Not so long ago, having a great holiday meant going abroad. But in recent years, UK destinations have been wooing and wowing holidaymakers into ‘staycations’. Top of the list are Cornish adventures with the best watersports in Cornwall making any visit extra special.
Why go for a sailing holiday in the Med when our extensive coastline can offer you an equally amazing time closer to home? Why jet off halfway around the world for the best surf beaches when we have them in Cornwall? And why head overseas for kitesurfing when the UK is such a windy country?
There’s a good reason why Cornwall is dubbed ‘the cream of England’ – and it’s not just because of their delicious Cream Teas! If you’re looking for sun, sea and sand, Cornwall has it in bucket and spadefuls.
Whether you’re new to Cornish adventures and planning a first trip to explore the South West. Or you love this beautiful part of England so much, that you’re thinking of investing in Cornwall property (check out this handy guide to Cornwall properties from Hocking Associates, if you are). Cornwall offers so much to visitors.
Best watersports in Cornwall
Here are some of the best water based activities Cornwall has to offer.
Newquay is often described as the surfing capital of the UK and this is definitely the place to come if you’re looking to ride the waves of Cornwall. Fistral Beach is probably the perfect place for it; along with excellent facilities including life guards during the summer, you’ll also find a thriving surf community here.
There are plenty of surfing schools too, so if you need to learn the ropes you’ll have plenty of opportunities. And you can also make use of the other beaches dotted around the town for relaxing between your Cornish adventures.
Surfing is undoubtedly one of the best watersports in Cornwall. But its not restricted to Newquay. The Cornish coastline is dotted with surf breaks. Some of the best include Gwithian Beach, Perranporth Beach, Polzeath Beach, Porthmeor Beach and Porthtowan Beach. Check out TOAD if you want to find surf schools in Cornwall.
If you would like to learn to surf before you head out into the sea, it’s worth visiting the Retallack Resort based close to Newquay Cornwall Airport. It has a FlowRider surfing simulator which allows to you learn and develop your skills in a controlled environment.
You don’t have to be a guest at the resort to use the FlowRider but you do need to make sure that you book in advance. This is Cornwall’s only surfing simulator and it’s a great opportunity to get surfing experience for everyone from kids to adults.
Kayaking, SUP and Jet Ski
Make the most of your time in Cornwall by indulging in some of the other watersports on offer. Many of the larger beaches and resort towns have their own watersports centre where you can opt for anything from kayaking and stand-up paddle to jet skiing.
Many companies now are offering ‘safaris’ which have quickly gained in popularity. Heading out in a kayak, paddle board or on a jet ski, you’ll explore the Cornish coastline alongside guides who will introduce you to the landscape and wildlife of the area.
The waters around Falmouth feel like they were designed specifically to be sailed on. Whether you’re a beginner who needs to be taught the basics or you’ve been sailing for years this is one of the best Cornish adventures.
The popular River Fal is another great sailing location. This is generally a more relaxed and peaceful experience than boating on the Cornwall coastline and would be perfect if you’re just in need of a quiet day or two out on the water.
Plymouth (actually in Devon) makes a great base for any sailing activities along the coast. Offering easy access to the eastern side of Cornwall, you can explore a range of charming seaside towns from here as well as sailing on the Plymouth Sound.
Wakeboarding and water skiing
With a long coastline peppered with coves and estuaries there are plenty of places to find flat water to wakeboard or water ski. The Fal Estuary is a top spot and if you are lucky you might get to wake or water ski with Dolphins.
A great option is to hire a powerboat with a skipper for the day. We recommend Activity Holidays in Cornwall, the lovely Jenny and Lester will look after you ensuring you have a day to remember.
Kitesurfing and windsurfing
When the conditions are right Cornwall is one of the best places in the UK to kite and windsurf. With regular winds, hundreds of beaches and conditions varying from flat water to wave riding it has something for all kitesurfers and windsurfers.
There are some spots that are perfect from beginners and others only suited to the more experienced. Check out our guide to eight of the best Cornwall kite beaches for more info. Kitesurfing and windsurfing are without doubt some of the best watersports in Cornwall.
Cornwall’s best beaches
All these Cornish adventures are great, but what are the top beaches?
Cornwall is famous for its array of excellent beaches, but what constitutes the ‘best’ will depend entirely on what you’re looking for. The area boasts excellent spots for swimming, walking, relaxing and of course the best watersports in Cornwall. You just need to know where to go.
Bude the most northern town in Cornwall, benefits from excellent Atlantic surf, making it a prime spot for adrenaline-pumping watersports. Alternatively, the beautiful Lansallos Beach near Polperro offers an exceptional spot for chilling out.
You could even head to Porthminster Beach; it’s only the second largest of the beaches at St Ives, but it’s definitely the pick of the bunch. Ideal for families, you can enjoy charming views of the Godrevy Lighthouse.
Perranporth is a fabulous long beach backed by sand dunes. You can surf here, SUP, kayak and so much more. You can even stay in the campsite among the sand dunes. Its such a large beach that you can always find your own private spot.
Alternatively if you’d like a ‘Kiss-Me-Quick’ style beach in a seaside resort then Looe on the south Cornish coast is a great option. It gets very busy here but there is plenty of entertainment for all the family and a small but immaculate (at the start of the day) beach.
If the best watersports in Cornwall have you gagging to visit, then check out our Cornish discounts as you could save a packet!