional weir, the Barrow is the ideal river, however for white water canoeing or kayaking you need to travel to Wicklow and ride the Avonmore, Avoca and Aughrim Rivers. To enjoy some sea canoeing or kayaking simply travel to the coast and hit the water, however county Dublin has good paddling as well as plenty of Canoe and Kayak Clubs. The west coast is also an interesting area of Ireland to experience, with deserted islands, big Atlantic swell and of course spectacular scenery.

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