We’ve asked local expert Rob Haggan for his favourite spots to go paddleboarding in Warwickshire. If you want to know the best Warwickshire SUP spots, then read on!
I’ve been fortunate enough to call historic Warwick home for the last ten years. Although it’s not one of the first places you’d think of when it comes to outdoor adventures, it actually is a great country for paddleboarding and kayaking. There are rivers, canals and lakes to explore, all offering something completely different.
Here, I’m going to share my insider tips and favourite spots after spending the best part of a decade exploring the waterways of Warwickshire. Welcome to the best places to go paddleboarding in Warwickshire.
Rob HagganTravel writer specialising in paddle boarding
Rob Haggan is freelance outdoor writer and the blogger behind Weekend Adventurers, a blog where he shares guides and reviews on hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, and mountain biking across the UK. Dive into his adventures and expert advice at weekendadventurers.co.uk.
1. Paddleboarding at Warwick Castle
One of my absolute favourite paddleboarding spots in Warwickshire has to be the stretch of river near Warwick Castle. Launching from the Myton Fields car park, just across the river from St Nicholas Park, you’re in for a unique experience. As you glide along the water, the imposing Warwick Castle comes into view, creating a stunning backdrop that feels almost surreal.
While direct access to the castle via the river isn’t possible due to restrictions, this doesn’t detract from the experience. The river here is peaceful, often with just the gentle sound of your paddle stirring the water and the occasional call of water birds. It’s a perfect blend of natural tranquillity and historical grandeur and makes for one of the best days out in Warwickshire.
This Warwickshire paddleboarding spot is best enjoyed in the early morning when the mist hovers over the water and the castle looms out of the haze. It’s also a great way to avoid the busier times of day and enjoy a more serene paddle. Whether you’re a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful paddle, this stretch of river offers an experience that’s hard to beat in Warwickshire.
2. Paddleboarding in Stratford-upon-Avon
Another gem in Warwickshire for paddleboarders is the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Starting from Fisherman’s car park, just a stone’s throw from the town, you can embark on a journey down the River Avon. As you paddle towards the town centre, you’ll journey back in time, immersing yourself in the charm and history of Shakespeare’s birthplace.
The river here is lively and vibrant, often bustling with tourist boat cruises. Paddling alongside these boats, you get a unique perspective of the town, seeing it from the tranquillity of the river. The banks are lined with beautiful trees and historic buildings, providing a setting that’s quintessentially English.
It’s an experience that connects you with the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon. The town, with its theatres and cafes, seems even more inviting from the water. It’s a spot that combines a great paddle with a touch of cultural exploration, making it a must-visit for anyone paddling in Warwickshire.
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3. Paddleboarding at Spot On Wake
A little way off in Henley-in-Arden, you’ll find Spot On Wake, a bit of a hidden treasure for paddleboarders. This privately owned watersports facility is an ideal spot, especially for those just dipping their toes into the world of paddleboarding. The sheltered lake here provides a calm environment, perfect for beginners or anyone looking to work on their paddleboarding skills.
Spot On Wake has all the equipment you need for hire, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own gear. This makes it very convenient, especially if you’re trying out paddleboarding for the first time.
For those who are more experienced, the lake still offers a great day out on the water. It’s a peaceful spot where you can enjoy a leisurely paddle, practice your technique, or simply relax on the water.
4. Paddleboarding on The Grand Union Canal
When it comes to serene paddleboarding experiences in Warwickshire, the Grand Union Canal is a personal favourite of mine. My preferred starting point is at the top of the famous Hatton Flight, right by the Hatton Locks Cafe. It’s a great spot to grab a coffee and soak in the atmosphere before setting off on the water.
From here, the journey towards Shrewley Tunnel is peaceful and picturesque. Paddling along this stretch of the canal, you’re surrounded by the beauty of the Warwickshire countryside. The canal meanders gently, flanked by lush greenery and the charming sights of canal life. Passing under historic bridges and alongside traditional narrowboats, you’re treated to a quintessentially English waterway experience.
This particular section of the Grand Union Canal is especially quiet, offering a retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a place where you can glide smoothly over the calm waters, enjoy the sounds of nature, and truly unwind.
5. Paddleboarding at Draycote Water
Draycote Water, near Rugby, is another must-visit for any paddleboarder in Warwickshire. This large reservoir offers 650 acres of open water, making it an ideal spot for a variety of water sports, including paddleboarding, sailing, and windsurfing.
Whether you’re bringing your own board or hiring equipment on-site, there’s a vast expanse of water to explore. For beginners, there are introductory lessons available, making it a welcoming place for those new to the sport. And for the more experienced paddleboarders, there’s a day fee for launching your board, giving you access to explore every corner of this expansive water body.
The scenery around Draycote Water is beautiful, especially on a sunny day. The water glistens under the sunlight, and the surrounding landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for your paddleboarding adventure. It’s a place where you can spend hours on the water, exploring, relaxing, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
Paddleboarding in Warwickshire
In the heart of landlocked Warwickshire, paddleboarding brings a splash of adventure and tranquility, depending on where you go and what you want. It’s clear that Warwickshire isn’t just about historical landmarks; the waterways offer a different kind of charm. And if you can combine the two – brilliant!
Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or a first-time paddler, the serene rivers and picturesque lakes provide the perfect backdrop for a leisurely glide or an exhilarating workout when you’re out on the paddleboard in Warwickshire.
So, grab your board, soak up the scenic beauty, and let Warwickshire’s waters be your playground. Paddle on, and let the good times flow in this unexpected aquatic gem of the Midlands!
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