July 6, 2015 by becca.lazar No Comments


When we talk about water on the Cornish Holiday Cottages blog, it’s normally the crystal clear waters of our coves or the barrelling variety in our waves. But this time we’re thinking about water in the form of glittering sheets of dark blue and green silk, the reflections of trees peering back upon themselves in the stillness. To find this sort of image you have to look beyond the beach and instead into the creeks, rivers and estuaries – the less explored waterways of Cornwall.

The perfect vehicle for this: the kayak.

Or a canoe, of course. Either way paddling quietly through the water feels close to nature in a way that surfing and boating can’t seem to get you. You can glide quietly through the water, getting close to swans and Little Egrits with minimal disturbance. Once I even found myself paddling alongside a seal, sharing the same course. It hadn’t seen me – but made its thoughts well known once it had, swimming away quickly. But in those few moments I felt connected to the rhythms of the water and the creatures living in it.

When you’re paddling along a river it doesn’t matter if you’ve been there a thousand times before – there’s always something new to see. There’s always something in the river banks that’s changing with the seasons or peeping out. Trees grow and dip their branches into the water and they change colour, reeds ripple and sway in the breeze and old quays hide amongst the growth, changing character in a way that bare coastal cliffs rarely seem to.

I started kayaking to get some exercise, away from the repetitive nature of the gym. And it swiftly grew into a hobby. Even on easy waters, going with the flow of water, you can build strength and flexibility – then there’s the challenge of paddling against all of those things with the wind holding you back as well. And out at sea, you’ve got the choppy waters to battle against too.

Exploration is also a big part of the appeal. There are so many places on the Cornish coast and in its rivers that are only accessible by water. The best part is that once you are there, you have those secluded beaches and sandy shores all to yourself. I’ve spent whole days barbequing, swimming and sunbathing with friends on our own private beach, not a single person in sight. We’ve even camped out because, that’s right, there’s enough space for everything you’d need on the back of a kayak.

That sense of adventure shows you things it’s difficult to see in any other way. There’s nothing quite like being out on the sea with only the sound of water splashing against your paddle as the sun begins to dip behind the land. So if you’re looking for something that’s going to give you a sense of independence and solitude this summer, get yourself out on the water and under your own steam.



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