COPPET HALL – SAUNDERSFOOT – PEMBROKESHIRE
To indulge in great paddleboarding in South West Wales, we’d recommend starting out somewhere gentle like Coppet Hall. This is a great place to head for for so many reasons, but particularly if you want to have a day taking it easy. Saundersfoot Bay is protected from the wind in most directions, which means there’s rarely any surf. If you’re new to paddle boarding and you’re anticipating quite a few face-plants into the sea, you may as well have the elements in your favour. Another great reason to find your feet at Coppet Hall is that there are paddle boarding lessons and hire available with Alain at Good Trails. That’s in case you’re thinking the only thing for it is professional help!
For our paddle boarding veterans, this is a place to have a relaxing day. You’ll show up and park easily, your car just a stone’s throw from the beach. Enjoy a gliding, leisurely board with only a smattering of rocks to keep an eye out for*. Stop for lunch, coffee or beer as you please, with cafes and restaurants at the beachfront. When you’ve had a day’s worth and you’re all salt-watered out, there are outdoor showers to rinse off your suit. Time to deflate your paddle board** and get back in the car with an ice-cream.
TENBY – PEMBROKESHIRE
Tenby is already a well-known, much-loved town in South West Wales, but it’s also a great paddleboarding destination. If you’re looking for variety, you’ll find it here.
Setting off easily from the convenient little shore within the harbour walls, you’ll find your feet out of the wind, and amongst the bobbing boats.
Paddling further out, you’ll reach North beach, and likely a host of other watersports enthusiasts. Kite surfers, kayaks and paddleboarders alike commonly head for its golden sands and hidden nooks.
Once sated, you can paddle west, appreciating the famous colourful houses of Tenby. Further on you’ll pass the impressive and imposing lifeboat station and it’s older, more humble predecessor.
As you turn the corner you’ll find yourself in the bay of Castle Beach, and not alone. With you is St Catherine’s Island, with its mysterious fort sat on top. If you’re feeling adventurous, certain tide times allow you to paddle through the caves underneath to pop out at the other side.
Certain wind directions can then make South Beach a little more choppy. As a result, this stretch of water can be a bit of fun if you’re up for the challenge! From here you can see Caldey Island, and perhaps even the abundant wildlife that lives there. Seals, sea birds and occasionally, dolphins!
Tenby town is a hive of activity and parking can sometimes be tricky. However, it has a wide selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants to make sure you can make a day of it. On the whole, this is a morning-’til-night type of job!
LITTLE HAVEN – PEMBROKESHIRE
The beauty of this paddle boarding spot is the feeling of escapism. You start your day in a charming little fishing village, but are almost transported to another world of secluded bays and tranquil, turquoise waters. That being said, you’ll want a calm day before heading out of Little Haven, as the unprotected sea beyond is not for the faint of heart!
Heading out, you will travel towards Broad Haven beach and the infamous Lion Rock. On the way you will find yourself submerged in the beauty of The Settlands Beach, only accessible at low tide. If there’s one thing that makes paddle boarding feel all the more rewarding, it’s being able to get to those hard-to-reach places and soak up the peace.
Paddling left around ‘The Point’ will send you towards many secluded bays and hidden nooks. With a blue-sky-day you’ll hardly remember you’re paddleboarding in Wales and not Greece, as you skim over water that’s crystal clear and sparkling. Furthermore, if you go far enough, you’ll find the bay of Goultrop, where the water appears almost golden from the barnacle covered rocks beneath the surface.
At the end of the day, we highly recommend The St Brides Inn as your pub of choice, a Finla favourite! (Check them out here).