Boat Tours, Water Sports, Wildlife and Adventures in South Devon.
Accessing the remote areas of the English Riviera by kayak is definitely one of the best things to do in the UK. Sea Kayak Torbay (SKT) are specialists in unique adventure tours from; Torquay, Paignton or Brixham of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark delivering tours to solo travellers, couples, families, friends or peers.
Meet like-minded people in our small group kayak tours and explore the stunning pockets of Ansteys Cove, Hopes Nose, Babbacombe Bay, Berry Head, Broadsands, Churston Cove, Crystal Cove, Fairy Cove, Goodrington, Meadfoot, Oddicombe Beach, St Mary's Bay, Watcombe Beach or the River Dart and Teign estuaries.
Our tours are guided by local expert Kieran Laureston who is passionate about delivering a truly memorable experience, he incorporates information about the local history and rich cultural heritage, marine wildlife and the geological sites of specific scientific interest. Kieran has been taming the sea for beginners for many years and coasteering, paddling, sailing and wild swimming these shores since he was a local Sea Scout. He is now a highly qualified outdoor practitioner, coach and mentor. Through Sea Kayak Torbay he offers you the chance to explore and experience the English Riviera through the eyes of a local.
Kieran has developed 6 very distinct tour options for half and full day itineraries; from the limestone headlands where we are likely to find cetaceans, to the sea horses and seals of the sandstone backwaters and the habitats of our marine estuary mud flats, there is something for everyone.
Tour 1 = The Classic - The islands tour of Thatcher and the Orestone - stunning views, dramatic geology and marine wildlife
Tour 2 = The Backwaters - The coves tour of Churston, Crystal, Elberry, Fishcombe, Oxon and Saltern. Meet seals and sea horses
Tour 3 = The Classic Plus - Babbacombe to the Orestone through Ansteys Cove and the Limestone headlands - Lyme Bay and Torbay
Tour 4 = "The Hindu Temples" - Discover the Hindu Temples - sea caves formed in the walls of an arid sandstone desert
Tour 5 = The Sea Caves - An advanced tour taken by tandem kayak out to the large sea caves of Berry Head
Tour 6 = Labrador Bay - Babbacombe Bay to Maidencombe - stunning views to Weymouth, sandstone sea caves, canyons and coves
On our half and full day tours, we stop on secluded beaches tucked into secret coves, each with its own famous crime scene according to Agatha Christie.
When we think about it, what epitomises Torbay is the view from the sea. We are overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and grandeur of the beautiful place we live in – and the geological history of what makes Torbay the stupendous coastal adventure playground that it is. It’s something rarely seen by the average visitor, of course, but it’s getting up close and personal to the multitude of rocks, coves, caves and inlets making up the 20 miles and 22 beaches of Torbay’s coastline that brings it all to life. This is the foundation on which SKT is built: the sheer amazement at what Torbay’s coastline has to offer, our wish to share with everyone the excitement we feel every time we go out.
That needs to be done safely, of course, and that is where SKT’s expertise comes in. Kieran, a fully qualified and enthusiastic tour guide, provides the perfect environment to enjoy all this in a wide variety of packages ranging from a couple of hours’ paddle to a 3-day coastal tour, all suitable for either the beginner paddler or the more experienced one.
Whether it’s a family day out with a difference, an office away-day, team building exercise or simply a random collection of individuals brought together for an enjoyable potter around the coast, SKT is there to tailor each trip to the individual requirements of those taking part. And you don’t necessarily have to come to us we come to you because we are fully mobile and can provide a pick-up/drop-off service either at your hotel or beach of your choice. And we provide everything from the boats (including tandem-style kayaks) to Inuit-style clothing for cooler temperatures to keep you dry and comfortable (and food and drink as well on some of our packages).
Sea kayaking is an exhilarating experience for its own sake anyway, but when you add the extra dimension of learning about Torquay's cultural history, Victorian heritage and the Geopark along the way, get to explore the rocks, hear the story of how they were formed, draw up at a deserted beach, fillet and stone-cook any fish you may catch, and explore remote rock pools unvisited by the bucket-and-spade brigade,a day out with SKT is something that will stay with you long after you are dropped back at your hotel.
