Wild kayaking is a great way to explore the UK’s coast, whether you’re paddling for the first time or fancy an adventure. CHRISSY HARRIS rounds up some of the best places to take to the water.

1. Isles of Barra and Vatersay, Outer Hebrides

Water and wilderness are just a paddle away in this remote but beautiful part of the world. Make the most of the stunning white beaches and quiet lagoons in this maze of islands. Keep your eye out for golden eagles, sea eagles, otters, seals, porpoise, dolphins, basking shark and even the occasional orca. Clearwater Paddling (clearwaterpaddling.com) offers a range of wild kayaking trips to suit abilities and budgets.

2. Old Harry Rocks, Dorset

Explore the Jurassic Coast and its unique rock formations. Old Harry Rocks were initially a part of the chalk ridge line that runs across the south coast. Experience the sheer scale of these iconic sea stacks from the water. Dorset-based outdoor activities company Land & Wave (landandwave.co.uk) has just launched a new three-hour wild kayaking tour from Studland to Old Harry Rocks.

3. Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk

The bustling harbour in this pretty seaside town on the north Norfolk coast is a great place to launch and then ride the tide. As you head east, you’ll pass pretty beach huts and vast saltmarshes, which are home to a variety of bird species. The tranquil creeks and channels are also worth paddling through for some more wildlife watching.

4. St Agnes, Cornwall

Tom and Hetty Wildblood, owners of Koru Kayaking (korukayaking.co.uk) have been to waters all over the world but say there’s no place like home. On a good day, kayaking the ‘showstopping’ coast between St Agnes and Perranporth is up there with the best. Fascinating caves, (such as one known locally as The Prison) and rock formations (such as The Gadger) provide the drama. You’ll also discover secluded beaches and wildlife, including nesting guillemots.

5. Royal Albert Docks, Liverpool

Learn and new skill and see this famous city landmark from a different perspective. Liverpool Watersports Centre (liverpoolwatersports.org.uk) offers a range of kayaking sessions to help beginners get to grips with the fundamentals and basic techniques before setting off to explore this historic dock system (depending on conditions).

6. Broadsands to Elberry Cove, Devon

Park at nearby Broadsands Beach in Paignton, get kitted out and paddle along the coast to Elberry Cove – a calm, enclosed shingle beach with crystal clear waters. This stretch of Tor Bay is good for novices looking to build their sea-going confidence in a fairly sheltered spot. You can picnic on the pebbles or else head back to Broadsands for a choice of seaside fayre.

7. Calf of Man, Isle of Man

Not one for the unguided newbie, this. The stretch of water between the mainland and the Calf of Man regularly has strong tidal flows but provides the perfect adventure for more experienced kayakers.

You’ll be surrounded by almost continuous cliff along this five-mile stretch of coastline. Look out for the iconic Drinking Dragon overfall and an isolated island, called Chicken Rock. Local firm Adventurous Experiences (adventourousexeperiences.com) can be your guide.

8. Curracloe Beach, Co Wexford

The opening scenes of blockbuster war film Saving Private Ryan were filmed here, with many Wexford locals joining the cast as supporting extras. Hollywood fame aside, the gently sloping, seven-mile beach is also well known for its water-based fun, including kayaking and surfing. Lifeguards are on duty at White Gap during the summer season.

9. Arranmore Island, Co Donegal

Take a tour around the incredible coastline of the largest inhabited island of County Donegal. It’s a real hidden gem, all wild and rugged and accessible only by ferry which leaves from Burtonport. Local firm Cumann na mBád (madeinarranmore.com) an Irish Sailing Association and Canoeing Ireland affiliated club, runs kayaking trips for all ability levels.

10. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

The geology, the tides, the wildlife – all the ingredients for a memorable sea kayaking trip are available in south west Wales. The world-renowned stretch of coastline faces three directions, so you can always find a sheltered spot. Rare nesting birds and Atlantic grey seals are part of the scenery. For a guided tour, try Mayberry Kayaking (mayberrykayaking.co.uk). Founder Mike Mayberry organises the West Wales Sea Kayak Meet, which raises funds for the Wales Air Ambulance and RNLI.