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Where To Go Paddleboarding Near Plymouth - Top 5 SUP Spots

Posted by Lydia Burdett

When thinking about where to go paddleboarding, cities are unlikely to be the first locations that spring to mind. However, Plymouth isn’t quite like other cities. With instant access to the coast and neighbouring Dartmoor in easy reach, Plymouth has firmly solidified itself as the perfect base for all kinds of outdoor exploration. 

Often billed as Britain’s Ocean City, the unique location of Plymouth also makes it the perfect place to go paddleboarding and there are loads of really great SUP spots both in the city and the surrounding areas. We’ve carefully selected 5 of the best, all guaranteed to give you a truly memorable paddleboarding experience.

Plymouth Hoe

Plymouth Hoe is one of the most famous locations in the city, best remembered for its iconic lighthouse. The Hoe is also one of the best places to paddle in the city with multiple entry and exit points and great views both back towards shore and across to the breakwater. Once launched, you can take a variety of routes towards westerly Mount Batten, southerly Drake’s Island and easterly Devil’s Point, or potter around and hone your technique closer to the many coves found along the shoreline. There are also swimming pontoons stationed here in the summer months if you fancy a refreshing dip after you’ve explored from your Red paddleboard.

Firestone Bay

Firestone Bay is not just one of the best places to go paddleboarding in Plymouth - it also made it onto our list of the best places to paddle in Devon! This small pebble beach is particularly popular with locals and can be found just a stone's throw from the city centre. Access is easy and, if coming by car, you can park at the nearby Devils Point or the historic Royal William Yard. Expansive views across Plymouth Sound are guaranteed at all times of day, but it’s best to come at slack tide if your SUP is in tow as the moving water can be deceptively challenging. Even if you’re experienced, you should always wear your leash and quick-release waist belt - and don’t forget your changing robe for warming up while you have a post-paddle coffee at one of the nearby popular cafes!

Cawsand Beach

If you’re lucky enough to be able to spend a whole day exploring on your paddleboard, consider hopping across the nearby border into Cornwall to visit Cawsand Beach. This quaint and picturesque bay can be reached by car, foot ferry or even on your SUP via Firestone Bay if the tide conditions are right. It’s a great place to go if you want to paddleboard with the whole family and hop on and off your board throughout the day, though we recommend also venturing away from the bay itself towards neighbouring Kingsand or the impressive Mount Edgecumbe further afield. Come equipped with a picnic in your waterproof cool bag and you’re guaranteed a day of total bliss by the coast.

Bovisand Beach

In the opposite direction is Bovisand Beach, another fantastic SUP spot near Plymouth. This sheltered and tucked-away location is a firm favourite amongst paddlers wanting that holiday-like, sandy-beach atmosphere. When the tide is right in, you’ll find yourself enjoying a truly peaceful paddling experience surrounded by cliffs on either side and far-reaching views all the way over to Cornwall. 

Do note that the car park can fill up quite quickly and you’ll need to transport your paddleboard down the short but steep coast path to get to the beach itself. We suggest visiting in an evening with your compact SUP to beat the crowds and get onto the water stress-free.

Lopwell Dam

While Plymouth is often associated with its proximity to the big blue, not much further in the opposite direction is the glorious Dartmoor National Park. Opportunities to go paddleboarding are a little more limited in this area but there are still some great experiences on offer for those wanting to use their SUP away from the sea. 

One such example is Lopwell Dam, a quiet spot on the River Tavy that is perfect for paddleboarding. Despite being such a short drive from the city, the surrounding wildlife and natural landscape make this SUP spot feel worlds away from any hustle and bustle. The river location does mean that Lopwell Dam is right at the end of the tidal reach. Careful planning is therefore advised if you do pay a visit - come 2 hours either side of high tide for the best conditions and never launch above the dam itself.

For more advice on where to go paddleboarding in or near Plymouth, please get in touch with our expert team who are always happy to pass on additional recommendations.