6 Top Places To Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) in Yorkshire

The Top Six Places to Stand Up Paddle Board in Yorkshire

In 2006, amidst a world transformed by a delicate dusting of snow, Graham (GUMP) fell under the spell of stand-up paddleboarding.

Unveiling his brand-new paddleboard, Graham didn't just embark on a personal journey. He also explored the finest stand-up paddleboarding spots Yorkshire had to offer and with insights drawn from Graham's adventures, we'll guide you through Yorkshire's six premier paddleboarding destinations – each a gem that has left countless enthusiasts in awe.

With its tranquil water parks, scenic canals, and expansive reservoirs, Yorkshire offers an unrivalled canvas for paddleboarders. So, buckle up and join us for a tour that promises not just sights but unforgettable experiences.

1. Manvers Water Park - Wath-upon-Dearne

Get ready to explore Manvers Water Park, a haven for paddleboarders. With a membership requirement, you've ensured a safe and enclosed environment. Changing rooms, stunning wildlife, and a café make your visit convenient. Enjoy leisurely walks and admire the surrounding beauty. Plus, with cheap parking available, this spot is a winner for all paddleboarding enthusiasts.

  • membership required
  • enclosed water-safe
  • changing rooms
  • Wildlife
  • cafe
  • nice walks
  • cheap parking
Stand up paddle boarding at Manvers
Stand up paddle boarding at Manvers

2. Stanley Ferry Canals - Wakefield

Head to Stanley Ferry Canals in Wakefield for a paddleboarding experience with historical charm. A canal and river license is a must, which you can quickly obtain from the Canal and River Trust. Park your vehicle at the pub car park in Stanley Ferry for free. With pristine canals and a residential marina vibe, you can enjoy uninterrupted paddling on tidy waterways. Nearby Pennine Trails offer biking options too.

  • Requires a canal and river licence 
  • Parking is available at Stanley Ferry pub car park (free)
  • Offers nice walks
  • Pennine trails suitable for bike rides
  • Clean and tidy canals
  • Maintained as a residential marina for narrowboats
  • Long stretches uninterrupted by locks
Stanley Ferry Canal
Stanley Ferry Canal

3. Marsden - Sparth Reservoir and Linked Huddersfield Narrow Canal

Marsden is a paddleboarding gem that demands attention. Navigate the Huddersfield Narrow Canal with its intriguing locks and charming scenery. This stretch offers a challenge, but the rewards are incredible. Scouts frequently use the canal for training, and the area boasts good towpaths for leisurely walks. Take advantage of the famous wild swimming spot at Sparth Reservoir, and explore Marsden's pubs, cafes, and shops.

  • Requires a canal and river licence 
  • One of the most intriguing canals to paddle:
    • Dynamic environment with many activities
    • The necessity to exit for locks adds a challenging element
    • Features breathtaking scenery
  • Used by scouts for training
  • Features well-maintained towpaths for walking
  • Sparth Res is a hotspot for wild swimmers
  • Parking is limited but free
  • The Marsden town offers:
    • Several pubs
    • Cafes
    • Shops
  • Notable landmark: Standedge tunnels
    • It runs under the Pennines
    • Established in 1811
    • It holds the title of Britain's longest canal tunnel
    • It houses a dedicated museum
    • Offers boat trips for visitors
    • Note: Paddleboarding through the tunnel is not allowed.
Paddle Boarding On Marsden Canal
Paddle Boarding On Marsden Canal

4. Leeds City Centre - Granary Wharf

City slickers, this one's for you! Experience urban paddleboarding at Leeds City Centre's Granary Wharf. Launch from White Hall with the proper river and canal license. Ideal for experienced paddlers, you can venture down the River Aire to enjoy the vibrancy of Clarence Dock. This thrilling paddleboarding option offers a unique cityscape perspective.

  • Car parking and launch location: White Hall LS1 4AW
  • Requires a canal and river licence 
  • The route leads down to Granary Wharf
  • Suitable for experienced/qualified paddlers only
    • Must have appropriate equipment
    • Option to join the River Aire
    • Explore and enjoy Clarence Dock attractions.
Granary Wharfe
Granary Wharfe

5. Rother Valley Country Park - Rotherham

Rother Valley Country Park is a haven of water-based activities, perfect for a fun day. Besides paddleboarding, I enjoy walks, windsurfing, and cable water skiing. The inflatable waterpark adds excitement for everyone. With lifeguards, rescue boats, and facilities, this park is a fantastic choice, especially for beginners and families. Visit the website

  • Ideal for a day visit
  • Activities available:
    • Walks
    • Windsurfing
    • Cable water skiing
    • Inflatable waterpark (suitable for both adults and kids)
  • Safety amenities:
    • Lifeguards
    • Rescue boats
  • Facilities:
    • Toilets
    • Parking
  • Especially recommended for beginners.

6. Castleford

Castleford is a versatile paddleboarding location with options galore. Paddle from Woodlesford Lock in either direction, enjoying the rich biodiversity and scenic nature trails. Families will love the Gruffalo-themed adventures, while all paddlers can appreciate the serene surroundings and the sensation of gliding on the water. The best part? It's free to park, making it accessible and enjoyable.

Yorkshire's top six paddleboarding destinations offer natural beauty, urban charm, and recreational amenities. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting, these locations promise thrilling paddleboarding experiences that will keep you returning for more. So, grab your board, hit the water, and soak in the beauty of Yorkshire from a unique perspective!

  • Start point: Woodlesford Lock
    • Option to paddle in either direction
    • Potential to paddle to Leeds (~5 miles)
  • Features:
    • Nature trails (great for families; watch out for the Gruffalo!)
    • Rich wildlife diversity
    • Free Parking
  • British waterway licence required
  • More info: Woodlesford Lock
Woodlesford Lock


Safety should always be your top priority. It's imperative that:

  • You always wear a life preserver, which may include buoyancy aids or life jackets.
  • Ensure you wear suitable clothing, such as a wetsuit, appropriate for the conditions.
  • Use the correct leash ideal for the current conditions.
  • Only embark on activities for which you have the relevant experience.

Remember, proper precautions save lives. Always prioritise safety over convenience or aesthetics.

Stand Up Paddleboarding Lessons

Ever fancied mastering the art of SUP? Now's your chance! We offer lessons tailored for all levels. Whether you're just starting out or looking to hone your skills, we've got you covered.

👉 Check out our lessons and book your spot here: SUP Lessons

Get on board and make a splash with us!

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