Adventure Paddling on the South Devon Coast

They say there’s an adventurer in us all: with its rugged trails and secret coves, the awesome South Devon coast continues to capture this buccaneering spirit offering up a plethora of wild excursions.

Riding the crest of this wave is local watersports expert, Ben Sherring, who along with his wife, Kim, runs the adventure paddling company, Sea Kayak Salcombe. Our very own ‘Mr Toad’ caught up with Ben (on dry land) to find out more about their coastal pursuits…

Mr Toad: Ben, thanks for taking time out for a natter. Where can our guests find Sea Kayak Salcombe?

Ben: Great to see you, Mr Toad, and looking so dapper as always! We’re situated on the beautiful South Sands beach, Salcombe, and we operate out of the old Lifeboat House and slipway, right in the middle of the bay.


Mr Toad: What can someone expect from an adventure paddle?

Ben: First and foremost, you can expect to feel safe and comfortable, you’ll also have loads of fun, see plenty of amazing wildlife and discover the breathtaking South Devon coastline from the unique vantage point of a kayak cockpit.

Mr Toad: How difficult is it to manoeuvre a kayak?

Ben: You can have the basic techniques ‘dialled in’ within a couple of hours of tuition and then quickly start enjoying the rewards. We have a wide selection of kayaks to suit all abilities and we make it our mission to get all our guests out and paddling and enjoying the freedom of the water.

Mr Toad: Can anyone give it a go?

Ben: Absolutely, yes! Anyone can give kayaking a go, the benefits are amazing for mind, body and soul.

Photo credit: Sea Kayak Salcombe

Mr Toad: How do you deal with the ‘C’ word: ‘Capsize’?

Ben: Very rarely does this occur on our adventures due to our selection of kayaks and choice of destinations, but, if a capsize should happen, our guides are right there beside you and will get you straight back in, upright and paddling again: correct choice of equipment, understanding the weather, tides and swell, the choice of destination, all of these things form an essential part of any adventure on the water and it goes without saying that we never take any of them for granted.

Mr Toad: What makes the South Hams coast so suited to kayaking?

Ben: We are very lucky to have the coastline we do here in the South Hams, especially out of Salcombe. We have such a diverse and contrasting coastline that shouts out ‘adventure and exploration’: caves, secluded beaches, rock gardens and some special wildlife make it a pleasure to paddle every time.

Mr Toad: Have you had many ‘up close and personal’ experiences with the local wildlife?

Ben: I’ve been lucky enough to have worked in Salcombe for the past twenty-six years and have seen so much wildlife both in and around the Kingsbridge and Salcombe Estuary waters, but paddling alongside a very chilled-out eighteen-foot basking shark on my way to Hope Cove is still the one experience that really stands out and continues to make me smile. Every month, throughout the year, is a special one for wildlife here.

Mr Toad: What makes kayaking such an exhilarating holiday activity?

Ben: Paddling gives you a tremendous amount of choice, whether you just want to chill on the still water, catch the surf, or go rock hopping, kayaking has the adaptability to embrace your mood. Paddling with family and friends on holiday in an area you haven’t seen before is a must!

Photo credit: Sea Kayak Salcombe

Mr Toad: What months are you open?

Ben: Our adventure kayaking tours operate all year round, as does our coaching of aspirant sea kayak guides.

Mr Toad: Is there ‘an adventurer’ in us all?

Ben: Everyone has a sense of adventure, some people discover it early in life, while for others it surfaces later, but, it is always within us, and having the ability to travel, play, experience new things, meet new people, and enjoy moments of solitude is ‘quite frankly’ good and wholesome for you. We offer a varied amount of three hour or full day kayak adventures, our tours include; family adventures, intermediate adventures for individuals and families, and advanced tours, such as the rock hopper and surf ski tours. All equipment is supplied by Sea Kayak Salcombe and we have changing rooms, showers, secure lock up and our very own Bo’s Beach Cafe all on site. If you’re planning a visit to South Devon and would like to give sea kayaking a try, we’d love to hear from you.

Many thanks to Sea Kayak Salcombe’s Ben Sherring for giving us such a great insight into adventure paddling in South Devon…and wadda about that basking shark!!

If you want to unleash your inner adventurer, why not come and explore the breathtaking bays and beaches in and around Salcombe. Toad Hall Cottages has got a long list of gorgeous holiday properties on its books, providing the perfect base for all your wild days out.

Whether you’re thinking of a family-break, a gathering of friends, a dog-friendly dwelling, a romantic getaway, a luxury retreat, or a solo escape, our expert team can find a setting to meet your every need. Why not make next year’s holiday a West Country one with Toad Hall Cottages.