Having never experienced paddleboarding before I jumped at the opportunity when the youngest member of the Longstone team, Henry who’s 11 requested we give it ago! Having always loved Hele Bay just a 15 mile drive from Longstone Bed & Breakfast, Challacombe. I was delighted to notice Hele Bay Adventures social media posts and fantastic reviews and decided to book for Friday evening, the weather forecast was bright sunshine and the sea calm, as we approached a record breaking heatwave.
Our Hele Bay paddleboarding adventure started with a helpful safety briefing and some tips. Once we were kitted out in our buoyancy jackets and aboard our rather surprisingly (to me anyway) sturdy paddleboards, we leisurely got to grips with how to paddle and made our way around the bay. It was reassuring to see lots of other beginners as well as the more experienced, on the water in kayaks and paddleboards too, all happy to say hello and offer kind words of advice. Given it was our first experience we chose to not venture to far out, but even on the edge of the bay you could catch a glimpse of intriguing coves and private beaches, leading of in each direction around to Ilfracombe and Combe Martin.
We hired the paddleboards for an hour at a cost of £15 each, which I think is amazing value for money, Hele Bay Adventures are located on the edge of the beach adjacent to the slipway so were very easy to find and not to far away from the waters edge to carry the paddleboards.
Whilst wetsuits were an option we chose to brave it in our swimwear, not that we fell in! Given the high temperatures a refreshing swim after paddleboarding was very welcome! Hele Bay is a stunning location for swimming with clear waters, as well as rock pooling or just relaxing on the beach.
Located between Watermouth and Ilfracombe, Hele Bay is a small village with a well stocked garage and The Hele Bay Pub. A huge advantage to visiting Hele Bay is its well situated and reasonably priced car park.
After working up an appetite paddleboarding and swimming we enjoyed delicious fish and chips from Maddy’s chip shop an approximate 2 mile drive around to Ilfracombe Harbour. We ate our chips back at Hele Bay, but Ilfracombe Harbour is also another beautiful destination with a variety of activities and places to eat on offer most defiantly worth visiting.
Are you thinking of embarking on your own paddleboarding adventure? We had an amazing time and highly recommend giving it ago. However always remember to let someone ashore know you are out on the water and to raise the alarm if you don’t return. Check tide times, and where possible use beaches that have a lifeguard or enlist a local guide such as Hele Bay Adventures.
A huge thank you to Hele Bay Adventures for making our paddleboading adventure a day to remember!
Find Hele Bay Adventures on Facebook or to visit their website www.helebayadventures.co.uk book your experience
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