On Water Activities

Discover Yorkshire’s wet and wild side

Fast flowing rivers, tranquil canals, vast expanses of open water and mile after mile of coastline, it’s no surprise many watersports enthusiasts flock to Yorkshire.  Serious sailors, have-a-go surfers and first-time fishermen will all be in their element here.  So let’s dive in.

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Fresh Water Action

You can learn the basics in a safe and controlled setting on the scenic river Esk with Blue Frog Adventure. If you want adventure, exploration or just have a relaxing day, they can guarantee you’ll learn new skills.

Discover the secret world of Yorkshire’s waterways, which stretch into every corner of the county, providing the perfect backdrop for a more relaxing break.

If you want to learn to sail or windsurf and don’t have your own kit, contact Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.

Salt Water Action

Discover some of the country’s best surfing and be adventurous along Yorkshire’s spectacular coastline. 

Quiet and unspoiled, Cayton Bay is a beautiful destination worthy of a visit and offers some of the best surfing, especially in winter and springtime, from two key surfing locations. The Point has left handed waves that can hold a big swell and is for experienced surfers only, while the Pump House breaks at mid to low tide with fast moving waves, and will break at high tide over 4ft. The wave is fast due to the shelving nature of the shore, so you need to be able to do a quick take off. Lessons are available in nearby Scarborough at the Fluid Concept Surf Shop and Surf School.

Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Spend a day getting active on one of Yorkshire’s award-winning beaches:

  • Search for fossils along the stunning coastline
  • Catch your tea on a fishing trip from Filey
  • Walk in Count Dracula’s footsteps from Whitby’s fishing harbour to the ruined abbey high above.

Now in its 18th year, the European Open Beach Championship is the biggest three-day fishing festival in Europe; this Bridlington based bash held from 2-4 March 2012 annually attracts stars of shore angling from all over the UK and Europe to Yorkshire’s coast.

Lovers of salt-water action will be impressed by the variety and quality of sea kayaking off Yorkshire’s coast. The section of coast line around Flamborough Head provides some of the most spectacular canoeing on the north-east coast, with vertical chalk cliffs eroded to form natural arches and sea caves, some of which require a torch to be fully explored. Sea kayaking is for experienced canoeists. Tidal streams off Flamborough Head are strong, and rough water can be experienced around the headland during the main tidal flow. If you’d like some sea kayak training, from spring until late autumn, Rock Steady Adventure will be offering kayak experiences from Ruswarp to Whitby on the river Esk. The activity is suitable for groups of adults and families. From spring 2012, they’ll also be offering coasteering and sea kayaking at Flamborough Head/Bempton cliffs, The Wyke and Scalby Ness – explore the coastal sea caves and see the nesting birds like you’ve never seen them before!


Why not come along and learn to water-ski or wakeboard with help from Sheffield Cable Waterski’s friendly British Water ski and Wakeboard qualified staff at the north of England`s premier full-size cable wake park. No experience required, equipment is provided and families and groups are welcome. The site facilities include a café and licensed bar where you can relax after your ski/ride, plus limited customer camping and on site pro shop Ten Feet High for all your wakeboarding gear.

Something Different

The Yorkshire Dales has a remarkable assortment of waterfalls, gills and swimming rivers, perfect for a spot of wild swimming. Bolton Priory and Appletreewick are two popular sites both on the Wharfe. Try the pools, waterfalls and jumps below Stainforth Force, on the Ribble, north of Settle or how about Lake Semerwater? An unspoilt remote location perfect for those looking to get back to nature, it’s also ideal for for wild camping. Sleep under starlit skys, wake up to an unrestricted view of the Lake and then jump in. 

As with any jumping into rivers, use common sense and check for depth or any other unseen hazards under the water. 

Finally, for something completely different, try aqua zorbing with the guys from Live for Today.

Related Accommodation

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