International travel is now back on the menu for 2022, however, for some, the stress and worry just isn’t worth it. Following on from the boom of 2021, there is a huge amount of interest in so called staycations. SUPM has taken a look at several UK destinations that may tickle the palette of SUPers, maybe something here could give you inspiration for a day out or longer, so here we go from north to south with the first of a dozen spots…
SUP Dude Stu
The Gower Peninsula has some of the best beaches and places to SUP in Europe, with the most spectacular scenery.
One of my favourite places to Sup is Oxwich Bay, about a 30-minute drive from Swansea via winding country lanes. En route to Oxwich is the Gower Heritage Centre, a working 12th-century water-powered mill where they make their delicious cider and have a lovely rustic bakery on site. A short drive on from the Gower Heritage Centre, you will be greeted by the most spectacular views of Oxwich Bay, with its huge bay and gorgeous golden sand – time to get your board out!
On a calm day, you can paddle out to Oxwich point, passing the most incredible sight of a landslide that has fallen into the sea, with rocks as big as houses! On a high tide, you can paddle between the rocks, which is an amazing experience. However, I would urge caution as there have been two further landslides over recent years, so that this area can be unpredictable. Paddling further on around the coast, there is a small cove and beach with overhanging rocks and a great place to stop for a swim, as it is pretty sheltered there.
Moving on towards Oxwich Point, you will feel the power of the ocean beneath you, and it can be pretty treacherous as the current is powerful, so I wouldn’t recommend going around the point. In the distance, you will see the famous Three Cliffs across the bay and if you have good weather and the sea is very calm, it’s a great paddle across the bay, and if you are lucky might even get to see some dolphins and seals. As you approach Three Cliffs, it is amazing seeing the cliffs standing tall out of the water, and this is the perfect time to get your camera out, sit on your board and soak in the atmosphere and surrounding nature.
Heading back close to the shore takes you past one of my favourite beaches, Crawley woods, and it’s a great place to stop with its tall dunes and golden sand. Paddling back towards Oxwich is fabulous, and you get to see the whole beach close up and the small stream that runs into the sea. It is also a great place to do some Sup surfing, and you can catch some cool waves here. It’s advisable to go in the water on an incoming tide and be very careful as the tidal flow can be very strong.
Arriving back on dry land, I always call back for a beverage to the Oxwich Bay Hotel who serve great food, and it is an excellent place to stop for lunch with lovely views overlooking Oxwich Bay. The hotel has the most fabulous accommodation, both in the hotel itself and in one of their summer pods located in a secret garden within the hotel’s grounds. There is also ample free parking at the hotel, and the car park is only a very short stroll from the beach.
If you are down this way, please feel free to contact me, and I’ll it will be my pleasure to take you on a tour of the beautiful Gower coastline.