Kayaking Pembrokeshire: Sea, River, Lake & More!

A Complete Pembrokeshire Kayaking Guide

If you’ve ever considered a trip to experience Kayaking Pembrokeshire, which is as far west as you can get in Wales, then this is the Kayak Guide for you!

Whilst known primarily for its fabulous rugged coastline, Pembrokeshire Sea Kayaking isn’t the only paddling drawcard in this part of the country.

As well as the plethora of Sea Kayaking opportunities here there are many rivers, estuaries, lakes and more to explore from the water.

Kayaking here in the west of the country is both exciting and challenging, whilst at the same time being an experience that can be enjoyed by all kayakers from beginners to advanced.

This is a massive area to cover in one article so we’ve had to pick a selection of our favourite spots for this article, and we sincerely hope you’ll be able to get something out of our take on the Best Places to Kayak in Pembrokeshire.

We’ll revisit some of these places mentioned in this blog in depth in the future for sure.

But for now, let’s get paddling!

The Best Kayaking Locations in Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire is home to a variety of fantastic kayaking locations suitable for all skill levels. In short, there’s absolutely no shortage of fantastic destinations to kayak in this beautiful far west county.

As we stated previously, this is a huge area, so in this section, we’ll explore several of the Top Spots for Kayaking in Pembrokeshire based on our own experiences and recommendations.

Kayaking Pembrokeshire tidal estuary at Tenby

Interested in Kayaking Swansea or Kayaking Cardiff?

The following liked articles cover all you need to know about those destinations.
Kayaking Swansea | Kayaking Cardiff

Kayaking The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park offers an incredible kayaking experience, with its rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and abundant marine life.

Even though this is one of the smallest of the UK’s National Parks, it actually almost encompasses the entirety of the Pembrokeshire Coast.

This stands as one of Wales’ most ecologically abundant and diverse regions, acknowledged globally for its exceptional variety of high-quality habitats and unique species.

Within its borders, the Park proudly boasts a wealth of cultural and architectural heritage, housing an impressive array of 286 Scheduled Ancient Monuments and 1234 listed buildings.

To say that there are a whole range of different Sea Kayaking opportunities about the Pembrokeshire National Park is an understatement.

Sea Kayaking Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Sea Kayaking offers a unique adventure, combining unparalleled marine wildlife sightings, breathtaking coastal views, and a rich maritime history, making it an irresistible destination for kayakers.

With its crystal-clear waters, picturesque sea caves, and iconic landmarks dotting the coastlines, Sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire provides an unforgettable experience, perfectly blending exhilarating outdoor activity with serene tranquillity.

We haven’t managed to kayak the entire coastline yet but we know, from personal experience, that a Sea Kayaking Pembrokeshire adventure is one you don’t want to miss if you love Sea Kayaking as much as we do.

Sea Kayaking St Davids Peninsula

The St Davids Peninsula is one of the most popular locations on the coast for Sea Kayaking in Pembrokeshire and offers amazing paddling from Solva right around north to Porthgain.

With its crystal clear waters, St David’s Peninsula is an ideal spot for both beginners as there are plenty of shallow, and also experienced kayakers who might wish to do some more challenging paddling out to the various islands.

We love the paddling about Carreg Frân Island and Ramsey Island and the port town of Porthgain in the north really reminding us of those wonderful welcoming coastal towns of Devon and Cornwall.

The entire coastline, however, offers breathtaking views of the cliffs, beaches, twins and more and is teeming with surrounding wildlife both on land and in the water.

Kayaking Pembrokeshire Sea Kayaking Inlet near St David's

Sea Kayaking Milford Haven Waterway

The Milford Haven Waterway is a stretch of water from St Anne’s Head all the way to Neyland and Pembroke Dock that provides ample space for kayakers of all abilities to explore more calm and sheltered waters.

There is an element of industrialisation about the banks along the haven when you get closer to Pembroke Dock but still you’ll find plenty of little secluded beaches and inlets in the north of the haven.

