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Paddleboarding on Loch Ken, Dumfries & Galloway

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Paddleboarding in Scotland

Stand up paddle boarding, often shortened to SUP, is one of the UK’s fastest growing watersports and is a great activity for escaping the everyday. From the deck of a paddle board, you can see the best of Scotland from a whole new perspective. And being near, on or in water is a great way to improve your health and boost those wellbeing endorphins.

In Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2021, why not spend quality time outdoors with the family, either as a group outing on individual paddle boards, or all together aboard one jumbo paddle board, for guaranteed laughs? Some companies even offer outings with four-legged family members – Pups on SUPs – for tail-wagging fun! 

Read on to learn how to participate in paddle boarding, how to keep safe and for some ideas on where to try it.

Amazing places to go paddleboarding in Scotland

Paddle boarding is an amazing and very low impact way to explore Scotland’s coast, lochs and waterways at your own pace. To start you off and get you exploring, we’ve suggested a few places below to visit and some businesses that can help guide you.

The Outer Hebrides

Vatersay beach

There are so many stunning bays and quiet coves to explore by stand up paddle board, around the isles of Lewis, Harris and Barra in the Outer Hebrides. Hook up with Surf Lewis or Barra Surf & Coastal Adventures for suggestions, lessons and equipment hire.

Cairngorms National Park - lochs Insh and Morlich

Paddle boarding Loch Insh

Paddle board on quiet lochs amidst stunning surroundings in the UK’s largest national park. Try a jumbo board with all the family - you can even take your dog! Lessons and hire are available at Loch Insh Outdoor Centre and Loch Morlich Watersports.

Aberdeenshire - Stonehaven

Dunnottar Castle

Take a watery tour of secluded caves, quiet coves and even a castle, along Scotland’s north-east coast or paddle board along calmer sections of the lovely River Dee. Paddleboarding Stonehaven and Sup2summit will happily guide you. 

Perthshire - The River Tay and Loch Tay

Paddleboarding Willowgate Perth

Enjoy a paddle boarding lesson on the River Tay near Perth with Willowgate Activity Centre. More experienced paddle boarders can join Beyond Adventure and Unique Adventure Tours Scotland to explore spectacular Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire.

Argyll & The Isles - Oban

Isle of Kerrera aerial

Paddle board to the Isle of Kerrera and plan your water-borne siege of Gylen Castle, or take a sunset tour of the Oban coastline to see Dunollie Castle and marine wildlife, with Basking Shark Scotland and Explore Highland.

Edinburgh & The Lothians

Paddle boarding Port Edgar

What could be better than paddle boarding in the shadow of the Forth Bridges at Port Edgar Marina? Alternatively head east and explore Belhaven Bay in East Lothian and see the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’, with C2C Surf School and Ocean Vertical.

Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

Paddle boarding Bhive

Did you know you can paddle board in and around Scotland’s largest city? Join an instructor-led session at the Bhive Activity Hub at Bowling Harbour on the Forth & Clyde Canal. Or try stand up paddle boarding at Pinkston Watersports, just a short bus or taxi ride from Queen Street Station. Connecting with the Glasgow Paddleboarders Co community is also a great way to find out about paddle boarding in the city and surrounding area, or if you're looking for guided paddle boarding trips, lessons, equipment hire or even paddle boarding buddies.

Ayrshire & Arran

Brodick Bay Arran

Dotted with ancient castles, explore Ayrshire's majestic coastline, where paddlers are spoiled with many sweeping shallow sandy bays to choose from. Adventure Carrick can take you to the best spots. Or cross the Firth of Clyde to the Isle of Arran and explore Brodick Bay or paddle to Holy Isle with SUP Arran.

Dumfries & Galloway

Loch Ken

Spend a few hours exploring the shores of stunning Loch Ken, located within the UNESCO Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere, with Galloway Activity Centre. Then relax in one of their Eco Bothies, refreshed and ready for your next day of adventures. With a wealth of waterways and inland lochs, this region is a paddlers’ paradise.

Book a paddle boarding session or lessons

If you're new to paddleboarding, or are not sure where to go, don't worry. There are many outdoor operators across Scotland that will be only too happy to get you onto an inflatable paddle board, with wetsuit, buoyancy aid and paddle, to show you how it's done, or guide you. Then you'll be off exploring loch shores, calm rivers and quiet coastal coves, with your family or paddle boarding buddies.