North Wales and Snowdonia Paddle Sports Guide

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Getting wet in North Wales has never been so much fun, so grab your wetsuit and lets go paddling!

The lakes, rivers and coastline of North Wales are a playground for paddle sports – with Kayaking, SUP and White Water Rafting amongst the water-based activities on offer.

Here we list a selection of the most popular places and providers to experience your paddle adventure.

Llyn Padarn, Llanberis

Nestled at the foot of Mount Snowdon in the heart of Snowdonia is the beautiful Llyn Padarn. The two mile long glacially formed lake is beside the tourist village of Llanberis and is a part of Padarn Country Park. Snowdonia Watersports and Boulder Adventures offer kayakpaddle board and canoe rental and instruction.

Llyn Padarn Postcode: LL55 4EL / Google Maps

A boat floating on Llyn Padarn, with mountains beyond.
The scenery at Llyn Padarn is pretty epic! “Llyn padarn.” by Hefin Owen / CC BY

Llyn Gwynant

The stunning Llyn Gwynant is situated in the Nant Gwynant valley approx 3 km from Snowdon.

Rock up with your kayak or SUP and launch directly (permits from campsite) from one of the roadside laybys along the A498 which runs parallel to the lake.

If you need to rent equipment head to Llyn Gwynant Campsite (located at the north end of the lake) who offer paddle board, Canadian canoe and single/double kayak hire by the hour. The hut is located on the far side of the campsite near to the mouth of the river (Afon Glaslyn), look out for the pirate flag! Note – equipment rental is seasonal, checkout the campsite website for dates.

Swimming is also popular in the lake (though the water can and does become very cold !), walk to the end of the wooden jetty and slide yourself in (jumping is not recommended due to the rocky lake bed below..)

Llyn Gwynant Postcode: LL55 4NW / Google Maps


Anglesey’s rugged coastline, towering sea cliffs and awesome scenery make it a great location for paddle sports.  Explore the many sandy coves and small islands or go in search of the local wildlife which includes dolphins and seals!

Psyched Paddleboarding specialise in stand up paddleboarding (SUP) experiences and expeditions in and around Anglesey. Adventure Elements and Coastal Spirit run sea kayaking courses and expeditions, the latter is based in the medieval town of Beaumaris on the North-East of the island.

Sea Kayaking amongst the coastal cliffs of Anglesey
Sea stacks below Ellin’s Tower, Anglesey. © Copyright Andy Waddington and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

Llyn Peninsula

The beautiful Llyn Peninsula and its windswept beaches are a popular summer haunt for paddle sports enthusiasts. If you just want to dip into the world of paddle sports, Abersoch sailing school rent good quality Kayaks and Paddleboards by the hour – based as the name suggests in Abersoch. Also based in Abersoch is Offaxis who run SUP lessons and hire from their beach shack. During the peak summer months the National Trust run Kayaking taster sessions at Aberdaron beach and stand up paddle boarding sessions at Porthdinllaen.

National White Water Centre, Bala

The National White Water Centre in Bala is one of the UK’s top white water venues. Activities on the grade 3-4 Afon Tryweryn river rapids include white water rafting and kayaking. As the river is dam controlled activities are dependant on sufficient water releases from the upstream Llyn Celyn reservoir.

Check the water information 2-3 days in advance to avoid disappointment. The centre also runs 2 hour Canyoning trips at a nearby gorge.

Postcode: LL23 7NU / Google Maps

Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake), Bala

Bala lake is the largest natural lake in wales and is set amongst an impressive mountain landscape. At over 3 1/2 miles long and 0.5 miles wide there is plenty of space to enjoy activities including canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding (SUP), sailing and wild swimming. Bala Watersports located at the Bala end of the lake provides equipment hire and instruction.

Bala Lake Postcode: LL23 7SR / Google Maps

A lone windsurfer on Llyn Tegid
Windsurfing on Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) in North Wales. © Copyright Phil Child and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence.

River Dee, Llangollen

Flowing through the bustling tourist town of Llangollen is the River Dee. KayakingCanoeingWhite Water Rafting and Tubing are all possible on the grade 2-3 river rapids. There are a number of providers in and around the town offering hire and tuition, including Llangollen Outdoors and River Active – the latter with direct river access.

Llangollen Postcode: LL20 8RB / Google Maps

Did you embark on any Paddle Sports in North Wales? Share your experience with us via Twitter or Instagram, we’d love to hear from you! @wildblighty #eXploretheUK

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