From the Haven you can paddle for miles up the Cleddau Ddu and can even go all the way to Blackpool or Haverfordwest if you so desire.

Don’t miss out on kayaking around the coastal landmarks here in the Milford Haven Waterway such as St Ann’s Head Lighthouse, West Blockhouse Fort, Throne Island, Stack Rock Fort and Popton Fort.

As you paddle around, you’ll enjoy the scenic views and observe the rich marine life, including the chance to spot dolphins and porpoises which are known to frequent the area.

Sea Kayaking Fishguard & Surrounds

Fishguard is a picturesque harbour town that offers some excellent kayaking opportunities.

A number of Kayak Tours are on offer in this area with the awesome crew at KAYAK KINGS offering some spectacular exploration of the bay that takes in the old stone fort (built to protect the area from pirates) and the inlets and beaches of Dinas Head.

There are plenty of towering cliffs and rugged coastline about the Stumble Head Lighthouse and many seals call this part of the Pemrokeshire Coast home so you need to keep an eye out for them as they tend to enjoy the company of kayakers.

Don’t believe me? Check out this video from the guys at Kayak Kings themselves!

Kayking Pembrokeshire in The Preseli Hills

While not a traditional coastal kayaking destination, the Preseli Hills offer an alternative experience in the form of river kayaking. 

Kayaking the River Teifi

The River Teifi meanders through the hills, presenting a peaceful and serene setting to paddle through.

The kayaking stretch of river from Llechryd bridge to the estuary’s entry at Poppit Sands is affected by the tides so keep that in mind and verify the times accordingly. As long as there’s sufficient water, it presents an excellent opportunity for a paddle.

Kayaking the River Nevern

It’s also very possible to Kayak the River Nevern in North Pembrokeshire and although it’s not as wide and deep as the River Teifi it’ll still be an attractive paddle to those who love their river kayaking.

You’ll need some local knowledge though to figure out just how far upstream you can paddle so be sure to check in with the guys at the Newport Boat C;ub to get all the local knowledge you’ll need.

Kayaking at Llys y Frân Country Park & Reservoir

This awesome kayaking opportunity is right smack bang in the middle of Pembrokeshire and no Sea Kayaking Experience is required here.

Located at the foothill of the Preseli Mountains the water is clean, calm, and deep and you certainly don’t need to worry about checking tidal information before paddling.

Also a great destination for a bit of Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) and open water swimming so is a good water sports destination for families where not everyone might enjoy kayaking.

There is 200 acres of watery fun that awaits you here at the Llys y Frân Reservoir, and bringing your own kayak or paddle board is welcomed.

Pembrokeshire Kayaking Resorvoir Llys y Frân

Kayaking the Western Cleuddau & Haverfordwest

Haverfordwest is clearly a Kayaking Mecca in the area as they have their own Kayak Club! Whilst the club might not do most of its kayaking in Haverfordwest itself there is still opportunity here.

The Western Cleuddau River is tidal, so you do have to pick your paddling times, but the serenity of the Western Cleuddau River, with its calm waters and picturesque surroundings might be right up your alley if you don’t wish to exert yourself too much.

Haverfordwest, situated along the river, is an excellent spot to begin your kayaking adventure of the Daugleddau Estuary which includes the entirety of the Cleuddau River. 

Along these river stretches you’ll experience a very interesting landscape unfolding before you. 

The estuary’s banks offer a captivating contrast, with steep, wooded slopes and gently sloping farmland. Towering trees clothe the steep banks, creating a lush canopy that adds an air of mystery to the waterway.

Guided Kayak Tours and Rentals in Pembrokeshire

Choosing a Kayak Tour Operator

When kayaking in Pembrokeshire, we recommend selecting a reputable tour operator to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. 

As we mentioned earlier companies like Kayak-King offer stunning kayaking tours led by expert guides who are intimately familiar with the Pembrokeshire coast. 

These guides will take you to the best spots and prioritise our safety throughout the journey.

