stunning blue sea and cornish coastline dotted with paddle boarders

The sun is shining, the beaches are packed, the smell of barbecues fill the evening air and happy families are splashing around in the sea. It can only mean one thing: The summer holidays are in full swing! In honour of National Marine Week (which actually runs for a fortnight between July 23rd - August 7th) we’re sharing a few of our favourite things to do in the sea in Cornwall this summer. If you love donning a wetsuit, taking a dip, riding the waves and exploring the coastline, then read on. 


Surf Schools in the South West

At the heart of Cornish culture is surfing. This much loved activity first reached our shores in the late 1920s, and has been changing the lives of the locals and visitors alike ever since. If you’re looking to learn, improve or build your water confidence then there’s no lack of surf schools along the Cornish coast. We especially love the teams at Big Green Surf School in Crantock, King Surf in Mawgan Porth and Surfs Up Surf School in Polzeath. Say hi from us when you drop in for a lesson! 

kids in colourful rash vests and wetsuits jump around before a surf lesson on the beach

Camel Ski School 

For the thrill seekers we’d recommend our friends at the Camel Ski School. Head out on the Camel Estuary in their state of the art boats to wake board, wake surf or water ski. Sessions range from beginner to expert and are run by knowledgeable staff. If extreme sports don’t tickle your fancy they also offer inflatable rides, boat charters and boat courses. 


Cornish Rock Tors

The home of paddle boarding, sea kayaking and coasteering is in Cornish Rock Tor’s little base in Port Gaverne. With seventeen years of experience, the talented team will show you the Cornish coastline like you’ve never seen it before - up close from the water. Paddle boarding and sea kayaking is the perfect way to check out inaccessible beaches and spot wildlife in it’s natural habitat, whilst coasteering is great fun for families and friends of all ages. You’ll be in safe hands with Benny and the crew, and they know the Port Isaac coastline like taxi drivers know the streets of London. 

people kayaking through blue crystal clear water with pink flowers in foreground


Mylor Sailing School

Take to the water in the most classically Cornish way possible: By boat. The Mylor Sailing School is based near Falmouth and offer courses for “absolute beginners” all the way to “salty seadogs”. At the sailing school you can work your way up through the levels of sailing and powerboating, take part in family courses and even just learn the basics on land. An amazing skill to have, and you never know when it might come in handy! 


Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Rockpool Rambles

Perfect for little ones who haven’t found their sea legs yet, the CWT’s Summer Rockpool Ramble takes place in Looe on the 14th August. “Come and join local experts as we explore the rocky shore, finding lots of the amazing critters that live on it! Learn about starfish, crabs, fish, anemones and lots more at this educational event that is guaranteed to satisfy the whole family.” The event starts at 1.30pm and you’ll find the meeting point below the coastguard station on Hannafore Beach. 

small brown starfish in persons hand

Padstow Sealife Safaris

You’re bound to spot seals, oyster catchers, gannets and guls, and if you’re lucky you might even see dolphins, puffins and choughs. Padstow’s Sealife Safari tours head out daily from the harbour, treating passengers onboard to stunning views over the estuary and surrounding bays, whilst hopefully catching sight of some of the wonderful wildlife that calls the north coast home. 

Falmouth Pilot Gig Club

Our friends at the gig club in Falmouth enjoy friendly competition and a full body workout each time they take to the water. Accompanied by beautiful views and post-training pints, there’s a lot to love about the sport of pilot gig rowing; classic wooden boats, camaraderie, ancient tradition and an amazing environment. The club welcome novices aged 16 and over on Wednesdays throughout the summer at 6pm, for only £2 a session! 

Falmouth gig club rowing through harbour

Cornish Swim Tours 

Follow their open water swim specialists on a guided swim adventure. You’ll improve your swimming technique, explore hidden coves, see Cornwall from the water and have a great workout whilst you’re at it. You can book a 1:1 excursion, a private group or join one of the Swim Specials; weekly guided group social swims that run throughout the summer.


We hope that this blog has inspired you to get in and on the water for the remainder of the summer holidays and beyond. There are so many fun things to do and ways to enjoy it, that we’re sure you’ll find an activity to suit everyone. Click the headings above each section to learn more about the activity and offerings. Have fun! 

people swimming in the sea