• Carolyn at Top of the Woods

Our Top 3 Best Stand Up Paddleboarding spots in North Pembrokeshire

It’s no wonder that stand up paddleboarding has exploded in popularity in the UK. What better way to get outdoors, escape everyday stresses and go on an adventure with family and friends?

With its stunning, unspoiled coastline, hidden magical caves, and beautiful historic rivers packed with wildlife, Pembrokeshire in Wales must be one of the best spots for SUP paddle boarders.

Insider guide on the best SUP spots

At Top of the Woods, we’ve created two popular stand-up paddleboarding all-inclusive glamping holidays, which include:

  • Qualified guided SUP trek

  • For beginners, SUP Safari

  • For those more experienced, Sea SUP Adventure

  • Eco glamping accommodation

  • Good food for the weekend

  • Good times with your loved ones.

Read our 3 best paddleboarding locations close to Top of the Woods in North Pembrokeshire and Cardigan Bay. You can go on a self-guided paddle or choose one of our Find Your Wild - SUP Glamping holidays, to take the stress out of planning a weekend away, with friends and family.

1. SUP paddleboarding down the River Teifi Gorge

A nature haven with castles and industrial history

  • What level of SUP paddleboarding? Perfect for paddleboarding beginners.

  • How to get there: Add SA43 2SL to your sat nav or Google maps

  • What does it cost?: Free

  • Things to note?: It can get busy in the summer.

  • Tide times: Find out more about Cardigan Town Tide Times.

  • Facilities: Free toilets, parking & a picnic area.

  • Food: Order a picnic from the best village shop in Wales, Siop y Pentre. (It’s at the top of the hill.) You can even scan your order by the riverside & then pick it up on your return. The shop is worth a visit anyway as it has a great selection of local artisan food & inspiring eco products! Or, Alternatively, pop into Adele’s café on the Cilgerran High Street, which serves good home-cooked food.

  • How to get into the water: From the car park, you can launch your paddleboard easily with steps to the waterside. The Teifi is a tidal river; if you go downstream towards Cardigan and the Teifi Nature reserve, some areas can be shallow & muddy if the tide is too low, whereas upstream of the car park to Llechryd Bridge, the river is less tidal.

What to expect on your SUP trip?

Timings > 1.5 - 2 hours (approx)

The Teifi river runs through a spectacular gorge for the last 3 miles from Ceredigion into Pembrokeshire, flowing past the industrial history of slate quarrying, the magnificent 13th Century fortress, Cilgerran Castle, through the Teifi Nature reserve, via Cardigan Town and onto the Celtic Sea.

The Teifi is a tidal river with an ancient tradition of coracle fishing for sewin (sea trout). The river towards Cardigan has been classed as a Site of Specific Interest (SSSI) to protect its geology and natural habitat. Look out for kingfishers and herons, and if you’re lucky, you may spot an otter.

Can I get an all-inclusive SUP holiday?

If you’d prefer to have it all planned out for you, this route has inspired our Find Your Wild River SUP Safari all-inclusive glamping holiday.

Perfect for beginners, before you even hit the water, you learn how to paddle on land to build your confidence. On the water, the qualified instructor will show you how to connect with the natural surroundings and control your standup paddleboard, before starting your SUP safari adventure.

You’ll be Instagramming your best SUP yoga poses before you know it. 🧘

Find out more about this beginners’ SUPxperience >

2. SUP paddleboarding from St Dogmael village to Poppit sands and back

Paddle the river Teifi and see estuary wildlife, as you head out to the mouth of the Celtic Sea.

  • What level of paddleboarding? Perfect for those who wants to build up more experience on their paddleboard.

  • How to get there: SA43 3LF - the postcode is for the Ferry Inn at St Dogmael. From the pub go on for a further 50 metres until you see a floating pontoon and slipway with a mermaid sculpture.

  • Parking: There is some free parking here, but it gets busy during the summer.

  • Tide times: Find out more about the Cardigan Town Tide Times.

  • Facilities: The closest public toilets are at Poppit Sands Beach.

  • Food – The Ferry Inn at St Dogmael offers good pub food & great views of the estuary. Owned by one of the best bakers in Cardigan Town, CRWST Café at Poppit Sands Beach serves up amazing doughnuts with options for veggies & vegans too.

  • How to get into the water - Start at St Dogmael village jetty for an easy launch point and follow the estuary downstream. This will take you to Poppit Sands Beach.

What to expect on your SUP trip?

Timings > 2 hours approx (1hr to Poppit Sands Beach & 1 hour back to St Dogmael).