Another option to consider is Sea Kayak Guides, an organisation that specialises in sea kayaking and operates on the St Davids Peninsula. 

MUUK-Adventures offers kayaking experiences at Abereiddy where you’ll be able to kayak into the Blue Lagoon as well as experience all the fabulous coastline along this stretch of the Pemrokeshire coast. Kayak Hire and Rental pricing with these guys starts at £40pp.

With their expertise, you’ll have the opportunity to explore all the unique features of Pembrokeshire’s coastline, especially some spots you may not have been able to find on your own.

Kayak Hire & Rental in Pembrokeshire

If your goal is to rent equipment and embark on the kayaking adventure independently, you should be aware of the various options available in Pembrokeshire, and there are plenty.

Here’s a list of reputable operators:

  • Cardigan Bay Watersports
  • Milford Beach Activity Centre
  • Tenby Watersports
  • Haven Sports
  • Celtic Sea Watersports

There are plenty of other places and also some seasonal pop-ups in the warmer months where you can also hire kayaks in Pembrokeshire, so just make sure you do your research and due diligence as you would anywhere else before deciding on who to use.

By carefully selecting a reputable tour operator or kayak hire specialist and by ensuring high rent high-quality equipment, your kayaking experience in Pembrokeshire will undoubtedly be memorable and enjoyable.

Kayaking Pembrokeshire featuring kayak and paddleboard hire on the beach

Safety and Regulations for Kayaking in Pembrokeshire

Safety Guidelines

When Kayaking in Pembrokeshire, it’s essential to follow safety guidelines to ensure a fun and secure experience. 

The British Canoe Union safety guidelines (as followed by the staff at Kayak King) are worth noting as they are probably the most reputable in the country for paddling of any sort.

To enhance safety and protect the environment, here are some suggestions that might be worth considering if going on any lengthy kayak expedition:

  • Always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Be aware of the local conditions and tides.
  • Paddle within your ability and never venture out alone.
  • Carry safety equipment such as a whistle, waterproof torch, and a compass.

Licences and Permits

In Pembrokeshire, it’s not legally required to have a licence for recreational kayaking along the coastline. For in depth info of Kayaking Licencing Requirements in the UK please read this article.

However, we recommend participating in a Sea Kayak Academy course to improve your skills, gain valuable qualifications, and enhance your confidence on the water.

For beginners, we suggest joining a guided tour or seeking guidance from local experts, such as TYF Adventure, who can provide both equipment and expertise.

Your commitment to safety and responsibility also includes care for the environment. 

Ensure that your kayaking experience leaves a minimal impact on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park by adhering to the principles of Leave No Trace, disposing of litter appropriately, and respecting wildlife and their habitats.

By following these safety guidelines and regulations, we can enjoy kayaking along the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline while preserving the environment and ensuring our own safety.

Kayaking Pembrokeshire Boat Sheds over Ocean

Wildlife and Marine Conservation

Observe and Respect Wildlife

While kayaking in Pembrokeshire, you’ll be fortunate to encounter a diverse range of marine life. 

From seals to seabirds, the pristine coastline offers a unique opportunity to observe these animals in their natural habitat. 

Checek out the Pembrokeshire Marine Code to ensure you understand the correct wat to interact with the fauna in the area so as not to harm the local wildlife or ecology.

You should always maintain a safe distance from any wildlife you encounter, whether it’s seals resting on the shore or seabirds nesting on the cliffs. 

Additionally, never attempt to touch or feed the animals, as interaction with humans can disrupt their natural behaviours and potentially cause harm.

Marine Protection Areas

Pembrokeshire is home to a Marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC), which acknowledges the region’s significance for marine wildlife in Europe. 

The SAC designation helps protect the area and its species from potential threats and ensures the conservation of this unique ecosystem.

When exploring the waters while kayaking, it’s important for us to familiarise ourselves with the marine protection areas and adhere to any guidelines put in place. 

