Make a splash in the Garden of England
Kent's coast is an irresistible place to get on, or in, the water. As well as superb scenery, pristine beaches and safe waters, there are also excellent facilities and tutors just itching to teach you a new passion or perfect your skills.
Surfers head for the swell-filled seas around Botany Bay near Broadstairs. There you can learn to ride the waves at Joss Bay Surf School or the Kent Surf School. Both also offer lessons in stand--up-paddle-boarding, for those no-swell days.
Kent's more exposed coves draw swarms of kite-surfers, especially to gently shelving, sandy Minnis Bay and the shoreline off Romney Marsh. Or learn with the Kent Kitesurfing School or Aquilo Kiteboarding in Whitstable; Camber Kitesurfing in Greatstone and Surface to Air Sports in Greatstone and Dymchurch.
Jet-ski junkies flock to the wide beaches of Herne Bay; start your own addiction with Jetski World, in Cliftonville near Margate, or on the 22-acre private lake of Action Watersports in Lydd; they do wakeboarding and water-skiing there too.
Sailing Kent's stunning heritage coast is a delight. Two superb marinas make excellent bases: the historic Ramsgate Royal Harbour Marina, and award-winning Dover Marina. To learn, head to Bewl Water at Lamberhurst; Whitstable Yacht Club; Elite Sailing on the Medway, or the Hythe and Saltwood Sailing Club.
Top windsurfing locations include Minnis Bay and Whitstable - conditions are so good a world speed record was even set there. For lessons try Bewel Water, Whitstable Yacht Club and Leybourne Lakes Watersports Centre.
Kent's calmer coastal and inland waters are ideal for kayaking and canoeing. Aficionados paddle the three spectacular routes that set out from both Sandgate and Sandwich Bay, or make for St Margaret's to glide below Kent's remarkable White Cliffs. Canoe Wild in Canterbury offers fun days out for individuals, couples, families and groups. Or learn at Bewl Water; Leybourne Lake Watersports Centre; Kent Canoes in Wrotham; or Seapoint Canoe and Kayak Centre.