Sea Kayaking is the easiest way to access remote areas without any prior experience. Our amazing supplier, Chillcheater, offers dry, fleece-lined technical clothing designed by elite paddlers that allow us to stay warm and dry even if the weather turns on us. With this clothing, we’re able to guide you at any time of the year, designed for all year paddling in colder climates but it has been introduced to Torbay to offer accessible adventure outside of the summer season and on cooler days or if you decide to get wet, they will quickly warm you up.
Sea Kayaking is our connection to the sea, our land visits are also a major part of the adventure. We’re specialists in a range of services, including:
Kieran Laureston is an academic who has brought together the antiquity and cultural heritage of the area. From Paleolithic and Neolithic man to the Dumnonii, Normans, Saxons, Scandinavians, Saints, Romans and people of the Napoleonic Era, all their stories are etched into the landscape. We’re fascinated by the rich heritage and geology.
He likes to frame your adventure by adding those stories in the places they occurred to add to their authenticity. These tours are a great way to bring families together. Where different generations can connect with nature and engage with our cultural heritage and geology, whilst learning new skills from each other.
Kieran takes you closer to nature in an attempt to connect with it and assist in its conservation and preservation. We view nature in its natural habitat without disturbing, displacing or damaging it, exploring remote areas larger craft cannot access.
The geology of Torbay creates sheltered coves that were an easy landing place for the early colonizers of the western seaways. Once the glaciers retreated from Dartmoor our lands were left extremely fertile, tin and gold rich. The Celts, Romans, Pirates and Privateers new this, and Torbay was a great shelter for ships navigating the channel.
It is the place Darwin is said to have completed his thesis through visits to our shores and the place Paleolithic man rested his head in Kents Cavern. It was an important place for our ancient ancestors and also for our own wild Seahorses (Hippocampus Hippocampus.)
The geological processes that created our headlands are clear to see and they, in turn, created biodiverse marine areas not found in the rest of the country, creating rare and unique wildlife. The views back into the bay are also simply stunning especially on the sunrise or sunset when Kieran will bring this all to life for you.
Whether you’re new to the water and a complete beginner or an avid paddler wanting to explore the headlands without your own boat. Why not come and push your level in a more advanced boat, I will provide all the training you need.
Meet like-minded people on a fun fun-filled tour, where you can have as much action and adventure as you want and everything is delivered to the beach you want to venture from.
Do you want a different sort of adventure with your friends or family? A guided tour into Torbay's wild marine intertidal zone is an excellent way to bond with a friend or have a memorable time with your family. We adapt the trip programme to your group’s individual needs.
We also deliver walking and bike tours of the Geopark and South Devon area, or Canoeing and Inland Kayaking on the River Dart or Teign.
All of our tours involve some degree of physical activity. However, everything except the paddling is catered for. In our tandems, you can relax and have a very gentle tour and over a long duration journey quite a distance without noticing it or If you’d like a bit more activity, we’re happy to accommodate this and go further afield. This may involve:
There is so much to introduce you and your group that we needn't travel far. Our kayaks are the vehicle to get you to the action!
Grab your camera because there are so many highlights on one of these tours, you’ll want to capture them all. The English Riviera enjoys some of the very best geology and marine wildlife in Devon.
If you have something in mind that isn’t described in these pages, just let us know, we are adventure specialists and we can accommodate any adventure experience. We adjust for physical limitations or time restraints and are able to arrange for an extra kayak or two if you’re part of a larger group.
Follow the above link to see what the tide is doing in Torquay right now and for the next 7 days. Very handy if you wish to see the sea caves at low tide.
I've been on many Kayak Tours, but this was the best. Kieran took me and my 11 year old son out on a 2 person kayak, with another party. We launched from Oddicombe Beach - but had the option to launch from whatever suited us. Kieran quickly assessed our abilities, and pretty much tailored the tour accordingly, we ended up being out for 4 hours which sounds quite an endurance but wasn't really that strenuous as we were too busy taking in the views. The caves and views were truly stunning plus we got a fantastic history lesson in both geology and the area. My lad particularly enjoyed pulling up a remote beach and lighting a fire and cooking marsh mellows - as did I. Would definitely return as there is so much more to see. If its a warm day I probably would not bother wearing a Kayak skirt or top as you'll fry. Well done Kieran keep up the good work