Buyers Guide: British Sea Kayaking Guidebooks

Photo: Pesda Press

Here in Britain we are very lucky to have an excellent set of sea kayaking guidebooks that pretty much cover the whole coastline. Produced by Pesda Press but written by a variety of authors, they follow a format as they present the information in a user friendly fashion and make good use of annotated maps and inspirational photographs. As well as providing essential information on where to start and finish, distances, times and tidal information; they also inform and stimulate interest in the area you are planning to paddle in, full of facts and anecdotes about local history, geology, scenery and wildlife.

Palm neoprene accessories Warm Warmer Warmest 650x60

They present all the navigational and tidal information a sea kayaker needs and as such can be used with just an Ordinance Survey backing them up to plan any journey.  This compact combination is excellent for stuffing into a fully expedition ladened sea kayak, keeping in your car for the weekend or casually covering a coffee table to plan your bucket list. Retailing for £24.99 but often found cheaper we have searched the internet for the best deals for you. Sea Kayak Paddler may earn a commission if you use links to purchase items. This does not affect our reviews and helps us to fund the website.

Scottish Sea Kayaking: Sixty-Two Great Sea Kayak Voyages

scottish sea kayaking

The first to be written, this guidebook set the standard that the others follow. Rather than covering the whole coastline this is a selected guide to the very best paddling Scotland has to offer. This completely revised and updated 2nd edition has 12 additional routes (62 in total), including in the Orkneys and Shetlands. It includes new photos, improved maps and sat nav coordinates for access points. It is packed with essential information alongside detailed descriptions and interesting anecdotes. Written by Doug Cooper.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

Welsh Sea Kayaking: 51 Great Sea Kayaking Voyages

welsh sea kayaking 240

Now also in its second edition, the fifty-one journeys cover the whole welsh coastline and provide easy sheltered paddles for those planing their first trips, testing offshore trips for the adventurous and everything in between. The updates includes a new route, some new photos, a few tweaked tide timings and sat nav coordinates for access points. The first edition is also perfectly good should you wish to save some money, if you can find someone willing to part with it. Written by Jim Krawiecki and Andy Biggs.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

South East England & Channel Islands Sea Kayaking

south east england 240This book covers two very different areas. The South East of England has chalk cliffs, pebble beaches and vast expanses of mudflats. From the very tidal Thames through London to the deserted North Norfolk coast. Then there are the Channel Islands, which are a small number of large islands and a large number of small islands. Here we have pink granite, white sandy beaches and very strong tidal streams. Many of the routes are committing but there are also a reasonable number of easier paddles. Written by Derek Hairon et al.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

South West Sea Kayaking: Isle of Wight to the Severn Estuary

south west sea kayaking 240

In this new second edition, the south-west coast of England is described in 50 great voyages, from the Isle of Wight to the Scilly Isles to the Severn Estuary. It follows the successful format of the other Pesda Press sea kayaking guides, presenting the information in a user-friendly fashion and making good use of annotated maps and colourful photos. Users will find the book's content useful, concise and clear. They will also appreciate the history, places to land, hazards and great photography. Written by Mark Rainsley.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

Northern England & IOM: Fifty Great Sea Kayak Voyages

northen england 240Covering both the West and East coast of Northern England. From the Mersey to the Solway, including the Isle of Man in the West. And the Humber to Berwick in the East. Industrial areas and wilder landscapes are described with the same detail. From easy sheltered paddles to testing offshore voyages. In addition to the usual important information needed to plan a sea kayaking trip are recommended cafés, pubs and chip shops strategically located to provide sustenance at the end of your trip. Written by Jim Krawiecki.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

Skye and North West Highlands Sea Kayaking 

Skye and North West Highlands Sea Kayaking GuidebookOn the north west coast of Scotland and around Skye there are hundres of islands, hidden beaches and tide races.  Ardnamurchan Point to Cape Wrath are the names of the headlands at either end of the area contained within these pages. They even have their own section in the inshore shipping forecast. The fifty great voyages are described in a way that is both inspirational and informative. Descriptions of launching and landing sites, tidal flows and potential hazards are described in detail. Written by Doug Cooper.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

North & East Coasts Of Scotland Sea Kayaking

north and east scotland guidebookThe North and East Coasts of Scotland don't have as many sheltering islands as the West and there is always some sort of swell, but they will richly reward your efforts to explore their hidden nooks and crannies, stunning cliff and coastal scenery, numerous bird colonies, and fascinating fishing villages each with their own history. Forty-five journeys from Cape Wrath to Berwick upon Tweed provide inspiration and information for sea kayakers. Details of launching and landing sites, tides and any potential hazards are provided. Written by Doug Cooper.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

The Outer Hebrides: Sea Kayaking Around the Isles & St Kilda

outer hebredies sea kayaking guidebookThe Outer Hebredies are often described as the jewel in the crown of British sea kayak expeditioning. With their white sandy beaches, cool clear blue water and empty expanses for camping. This is a guidebook to the archipelago of islands, from Berneray to the Butt of Lewis and including St Kilda. As well as describing 44 great kayaking journeys, this book presents all the information a sea kayaker needs to plan day trips or expeditions on this magnificent section of coastline. Written by Mike SullivanRobert Emmott and Tim Pickering.

Best price: Amazon or eBay

The Northern Isles: Orkney & Shetland Sea Kayaking

northern isles sea kayaking guidebook

Their isolation and stunning scenery make Orkney and Shetland a very special sea kayak destination. This guidebook provides inspiration and information for future voyages and a souvenir of journeys undertaken. There is currently a new edition being worked on, with the delivery date yet to be announced. Pesda Press have made the old edition available as a free downloadable PDF in exchange for a donation to charity. The old edition is still available online but at a higher price due to its scarcity. Written by Tom Smith and Chris Jex.

Best price: Amazon (eBay not available)


philip clegg profile 2

By Philip Clegg

With over two decades of working in the sea kayaking industry, Phil can be found on a daily basis coaching for Sea Kayaking Anglesey.  That's when he's not expeditioning, playing or putting kit to the test.