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Glasgow, the jewel of our beloved Scotland, has an abundance of nature’s playgrounds for us. From tranquil lochs and calming river routes to windy basins—yes, you heard it, we’ve got them all!
And we’re not just talking about some, but many of the best places to get your paddleboarding groove on around Glasgow. So, whether you lean towards tranquil settings or more adventurous spots with an added pinch of thrill, we’ve got your back.
Loch Lomond is right at the top of any paddleboarding hit list, and it’s like someone took a slice of heaven and plopped it right down just 45 minutes from Glasgow city centre. This place is typically glassy calm, perfect for beginners testing the waters.
To tell you the truth, some experienced paddleboarders still find it kinda challenging to tackle the loch’s vast stretches of water. Plus, paddleboarding lets you venture to those secret spots and desolate islands nobody else can reach. Imagine that!
Launch from the east side of Loch Lomond for that killer sunrise shot. And remember, “Take only memories, leave only footprints”, as this place is a treasure, and let’s keep it that way.
The brilliant thing about paddle boarding here on the River Clyde is that you get to see the city from a new perspective. We’re talking about the iconic Clyde Arc (or Squinty Bridge), the historic Clydeport, and more—all from your trusty paddleboard.
The Clyde is a tidal river, so you’ll need to work harder when you paddle against the current. But let’s face it, some days you want that challenge while on the way back!
It is best to check the tide times to avoid paddling against the current. Save some energy for a pint afterward; there are plenty of riverside pubs to rest those weary legs.
Glasgow Wake Park
Address: 75 N Canal Bank St, Glasgow G4 9XP, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 7415 787260
- Wednesday to Friday – 12 PM to 8 PM
- Saturday and Sunday – 10 AM to 8 PM
Glasgow Wake Park is a special sort of place, offering a combo of open water and adrenaline-fuelled wakeboarding. Just 10 minutes from Glasgow city centre, you’ve got the best playground to hone your paddleboarding balance skills.
Let’s be clear: this isn’t your standard paddleboarding experience. You need to try balancing on your board while being dragged by a high-speed cable wakeboard system. It’s a wild ride!
As exhilarating as this is, I’d recommend this adventure to people who’ve got a handle on paddleboarding. And it’s always busier on the weekends, so pop along midweek if you can.
Address: 75 N Canal Bank St, Glasgow G4 9XP, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 141 332 5636
- Monday to Saturday – 9 AM to 9 PM
- Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM
Pinkston Watersports is nestled in the city centre, ripe for paddlers of all experience levels. A purpose-built watersports arena complete with floodlights makes evening paddles a thing.
The beauty of Pinkston is that there’s a real community feel here. From beginners to seasoned pros, it’s simply a mix of everyone sharing their love for watersports. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?
Keep an eye out for their social paddles, and they’re usually free and a cracking way to make new pals. And just five minutes from the city centre, why not grab a bite in town afterwards?
Roughly an hour’s tour outside Glasgow, Loch Ard is the kind of place that makes you forget you’re anywhere near a city. Think tranquillity, picturesque surroundings, and peaceful waters.
This body of water is a haven for paddleboarders who want to chill and drink in the natural beauty around them. It provides a brilliantly calm and steady surface to venture out on, and you might even have the company of local wildlife!
Visit early in the day or late in the afternoon to steer clear of the crowd. Remember to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and respect this splendid environment.
James Hamilton Heritage Park
Address: Stewartfield Way, East Kilbride, Glasgow G74 5LB, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1355 276611
- Open 24 hours
Coming over to East Kilbride, we’ve got James Hamilton Heritage Park. Just a 30-minute drive from Glasgow, you’re all set to experience the delight of a paddling adventure in the heart of a city park.
The loch offers flat, calm waters, ideal for beginner paddle boarders to get the hang of things. Seasoned boarders can enjoy the peaceful ambience and picturesque views that come along with it.
Try to aim for a weekday visit when it’s quieter. Plus, if you’re new to paddleboarding, there are onsite instructors to lend a helping hand. How handy!
Castle Semple Loch
Just about a 35-minute drive from Glasgow is the lovely Castle Semple Loch. It’s a part of the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, which is an absolute gem of a site for water sports.
The Loch offers varied experiences, depending on the weather. On a calm day, it’s serene and gentle. But when the wind picks up, it brings a nice challenge for more experienced paddlers.
Parking can be a fuss, so try to arrive early. And be aware that it can get windy, so don’t forget to check the forecast before you set out.
Strathclyde Country Park
Address: 366 Hamilton Rd, Motherwell ML1 3ED, United Kingdom
Contact details: +44 1698 402060
- Monday to Sunday – 9 AM to 5 PM
Next is Strathclyde Country Park, strategically located in the valley of the River Clyde. Just a stone’s throw away from Glasgow (around a 20-minute drive), the park’s centrepiece, Strathclyde Loch, is a paddleboarding paradise.
Whether you’re a solo paddler or fancy a day out with your friends testing your balance on the water, this spot has you covered. And let’s not forget the stunning woodland views you’ll see while out on the loch.
Keep an eye out for other activities happening around you. You don’t want to bump into a rowing team, do you?
About an hour north of Glasgow, Loch Venachar is a paddle boarder’s dream retreat. You’re surrounded by nature here, and you can test your paddling skills amongst some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery.
Paddleboarding here is all about tranquillity. With calm waters and a landscape sure to take your breath away, this place ticks all the boxes.
Remember to consider local wildlife and obey nature conservation practices. Also, a pit stop at the local Loch Venachar café is almost mandatory because it is a great spot for a wee cuppa after your paddle.
The river promises a wholesome experience with its fantastic combination of calm stretches and adrenaline-packed currents. Navigating these waters is ultimately a thrilling challenge that no paddleboarder would like to miss.
Check the water levels and weather conditions ahead for a safe paddleboarding experience. And if you’re planning a multi-day trip, take advantage of a stopover at Perth; the charm of this small city will surprise you.
Forth and Clyde Canal
Just about a 15-minute drive from Glasgow, paddleboarding through the Forth and Clyde Canals is an amazing way to escape the clamour of the city and get in touch with the calmer side of life.
Paddling through this canal offers a peaceful escape amidst lush greenery with you, your board, and occasional wee waves for company. And don’t forget the little wildlife encounters to keep you chirpy!
Stay clear of boats, and always respect local regulations and rules. And do pack a lovely picnic for a post-paddle treat by the canalside.
Finally, the charm of Loch Katrine will leave you spellbound, barely 90 minutes north of Glasgow. Immersed in history and home to some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes, it’s a gentle nudge from nature inviting you for a paddleboarding treat.
The calm waters of Loch Katrine are perfect for a laid-back paddleboarding session. You can float for hours, gazing at the mountains or watching steamboats chug by.
Consider starting your adventure at the Trossachs Pier. Don’t rush off after your paddleboarding session since you can also explore the cycling and walking trails to make the most of your day trip.
Located only around 20 miles from Glasgow, Black Loch takes just over half an hour to travel by car. Easy peasy! Tucked away quietly amidst lush surroundings, Black Loch offers a refreshing ambiance that welcomes paddleboard enthusiasts unabashedly.
The calm water surface of the loch is perfectly suited for paddleboarding, and the lush greenery surrounding the loch will steal your heart. Besides paddleboarding, the loch is home to a variety of birdlife, nature, and adventure in one package.
Come early to enjoy a lovely sunrise if you can, and it truly is a sight to behold. And don’t rush off; make a day of it.
You can even pack a picnic and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.