The Isle of Man offers some of the finest sea kayaking in the whole of the UK. The island’s many sea cliffs, rock gully’s and tidal races provide a wide choice of paddling options for all levels of kayaker – from beginner to advanced.
Popular ‘drop in’ spots include Peel, Port Erin, Port St Mary, Niarbyl, Calf of Man, the Sound of Man and the Calf Tidal Races. Other beaches around the island are also on offer but care should be taken as in places along the north shore currents can be strong and treacherous.
The Isle of Man does feature a few rivers, which are also reported to be cracking when in flood, however, these are usually disregarded in favour of the open sea.
Surf kayaking is also available during certain periods of weather but with its large number of beaches visiting paddlers would really need a few week’s exploring to discover the best ‘surfing’ spots the Isle of Man has to offer.
Manx Paddle Sports is the biggest canoe and kayak club on the island whose main aim is to increase participation levels. Juniors and seniors went on to represent the island at the Inter Celtic Watersports Festival in Brittany after the club’s first year in 2011 and since then members have entered all manner of paddling related competitions.
Open sea paddling at its very best with diverse conditions suitable for all levels of kayaker. All but the most hardened of river nuts would be satisfied with a visit to the Isle of Man.
How to get there:
Getting to the Isle of Man couldn’t be easier with regular flights and ferries hopping across the Irish Sea. Flying takes around 30 minutes with ferry crossings being a little longer.
The Isle of Man is a noted tourist spot and as such has all the trappings you’d associate with a holiday resort. Hotels, B&B’s, guest houses and camping options are all readily available.
A number of kayaking shops operate on the island and in Port Erin you’ll find 7th Wave Activity Centre who hire sit on kayaks from April – October.
Open sea kayaking presents many different hazards. Tidal races (or over falls), swell, harsh weather, boating traffic and rocks all present dangers to the inexperienced and unskilled.
With a bit of common sense the Isle of Man will deliver perfect conditions for your skill level. Take some time to research the place and get an understanding of the area and you’ll be fine.
Ins and Outs:
If access to the water is obvious then usually this is fine for putting your boat in. If you’re unsure then it could be worth double checking beforehand.
The Isle of Man is famous for hosting the annual TT motorcycle race that happens each year. If you’re a motorbike enthusiast and paddler then it could be worth combining the two and planning your paddling trip to coincide with the event.
Inhabited since before 6500BC the Isle of Man is formerly one of the six Celtic nations whose Gaelic cultural influence began in 5th century AD. Having been taken under Norse control in the 9th century the island fell into English hands during 1399. Nowadays the Isle of Man is part of the British Commonwealth and is a self-governing dependent territory.
Lending itself perfectly to sit on kayaking the island regularly sees groups of paddlers making the trek across the Irish Sea for some paddling fun.