This standup paddleboarding journey made my top 3 as it offers an amazing opportunity to enjoy a beautiful stretch of the River Teifi and its emergence into the Celtic Sea at Poppit Sands Beach. The broad, clear estuary waters provide more shelter on your paddleboard as you come towards the sea, giving you time to take in some estuary birdwatching. Look out for curlew, egrets & sandpipers.

Once you get to Poppit Sands Beach, relax and have a picnic with your gang. Then you paddleboard back up the river estuary to your original launch point at St Dogmael village, or make it a one-way trip and finish at the beach.

The estuary waters are tidal and can be fast flowing through the narrower stretches when the tide is running. Ideally, your trip needs to be made an hour on either side of high tide. If the tide is against you - where the river passes through a narrower channel before opening out into the Poppit Sands Bay - it is easy to haul out onto the riverside and walk past this point along the shore.

Is there an organised SUP trip?

Yes, if you like the sound of sea standup paddleboarding, then the Sea SUP Adventure Glamping Holiday is for you. Along with the Sea SUP Adventure, designed for those with experience in SUP paddleboarding, you can enjoy glamping accommodation and delicious food during your weekend stay.

Find out more our Sea SUP Holiday here>

3. Standup Paddleboarding at Ceibwr Bay, the Witches Cauldron & the Irish Sea

See dramatic coastlines, wildlife and legends

  • What level of paddleboarding? - For those experienced in stand up paddleboarding on the sea.

  • How to get there: Google Ceibwr Bay, Cardigan

  • Parking: Car parking is along a narrow road by the beach.

  • Tide times: Check out the Ceibwr Bay Bech Tide Times.

  • Facilities – No facilities. There is only a wild beach & dramatic coastline! 😊

  • Food: Bring a packed lunch or head to Newport (Pembrokeshire), where there are plenty of good foodie options before or after your paddleboarding. The Golden Lion on the High Street does great pub food and one of my favourite cafes is Blas at Fronlas.

  • How to get into the water: If you have parked your car on the road close by to the Ceibwr beach it’s less than a minute’s walk to the pebbly beach with your paddleboard and it’s easy to get into the water from the shore.

What to expect on your SUP trip?

Timings > 2 hours (approx)

Plan for no longer than 2 hours in total, as it can be tiring paddleboarding on the sea. Always keep safe on the water and don’t get overtired.

Part of the National Trust’s Pembrokeshire Coastal National Park, Ceibwr Bay is particularly spectacular with its folded rocks created by glacial erosion down to the bay and out into the Irish Sea.

Explore the myriad of sea caves on your paddleboard, including the famous Pwll-y-wrach, or Witches Caldron, a collapsed sea cave south of the beach. Depending on the light, the water looks greeny-blue creating a magical experience. According to folklore, this is where an old sea witch lives who will eat anyone brave enough to venture into her cave. You have been warned. 😉

This area of the Pembrokeshire coastline is rich in wildlife with cliffs providing breeding grounds for fulmars & choughs. Along the rocks is a good place to spot seals during breeding season or the Cardigan Bay dolphins, who roam the coast all year round.

(For a good SUP experience, just a note to always be respectful of nature and don’t disturb the wildlife. If a seal comes close to you, it might be protecting young pups so keep a safe distance.)

Which SUP holiday?

If you like the sound of this trip, then you’ll also love our Sea SUP Adventure Glamping Holiday, which includes a guided Sea SUP experience, glamping accommodation and delicious food during your weekend stay.

Find out more here >

10 stand-up paddleboarding safety tips

All our standup paddleboarding holidays are guided by trained instructors to keep you safe. But if you’re heading off on a SUP paddleboarding trip on your own, follow our top 10 safety tips:

  1. Check your equipment is in good condition and suitable for the paddleboard journey.

  2. Wear appropriate clothing - dress with the assumption you will fall into the water.

  3. Always wear a leash, a simple cord that attaches to the rear of your board and then connects to your ankle. If you fall off your SUP board, this ensures it cannot drift away from you.

  4. Always wear a buoyancy aid or personal flotation device.

  5. Take a phone and keep it in a dry pack.

  6. Check the weather. If it’s windy on the sea, you can always try the river option upstream.

  7. Paddle with a friend.

  8. Check local knowledge.

  9. Check the tide times for the three locations in Wales above, as all the journeys are impacted by the tide.

  10. Always let someone know where you are going and your anticipated return time, so they can raise the alarm if you don’t arrive when expected.

Check out our Spring SUP and Stars Offer

For May and June only, when 4 of you book one of our SUP holidays, you can also enjoy a Dark Sky Safari at no extra cost. Hurry, book a SUP and Stars Adventure before they sell out.

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