Experience the sea from a different angle, above water.
Pulling over into a beech car park or the side of the road, kicking off your trainers for flip flops, pulling the sup bag out of the boot, the usual chatter of "lets try and stay out longer this time," and "I can't believe how much lighter your paddle is than mine," while pumping up the boards. Making jokes about not being strong enough to keep going and how this is the real workout.
Packing the dry bag, locking the car, remembering the cameras locked in the car, opening the car, locking the car. Picking up the boards and carrying them down the beech. Trying to gain your balance in the first break of waves, remembering you have terrible balance after all.
A beautiful spot on Exmoor, Porlock Weir is a perfect spot for a little paddle.
Remember to be friendly to any visiting porpoises!
There is a pay & display car park at Porlock Weir which is at the edge of the pebble beach and a short distance from the water.
You can carry your boards on a path over pebbles and grassland about a km to Bossington beach which is a little more secluded. You're at the base of a moor topped cliff so it has lovely views. To drive a bit closer, there is a National Trust pay & display car park in Bossington but the car park is further from the beach.
Finish the day with a lovely walk along the water. This is also a starting place for many many walks.
A need for food.
There is also a handful of shops and restaurants/pubs in Porlock Weir or a tiny village 2/3 miles away, Porlock.
I strongly recommend the noodle bar at Porlock Weir! They have a great veggie version!
There is also a lovely cheese shop called The Big Cheese on Porlock high street. It doubles as a cafe that offers cheese platters or take-away baguettes. The perfect place to pick up little gifts for those you're running home to!
Lynton & Lynmouth
These two tourist towns are very popular. After your paddle session on Lynton's pebble beach make sure to get the water powered train to the town above, Lynmouth.
There are many pay & display car parks in Lynton that are close to the beach.
Remember to keep an eye on the tides and make sure you and your group are competent enough for the conditions.
I also reccomend the candle shop in Lynmouth located on the side of the road to the Valley of Rocks.
A very popular beach for surfers. There is one big car park for £8 all day next to the sea among many others.
Don't just go for your usual paddle, try to SUP surf, if you don't mind falling in constantly.
There are also two surfboard rental shops which are pretty cheap.
Woolacomb is surrounded by campsites and the town itself has lots of good reasturants.
Padstow is a beautiful holiday destination on the coast of Cornwall.
Even in October the town is incredibly busy. There are lots of little spots away from the harbour that you can paddle.
We paddled on the estury after work. There is a little car park next to a footpath on Porthilly View street. Pump the boards up there and carry them down the footpath to some steps you will see leading to the water.
Remember to be cautious of the moorings! On estuaries and rivers its best to wear a quick release waist leash.
A note from a fellow paddler
I hope this guide helps you plan your next micro adventure.
The more places I find the more I'll let you know. It's a little difficult to do anything at the moment due to lockdown but hopefully this inspires you to make the most of your time and opportunities once lockdown is over.
Please ensure to maintain social distancing, don't swap equipment or clothes, make sure to take sanatiser and a face mask with you. Take everything home with you.
Respect the sea.
Ensure your equipment is in good condition. Quick-release waist leashes are best on rivers, estuaries and the sea. It is important you have an understanding of tides and currents before going out. Make sure the weather conditions are suitable for your abilities, you can use Wind Guru, XC-Weather, Magic Seaweed etc to check before leaving home, make a judgement call before you get on the water.
If you are paddling alone make sure someone knows your route, tell them when you get on the water and what time you expect to get back to shore or your car. If it is late take a head torch in your dry bag just in case.