Top 5 best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland

Whether you are an experienced paddleboarder or a beginner, paddleboarding is a must-do this summer. Here are five of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland.

Wanting to get away from the office? Whether you are searching for an escape from the everyday or simply looking for your next adventure in the open waters, paddleboarding is the perfect activity to cross off your list.

So, grab your paddleboard and get ready to enjoy yourself. Believe it or not, paddleboarding has tremendous health benefits, increasing your core muscles, and improving your balance.

Make sure to check the weather and tide timings before heading out, and always let someone know where you are heading for your adventure.

Here are five of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland you should try!

5. Strangford Lough, Co. Down – a beginner’s haven

Strangford Lough is one of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Facebook / @strangfordloughactivitycentre

Strangford’s unbeatable scenic views make this a must-do for beginners. All ages and abilities can enjoy SUPing (stand up paddleboarding), making this one of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland.

Be sure to check out the SUP skills courses available in Strangford Activity Centre and master some new skills on the board. Before you know it, you will be moving on to some more challenging moves.

For those looking for an added relaxing experience, they offer an Island Yoga and SUP activity.

Address: 40 Whiterock Rd, Killinchy, Newtownards BT23 6PT

4. River Lagan, Co. Antrim – one of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland

The River Lagan is a great spot to take to the paddleboard.
Credit: Instagram / @bethanymccomb_

In the heart of Belfast City, the flat waters of the river make for a tranquil SUP session. This is the perfect way to relax and soak up the views of Belfast from atop a stand up paddleboard.

The central location makes it close to transport, handy for those wanting a paddle after work. You could even grab a bite to eat after your paddle in one of Belfast’s restaurants only a few minutes away from the Lagan.

River Lagan is renowned for having a wide variety of wildlife. Yellow-bellied slider turtles were recently introduced in the river, so keep an eye out, and you might be lucky enough to spot one on your paddle!

Address: Belfast

3. Islandmagee, Co. Antrim – an Instagram worthy paddleboard destination

Islandmagee is one of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @islandmageesup

Situated on the East Coast of Antrim, Islandmagee is one of the best paddle boarding spots in Northern Ireland.

Upon first glance, Islandmagee may be intimidating for some beginners but do not worry. The isle is generally quite calm, with the shore being close by for an added element of safety.

Islandmagee also offers family tours and many other classes to give beginners that boost of confidence on the waters.

At Portmuck Harbour, it is possible to see bottlenose dolphins and seals. This is perfect for those looking for a new activity while also experiencing some truly incredible views and animals.

For the thrill-seekers out there, this is a beautiful spot for a swim if you are feeling brave enough!

Address: 68 Portmuck Rd, Islandmagee, Larne BT40 3TP

2. Cranfield Beach, Co. Down – the perfect spot to catch the sunset

Cranfield Beach is the perfect spot to catch the sunset.
Credit: Instagram / @rajeunir_aesthetics

For beginner SUPers, this spot is perfect for practising how to stand up on the board and improving balancing techniques.

Light winds and flat waters are what to expect when heading to Kilkeel.

Geology Rocks Adventure Tourism provides paddleboarding tours with all equipment included if you fancy a more instructor focused paddle.

Why not make a weekend out of it? There is a range of accommodation available, situated close to Cranfield, and you could even go for a sunrise paddle.

The breathtaking views of the majestic Mourne Mountains give a paddleboarding experience like no other. Get ready to take those Instagram pictures as the sun sets behind the mountains.

Address: Newry BT34 4LN

1. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge – one for the thrill-seekers

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge tops our list of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland.
Credit: Instagram / @thewanderingselkie

This is a unique way to explore the Causeway Coast located next to Ballintoy. Grab your SUP and prepare to be mesmerised by the beautiful coastal scenery Northern Ireland has to offer.

This location makes for one of the best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland. Stand underneath the rope bridge for an all-encompassing perspective of the crossing.

The spectacular scenery of the North Coast is a SUPers heaven, but it is more fit for those who are more experienced on the paddleboard.

To locate Carrick-a Rede via SUP, set off from Ballintoy Harbour. This takes around 45 minutes, so be sure to leave plenty of time to arrive and get back.

Remember to be aware of any weather changes; planning is your best bet to having a safe but unforgettable experience. Be mindful of passing boats and other adventurers, as the harbour can get busy.

Don’t forget to visit the cave and fisherman’s bothy to take it all in!

Address: Ballycastle BT54 6LS

By Naima Tismelane

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