What Is Coasteering? A Guide to Coasteering in North Devon (2023)

Are you ready for Adventure? Then you need to try Coasteering in North Devon

We’ve finally had a glimpse of sunshine, and if you’re anything like us, this will have got you thinking about getting outside and exploring! Now, we know that the idea of getting in the sea might send a chill down your spine right now (unless you’re a surfer, of course!), but temperatures are only going to be warming up over the next few months, so we thought we should talk about a really exciting activity that you can try out this spring and summer.

That’s right – coasteering, and we wanted to tell you a little bit about this amazing activity so that you can get out and experience it for yourself!

Coasteering in North Devon is an adrenaline-filled adventure perfect for schools, stag ‘dos and any extreme-sports fan. Keep reading to discover what it’s all about.

What is coasteering?

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So, what is coasteering? Well, coasteering combines coastal scrambling, sea swimming and low-level cliff jumping in one exhilarating activity.

Coasteering has become a popular activity all over the world, but the west coast of the UK remains one of the best places to experience this awesome activity.

On a coasteering adventure, you will first hike down to the coastal location where we will begin our coasteering experience. We will then get into the real deal, scrambling across the coastal boulders, traversing around rock pools and negotiating the route to our jumping point. Then, you will climb to a safe spot from which to jump and plunge with a great splash into the sea. Emerging from the water, you will then swim back to the rocks.

Coasteering is a great way to get a rush while also enjoying a dynamic experience of the North Devon coastline. During your adventure, you will see spectacular landscapes, and get up close and personal with the flora and fauna of the coastline.

(Video) Coasteering | Croyde Bay | Baggy Point | North Devon

Is coasteering the same as canyoning?

In short, no – coasteering is not the same as canyoning. As you would expect from their names, the biggest difference between the two activities is the environment in which you do them. Coasteering is experienced on the coast (of course!), and canyoning is experienced along gorges, canyons and waterfalls.

There are also various other differences between these activities. Coasteering is the perfect activity for mixed-ability and age groups, as it is very inclusive and achievable for most people. Canyoning, on the other hand, usually requires participants to abseil – and from greater heights – meaning that you really have to commit, as well as utilising safety skills.

The other differences between canyoning and coasteering are the activities involved. Coasteering involves a lot more jumping and swimming, and you are also more likely to see wildlife such as fish, seals and sometimes even dolphins!

Is coasteering safe?

As with any adventure activity, there is some level of risk involved in coasteering. However, our instructors are experts in mitigating the risks to bring these environmental factors down to a manageable level. We will only go coasteering in good conditions, where tides and weather present a safe environment.

During a coasteering experience, no ropes are used to attach participants to the rocks – however, there are spotters for safety where appropriate. All participants wear a buoyancy aid and helmet. All instructors are also first aid qualified so that in the unlikely case of an emergency, we can do what is needed to keep everyone safe.

(Video) Coasteering Business Class in North Devon

We always follow national industry coasteering protocol, and work in small groups so that our experienced coasteering instructors can make sure everyone is safe, happy and having a great time!

Who is coasteering for?

The great thing about coasteering is that almost anyone can do it! We do, of course, have a minimum age to participate for safety reasons, but above the age of 12, anyone who can swim is able to take part in this incredible activity.

Coasteering is a unique and exciting activity for birthday parties, youth groups, stag and hen ‘dos, corporate team building events and so much more. It’s a great way to bond, build confidence and learn outdoors skills – whilst having a whale of a time!

The history of coasteering

Coasteering actually originated in Devon, as it was first discussed in a guidebook for rock climbing in the region. In the book, Sea Cliff Climbing, authors John Cleare and Robin Collomb state that “a few enthusiasts believe that coasteering will become popular and has a big future”. They were right. In the 1990s, commercial coasteering emerged as a recreational activity along the Pembrokeshire cliffs in Wales.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s, though, that the word ‘coasteering’ came into general use to describe the activity. Coasteering developed as a combination of climbing and orienteering, but it has changed a lot since its conception to become what it is today.

What to take coasteering

So, you’re interested in going coasteering. What do you need to bring along for your adventure? Well, we provide all of the essential equipment, such as wetsuits, life jackets and helmets. You will need to bring along swimwear, a towel to dry off and some old shoes to wear for extra grip on rocks.

