Tucked away just off the A379 in Devon, in the pretty village of Aveton Gifford, is a fairly non-descript car park. Driving past, you would never know it grants access to one of the most picturesque and peaceful SUP routes along the River Avon, towards the surfers’ paradise at Bantham beach.
Easily as scenic as its neighbour at Kingsbridge Estuary, this waterway offers a somewhat quieter route to the sea, flanked by rolling Devon hills and wooded banks teeming with wildlife, particularly abundant bird varieties. This is a truly relaxing SUP adventure on which you can completely switch off, breathe big and deep and let your mind wander with your board.
This is a relatively unknown paddle route compared with the nearby SUP offerings of the River Dart so you might be able to enjoy some of it in solitude. The only soundtrack to a November paddle, being a flock of geese heading somewhere balmier for the winter!
Located within Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there is no shortage of stunning surroundings to soak up as you venture down the river.
Pack your deck bag with snacks and take your time along this SUP route with a 12’6″ voyager:
This is an easy going paddle route which follows the path of the river but it is very dependent on the tide times, so it is important to have a good understanding of the local tidal waterways.
In the summer months it is possible to head down to Bantham on high tide and while away a few hours at the beach before returning to Aveton Gifford with the next tide – but be sure to check the local seasonal tide times before setting off!
- .Arrive at Aveton Gifford with sufficient time before high-tide to inflate your paddle board and prepare for your trip – ensure you have a leash and a PFD with you.
- .Paddle straight down, following the path of the river towards the sea.
- .After around 40 to 45 minutes of relaxed paddling you will arrive at the Harbour Masters’ cottage on the left bank of the river.
- .The small beach offers a convenient stop off en-route to Bantham or a place to end your paddle before reaching the mouth of the river if you wish. To get out here, ascend the slope to the car park on the cliff and head back to Aveton Gifford by public transport or taxi.
Parking at Aveton Gifford is adjacent to the access point into the water.
You’ll find easy access to the river via a short jetty, located at the side of the car park.
EAT, DRINK, SUP
There is plenty of accommodation in the nearby towns of Salcombe, Kingsbridge and Totnes.
Try out the charming seafood restaurant, The Oyster Shack. Tucked into the valley this hidden gem offers some of Devon’s finest locally sourced seafood – perfect for a post SUP snack. Book a table in advance to avoid disappointment – these guys get super busy in the summer months!
Things to know
- Currents at the mouth of the river can be very strong with riptides not uncommon.
- The beach at Bantham is a popular surfing spot, look out for fellow water users if your paddle takes you all the way to the sea.
- The estuary is tidal, check the times carefully before you set off to ensure you have the correct kit and supplies to make the trip.
- It is possible to park at Bantham Beach and paddle with the incoming tide to Aveton Gifford before heading back towards the sea. Check the tide times with care.