As autumn descends on the UK, it brings with it a special magic to the nation's waterways. Cooler temps and vibrant foliage create a captivating backdrop for paddle boarding adventures. From rushing rivers to rugged coastlines, scenic lakes to tranquil broads, there are plenty of places to explore by board this autumn.
Here are five of the best spots to add to your autumn paddle boarding bucket list:
1. Take in sunrise colours on Brighton beach
Brighton beach, against the iconic backdrop of Brighton Pier, is a fantastic morning paddle boarding destination on a sunny day. As the sun peeks above the horizon, you'll glide across waves with the freshest sea air filling your lungs.
The early hours, when the Channel is at its calmest, are ideal for new paddlers. Watching the sunrise colours reflect off the shimmering water is an unforgettable experience.
- Check tide times and aim for mid to high tide so the current isn't too strong
- Bring a camera to capture those incredible dawn colours
2. Immerse yourself in Cumbria's Lake Windermere
Surrounded by verdant forests and rolling hills, Windermere is England's largest natural lake. The cooler fall months mean fewer crowds, allowing you to fully soak up the tranquillity.
While the winds can pick up at times, calm mornings offer the perfect chance to paddle through breathtaking scenery. Head to the peaceful northern section for the most serene experience.
- Look out for passing steamers and keep your distance
- Bring a thermos for hot coffee or tea as you gaze at the autumn foliage
3. Drift through pastoral waterways along the Thames
Experience the quintessential English countryside by paddle boarding a stretch of the Thames near Oxford. The river's winding course through green fields lined with oak and willow make for idyllic fall paddling.
Early morning and late afternoon trips avoid the most crowded times, allowing you to relax into the peaceful atmosphere.
- Check tide times for Oxford to plan around currents (if you plan on going to the tidal areas)
- Bring binoculars to spot kingfishers and other wildlife
4. Paddle through Autumn tapestry in the Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads offer the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature's autumn finery. As the leaves change, the vibrant reed beds and wooded banks burst into colour. For the best views, head to the narrower winding waterways that cut through swathes of colourful foliage. Wildlife abounds, so keep your eyes peeled.
- Go early morning or late afternoon when conditions are calmest
- Watch your speed and wake to avoid disturbing wildlife
5. Island hop along the Isle of Wight's diverse coastline
From vertical cliffs to family-friendly bays, the Isle of Wight's coast has something for every paddler. Cooler fall temperatures make exploring this diversity comfortable. While tides and weather can be challenging, the payoff is superb coastal scenery. Consider a guided tour to discover hidden gems.
- Check forecasts and conditions before heading out
- Pack a picnic to enjoy on quiet sandy beaches between paddling
To fully enjoy these sublime autumn paddle boarding adventures, be sure to:
- Learn about local tide patterns, weather forecasts and waterway regulations
- Use appropriate safety gear like leashes and PFDs (available here, if you need them)
- Stick to your skill level and consider guided tours for new areas
Then it's time to grab your board and appreciate the UK's breathtaking landscapes from a whole new perspective.
Paddle forth and embrace the magic of autumn!