The Best Spots to Enjoy Surfing in the UK
The UK is not known for its surf culture, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that it has so much to offer from a watersports point of view! The water is generally cool, even in summer time but don’t let this small issue bother your enjoyment of the wonderful ocean swells! From Lands End to John O’Groats in Scotland, great surfing waves roll against the Atlantic, North Sea and English coastlines of the UK.
Check out our guide to the best surfing locations in the country…
Newquay, Cornwall – This region is possibly the UK Capital for Surfing, especially the area around Newquay. It’s locally known as “Surf City” and the area around Fistral Beach is one of the best beach wave breaks in the UK. Newquay’s popularity soars even higher in August when it’s estimated over 130,000 people attend the annual Boardmasters Event which is sponsored by surf brand Rip Curl.
Sennen Cove, Cornwall – This marvellous bay is a perfect spot for a beginner, and the waves are perfect for surfers of all levels. Sennen Cove has marvellous facilties for surfers, from surfing schools to great eateries.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall – A great place to surf, it has 2 miles of beach, and is best to surf at high tide. There’s also a surfing academy called “Xtreme” based here.
Porthleven, Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall – Widely regarded as the best reef break in the UK, this is for the more experienced surfer.
Bantham/Bigbury, Devon – This area has probably more wave swell then any other beach in South Devon, and has many heights which is always dependent on the wave cycle of the tide.
Saltburn by the Sea, North Yorkshire – The town has been a popular beachside destination since Victorian times, and offers a great beach with headlands out to the sea – perfect for surfing waves! Good beginner waves are to be found at either side of the long pier.
Bournemouth - The Bournemouth, Branksome, Canford Cliffs are all popular places for surfing along the south coast of the UK.
Llangennith, Gower, Wales – Widely regarded as the best spot to surf in Wales, there are great beach breaks along the 3 mile stretch of beach. The area around Crab Island is a right hand reef break which is perfect for the seasoned surfer.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire Wales – The beach at Freshwater West is quite long and you will find plenty of breaks that will suit your level. The main beach creates some powerful waves, and the southside small bays are also popular.
Porth Neigwl/Hell’s Mouth, Gwynedd, Wales – This is perhaps the most renowned surfing spot in the North Wales region. The area around Hells Mouth is a marvellous four mile long stretch of bay that has plenty of peaks on it. Possibly the best places to surf are at the cliffs at the south eastern side of the bay, and it is a known place for experienced surfers.
Thurso East, Scotland – Widely regarded as having one of the best waves in Europe for surfing, the Thurso East area is a right handed reef area that is most prominent for effective surfing when there is a north western swell on the waves. In 2006 the area came to international attention when it was chosen as the host venue for the very first O’Neill Highland Open Surfing competition.
Pease Bay, Borders, Scotland – Located in the Borders Region of Scotland, the area around Pease Bay has become one of the most popular surfing spots in the country. There are good beach breaks for the novice surfer and a difficult reef for the more seasoned surfer.
If you’re planning a visit to the UK, the best way to get around is by car. If you haven’t organised a car yet check out our car hire UK page.
Where’s your favourite surfing spot in the UK? Drop us a line in the comment box below – we’d love to hear from you.