Watersports in South Devon

The many beaches, rivers, estuaries, and canals of South Devon provide the perfect opportunity to indulge in pretty much every watersport you can think 0f. The stunning scenery as a backdrop adds another dimension you’ll be hard pushed to beat

For those keen to take part, try body boarding, surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, kite surfing, coasteering, sailing… the list goes on! And for those who like to watch, keep an eye out for the many local sailing and rowing regattas in the area where there’s as much happening on land as there is on the water!


Kayaking is a fantastic way to explore the local waters – it’s a great for the adults who want to work up a bit of sweat, and for kids who’d prefer to sit back and keep an eye out for the local wildlife. It really is a family affair!

The River Dart and the Kingsbridge estuary are popular spots. And for sea kayaking, head to Blackpool Sands, South Milton Sands, Bantham and Bigbury beaches. Many places offer tours as well as tuition.

Thatches has kayaks and wetsuits for use of owners and guests, free of charge.


On windy days, you’ll find surfers out in their droves. The surfing beaches are concentrated along the coast from South Milton to Challaborough and provide plenty of opportunity for beginners and experts alike.

Bantham is the most popular surfing beach with a location second to none. This award-winning beach sits in Bigbury Bay with fabulous views out to the famous Burgh Island. Great for both seasoned surfers and newbies, it can get busy – Thurlestone Beach is a much quieter spot. To the north of Bigbury, Challaborough is more challenging and attracts experienced surfers.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddle boarding on the coast might sound like a tough challenge, but South Devon’s calm estuaries, tucked away beaches and sheltered coves make it easier than you might think! It’s a great sport for all the family and won’t take you long to nail the technique if you’re a first timer – just make sure you pick a calm day!

South Milton Sands is a great sheltered bay if you’re new to the sport. Salcombe’s Southing to sail there are Sands has a picturesque harbour as well as coves and beaches only accessible by water. Shhh. Don’t tell everyone!

Thatches has paddleboards and wetsuits for use of owners and guests, free of charge.


By far the best way to see South Devon in all its glory is by boat. With wildlife in abundance and magnificent vistas, sailing these unique coasts, and estuaries has inspired poets and artists for hundreds of years. Hire a boat for the day and discover the multitude of secret coves and quiet beaches.

If you fancy learning to sail there are plenty of schools in the area and Salcombe is a popular choice for yachting, dinghy sailing or powerboating. There are a number of regattas throughout the year, most notably Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta and Salcombe Regatta, both held in August

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