The UK may have some of the most wonderful coastal environments, offering clear waters and salty air to those living nearby. However, despite the country’s relatively small size, many residents don’t have regular or easy access to be able to enjoy these coasts. Certainly not to the extent that their favourite watersport can be enjoyed each week. Thankfully, there are a great many ways that watersports can still be enjoyed by people who don’t live by the sea.
Those unfamiliar with the varied environments of London’s greater area might be surprised to learn that it is home to some of the country’s most idyllic lakes, many of which are now being enjoyed by those interested in watersports, such as wild swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding.
The waterways of Hampstead Heath have become a personal favourite among wild swimmers and those around Cambridge can enjoy idyllic paddles out on the River Cam. And, those located in Surrey can enjoy a number of secluded areas, such as Frensham Pond, an ideal lake location for a relaxing afternoon, especially with the family. Just be sure to review your local council’s guidelines as these will help you to stay safe on the lake.
Those living in the North of England certainly know how fortunate they are to be in such close proximity to both the Lake District and Northumberland. Between these two regions alone, a number of amazing rivers, waterfalls, and lakes can be found, many of which are prime locations for watersports enthusiasts.
Among some of the most notable is Ullswater lake, which can be accessed from a number of locations, as well as Glenridding, with its beautiful pubs and hotels. Then, if you’re moving toward the northeast, you’ll find a number of loughs to explore but locals tend to favour the gorgeous Bolam Lake, which is nestled inside a beautiful national park.
Many travel to Cornwall and Devon specifically for the enchanting (and warm) shores, so much so that many of the locals will move inland during the tourist season specifically to avoid the crowds. Those who want to continue their watersport hobbies will head to a number of waterways, especially locations like Stithians Lake, which has become a hub for windsurfers, SUP enthusiasts, and wild swimmers alike.
Devon also has an abundance of lakes, many of which are set among some of the country’s most beguiling landscapes. Roadford Lake, for example, spans a large area, with a wonderful and low incline trail around the water, making it perfect for those who want to find a quiet spot to jump in.
Scotland and Wales are certainly not without their own stunning vistas and lakes (or lochs), with a great number of English watersports enthusiasts travelling across their nearest border specifically to enjoy them. Llyn Tegid is Wales’ largest lake and certainly one of its best, with swimmers revelling in its famously clear water.
Then, for those willing to enjoy more of a brisk (but nonetheless beautiful) environment, Scotland has some of the most wonderful lochs around, from Loch Eil and Loch Lomond to the well-known and rightfully celebrated Loch Ness.