01690 720214

Discover Sea Kayaking

Course Overview

A weekend course for paddlers who want to get to grips with sea kayaking. Based around the coast of Anglesey and the Lleyn Peninsula, it'll give you a basic knowledge of coastal waters and the kayak handling techniques specific to the sea, whilst dealing with planning a coastal journey, tides, weather forecasting and sea safety.

Experience Required

Confident flat water paddler

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Who is it for?
This course is for any flat water paddle who would like to explore the interesting and diverse environment of the sea.  You should already be able to paddle a general purpose kayak in a consistent straight line, and paddle a course with controlled turns to the left and right.  You should also be reasonably fit.

Course Content

We will begin by getting comfortable with specialist sea kayaks.  These are designed to cover distance in a straight line, and to hold expedition equipment, and require specific techniques.  Once you have mastered the basics, we will go on a journey, exploring the beautiful North Wales coastline and developing your skills.  We intend to look at:

  • Turning a sea kayak

  • Launching and landing

  • Efficient forward paddling

  • Planning a coastal journey

  • Safety at sea

  • Equipment for sea kayaking

Useful Books

The following books may be of interest to you before or after you come on the course:

  • Sea Kayaking by John Dowd
  • Sea Kayak Navigation by Franco Ferrero
  • Sea Kayaking by Nigel Foster

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Kayak or canoe hire
    Secure boat storage (if you choose to bring your own boat)
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

  • Thin fleeces/thermals/rash vest for going under a wetsuit

  • Swimming costume/trunks

  • Wetsuit boots (or training shoes you're happy to get wet)

  • Wetsuit socks to wear with wetsuit boots/training shoes if cold

  • Warm clothes for when you get off the water

  • Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat

  • Towel

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers

  • Drinks bottle

  • Flask

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Personal first aid kit

  • High factor sun screen

  • Midge repellant

  • Notebook and pen

The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.

  • Wetsuit

  • Paddling cag

  • Buoyancy aid

  • Helmet

  • Dry bag

  • Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)

  • Boat

  • Paddle

  • Spraydeck (if kayaking)

Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course

Customer Reviews For This Course

Fantastic Weekend

Beverley Wood

I had a fantastic weekend at Plas y Brenin. Coaches Glen Rostock and Chris Evans (and Will as a stand-in) were knowledgeable, approachable and patient with the group. I learnt some useful skills and felt safe and confident on my first trip on the sea. Thanks very much guys :)

Does what it says on the tin!

Exactly as with the previous course I have attended at PYB, this was spot on. The place, staff, course and food were excellent. The day started with a discussion around everyone's previous experience and then covered what we all hoped to get from the weekend. We had differing levels of ability and all were catered for. We covered all the basics on the first day and finished off ready and confident to plan a trip. The second day was excellent, many hours spent on the water which was a true taster of what this activity has to offer.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed myself and felt the course was exactly what I was looking for. 5 stars as I'm not sure what else you can ask for.

After a nervous start I left totally hooked

Jacqueline Pipkin

Two weeks before the course started I nearly cancelled, the only thing that kept me going was the word "Discover" as I figured it could not be anything too extreme.
I have really only played about on a sit on top surfing and pottering around a local coastline. I can get very nervous.
Well! I can honestly say I am so glad I did this course. It was absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed every single minute of it. Whilst I have no intention of being a fully fledged Sea Kayaker I certainly intend to return to Play Y Brenin to do improver courses. Both Martin and Greg were brilliant and personally I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. They got me to do things I never imagined I would do, one of which was getting the opportunity to paddle the Menai Straits - a real WOW factor for me and whilst it initially filled me with horror, I knew I could not pass up this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity so I went for it and embraced it. This is a definite 'must do' course!

Wonderful weekend

Olivia Scates

The Discover Sea Kayaking course is simply fantastic. Though the weather was a little windy to venture onto the sea on Saturday, the views from LLanberis Lake of Snowdon and surrounding hills is pretty hard to beat. It worked to the advantage of the group anyway, as we were able to acclimatise. We saw lots of different birds - they seem to be a lot less shy when you are in a boat including what I am told was a Red Breasted Merganza with chicks on it's back. Very cute and very funny when Mum decided to dive! The second day was windy but we were able to venture onto the sea and had a wonderful day of battling against the wind, rock hopping, and again seeing lots of wildlife.

A big thanks to both Daves, our instructors who were great, and knowledgeable about all sorts of things, as well as kayaking.

Discover Sea kayaking August 2010

Helen Hoskin

Discover Sea Kayaking Plas Y Brenin August 2010

I wanted to have some sea kayak coaching input to discover what I needed to work on if I wanted to go on a sea trip and to learn how to turn a sea kayak effectively. I..ve done a lot of inland touring. I..d read lots of books, threads about sea kayaking on UKRGB and others.. trip reports and been sea paddling in Croatia with a local guide, but had no sea kayak coaching previously to the course.

The first day, we worked on edging, more effective turning and there was an opportunity for those who wanted to have a go at deep water rescue in a controlled environment. I took a few moments to adjust to the different feel of the Easky17LV which responded quickly to my movements and played around with different strokes to see which were more effective. There was plenty of time to begin to get to know the kayaks and to ask questions. We tried paddling with and without the skegs and felt the difference paddling into, away from and across the wind.