By respecting these designated zones and following best practices, we can help preserve Pembrokeshire’s exceptional marine life for future generations to enjoy.

Best Times for Kayaking in Pembrokeshire

Seasonal Weather Conditions

In Pembrokeshire, the weather varies throughout the year, providing unique kayaking experiences for different seasons. 

Spring is an excellent time to enjoy our kayaking adventures in Pembrokeshire as nature comes alive during this season

Cliffs and shorelines become home to nesting seabirds, offering a fantastic opportunity to observe them tending to their nests and flying gracefully above the water.

Pembrokeshire’s summer months are also popular for sea kayaking. 

With warm sunshine and pleasant temperatures, paddlers can explore the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast with ease.

The calmer waters during summer are typically more forgiving for beginners, making it an ideal time to learn and build confidence in one’s kayaking skills.

Autumn can be more unpredictable in terms of weather; however, the changing foliage colours along the coast provide a stunning backdrop for kayaking. 

As for winter, although the temperatures drop, and daylight hours decrease, kayakers willing to brave the cold can enjoy fewer crowds and a more peaceful experience.

Tidal Considerations

Understanding the tidal patterns in Pembrokeshire is crucial for planning a safe and enjoyable kayaking trip. 

Tides not only affect water levels but also have an impact on currents, which can change the difficulty of particular kayaking routes. 

By familiarising ourselves with local tide patterns, you can ensure a more enjoyable and safer paddling experience.

High tide generally provides better access to caves, stacks, and reefs along the Pembrokeshire coast, while low tide can yield interesting opportunities to explore the estuaries, creeks, and mudflats of the region. 

When planning a kayaking trip, it’s essential to also consider factors like wind direction, the speed of tidal currents, and any possible hazards along the intended route.

By taking into account the seasonal weather conditions and tidal considerations, you can better plan our kayaking adventures in Pembrokeshire, ensuring a fantastic experience on the water.

Kayaking VLOG In Pembrokeshire

Sam Webster is a scientist and outdoor sport enthusiast (check out his YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@SamWebster) who recorded a great personal VLOG on his channel Kayaking in Pembrokeshire from Saundersfoot to Tenby and back.

Check out this awesome part of the Pembrokeshire Coast here with Sam as he does a spot of Pembrokeshire Sea Kayaking where he paddles through caves and along very cool rugged coastline and beaches.

Kayaking Pembrokeshire | The Kayak Mad Analysis

This was yet another kayaking location that we’ll need to revisit a number of times to truly be able to experience all that Pembrokeshire has to offer for the paddler.

But from our little experience here in the west of Wales, we can confidently say that Pembrokeshire is AWESOME for kayaking.

Pembrokeshire is seriously a hidden gem for sea kayakers with tidal racing, rockhopping, and spectacular scenery that can truly only be experienced, not described.

Sea Kayaking is so popular here that there is actually a Sea Kayaking Academy based here – have a look https://seakayakacademy.com

We did a lot of Sea Kayaking, where there is literally so much coastline to explore. But the estuaries and rivers we paddled were also lots of fun.

This is a highly recommended destination for kayaking so do yourself a favour and come over and experience Kayaking in Pembrokeshire for yourself.

Cheers all, happy paddling and thanks for reading!

Kayaking Pembrokeshire

Yes, it is possible to kayak to Ramsey Island, but bear in mind that it requires a higher level of skill to navigate the open waters and currents around the island. We recommend joining a guided tour led by experienced paddlers to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

Yes, Pembrokeshire is an excellent destination for beginner kayakers. There are several calm bays, coves, and estuaries that provide a safe environment for those new to the sport. For a guided experience, consider joining a kayak tour offered by local companies that cater to all skill levels.

This is such a personal and relative question. We recommend exploring the pristine coastline of Pembrokeshire, which offers various locations for kayaking suitable for different skill levels. The Pembrokeshire coastline boasts 220 miles of stunning shorelines, allowing paddlers to explore Britain’s only coastal National Park at their own pace.

Similar Posts