(Video) What is Coasteering?

This is all you need to participate in a coasteering session, but you are welcome to bring along gloves if you tend to get cold hands, or wear a rash vest under your wetsuit! Of course, we also recommend that participants wear water-resistant suncream during their coasteering adventure, too, to protect from the sun.

When to go coasteering

Technically, coasteering is a year-round activity. But there’s no denying that it’s more enjoyable when the weather is a bit warmer! Luckily, though, as you’re going to be getting wet in the sea anyway, rain isn’t an issue. The only thing we really depend upon is the tide. We need to make sure tides are far enough in that you can jump from the rocks into water of a safe depth, but also that we will easily be able to get back onto the beach after our session. It’s also important that the tides and surf are safe enough to swim in – but don’t worry, we research all of this before taking groups out!

Where to go coasteering in North Devon

So, you’re keen to try out coasteering, but where should you go first? Well, coasteering in North Devon is some of the best in the world – and it’s where it all started out – so we think that coasteering in Devon is the best option out there! Along the North Devon coast, you can find plenty of spots to go coasteering, but we reckon we’ve found the best places to try coasteering, and these areas are where we take our coasteering groups.

Baggy Point, Croyde

What Is Coasteering? A Guide to Coasteering in North Devon (1)

Possibly the most famous location for coasteering in North Devon is Baggy Point. Located in Croyde, Baggy Point is actually one of the best places to go coasteering in the UK. There are lots of exciting routes here to try, such as ‘Swirly Gully’ and ‘The Waterfall’, along with unique features such as curious caves, striking rock formations and huge gullies to explore. Here, there are plenty of jumps, large and small, making it a great spot for first-time coasteering groups.

Hele Bay, Ilfracombe

(Video) Coasteering Guide Training Course - Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy

What Is Coasteering? A Guide to Coasteering in North Devon (2)

Image: Josie Campbell

If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, then Hele Bay is the perfect choice. Located just outside of Ilfracombe, Hele Bay is ideal for those who have been coasteering before. It features more advanced routes, including bigger jumps, longer swims and more technical rock. Routes at Hele Bay include ‘Tide Race Gully’ and ‘The Washing Machine’. These are located beneath some of the highest and most dramatic cliffs in the area.

There are also a number of other places to go coasteering in North Devon, including the quiet cove of Combe Martin with its dramatic headlands, and Woolacombe Bay.

If you are interested in booking a Coasteering Session at Croyde bay – Check out our Coasteering Page

So, if you’re looking for an activity that will get your pulse racing, it doesn’t get much better than coasteering! Give us a call today on 01769 309 003 to book in a coasteering session for the experience of a lifetime!

(Video) UAC coasteering


What Is Coasteering? A Guide to Coasteering in North Devon? ›

Coasteering is a low skill, big thrill activity where you'll be guided over rocks to jump into the sea, swim through gullies and experience the N Devon coastline as never before.

What do you do in Coasteering? ›

What do you do in coasteering? Coasteering is all about exploring the coastline at sea level. Coasteering allows you to discover Natures playground and provides a natural obstacle course. You will climb over rocks, clamber through gullies, and to jump into the sea.

What is the meaning of coaststeering? ›

the sport of climbing and swimming around a rocky part of a coast: The aim of coasteering is to work your way along the coast by any means necessary.

Why do people go Coasteering? ›

A coasteer is as much about adrenaline-fuelled fun as it is about enjoying and exploring the natural habitat along your coastal route. Coasteering can be a good way to explore caves that may not be accessible by any other means. Adventurers often get the chance to go inside caves and have great fun getting to them.

How long does Coasteering last? ›

How long does Coasteering last? Our sessions are half day session lasting around three and a half hours. This includes the meet and greet at base & paper work, kitting up, travel to venue, plenty of fun in the water and a cuppa back at HQ.

How hard is coasteering? ›

With the help of a buoyancy aid you don't need to be a strong swimmer to enjoy these elements of coasteering. It's not as scary or difficult as it may sound. Low-level traversing means you'll be using partly submerged rocks to help you cross over a short section of deep water.

