for those who love the outdoors

3 May, 2024


Top Spots in Wales for Camping and Paddle Boarding Adventures

Camping and paddle boarding in Wales offers a great outdoor adventure combination and a ticket to explore more of the natural beauty of Britain. With Wales diverse blue spaces, paddle boarders can explore a variety of amazing waters—gentle rivers, mountain lakes, peaceful canals and stunning coastline. Ideal for everyone from beginners to seasoned paddlers, for a full immersion in blue space there is nothing better than camping by the water’s edge. Here are some of our favourite paddles close to camping sites with water access in Wales.

Paddleboarding at Can-yr-Eglwys

1. The Inland Sea, Anglesey

The paddle A generally sheltered tidal lagoon that separates Holy Island from Anglesey, with far-reaching views of Snowdonia’s mountains and Holyhead Mountain, forested shores, islets and meandering creeks. Great for beginners and explorers alike, with a huge amount of wildlife to see on a 5km loop.

Camping Sitting along the waterside of The Inland Sea Pen Y Bont Farm is a flat camping and caravan site with all facilities; tel. 01678 520549.

Access requirements No (but fees need to be paid to campsite to launch from their beach).

Inland Sea
Picture of Inland Sea, Anglesey

2. Broadhaven South, Pembrokeshire

The paddle Paddle alongside a wide sand beach backed by vast lily ponds and dramatic cliffs to explore sea stacks, two hidden coves (GR SR 977 936 and GR SR 977 935) cut deep into the cliffs. Head east around Saddle Point to find a large blue crater – a sea-water filled collapsed sea cave behind a keyhole entrance through the cliff.

Camping Beautiful location close to the beach, laid-back basic site at Trefalen Farm, tel. 01646 661643; basic site in picturesque village of Bosherston, short walk from café and inn, Bosherston Campsite, tel. 07780 561687. 

Access requirements No.

Picture of secluded cove in Broad Haven South and Church Rock, Pembrokeshire

3. Newport Parog, Pembrokeshire

The paddle From Lovely Parrog beach there are two great paddling options. Head east to explore the bird-filled River Nevern estuary and vast sand beaches. Head west to explore a beautiful coastal section, where dolphins are often spotted, to Cwm-yr-Eglwys (9km return). The charming hamlet of Cwm-yr-Eglwys, set in a small bay, is a great place to rock-hop in a number of secluded coves.

Camping Beachside camping at Morawelon Caravan and Camping, tel. 01239 820565.

Access requirements No.

Picture of Parog Beach, Pembrokeshire

4. Dale, Pembrokeshire

The paddle Dale is a great paddling destination with a very nautical air and a popular sailing club with a number of paddling options. Take a gentle paddle along a tiny Gann estuary to spot an incredible array of birdlife. Alternatively, explore the sheer old red sandstone cliffs at the base of the flat Dale peninsula to find two secluded beaches, Castlebeach Bay and Watwick Bay, enjoying great views of the Milford Haven waterway throughout (7km return).

Camping Small secluded site above ancient woodland that overlooks Dale Bay and close to village, Point Farm Campsite, tel. 01646 636842 (no caravans or motorhomes >6m).

Access requirements No.

Picture of Dale, Pembrokeshire

5. Llyn Gwynant, Snowdonia National Park

The paddle Immerse yourself in breathtaking mountain views at this scenic lake, nestled in the Nant Gwynant Pass within Eryri National Park. The lake, formed by glacial action and fed by the Afon Glaslyn, has a stunning backdrop with the steep flanks of Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) rising majestically from its north shore. As you paddle through its deep, clear waters, make your way to the distinctively shaped Elephant Rock, where you'll see or join swimmers plunging into the refreshing water below.

Camping The campsite at the east end of the lake is the perfect place to spend the night enjoying a BBQ by the campfire. Launch from the campsite's beach. Llyn Gwynant Campsite, A498, Beddgelert, LL55 4NW.

Access requirements Non-campers must pay a launch fee to the campsite; always wash your paddleboard before entering lake for biosecurity.

