Friday, 25 February 2011

Wade into West Country watersports…

Watersports are big news in the West Country. Fancy dipping your toes in? From leisurely pursuits to adrenalin-fuelled sports, here are some suggestions for you water babies…

For a high-octane buzz, try the newest adventure -coasteering. It's a mix of running, climbing, diving, sea swimming and cliff jumping that leads you into sea caves, over rocky cliffs and even face to face with seals! North Cornwall's EBO Adventure runs sessions led by experienced guides and its location offers countless brilliant views when you need to stop for breath! Put your tired feet up at Seascape on Pentire Head near Newquay.

Of course, Newquay is known for its surfing hotspots at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay but just a short distance along the coast are the popular beaches of Rock and Polzeath. The latter is home to Surf’s Up Surf School. Venture back inland to Rose Cottage in woodland-surrounded St Kew for a change of scene.

Down in south Devon at picturesque Bigbury-on-Sea, as well as surfing, how about trying some stand-up paddle boarding with Venus Riders? We’ve plenty of stunning apartments right on the beach so you can get an early start.

Another hybrid watersport has taken the West Country by storm in recent years - kite boarding. Also known as kite surfing, it combines wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, windsurfing and power kiting and can be a fast and furious hobby. Paracademy Extreme in Portland, Dorset, is a long established school for anyone wanting to try this out. The nearby village of Burton Bradstock, in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is home to Dormouse Cottage, an ideal place for curling up in the evenings.

The view of the South West coastline from a sea kayak is unrivalled. Add to that the peace and tranquility of a paddle-powered boat and you have a great day out. So pick your location and we’ll help you find a holiday cottage nearby, like this spacious apartment with superb watery views in Falmouth, where Sea Kayaking Cornwall is based. If you prefer calmer waters, the river Dart is ideal for fun canoeing expeditions.

Swap arm power for wind power and try a spot of sailing. The South Hams is a popular destination with a variety of schools and courses. Dinghy sailing in Salcombe is a fitting way to acquaint yourself with the area. Moor up and watch life sail by at stunning O’Sullivan House in an enviable spot on the water’s edge with panoramic views.

Wreck diving is fascinating for both new and seasoned divers. Marine life takes over and transforms the sunken vessels in to mysterious underwater homes waiting to be explored. Experienced divers might like the idea of chartering a dive boat such as Blue Turtle which operates in Devon and Dorset. Jurassic Coast Diving offers a wreck diver course and this three-story townhouse in Exmouth is ideally located for those wanting to be right on the coast.

Have you got a favourite West Country location for watersports? Let us know and we’ll help you search for a cosy place to stay nearby where you can brush the sand from your toes and dry out.