Bantham & Burgh Island, Devon

Bantham & Burgh Island, Devon
Location Type: Sea

Bantham has two things that make it one of the best places to SUP in England. The first, and less attractive option (believe it or not), is the main surf break out front.

Bantham makes up one half of Bigbury Bay, which is easily identifiable with Burgh Island dominating the horizon. At super low tides it’s possible to access the Bigbury side on foot. But at high tide the two beaches are separate.

During big swells Bantham can serve up some serious wave action that’s not for the feint hearted. Add to the mix a busy line up and the occasional bit of localism, and Bantham as a wave spot is for the experienced paddler only. Smaller swells are sometimes doable for the novice but be aware of rips and currents that can catch the uneducated off guard.

But the star attraction for SUPers is the River Avon that empties into the bay. This tidal river is a fantastic place for a spot of cruising/touring. If you get the tides correct, you’ll be rewarded with one of the top places to stand up paddleboard in England.

The current takes you along the meandering river all the way to Aveton Gifford. Stop for a quick pint, wait for the tide to turn and then make the return journey. During sunny spells the scenery is simply stunning and this is definitely one the best English SUP spots.

You can also visit Burgh Island and see its famous Art Deco hotel that provided the inspiration for two Agatha Christie novels. You can circumnavigate the island in an hour or so, exploring its nooks, crannies and caves en route. Hire a board at Discovery Surf on Bigbury beach and paddle in either direction around the island. Once you’ve completed the loop, reward yourself with a pint at Burgh’s 14th century pub, The Pilchard Inn.

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