Brace yourself for a full-throttle coastal adventure
One of the UK’s fastest-growing adventure sports, coasteering is a means of scrambling, traversing, cliff jumping and wild swimming around the coast. Be prepared for your knees to wobble and your heart to pound as you ride whirlpools, explore sea caves, swim through gulleys, clamber up cliffs and leap from rocky ledges. In a nutshell, coasteering will inject you with adrenalin, take you into the nooks and crannies of the UK coastline and bring you nose-to-nose with marine life. And guess what? With its sheltered coves, wave-hewn headlands, natural sluices and smugglers’ caves, the rugged shores of North Cornwall are one of the most spectacular locations to give it a go.
Coasteering in Cornwall
There are many reasons why Newquay has become the hub of coasteering in the South West. Its pristine shores are teeming with diverse wildlife from dolphins to diving birds, and there are plenty of headlands providing shelter from the swell and prevailing winds. One of the key coasteering locations used by King Coasteer is Porth Island, where you can paddle into sea caves and experience the power of the blowhole. If you want to witness the wildlife beneath the waves, another favourite spot is The Gazzle in Newquay, where you can come face-to-face with resident seals, sea horses and cuttlefish, and even swim through old smugglers’ tunnels (when they’re not in use by nesting birds).
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Despite its extreme adventure credentials, coasteering is a family-friendly activity and doesn’t require super-human levels of fitness. All you need is an adventurous streak and the guts to break out of your comfort zone. “Looking down from an exposed cliff ledge, preparing to plunge into the ocean below, it’s natural to feel some fear – that’s what makes it exciting,” explains King Coasteer’s Tom Greaves. “You’re breaking all the rules you’ve been taught as a kid – launching off sea cliffs, disappearing into tidal caves and letting surges of seawater drag you into the swell – but in a controlled environment under the guidance of our expert guides.” Besides, you don’t have to leap from great heights; all jumps are optional. Safety is, of course, paramount. Not only are you clad head-to-toe in protective gear including a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet and footwear, you will also learn the correct techniques to enter and exit the water safely and how to jump – pin straight, arms crossed – from the rocks.
A unique coastal adventure
The aim of a coasteering trip is to traverse a section of coastline, experiencing its wonders from whirlpools to wildlife, while pushing yourself mentally and physically. It’s a means of casting away from the landlubbers lolloping along the coast path, and fully immersing yourself in the wave-lashed terrain where land meets sea: Your hands and feet cling to rocks like the barnacles. You plunge into the sea like the gannets diving for fish. You bob like a seal in the sluices and swells. Coasteering is the ultimate way to take the plunge and experience Newquay’s wild coastal landscape.