Kayaking, Canoeing & Rafting

Kayaking Cornwall: Best Places To Go Canoeing & Kayaking In Cornwall

Where are the best places to go canoeing and kayaking in Cornwall? Read on...

Everyone should go kayaking in Cornwall once in their lifetime. Photo: iStock

Kayaking in Cornwall should be on every adventurer’s bucket list. It’s one of the UK’s most beautiful counties, known for its craggy rugged coastline, crystal clear blue water and plenty of awesome wildlife to see. Dolphins and seals are commonly spotted all over Cornwall.

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If you are a beginner kayaker, there are plenty of spots to visit. From the calm, placid waters of the south to the windswept north coast, you won’t struggle to find some of the best places to go kayaking in the UK.

Just as a head’s up, none of these recommendations are particularly gnarly. We’re not talking Grade 3 rivers here. These spots are for beginner kayakers and canoeists, although advanced paddlers won’t be disappointed by the amazing scenery and wildlife.


Photo: iStock

Fowey Estuary is one of the most beautiful places to go kayaking in Cornwall. It’s super flat and mellow, ideal for beginners and those who haven’t been kayaking in ages. Start at Golant and make your way towards the rivermouth, passing sailing boats in Fowey and ending up at Polruan. It is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so you will hopefully get the chance to see kingfishers, herons, cormorants and maybe a seal or a dolphin.

Go with… Encounter Cornwall


Photo: iStock

Just opposite Falmouth, you will find the Roseland Peninsula with long golden beaches and green hills. It is a calm section of the coastline where the water is often crystal clear. Start at Towan Beach and make your way towards St Anthony’s Head. You will see parts of the peninsula that are only accessible by boat.

Go with… Cornish Rock Tors


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Photo: Koru Kayaking

Frenchman’s Creek is a pretty inlet off the Helford River, surrounded by ancient oak woods. It is this creek which inspired Daphne Du Maurier’s book by the same name. There a lots of hidden coves with beaches for swimming and shipwrecks bobbing on the surface of the water. Koru Kayaking will take you kayaking in Cornwall from the Budock Vean Hotel across the Helford River into the creek before paddling back.

Go with… Koru Kayaking


Photo: iStock

On a good day, you could easily mistake the waters around St Ives for the Caribbean. Crystal clear and home to dolphins and basking sharks, it’s one of the most beautiful spots to go kayaking in Cornwall. Start at Carbis Bay, one of the more sheltered spots in St Ives, and take a tour around the surrounding coastline. Ocean Sports Centre will provide you with a beginner-friendly sit on top kayak and a guide.

Go with… Ocean Sports Centre


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Photo: iStock

The River Tamar marks the border between Devon and Cornwall with green rolling hills on either side. You will start your paddle at Cotehele Quay, which is part of a National Trust property. Head up past the Cotehele estate, Danesfield House and underneath the famous Calstock viaduct. You’ll pass Okel Tor Quay and Gawton Quay which were once key parts of the copper mining industry. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, kingfishers and peregrine falcons. Tamar Trails will provide you with all the equipment including traditional three-man Canadian canoes.

Go with… Tamar Trails


Photo: Koru Kayaking

Sea kayaking in St Agnes is a great way to see the rugged cliffs of the north coast of Cornwall.

Start at rock Trevaunance Cove. Experienced paddlers can head to Hanover Cove towards Perranporth if the conditions are right. It’s known for its beautiful white sand beach. Just past Cligga Head, there’s an amazing 30m sea arch that leads to a secret cavern.

Go with…  Koru Kayaking


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Photo: Lizard Adventure

Right at the most southwesterly point of the UK, you will find the Lizard Peninsula. It’s a great way to explore caves, spot seals and see the cool coastline by kayak. Lizard Adventure run tours kayaking in Cornwall from Cadgwith Cove or Mullion Harbour as well as from Hayle along this spectacular stretch of coastline. Stop off at the end to buy fresh crab or lobster from the harbour to take home.

Go with… Lizard Adventure

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