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The 7 Best Places To Go Paddleboarding Near London

Posted by Lydia Burdett

When you’re based in London, it can be easy to feel detached from the great outdoors. Busy city life and the urban surroundings don’t exactly scream ‘outdoor exploration’, but it can be easy to forget that London is remarkably close to some fantastic beauty spots and home to the second largest river in the UK - the River Thames. This makes England’s capital the perfect starting point for anybody looking to connect with nature and give paddleboarding a go.

Whether you’re limited to locations accessible from public transport or happy to go anywhere within reason as long as it allows you to spend time on the water, there are loads of great places to go paddleboarding near London. Each offers the perfect excuse to escape from your desk and switch off from the working week, so dust off your paddleboard or investigate rental options and get exploring. These are our recommended places to paddle:


Exploring the River Thames is the perfect starting point if you’re looking to try paddleboarding in London. Given that the river runs throughout the whole of London (and then some!), there are plenty of places you can enter the water from but it’s important to make sure you’re picking somewhere safe and satisfying.

One of our favourite ways to explore the Thames is from Richmond. Despite being a stone's throw from the inner city, the town of Richmond has a distinctly quaint feel that’s perfect for enjoying the mindfulness benefits of paddleboarding. You won’t have to travel too far - just hop on the train at Waterloo for 20 minutes and make your way to Richmond Bridge to launch. Paddle up towards Teddington or downstream towards the Kew area and destress from the working week.


If you want to enjoy the Thames but escape the city entirely, why not head to Berkshire and pick up the river at a more western point? Not far from the easily accessible town of Reading is Wargrave, a charming village with ample opportunity for a picturesque paddleboarding experience. Travel by train or park in the centre of the village and then head north towards the Ferry Lane slipway where you can launch your paddleboard and continue north towards the popular Henley-on-Thames area. When you’re finished with your SUP experience, the St George & Dragon pub is right next to the river and a great spot for a post-paddle bite to eat. 

Regent’s Canal

Regent’s Canal is the perfect way to see some of the most popular parts of London in a new way! The canal itself stretches 14 kilometres across the north of the city and is particularly popular with traditional narrowboats enjoying the beautiful surroundings. As it can get very busy with other traffic, make sure you pick your route carefully and always stick to the right-hand side when you’re paddleboarding. Most paddlers find that the scenic stretch between Camden and Little Venice is the most enjoyable as it’s lock-free and easy to access. Do note that you’ll need a waterways license to paddle here - you can pick up a short-term pass from the Canal & River Trust.

Brentford Lock

Brentford Lock is a great place to go paddleboarding in London if you’re relatively new to the activity or want to explore somewhere with a relaxed feel. The waters here are distinctly calm, offering the perfect opportunity to practice and refine your technique before tackling a busier place to paddleboard like Regent’s Canal. We particularly recommend heading here in late spring or summertime and enjoying the glistening views of the river at sunset.


If it’s the sea you’re yearning for, you will have to head beyond the outskirts of London. Fortunately, there are some great SUP spots within easy reach at just an hour or two journey. You could even kick back and make a whole day of it by packing up your Compact SUP and catching the train to Brighton where you’ll find plenty of great places to go paddleboarding. For the ultimate seaside experience make sure to visit Palace Pier where you can enjoy a spectacular paddling route along the seafront to the West Pier. Visit early in the morning if you can to avoid the visiting crowds and get the best and clearest views!

Chipstead Lake

For those who fancy heading east out of London to get their paddleboarding fix, Chipstead Lake in Kent delivers the ‘great outdoors’ feel in just a short ride from London Bridge. The lake can get busy with families, fishermen and sailors, but there’s plenty of space for paddleboarding at all times of year. This kind of environment is a great place to go if you want to develop your confidence or try something new as you can stay close to the shore as you get more familiar with your board. Just make sure you read up on your lake safety tips and you’re good to go!

Godalming Navigation

For a distinctly historic paddleboarding experience near London, take a trip to the River Wey in Surrey. You can launch your SUP from the popular Godalming Navigation and paddle as far as Weybridge where the river meets the Thames. This is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque paddleboarding experiences you can have near London, as the river runs through the famous Surrey Hills and takes in some characterful sights including a number of locks and some quintessentially British cottages. 

If you would like any more SUP spot recommendations, we’re always happy to share some more ideas! Get in touch with the Red team today to learn more about paddleboarding near London.