England has some of the world’s most interesting waterways to paddle along, and as the weather improves this summer you will now doubt want to get out and make the most of these aquatic landscapes. To help you prioritise your time in the sun, here is our guide to some of the best trails you can go to, where you will explore some of the most spectacular scenery the country has to offer on your paddle boards.
Starting at a lovely picnic spot in Cattawade, this paddle trail located in Essex provides you with lovely views of patchwork farmland and an excellent canal towpath.
These views are accompanied by a wide assortment of wildlife that can be seen along the way. Whilst Essex may not be the nature capital of the world, you can often see herons, kingfishers, moorhens, swans and the occasional fish.
If you are tired or want to refuel; you can stop off at the Boathouse Café. Or this can be an end point if you are tired at this point.
This trail begins at the 11th century village of Normanton on Soar, which is home to one of the last operational chain ferries in the country and is one of the most southerly points of Nottinghamshire.
Once you have launched, you will see the village’s 13th century church, meander round the river and be stunned by the beauty the Soar has to offer.
The turning point of the trail is a secluded island, which makes a brilliant picnic stop before you turn around and make the return journey.
This is a tidal paddle trail which explores the river Hamble. Full of magnificent sights and points of interest from the river’s military past; if you are interested in history, this is definitely the paddle boarding trail for you. Including the remains of King Henry V’s warship and observation towers from World War 1 it truly is a treasure trove.
Starting from the slipway in Swanwick, you will paddle board past a selection of lovely old pubs, and then reach tidal currents. As you continue paddling, you will pass through a park and until you Spinsters Lake. The river then splits, with one route taking you to a pub where you can have some lovely grub and refuel for your return, or the other takes you down towards a piece of maritime history. If you take the latter route, you will eventually come across a decommissioned 1960s Sea Scout school and the old World World War 1 battleship observation tower.
The river Thames, the most iconic river in the country, also makes a brilliant paddle boarding route. This route would start with the brilliant views of Hampton Court Palace’s grounds and then pass under Hampton Bridge and other historically interesting builds. One of these buildings is Alexander Pope’s villa, an imposing red building where the poet’s mansion was built.
A perfect combination of the rural and urban world, you will be paddling down the Thames with leafy royal gardens on your left and London suburbia on your right.