Marazion (or ‘Mazza’ as it’s nicknamed) is a family friendly ‘all comers’ Cornish beach. The mood of the weather, state of tide and time of year will dictate ultimately what type of paddling conditions you’re faced with. During the depths of winter you’ll be doing battle with large waves, perfect for surfing, whereas at other times you’ll end up with glassy flat conditions that are great for family floats with boats.
St Michael’s Mount lies offshore and just entices you in. With your kayak it’s easy to paddle the short distance from the beach and navigate the circumference of the whole island. At high tide you can paddle its full 360 degrees while low water will require a walk and drag across the causeway, during the final third of the journey – which is actually quite a distance when hauling your ‘yak.
If you’re planning on paddling round the island then you’ll need to be aware of tidal flows and odd currents. Having the confidence and skills to get back on board your kayak, should you get tipped out, is paramount for paddling here.
From Marazion beach, intrepid kayakers can hang a right and head off around Longrock (a section of rock jutting from the beach) and head into Penzance. Care will be needed if you’re planning this trip as there are some rather large container ships that come in and out of port.
If the breeze is blowing then it’s possible to indulge in some downwind fun from either direction. You’ll need to get your transport logistics sorted but actually it’s a good intermediate route if the breeze is moderate and swells small. Any blowier and it becomes more of a challenge.
How to get there:
Follow A30 for Penzance, heading north to south, or A394 heading from east to west. Marazion is then sign posted with the beach lying just a few yards outside of the village.
Café, toilet facilities, ample parking, nearby eating and drinking establishments and easy access to a wide and varied chunk of alternative put in points around the Cornish peninsula all make Mazza a great place with plenty of amenities.
Submerged rocks at during certain depths of water, strong tides, heavy shore dump as the sea pushes up the beach, shingle/pebbles in places, other water users and some shipping/boating traffic in and out of Penzance.
Ins and Outs:
Park up at the beach in the main car park and even at low tide it’s only a short drag to the water’s edge, compared to many Cornish spots. A couple of steep steps will need to be negotiated at first but by and large the launch is easy.
There are plenty of campsites, B&Bs, hotels and guest houses in the area and this whole corner of Kernow is great for paddling enthusiasts. A plethora of put ins are available depending on whether you want waves, flat water and even inland paddling conditions.
If multiple watersports is your thing then, again, you’ll be well served by a visit to Marazion with the beach being perfect for windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing on its day.
Marazion is instantly recognisable with the imposing and iconic St Michael’s Mount lying just half a mile offshore. The Cornish town of Penzance is two miles east, St. Ives a short drive away and the whole of the Lizard Peninsula is reachable from ‘Mazza’. You’re in a prime spot for accessing all manner of paddling opportunities.
Marazion used to be the main town in the area until nearby Penzance stole the limelight but it’s the Benedictine Monastery atop St Michael’s Mount that still draws tourists from far and wide. This corner of Kernow is regularly visited by large numbers of tourists each year and the tiny lump of rock continues to capture people’s imaginations.