The theory session in the evening gave us some useful websites for use when planning a trip, taking into account weather and tides. I already had a little background knowledge in planning theory, having done a one day BCU coastal navigation module and during the weekend what I..d struggled to understand on that course began to make more sense to me. We discussed flares and radios and where we would be paddling the next day.

On the second day, the weather forecast was going to be too windy for us to go to the sea, but a trip using the tide and wind to help us on the Swellies was a perfect place for checking out our comfort zones and realising just how much the weather did affect our paddling. The scenery was beautiful and it was the perfect venue and conditions for us to try out some of the skills we..d been practising the previous day.

I enjoyed the balance of this weekend of input and time to try out techniques and the way the coaches moved about the group giving individual support as each person needed. My only grumble is that I didn..t want the weekend to end and it did much too quickly.

I would thoroughly recommend this course

Paul Jarvis

I attended the Discover sea Kayaking course, run by Ben and Lou, over 4th to 6th June. Having had mainly experience of kayaking down rivers, I wanted to gain experience in more challenging conditions, as well as to have some guidance on tides, weather - and of course, time on the sea!

The course was much better than I expected. After a brief period equipping ourselves and driving to the coast, we were straight into the water. After some time practising our turning, we were out of the bay and into the waves. Some of the kayaking was quite challenging, and concentration was the key - but we also paddled in some tamer waters and were able to view wildlife from close quarters and paddle into caves and rock formations, which would have been inaccessible by foot.

In short, a very enjoyable weekend with pleasant accommodation, good food and spectacular views. They also serve the local ales in the bar!

I would thoroughly recommend this course for anybody with some experience on the water and who wants a bigger challenge.


Sarah Ward

Excellent weekend with excellent instruction and scenery of the Menai Straits. Equipment, food and hospitality provided at the centre are great, even if the place is a bit of a rabbit warren to find your way round!


Liz Cowley

This weekend was better than I could have ever anticipated. Having wanted to try Sea Kayaking for quite a while, I had great expectations which were completely fulfilled. The areas and trips chosen by our instructor, Ben, were beautiful and, at times very challenging and gave an excellent introduction to the sport. It was a privelege to be able to kayak off the lovely Anglesey coastline, the highlight for me being the opportunity to journey out to an island inhabited by seals who jumped into the water on our approach and swam close by our kayaks. I have been inspired by the weekend though a little daunted by the amount of knowledge and understanding of the weather and tides which is required to undertake Sea Kayaking safely and responsibly, but I consider it a good thing that the course was realistic about what is required to "do" the sport. Ben is a fantastic instructor and lovely person, if all Plas-y-Brenin staff are only half as good as him, they'll be excellent.

Who cares about the rain and wind!?

Adrian Oram

Anyway, despite the weather a great weekend. The instruction was great - I learnt plenty of useful stuff and look forward to practicing it all. Cakes and other food were great.
I left a written green form where I suggested you improve your web site with an area where we could share photos - oops, you've already thought of it! Clearly a good idea then!
Thanks to the Ben's and the other guys on the course, it was a good laugh.

Malcolm Marshall

An exellent introduction to life on the Sea in a Kayak.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

Other Courses you should consider?

Introduction to Canoeing

Also consider this

Lighthouses, Cliffs and Caves

Also consider this

Discover Kayaking

Also consider this

Got A Date Available - Need An Adventure To Match?

Find out what's going on at the National Mountain Sports Centre between any date range on this handy new search page

Adventure Sports
Coaching Conference

Adventure Sports Coaching ConferenceOur inaugural Adventure Sports Coaching Conference will seek to explore the role of coach developers in adventure sports performance.


Christmas and New YearOn behalf of all the team at Plas y Brenin, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a H....


Scottish Winter Courses 2018Starting January 2018, our Scottish Winter courses are timed to make the most of the incredible wint....


Winter WarmersAs the nights begin to draw in and the temperature starts to drop, Plas y Brenin are pleased to offe....


Peak Performance For Plas y Brenin Paddling TeamWe are delighted to announce that we've launched an exciting new partnership with kayak clothing man....


BMC Women Outdoors Week 5-15 Aug 2017Come and get active for the BMC's Women Outdoors Week here at Plas y Brenin. We have talks, activiti....

What's On In Our bar?

Our friendly and lively bar is open to the public. From talks and lectures to film nights and live music, there's always something going on. Find out what's coming up next here

Adventure Sport
Summer Camps (Age 12-17)

Summmer Camps For Young People Aged 12-17Young climbers, mountaineers, paddlers and mtb riders aged 12-17. Develop your outdoor skills with our top coaches on one of our residential summer camps.

Enhanced Learning Credits

Enhanced Learning CreditsThe Enhanced Learning Credit Administration Service offers funding for armed forces personnel. Plas y Brenin is able to accept ELCAS funding for a few specific non residential courses.

Weather Forecast, Tides and Surf Conditions

Find out what the weather's doing in North Wales over the next five days.

Adventure Map

Working alongside UCLan
to educate
outdoor professionals

University Of Central LancashireFind out how we are working with one of the country's top universities to develop lasting careers in the outdoors.