photo: Ray Wood
Anglesey photo: Ray Wood

Sea Kayaking in North Wales

If all of the coves bays and inlets are included, there are more than 250 miles of the most intensely varied coastline to be found in the UK here in North Wales.

A maelstrom of tidal flow through the Menai Strait is excitement enough for any avid paddler but the journey beneath the sheer and soaring cliffs around Gogarth in the northwest of the island is quite simply astounding. Take a break in the Parliament House cave and marvel at the grandeur – and that a few climbers have dangled from it’s massive roof!

Though somewhat more mellow, the northern and eastern coasts of Anglesey still abound in sheltered and secluded bays, craggy headlands and thrilling tidal races. Explore deep inside caverns where the cries of seals echo hauntingly. Drag a line with bait for a mackerel meal cooked over a beach fire.

The Llŷn Peninsula, a finger of Wales pointing across the sea towards Ireland, has itself, more than 100 miles of coast from Caernarfon around to Porthmadog if you call into each and every bay and inlet. On the end of the Llŷn, just off the fingers’ tip and across a treacherous passage of water lies the magical island of Bardsey – a mecca for pilgrims of times past, it is rumoured that more than 20,000 souls lie buried there.

There’s a wickedly good journey, short but fun, around the Great Orme starting and finishing in Llandudno less than a mile from the finish. You’re 99% certain to spy a few curious seals, plenty of fishermen and even the odd rock climber.

For a thoroughly unique and memorable experience, pack a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, a stove and food for nights out under the stars camping on rarely visited shorelines in sheltered bays or beaches and witness the most glorious rising or setting of the sun.


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Centres, Instructors, Coaches & Guides

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Top Sea Kayaking Venues in North Wales

Pick of the Pops

Sandwiches & Seals

  • Rhoscolyn The craggy coastline which runs from the Borthwen beach at Rhoscolyn to Trearddur Bay gives one of the best sea kayaking trips on Anglesey. For those dipping their toes for the first time, in sea kayaks or sit-on-tops, the enclosed bay of Borthwen provides a sheltered and sunny haven.

photo: Visit Wales

50 Shades of Great

  • The Stacks (North & South) The coastline between Soldier’s Point at Holyhead And Abraham’s Bosom is arguably the most impressive in the whole of Wales. Here you will find the spectacular cliffs of Gogarth, a dramatic run of indented zawns and sheer rock faces which plunge straight into the sea. Aside from the epic rock architecture there are two sizeable islands, Ynys Lawd or South Stack and Ynys Arw or North Stack which provide the name for this famous trip.

photo: Simon Panton

Out There

  • Bardsey Island, or Ynys Enlli as it is known in Welsh, sits in splendid isolation just off the south western tip of the Lleyn Peninsula. In times past religious pilgrims travelled great distances to this site; these days the area provides a focal point for experienced sea kayakers. The island is truly special place where the temptation to linger is strong. Nonetheless, a trip out to Bardsey is considered a serious proposition and one which requires detailed tidal planning to safely cross Bardsey Sound with its powerful tidal stream.

photo: Simon Panton