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A Tropical Looking Lake in the UK?

Review of St Andrews Lake and my Paddleboarding Experience

By Nessy WriterPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Credit at St Andrews Lake Instagram

Imagine if you could go to a lake with stunning blue waters today and find yourself not on a tropical beach but the spitting image of one right here in the UK? Well, you don't need to imagine it when you visit St. Andrews Lake. Here a beautiful, sandy beach lines the azure water that promises boundless opportunities for leisure in a myriad of forms.

This review follows on from the one I completed on our Maidstone staycation and honestly, it was the crowning jewel of our trip.


St Andrews Lakes, Quarry Grv, Halling, Rochester ME2 1BA

How to Get There:

It’s about a 16-minute drive from the Maidstone area or roughly an hour and 15 minute drive outside of London. Parking is available on site.

Activities on offer:

  • You can rent a kayak, pedalo or paddle board with paddle board tuition available
  • They also offer the cheaper option of bringing your own kayak or paddleboard
  • Open water swimming and a lake side beach
  • Inflatable aqua park assault course
  • More advanced activities available at certain times are sailing and jet skiing
By Yuriy Bogdanov on Unsplash

On Dry Land:

  • Climbing wall
  • Archery
  • A Wellness Centre with a luxurious spa- including various beauty treatments, massage, sauna and cold plunge

By Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

So, what did we give a go? One girl in our group brought her own paddle board. Preparation for our exploits included a hilarious warm up of us all taking turns pumping it up. I had no idea that a paddle board wasn’t solid like a surf board but was in fact inflatable. The more you know. I rented a paddleboard for the fair price of £20 for the hour and the remaining two girls venturing into the water rented another paddleboard and a kayak. It was easy and quick to register at reception having booked for our specific timeslot online in advance. You do need to sign a waiver digitally beforehand and its easily done via email. The remaining members of our group opted for spa treatments and had massages. They watched our belongings.

By Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

I’d say the one big downfall of the lake is that you have to pay to stay on the beach. They’re very strict about people even waiting for other members of their group and weren’t exactly friendly about moving people along. I understand restricting numbers on the beach to prevent overcrowding, but with the only option being to book for the whole day at £20 , when we would only be there for an hour or two it did seem a bit a steep.

Photo taken by author

As to the lake itself. It’s pretty big, definitely large enough to accommodate multiple swimmers and equipment users with the booking system ensuring there’s plenty of room for everyone. It was my first time ever trying paddle boarding and I'm very glad it was here.

We were lucky to be there on a scorching hot day, but the water was obviously pretty cold. At first I was cautious. I stayed sat on the board, using my paddle and my legs out on either side of the board like some suspended duck or water beetle to propel myself forward. Naturally I wasn’t getting very far compared to my friends. One of them had already fallen in upon attempting to stand. Twice. And whilst I admired her courage, I had no desire to share her fate.

By Amadej Tauses on Unsplash

With their encouragement, I built up to kneeling. I was wearing a life vest, so apart from the shock of the cold, I felt I had nothing to lose by giving standing a try. Slowly, on frantically wobbling knees, I cautiously lifted myself up. I'd done it! The feeling was exhilirating. As I gained confidence I slowly straightened, trying to relax as much as I could whilst keeping my core engaged. If you relaxed too much you'd lose your balance, and I did have a couple of close wobbles.

I sat down again and lengthened my paddle, so I could use it as the rudder propelling me forward when I got up again. With a little practise, I was finally managing it at a decent pace. I felt like queen of the paddleboard. An hour was also definitely enough time for me to spend on the water. It was a great experience and definitely one I’d recommend. Don’t know how people manage it on the ocean and would definitely recommend learning on a lake.

Overall Verdict

I think that the range of activities and services on offer at St Andrews Lake is fantastic and fairly priced.

I’d give it a 4.8 star rating only because of the strict beach rules. Otherwise, a fantastic, affordable experience that I would recommend to anyone this Summer.

Here is the website for more details and if you wanted to make a booking:




Will you be giving St Andrews Lake a visit, or if you already have, what was your experience? Let me know in the comments as well as anything else you’d be interested in a review on. I hope you enjoyed this review, any hearts appreciated if you did!

Check out the previous article if you missed it!:


About the Creator

Nessy Writer

A freelance writer of all sorts sharing it out with the world. Poetry, prose, advice, reviews and travel writing.

If you want to show your support and see more please follow me on Twitter: Nessywriter

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Comments (2)

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  • Rachel Deeming25 days ago

    That picture looks amazing. Who knew? I've always wanted to try paddleboarding but fear that I may be spending more time trying to get back on it rather than enjoying time using it.

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Amazing 🤩🤩 welldone keep it up

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