Water Sports and Sea Adventures at Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour

The call of the sea is hard to ignore when visiting Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour. Water sports thrill-seekers, nature enthusiasts and swimmers seeking adventure can find plenty to do here. With summer well underway, a refreshing afternoon out on the water can be a great way to spend some time.


Safari Snorkelling and Conservation Boat Trips

The National Marine Aquarium is partnered with the Ocean Conservation Trust. The charity offers an exciting array of sessions to join their team on conservation-focused trips and snorkelling safaris.

For those passionate about preserving the natural world and learning more about Plymouth Sound’s natural marine habitat, these boat trips offer a unique chance to combine adventure with learning. The Aquarium, which sits alongside Sutton Harbour, has boat trips which depart from the Barbican Landing Stage. From there, set sail as their Ocean Discovery Rangers help you discover British wildlife as well as the history of the harbour.

For an up-close and personal experience with the marine life, the aquarium also offers snorkelling sessions for different experience levels. Depending on the day, tide, and habitats at the snorkelling location, you will see different wildlife. However, the most common species you’ll spot are Corkwing Wrasse, Snakelocks anemones, Sand Eels and Pollack.


Plymouth Boat Trips

If you love to be out on the water but prefer to watch water sports than take part in them, Plymouth Boat Trips offer thrilling activities of a different kind. Let somebody else take the helm as you let your hair down and take in the stunning scenery, from Sutton Harbour to Plymouth Sound and the views of the Naval Dockyard from the River Tamar. With day trips, Summer Sundowner Cruises and Live Music & Party Cruises, there’s something for everyone.

Alternatively, if you have your own boat, Sutton Harbour Marina is a gateway to plenty of great sailing destinations. Whether you’re exploring the Cornish or Devon coastline or going further afield to the Isles of Scilly or making a Channel crossing, Sutton Harbour Marina offers a protected location, access to modern facilities and is perfectly positioned to set you up to make some unforgettable memories.



Paddleboarding is one of the most popular water sports to take part in in recent years. It combines balance, strength, and mindfulness. As you glide across the water, it’s a great chance to soak up the sights and sounds of nature to explore different coasts or head out to Drake’s Island. Paddleboarding offers a versatile and exhilarating adventure for those who love to be out on the water.

Whether you’re looking for some lessons or just like to socialise while out on the water, there are plenty of paddleboarding groups to join in Plymouth.

The Mount Batten Centre, which can be found just a short ferry-ride across the water from Sutton Harbour, offers paddleboarding sessions. They also offer a taster session if you want to give it a try this summer without the commitment.

South West SUP are based a short drive away from Sutton Harbour at Royal William Yard. This award-winning school offers classes for beginners, those looking to practice and even sessions for schools, stag, and hen groups and corporate or team-building events.



Water sports such as kayaking are a means of transportation and a full-body workout rolled into one. Whether you’re after an adrenaline rush or a leisurely paddle on the water, this water sport is a great way to explore the surrounding coastline.

The Plymouth Sound is the city’s gorgeous natural harbour with the breakwater providing protection from the open sea to create the ideal water sports arena. This makes it a great place to go kayaking in with plenty of places to paddle. However, kayakers should still be aware of what the tide is doing as well as the currents. But there are plenty of great views to be seen and exploring to be done.

If you’re looking to get into kayaking or are just visiting this summer, again the Mount Batten Centre offers sessions as well as private tuition.


Pontoons on the Water

Pontoons are a chance to lay back and enjoy the water—or to make the perfect platform for diving in! Whether alone or with friends and family, pontoons are a versatile platform for water-based adventures just afloat of Sutton Harbour.

This year, the pontoons are back afloat in the Sound just beside the Tinside Lido this summer. These pontoons are perfect for those looking to spend some time going out for a swim. One is positioned slightly closer to the shore for those looking to stay closer to land. A second pontoon is positioned slightly further out to really immerse yourself in the open waters around you.


Water Sports and Sea Adventures in Sutton Harbour

There is plenty of fun to be had on (or in) the water at Britain’s Ocean City. Sutton Harbour and the neighbouring Barbican are a hub of water-based adventures and provide a gateway to even more adventures further afield.

Whether you’re paddleboarding around Drake’s Island, snorkelling with Sand Eels or sailing through the Sound, each experience is a unique opportunity to connect with nature and make long-lasting memories.

For updates on things to see and do in and around Sutton Harbour, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.