What skills do you need for coasteering? ›

The main things you need to know before becoming a certified coasteering guide include:
  • Handling coasteering equipment and safety equipment.
  • First aid, including CPR and resuscitation.
  • Filing risk assessments.
  • Techniques for safe entry and exit to the water and caves.
  • Group management, including that specific to coasteering.

Where did coasteering come from? ›

The word 'coasteering' appears first to have been used in 1973 in the book 'Sea Cliff Climbing': a few enthusiasts believe that coasteering will become popular and has a big future. By the 1990's it was an excellent, commercially guided activity in the South West and Wales.

What is coasteering Cornwall? ›

Coasteering in Newquay is a fantastic journey along the Cornish coastline from A to B using various techniques to enter and exit the water. Whether it's seeking whirlpools, sluices or deepwater jumps Coasteering in Newquay is fun for all adventures where no experience is required.

Why do you need shorts for coasteering? ›

An old pair of shorts

Worn over your wetsuit, old shorts can protect the seat area of your wetsuit from nicks and dings while scrambling about on the rocks.

Is coasteering similar to surfing? ›

Coasteering is a unique watersports activity that combines cliff exploration and jumping into the sea in a safe and managed environment. No surf boards or body boards are used in this activity.

Who can do coasteering? ›

Coasteering is an adventure activity that anyone can take part in – With 99% of people who join us never having had any previous experience, coasteering is a great water-based adrenaline activity for anyone. You don't need to be Bear Grills to enjoy Coasteering! All you need to take part is a taste for adventure.

Is there a weight limit for coasteering? ›

Weight limits: min 25kg, max 115kg - may vary with weather conditions. Text JUMP to 60777 for updates.

What is coasteering and canyoning? ›

Canyoning is similar but a bit more extreme. It involves bigger jumps and slides as well as harnessed abseils. Unlike the other two activities, coasteering takes place along the coast and involves climbing, scrambling and swimming along the rocky shore and cliffs. It (almost) always includes jumping into the sea.

How high are coasteering jumps? ›

Coasteering activities in Pembrokeshire will take you cliff-jumping, rock climbing, and exploring caves. At their highest point, the cliffs of Pembrokeshire reach a height of 574 feet or (175 metres). Usually, jump spots are around 6 feet or 2 metres above the water.

What is coasteering Scotland? ›

What is Coasteering? It's a journey into the intertidal zone, swimming, climbing, jumping and exploring nature over rock and water. It's a unique way to explore an inaccessible environment between land and ocean.

Where is coasteering done? ›

Coasteering is one of the most memorable adventure activities you can do while visiting Cornwall.

Where is cliff diving popular? ›

Thanks to King Kahekili and his cliff-leaping warriors, many consider Hawaii the birthplace of cliff diving. In fact, for more than 40 years, the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa has staged a nightly ceremonial re-enactment of Kahakili's spiritual leap.

When did coasteering begin? ›

Surfers in Pembrokeshire came up with coasteering as they scrambled around cliffs in the early 1980s. It's come a long way since then and today coasteering is an adventure for families as much as adrenaline-junkies.

Who created coasteering? ›

But the generally acknowledged father of coasteering was another alpine activist, A. W. Andrews.

What is coasting in swimming? ›

Time goes from top to bottom. The swimming cycle is composed of burst and coast phases. During the burst phase, the fish produces propulsion by undulating its body, while during the coast phase the fish pauses and glides thanks to its own inertia.

What is the best coastal walk in Cornwall? ›

The 9 Best Coastal Walks in Cornwall
  • Perranporth to St Agnes.
  • The Lizard Peninsula.
  • Fowey Hall Walk.
  • Sandymouth to Duckpool.
  • Lantivet Bay Circular Walk.
  • Nare Walk.
  • St Ives to Zennor circular walk.
  • Lamorna Cove to Mousehole.
Jun 17, 2022

Can you swim in Cornwall sea? ›

Cornwall has hundreds of beaches; you do not need to venture far from the hotel to take a dip in the sea. Wet suit or no wet suit. Watergate Bay, Newquay Harbour, the Gannel estuary, Polly Joke, and Porth beach are all wonderful places to swim at high tide and not too far from the hotel.

