Harbour Holidays

Join Nature’s Gym: Outdoor Fitness Holidays in Cornwall

New Year, new you? Are you ready to leap into 2024 and become the fitter, happier version of yourself? Time then to book an active holiday in Cornwall. It’s been proved that simply being by the sea boosts your health and wellbeing, and with so many activities beckoning you outside, you’re bound to want to get moving at the beach. So, whether you prefer watersports or walking, here are some of the top ideas for outdoor fitness holidays in Cornwall.

Surfing in Cornwall

Surfing in Cornwall is a fantastic year-round activity. Photo by Hayley Lawrence.

Did you know that surfing is an entire body workout that burns calories at the same rate as a gym session or game of football – all while being low-impact on your joints? It’s also great for cardiovascular fitness and a healthy heart, builds strength and coordination, and all while connecting you to Mother Nature and stoking your vitamin D supplies.

Just ten minutes from Padstow, you’ll find the surfing Mecca of Harlyn Bay, with a mix of mellow waves for beginners and fast, hollow barrels for experts, depending on conditions. If you’re new to the sport, Harlyn Surf School will kit you out with everything you need to master the art of surfing, including high-tech suits that will keep you warm whatever the weather.

Paddleboarding in Cornwall

Paddleboarding in Cornwall takes you to coves and coastal crannies inaccessible on foot.

Strengthen your core and glide through sublime ocean scenery onboard a stand-up paddleboard.  A little less high-octane than surfing, SUP-ping has become one of Britain’s fastest-growing watersports, beckoning all ages and abilities to explore the Cornish coastline afloat.

On the doorstep of Padstow you can glide along the tranquil waters of the Camel Estuary, or further up the coast, Port Gaverne provides sheltered, shallow waters where you can find your feet aboard a SUP on a lesson or guided tour.

Kayaking in Cornwall

Explore Cornwall’s coastline under paddle power on a kayak.

Slip into the metronomic rhythm of paddle power on a kayaking tour. Explore sea caves, slalom around rock stacks and witness seals popping their noses above the turquoise waters.

Whether you head out from calm inlet of Port Gaverne or glide along the Camel Estuary, kayaking is a serene sport that will tone your arm muscles and fill your lungs with fresh sea air. 

Coastal Running in Cornwall 

Running is a great way to boost cardiovascular fitness and see the Cornish coastline. Photo by Hayley Lawrence.

Don your trail running shoes and settle into your own pace on Cornwall’s glorious coastal paths. Jogging along the shoreline, from golden bays to towering cliffs, is a fantastic way to explore the sublime scenery of South West England.

One of our favourite running loops near Padstow is from Constantine and Booby’s Bay, around the lighthouse at Trevose Head, then back across the fields from Mother Ivey’s Bay. However, whichever way you head along the coastal trails, you’ll get your legs and lungs working and enjoy the sublime views along the route. 

Coasteering in Cornwall 

Swim, scramble and rock jump around the coastline on a coasteering adventure.

If you want to see every nook of our beautiful coastline on a high-octane adventure that guarantees head-to-toe immersion in the big blue, try coasteering. As you scramble, swim, climb and cliff jump your way around the border between land and sea, you’ll swirl in plunge pools, dip into sea caves, leap off rocky ledges and come nose-to-nose to marine life – all while getting your cool water hit and working your cardiovascular fitness.

Both Cornish Rock Tors and Era Adventures offer coasteering trips from nearby Port Gaverne, as well as plenty of other adrenalin-fuelled activities to try on your holiday.

Wakeboarding in Cornwall 

Wake surfing in Cornwall. Image courtesy of Camel Ski School.

Sheltered from the swell of the north coast, the sparkling waters of the Camel Estuary make an ideal location to go wakeboarding, wake surfing, or water skiing. And it’s a great fitness activity too, especially when you’re finding your feet.

But it’s worth the effort as it’s a fun and thrilling activity to try while staying in Padstow. With expert tuition and the latest equipment on offer from Camel Ski School, you’ll be up and carving in no time.

Sea Swimming in Cornwall 

Sea swimming in Cornwall. Photo by Hayley Lawrence.

Whether you simply dip in the sea pools or swim across shimmering cobalt bays, coldwater swimming has all sorts of health benefits from boosting your fitness to lifting your mood.

Close to Padstow you’ll find the dreamy sea pools at Treyarnon and Trevone, or if you’re up for a challenge, join in Autumn’s charity swim from Padstow to Rock. If you’re keen for a sea dip but not sure where to start, there are lots of super-friendly swimming groups dotted around Cornwall, and Sea Swim Cornwall runs guided swim tours.

Cycling in Cornwall

Mountain Biking in Cardinham Woods, Cornwall. Photo by Hayley Lawrence.

If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, then Padstow is the perfect place for a cycling holiday in Cornwall. Not only do you have the 18 traffic-free miles of the Camel Trail wending its way from the harbour town all the way to Bodmin Moor, but it’s only a short hop to the family-friendly mountain biking trails of Lanhydrock and Cardinham Woods.

Cycling is a great fitness activity to do on holiday in Cornwall. If you’re an enthusiast, bring your own bike and explore to your heart’s content. Alternatively, bike hire is available in Wadebridge and Padstow for cycling along the Camel Trail, and also at the cycle hubs for Lanhydrock and Cardinham Woods. 

Coastal Walking in Cornwall

Walking the South West Coast Path from Padstow. Photo by Hayley Lawrence.

Not all exercise needs to be a huge effort. Simply going for a walk along the beach increases the heart rate and builds fitness. Add a few challenging hills with a hike along the South West Coast Path, and you can derive some serious fitness benefits. What’s more, a stroll beside the Big Blue has been proven to reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and improve mental health.

There are over 300 miles of coastal trails to choose from in Cornwall, but we suggest you start by climbing out of Padstow to Gunver Head and Stepper Point or heading across the estuary to the dramatic Rumps headland – the site of an Iron Age hill fort overlooking Puffin Island (just offshore from Polzeath). 

New Year, New You: Book an Active Break or Fitness Holiday in Cornwall

Can’t wait to kick off your New Year with good intentions? Book one of our coastal cottages in the Padstow area of Cornwall and smash your health and fitness goals at the seaside. 

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