A brand new event will give people in Plymouth a taste of the sea as part of the exciting year of activity celebrating Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The National Marine Park Big Blue Splash is coming to Plymouth Sound on 23 and 24 July 2022 and will give locals the chance to try out an amazing range of activities on, in and next to the ocean.

Both adults and children will be encouraged to dive in and try out something new across the weekend. Taster sessions out on the water will include stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, guided snorkelling, open water swimming and even SUP yoga – the ultimate test of balance with yoga on a paddle board.

Onshore activities include rock pooling, art workshops, the chance to try e-bikes and even plogging – a combination of jogging and litter picking that’s beneficial for wellbeing and for the environment.

Activities will take place at Tinside Lido, the Hoe Foreshore, Mount Edgcumbe, Mount Batten and at Firestone Bay, and details of how to book will be announced soon.

Elaine Hayes, interim CEO for the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, said: “This weekend encompasses everything we’re trying to achieve with the creation of the National Marine Park, encouraging people to engage with the ocean and get more involved in activities in, on and around the water. We know that there are many barriers that stop people from getting involved in water sports, including the cost and a lack of knowledge, so we hope that the Big Blue Splash will start to break down some of those barriers, kick-starting a new love of ocean activities and giving people more confidence to get involved.”

The Plymouth Sound National Marine Park is a UK first. The ‘Park in the Sea’ aims to increase community connection with the natural environment to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of the local community and boost the blue economy.

The Big Blue Splash event has been funded through the Plymouth Sound National Marine Park Heritage Horizon Award, which has been made possible with a £9.5 million grant from the Heritage Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.

Stuart McLeod, Director, England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “It’s great to see these community events come to life as part of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park. The project will have a hugely positive impact on Plymouth and help to support nature’s recovery from climate change. These activities offer people a chance to engage with their shoreline, discovering more about nature and their marine environment. This is one of the many reasons we’re proud to support the UK’s first Marine Park as part of our Heritage Horizon Awards.”

A number of local companies are supporting the event, including the University of Plymouth, us, here at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre, South West SUP, ACE Swimming, Planet Earth Games, the Ocean Conservation Trust and The Rock Pool Project.

In addition to the exciting activities taking place on the water, a ticketed ‘Live @ The Lido’ music event will be held at Tinside on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, with three nights of entertainment to enjoy. Performances from Barbican Theatre and a tropical disco party are already being planned. More details about the line-up and how to purchase tickets will be shared soon.

Keep up to date via our own social media channels, our website and the dedicated Plymouth Sound National Marine Park website.

Big Blue Splash National Marine Park Plymouth