The Best Spots for Surfing in the UK
There are many fantastic surfing beaches along the UK’s 11,073 miles of coastline. Whether you’re a pro on your board or a beginner, you’ll find the perfect surfing beach near to you here.
From ever-popular surf spots in Cornwall to the colder waters of North Yorkshire, we’ve put together a list of the best surfing beaches in the UK.
Devon | Dorset | Cornwall | Yorkshire | Scotland | Wales | Norfolk | Kent
Surfing in Devon
The family holiday favourite, Devon has some brilliantly reliable surf spots given its west-facing, sheltered beaches.
Croyde Bay is, without a doubt one of the best surfing beaches in Devon. Its popularity, however, makes Croyde one of the busiest surf spots in the UK. For beginners you’ll find surf schools and board hire in the village but be warned, the waves can get interesting at low tide.
Stay nearby: Umberleigh Club Site is a 36-minute drive away.
The 3-mile long sandy stretch of Woolacombe provides plenty of space to find a quiet spot in the water for beginners. You can surf in all tides at Woolacombe, with the reef break producing great waves. Backed by National Trust land, this is a picture-perfect location to ride the waves.
Stay nearby: Lynton Club Site is a 39-minute drive away.
Another beach with space to spread out, Saunton Sands is perfect for beginners with various surf schools operating at the beach. You’ll find slower waves here, ideal for longboards and surfers just looking to enjoy the water.
Stay nearby: Umberleigh Club Site is a 37-minute drive away.
Surfing in Cornwall
There are almost 200 beaches on the Cornish coast, giving you endless sandy spots to choose from. Here are just a few of the best surfing spots in Cornwall.
Less than two miles from Lands’ End, the curved beach of Sennen provides both shelter from south westerly winds and big swells on a mid-tide. This beach does get busy in the summer months, but there are great facilities and a lifeguard duty during the peak.
Stay nearby: Sennen Cove Club Site is a 45-minute walk away.
For big swells and a friendly surfing community, Fistral Beach in Newquay is unbeatable. The most popular surfing beach in Cornwall, here you’ll find world-class surf and excellent amenities. The sandy dune-backed beach is a must-visit for UK surfers, hosting international surfing competitions throughout the year.
Stay nearby: Tregurrian Club Site is a 21-minute drive away.
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives
The largest beach in St Ives, Porthmeor is ideal for beginners, with its family-friendly atmosphere and plentiful surf hire. The semi-sheltered beach has clean waves, making it an easy surf spot for beginners. You’ll find people enjoying sand, surf and surrounding areas year-round here, especially during the peak of summer.
Stay nearby: Sennen Cove Club Site is a 37-minute drive away.
Surfing in Dorset
Head to the Jurassic Coast and enjoy the popular seaside resorts of Weymouth, Bournemouth, and Lyme Regis. While not the obvious destination for a UK surf holiday, Dorset has a few great spots for catching some waves.
There are a few different spots which are popular for surfing in Bournemouth. Firstly, the pier, due to its proximity to the town and amenities. Bournemouth is good for beginners due to the surf schools on the beach as well as the shelter the pier provides. Southbourne Beach is an award-winning sandy stretch, also popular with surfers due to good surf in the winter months.
Stay nearby: Moreton Club Site is a 45-minute drive away.
From Highcliffe Beach you’ll be looking out towards the Isle of Wight, making this a popular spot not just for surfing but holidaymakers too. This isn’t a spot for consistent or reliable surf; you’ll need the right conditions. Winter and high tide are your best bets.
Stay nearby: Verwood Club Site is a 39-minute drive away.
The Cobb, Lyme Regis
One of the most famous landmarks in Lyme Regis, the Cobb is a man-made harbour wall. This is a spot with unreliable waves which are best in the winter months. For this reason, Lyme Regis is rarely busy with surfers so if you’re just looking to have fun, it’s an enjoyable spot.
Stay nearby: Sennen Cove Club Site is a 37-minute drive away.
Surfing in Scotland
The Atlantic and North swells provide some gnarly surfing conditions in Scotland, especially in the colder months. Here’s our selection of the best surf spots in Scotland.
Belhaven Bay, East Lothian
40-miles south of Edinburgh, Belhaven Bay is a beauty spot and part of the John Muir Country Park. Conditions here are unreliable, but it’s a safe beach for beginners, and it’s easy to sign up for your first lesson here. It’s a relatively large stretch so even on the busiest days you’ll have plenty of space to enjoy yourself.
Stay nearby: Dunbar Club Site is an 11-minute drive away.
