The Rock: Watersports Festival

‘The Rock: Watersports Festival’ at South Milton Sands returns for the third year running, over the weekend 24 and 25 June. The festival aims to encourage people of all ages and abilities to have a go at a wide range of activities, both on and off the water.

Working with local watersport businesses, this beachside festival at South Milton Sands is a great chance to try your hand at activities like windsurfing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding.

On the water

Surfin’ Sam: 15 minute taster sessions for paddle boarding, windsurfing, and kayaking – or, if you’d like longer sessions on the water, you can hire boards and kayaks that are perfect for exploring the iconic Thurlestone Rock (£4pp).

Waterborn:  On Saturday from 11am - 2.30pm, you can hire a giant SUP paddleboard for up to 10 people at once, in 15 minute sessions that are perfect for having a laugh as a group (£2pp). They will also be running a Summer Race Series from 12.30 - 2pm, where those who have their own boards can take on the approx. 4km course for the first place title. (£5pp)

On Sunday, the giant SUP paddleboard returns between 11.30am and 3pm. You can also get involved with mini SUP races, involving a 200m paddle-dash on the water at 12pm and 1.30pm. Will you be the champion? All boards and buoyancy aids for hire, open to everyone. (£2pp entry).

Get a different view of the coastline, out on a paddleboard
Get a different view of the coastline, out on a paddleboard

Kari Furre: Join experienced instructor Kari for 30 min open water swimming sessions. If you've little or no experience of open water swimming, then you can join the session at 12pm on Saturday. If you've got a bit more experience under your belt, there will be a more challenging session at 12.30.

On Sunday, there will be sessions running throughout the day for those who have less experience and wish to enjoy the wildlife by swimming along the reef with Kari. There will also be a 1km open water swim challenge for the adventurous types.

For all sessions, bring your own wetsuit, goggles and swim hat. (£3pp per session).

Simply Soulful Yoga: Ever tried a sun salutation on the water? Now you can take a deep breath and balance with SUP Yoga on Sunday, at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. 30 min sessions, £5pp.

National Trust: Look under the sea with a 30 minute snorkelling session, joining the Rangers as they explore the incredible reef on the lookout for creatures. All kit provided, £3pp.

Discover creepy critters in the rock pools
Discover creepy critters in the rock pools

On the beach

  • Rockpooling with the National Trust
  • '50 things to do before you're 11¾' activities, including kite making, beach trail, pebble painting and more
  • Beach yoga with Simply Soulful Yoga, running hourly on Saturday from 12 - 3pm, and on Sunday at 12.15, 1.45, and 3.15pm. 30 min sessions, £3pp
  • Beach sports like volleyball, ping pong, games and more
  • Browse stands from local organisations and activity providers, including Devon Wildlife Trust, the Marine Conservation Society, the RNLI, and Singing Paddles.

You'll also be able to enjoy locally sourced food, with a BBQ provided by Holsome Park Quality Meats and refreshments at the Beachhouse Cafe including takeaway food, lunches and evening supper.

" We wanted to celebrate the amazing charities and businesses involved with South Milton Sands, bringing them all together in one place to offer a mixture of watersports and beach based activities for families and those who love the coast."
- Emma Reece, National Trust Ranger

Want to add a competitive edge?

On Sunday 25, Trail Events Co are hosting a competitive Run/Swim trail encompassing a 1km swim from South Milton Sands, and a 15km trail run taking in Hope Cove, towards Soar and Salcombe, and back through Bolberry. 

Registration begins at 9am, with the competition itself kicking off at 10am. Entry to the trail will cost £40, at time of booking. For more information about this event, please visit the Trail Events Co. South Milton Sands Run/Swim Trail.

 On completion, you can relax at the South Milton Sands finishing point and join in our festival, which will be in full swing between 11am and 5pm.

It’s important to note that:

- The beach events will all be cash only.

- For all watersports sessions, children must be aged over 6 years. 

- The car park is £5 for the day, or free for National Trust members. 

Find out more here on the events page.