What is the ocean called in Cornwall? ›

Cornwall is bordered to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, with the River Tamar forming the border between them. Cornwall forms the westernmost part of the South West Peninsula of the island of Great Britain.

Why do people wear shorts over wetsuit? ›

It protects the suit from cuts, scratches and rips when sitting or falling on sharp surfaces. Kiters use the shorts to protect the suit from the body harness. It hides your junk.

What are new surfers called? ›

A grommet (grom, or gremmie) is a young participant in extreme sports. Originally, a grommet was a surfer under the age of 16.

What is the hardest wave to surf? ›

Tahiti, French Polynesia Teahupo'o is widely considered the heaviest wave on the planet. Between the shallow reef and the pounding surf, the notorious break has claimed five lives since 2000.

What type of beaches do surfers prefer? ›

Surfing is usually associated with warm ocean beaches like those found in the U.S. states of Hawaii and California, and countries such as Australia.

Can you do coasteering in the rain? ›

WHAT IF IT'S RAINING? As long as we deem the sea conditions to be safe to conduct a Coasteer session we will head out in the rain. Being by the coast we often find the weather changing quite quickly so there's no surprise to head out in the rain only to find the sun come out by the end of the session.

What's gorge walking? ›

Gorge walking, gorge scrambling and Ghyll scrambling are often used interchangeably to describe the activity of traversing gorges and the rivers at the bottom of them.

Who has responsibility for the coastline? ›

Solution. The Coast Guard has the responsibility of protecting the coastline.

What is quarry steering? ›

Quarrysteering - our very own version of coasteering! Jumping into our water-filled quarries is the perfect way to get that adrenaline pumping as you test your nerve and jump from platforms of various heights!

What is similar to coasteering? ›

Canyoning and coasteering are similar in the sense that they are both combined rock and water activities that will give you an adrenaline-fuelled day out. However, each activity is suited to different individuals and groups.

Is coasteering a sport? ›

Areas such as rocky ledges, caves, and steep cliffs. First started in the beautiful Welsh county of Pembrokeshire in the 1990s, coasteering is now one of the fastest-growing adventure sports, attracting scores of nature-lovers and adventurers from all across the UK.

Why is canyoning an extreme sport? ›

As mentioned above, canyoning is an extreme sport. You can imagine, by walking in the river with a strong stream, walking over big rocks, and rappelling on the canyon, sounds dangerous, is it? Not to mention that many dangerous thing can happen, such as bad weather, bad physical condition, flood around the canyon, etc.

What is the difference between canyoning and coasteering? ›

Canyoning is similar but a bit more extreme. It involves bigger jumps and slides as well as harnessed abseils. Unlike the other two activities, coasteering takes place along the coast and involves climbing, scrambling and swimming along the rocky shore and cliffs. It (almost) always includes jumping into the sea.

What is the disadvantage of coasting? ›

You pick up speed quicker and go faster than you otherwise would. You have less control because you can't control speed via engine braking - since the engine is not connected to the wheels.

What is an example of coasting? ›

to move forward in a vehicle without using the engine, usually down a hill: At the top of the hill I switched off the engine and we just coasted down the other side. to progress or succeed without any effort or difficulty: While I struggled, my sister coasted through school with top grades.

What are the ten jargons of swimming and their uses? ›

Swimming Jargon
  • Swimming Strokes– BK = Backstroke; BR = Breaststroke; BF = Butterfly; FC = Front Crawl; FS = Freestyle (usually Front Crawl)
  • Individual Medley (IM)– The competitor swims all four strokes in the following order: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.

Can you do canyoning if you don't know how do you swim? ›

Bad swimmer, or can't swim at all? No problem. Yes, most times canyoning will involve water, and many times a lot of it, as you'll be having to jump or abseil down to pools or cross them. Don't stress, if you skipped swimming lessons or you just never really got to learn how to do it, that's not a problem.


1. Go Coasteering goes Coasteering near Croyde, North Devon.
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2. Coasteering Baggy Point, Croyde, North Devon, UK
3. Coasteering Baggy Point, Croyde, North Devon, UK
4. Coasteering Croyde Bay North Devon - Drone footage
5. Coastal Adventures Coasteering
(Joshua Surridge)
6. Coasteering with CBK
(CBK Adventures)
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