The triangular inlet of Moray offers beautiful scenery and great surfing. Clean waters, consistent surfing conditions and the areas unique micro-climate make it great for beginners. Keep your eyes peeled while in the water because bottle-nosed dolphins, seals and even the occasional orca have been spotted here.
Stay nearby: Rosemarkie Club Site sits on the shore of the Moray Firth.
Surfing in Yorkshire
Brace yourself for the cold waters of the North Sea. A wetsuit and hot drink are recommended.
East facing Scarborough attracts surfers from all over the UK, and the surf here is best in the winter months. There are several surf schools making it a great location for beginners. Being the UK’s first seaside resort, Scarborough has great amenities and plenty of fun-filled activities to fill a surfing holiday.
Stay nearby: Scarborough Club Site is a short cliff-top walk away.
One of the most popular surf spots in Yorkshire, Saltburn Beach is a good bet for beginners. You’ll find a surf shop on the beachfront for hire and lessons. There are great beach breaks on either side of the pier and those with more experience will appreciate the powerful beach breaks to the south.
Stay nearby: Boroughbridge Club Site is a 54-minute drive away.
Enjoy the biting waves of the North Sea at Whitby. A Blue Flag awarded beach; Whitby is a spacious sandy stretch. With a surf shop on the beach, you’ll have everything you need from equipment hire to instructed lessons.
Stay nearby: Scarborough Club Site is a 39-minute drive away.
Surfing in Wales
The beautiful Welsh coastline offers many great spots for surfing. The varied Welsh landscape also has plenty of outdoor pursuits to offer those staying here.
Shelter from the wind by Ramsey Island means that Whitesands Bay is one of the most popular surf spots in Wales. You’ll find large waves here with offshore winds creating open tubes for surfers to enjoy. Whitesands can make for a fun trip out for more experienced surfers, but it can get busy on good days.
Stay nearby: St Davids Club Site is an 18-minute drive away.
You won’t find big waves at Cardigan Bay, but the clean waters are great for beginners. The Blue Flag beaches in the area all have surfboard hire nearby, and you can also book onto lessons to learn the basics. If you’re lucky, you might run into the resident bottled nose dolphins.
Stay nearby: Cardigan Bay Club Site is just minutes away from the beach.
Porth Neigwl (Hells Mouth)
This exposed, pebble beach is reliable in the colder months, and in the summer it’s a great spot for beginners. It’s best to surf here in mid to high tide and bear in mind that there’s no lifeguard on duty. This beach is best for experience sea swimmers in windy conditions.
Stay nearby: Llanystumdwy Club Site is a 30-minute drive away.
Surfing in Norfolk
Surfing’s been a popular activity in Norfolk since the 70’s, and you’ll find a friendly community of beach goers no matter where you choose to try.
Cromer and West Runton
The surf at Cromer is unreliable but isn’t that half of the fun? Your best bet is to the left of the pier as you’re looking towards it. Pair your surf trip with a Cromer crab sandwich, and you’ll have a great time regardless of the weather. Between Cromer and Sheringham you’ll find West Runton. The shingle and sand beach is again, inconsistent, but your best bet is to try when the tide is coming in.
Stay nearby: West Runton Club Site is within walking distance.
Looking to surf during the winter? Great Yarmouth is a good bet with clean waves and plenty of space. During the summer months it can be a little underwhelming but good for beginners learning the basics.
Stay nearby: Norwich Club Site is a 28-minute drive away.
Surfing in Kent
Kent’s coastline attracts hordes of visitors each summer, being just 35-miles from London by train. Here are some of the most popular Kent surf spots.
Next to Folkestone Harbour, Sunny Sands Beach is popular due to its proximity to London and great facilities. The large sandy beach makes it easy to get away from the crowds.
Stay nearby: Folkestone Club Site is an 8-minute drive away.
Botany Bay is a beauty spot and great for surfing although can be rocky at low tide. The wonderful chalk cliffs this beach is well known for add to its unique character. The northernmost beach of the seven around Broadstairs, it’s always relatively quiet and patrolled by a lifeguard in the summer months.
Stay nearby: Canterbury Club Site is a 39-minute drive away.
Viking Bay Broadstairs
This horseshoe-shaped bay is best for longboards and beginners. You’ll find great facilities, including a shop, surf school, toilets and a car park.
Stay nearby: Canterbury Club Site is a 34-minute drive away.
There you have it, our run-down of the best surf spots in the UK. For more inspiration, view all of our coastal campsites or explore our holiday ideas.