SUP, Kayak, Walk, Bodyboard, Explore, Relax

Rainbow is in the perfect location to explore the stunning St Ives Bay and South West Cornwall. This wonderful part of the world has so much to offer. Whether you enjoy getting active on land or water, or just prefer to relax and enjoy the sound of the Seagulls from the garden – we hope you’ll love coming back to Rainbow again and again.

Map of the area

We want to help you make the very best use of your treasured holiday time, so we have created the map below with a small selection of great places to go and things to do in the area.

Please click the temporary link below to access the map – apologies, this is a work in progress to fully embed the map into this page:

For those who like to SUP and Kayak

South West Cornwall is a particular favourite for those who like to SUP, Kayak, Kite Surf, Body Board, Wing Foil, Surf or dinghy sail. For those who enjoy taking to the water, you may like to look at some of the “launch spots” on the map. The closest launch spots being approximately 6 minutes walk away.

The stunning Hayle Beach is approximately 6 minutes walk from Rainbow, where the conditions can vary from a gentle evening paddle, to a wild day playing in the surf (If you have too much kit to carry, you can easily drive through the Riviere Towans Chalet Park roads to drop kit even closer to the sand). During peak seasons the beach has a wonderful team of RNLI lifeguards. Click here for more information on their cover etc.

Hayle Estuary is equidistant walking from Rainbow as the beach. You can launch next to Lula on the public slipway, or the neighbouring beach. The estuary provides a sheltered spot, but do stay aware of the tides (we provide tide timetables on every page of our website) – the tidal flow can be particularly strong around mid-tide.

Further afield

Rainbow is in a perfect spot to explore so many of the magical coves and beaches of Southern Cornwall. Many of these are within a short drive of Rainbow. If you’re looking for a more sheltered spot on a wild Westerly day, consider heading over towards the Helford Estuary, or head to some of the beaches on the opposite coast of Cornwall. Most of the time the Helford provides a wonderful sheltered spot. (Occasionally it may be prudent to explore some of the more tucked away spots if there is an Easterly swell or a strong Easterly or Westerly wind.) The beauty of this part of Cornwall, is you are surrounded by wonderful beaches and hidden coves on all sides.

In the Helford area, you can choose from easy access slipways with parking (such as in St Anthony in Meneage, Helford River Sailing Club, or Gweek), or you can seek out the myriad of interesting little coves and hidden beaches which do not have such easy obvious parking (for example Flushing Cove or Helford village ford). Some suggestions of great paddle adventures in this area include:

  • Explore Gillan Creek, Helford Village, Frenchman’s or Mawgan Creek.
  • Park at Gweek Boatyard and explore down the river (watch the tides!)
  • Enjoy a picnic at Tremayne Quay or Boshan Cove
  • If appropriate, head over to Helford Passage and explore the coves and creeks on the other side of the river, including Port Navas, Trabah Beach, Durgan or Grebe Beaches.

There really is so much to explore.

On the opposite coastline to Hayle, around the Lizard Peninsula and Penzance area there are also a myriad of beaches: Porthallow, Coverack Cove, Poldhu, Porthleven, Praa Sands or St Micheal’s Mount (also marked on the map above). The coastline of this part of Cornwall really is magical, and there are so many different beaches to choose from.

If you have any further ideas or favourite spots you think we should add to the map, please do let us know.

Wherever you go our top tips include:

  • Plan your day with the tides in mind (we have included a tide timetable on every page of this website). Hayle Estuary is very tidal and can be tricky around mid tide. Also, many upper parts of the Helford dry out to muddy river banks – and left standing in mud may not be your preferred way to spend your break.
  • Also plan your day with the weather in mind. The great thing about this area, is there will always be a different creek or part of the coastline that can provide you with shelter or surf… depending on what you are looking for.
  • Take appropriate clothing (even the calmest sunniest day can change rapidly).
  • Take all normal precautions such as SUP with a buddy, appropriate buoyancy aids, and remember there may be limited phone signal in many areas.
  • Be aware that Hayle Estuary is a working port and can get busy at times with fishing vessels who will have less room available than you to manoeuvre in.

Hiring equipment or guided tours

There are many options open to you for great local companies who will hire you equipment or provide you with guided tours or group sessions. Or why not take the opportunity to try something new? Here are just a few suggestions:

  • SUP, Kayak, Coasteering and Climbing adventures, inclusive activities for all abilities and ages – based 6 minutes walk away down by Lula in Hayle Quay.
  • SUP hire (delivered to your accommodation) and guided adventures.
  • (Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Coasteering etc.) Based in Porthleven
  • Guided kayaking and SUP adventures on the Helford
  • SUP, Kayak, Dinghy and Boat hire and storage in Helford Estuary
  • Marine Discovery Penzance offer the best boat trip in Cornwall- eco friendly wildlife watching sea safari boat tour on board a sailing catamaran for dolphin spotting / wildlife watching.
  • £5 launch fee for half a day (with funds going to the Children’s sailing trust to get local children out on the water) which includes full safety cover.  SUP, Mega SUP, Kayak and Sailing dinghy hire available.  Multi activity mornings and family taster sessions also available at certain times of the year from £30.  Fully acccessible watersports also supported here.

Other activities

We’re going to be expanding this section in coming weeks, so please do keep an eye on this page for more ideas of exciting things to do.

Also, if you’d like some inspiration of more potential trips or things to do, whether that be on land or water, please do pop over to our blog pages for lots more interesting posts (work in progress!)

We hope you love the location of Rainbow as much as we do.