Is Scotland the perfect SUP destination?


For many people in warmer climates Scotland isn’t probably the first place they think of when they think of ideal SUPing locations.  And while yes the weather can be somewhat unpredictable at times, it is definitely worth considering for your next SUP adventure and here’s why.

With such an undulating coast (there is a discrepancy in exactly how long the coast is and according to where it is measured from) Scotland has 9910km of shoreline on the mainland alone.  When you factor in the hundreds of Scotlands islands, that adds up to a whopping total of over 16500km (Marine Scotland states that combined the Scottish coastline is 18,672km at high tide), either way that’s a whole lot of SUPortunities!


Let’s look a bit closer at those islands, 118 of them are inhabited and make for easy access via passenger or vehicle ferry.  These islands have a range of facilities for the visitor in the way of accomodation and some form of grocery stores (usually a wee Co-op).  If however you are happy being self sufficient there is another 800 – yes 800 uninhabited islands to check out!

So far we’ve only talked about sea SUPing.

Although Scotland has many sea lochs nestled in it’s coastline, visitors often tend to think more of the freshwater type when they hear the word ‘loch’.  Some of the largest and most famous lochs are Loch Ness – home of the Loch Ness monster and Loch Lomond – home of the bonnie bonnie banks.  There is an estimated 31,460 freshwater lochs in Scotland, a list of some of which can be found here.  Some of these can be accessed by road (for ease of transporting your SUP to the waters edge) and some of the more remote lochs can be accessed utilising Scotlands Right to Roam which ‘gives everyone rights of access over land and inland water throughout Scotland’ which we’ve talked about previously.  Please see here for details.  These are better suited to those of you with inflatable SUPS that can be transported in back packs.

There is also a small network of canals

  1. The Crinan Canal – which is 14 km long and runs Crinan and Ardrishaig in Argyll and Bute in the west of Scotland.
  2. The Forth and Clyde Canal – which is 56 km long and runs between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde at the narrowest part of the Scottish Lowlands.
  3. The Union Canal – is 51km long and runs from Falkirk to Edinburgh, connecting to the Forth and Clyde Canal at Falkirk.
  4. The Caledonian Canal – a 60 mile canal which runs the length of the Great Glen and taking in Loch Ness, with Inverness in the North and Fort William in the South.

The canals are definitely worth checking out as there is many great things to see along the way such as the Kelpies, the Falkirk Wheel, the Avon Aqueduct and the Linlithgow Canal Basin just to name a few!

And we’ve not even scratched the surface of the rivers!  For those of you interested in something a little more adventurous, Scotlands rivers are a little faster paced often involving rapid runs.  A great guide to river paddling locations can be found here.

Still in need of some inspiration, check out our TOP 5 Books to help you plan your Scottish SUP Adventure.   So there you have it SUP Chicks and Blokes, Scotland!  Has it made it onto your SUP-it list?

Have a favourite SUP location that you think should be added here?  Contact us here and we’ll include it in a later post.

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  1. I think I am pretty lucky with the Jurassic Dorset Coast on my doorstep I have however been thinking of exploring Scotland.
    My thinking was if wearing a wet suit the midges cant me!

    Liked by 2 people

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