Picture of Llyn Gwynant, Snowdonia

6. Pontsticill & Pentwyn Reservoirs, Brecon Beacons National Park

The paddle Surrounded by forested hillsides and views across to Pen y Fan and Corn Du, this paddle on two linked reservoirs is literally a high point for paddlers in Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons). Trips are often accompanied by the hoot of the Brecon Mountain Railway's steam trains, chugging along the east side of the reservoirs.

Camping Lovely streamside camping in the woods at Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer, tel. 01685 848309. 

Access requirements Only permitted as part of an organised paddle accompanied by a member of the South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group with a Brecon Beacons Reservoir Passport via Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer.

Picture of Pentwyn Reservoirs (Photo credit: Parkwood Outdoors)

7. Llangorse Lake, Brecon

The paddle Soak up fabulous mountain views from the largest natural lake in South Wales, and the only one featuring an ancient crannog. Sculpted by glaciers and filled with meltwater, the lake sits between Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons) and the Black Mountains. From the water there are uninterrupted views over green hills, meadows, and hedgerows to the high peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du.

Camping Waterside camping with all facilities at Llangorse Lake, along with SUP and kayak hire, tel. 01874 658226.

Access requirements Reception next to cafe at Llangorse Lake to pay launch fees; buoyancy aids are mandatory. No landing on crannog. Always wash your paddle board before entering the lake for biosecurity.

Picture of Llangorse Lake, Brecon Beacons

8. Glasbury to Hay-on-Wye, River Wye

The Paddle Meander along the Wye's shallow, clear waters past numerous islands and a few easy ‘rapids’ for 8.5km to the celebrated town of books. Launch from the pebbly beach of Glasbury Bont and head under the bridge. As you journey down the river, stop off at one of the many pebble beaches and take a moment to look out for wildlife. The route offers fabulous glimpses of the Black Mountains and the patchwork fields in the foothills. Exit beyond Hay Bridge and return by bus.

Camping River Wye Activity Centre, Glasbury, for tents, motorhomes, vans and caravans has all facilities, pop up food and music and lies adjacent to the river, tel. 01432 264807.

Access requirements Check seasonal access with Centre staff. Always wash your paddle board before entering the lake for biosecurity.

Picture of River Wye at Hay-on-Wye

9. Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal Explorer from Pencelli

The paddle Meander along the pretty Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal through the wooded Usk Valley, enjoying glimpses of the mountains of Bannau Brycheiniog (Brecon Beacons National Park). Navigable from Brecon to Cwmbrân, the canal offers multiple paddle options. Launch from Pencelli and choose between two routes: the first takes you northwest to Brecon (15km return); the second more peaceful route, southeast to Talybont-on-Usk with an optional tunnel excursion (10km return). You can also launch from the Brecon Basin or Talybont-on-Usk.

Camping Fabulous camping and caravan site on edge of Pencelli village close to canal and local pub, Pencelli Castle Caravan and Camping Park, tel. 01874 665451. 

Access requirements British Waterways Licence required: included in membership of PaddleUK or Canoe Wales, or can be purchased from the Canal and River Trust. Always wash your paddle board before entering the lake for biosecurity.

Picture of the Mon-Brec Canal at Talybont

Final thoughts.....

These are just a handful of favourite blue spaces with camping and paddleboarding options in Wales and we'll be sharing more in upcoming blogs. There are also plenty more ideas in our books 'Paddle Boarding South West England' and 'Paddle Boarding Wales'. 

Lisa Drewe

Screenshot 2024 04 10 at 16 20 48

A best-selling and award-winning author of four guidebooks on paddle boarding and exploring the islands of Britain, Lisa is deeply immersed in the adventure of Britain's wild blue spaces. Her work as an Ordnance Survey Champion, coupled with her role as a regular contributor to The Times and Sunday Times (Scotland), reflects her commitment to outdoor exploration.

Lisa’s articles have also featured in Red Bull, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Scotsman, and Condé Nast Traveller, sharing adventures that inspire a connection with nature. Lisa’s journey is about more than just the activity; it's about advocating for the beauty and preservation of our natural world, she is the Chair of Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

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