If there’s anything positive to come out of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that we’ve been encouraged to explore our own beautiful country instead of jetting off to more reliable climes. We’re about to witness the almighty revival of the staycation! But, if you’re a surfer, your itchy feet are probably aiming to lead you to the UK’s top surf beaches. So, with you in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best surfing spots in the UK—and you’ll be surprised at how beautiful they really are.
1. Croyde Beach, Devon
Feast your eyes on this beautiful spot. Looks idyllic, right? And you’ll get some worthy waves to boot. As you’d expect from what is considered to be one of the best surfing beaches in the world. Croyde Beach is surrounded by gorgeous sand dunes, rock pools and public footpaths if the waves get a little too rough.
A bit ropey on the board? Contiki offer an awesome two-night surf weekend in Croyde Bay, featuring surfing lessons with all the kit provided, plus a few special extras such as coastal hikes, ocean swims, vegan cooking classes, yoga sessions and fireside dinners. Find out more and book here.
2. Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset
Sat in the Isle of Purbeck, Kimmeridge Bay is a great spot to ride some waves. There are a number of surf schools around the beach so it doesn’t matter what level you’re currently at—there’s fun to be had by everyone. K Bay, as it’s known by locals, has three different waves: first and easiest is the Ledges; followed by the Bay, which is perfect for big conditions and long rides; and finally the Bench, which is for the most experienced surfers. No pressure.
3. Little Fistral Beach, Newquay
Just off the famous Newquay Fistral Beach lies its smaller sibling. Little Fistral is a calm and tranquil spot away from the mass crowds that still offers some sturdy waves to ride.
4. Llangennith Gower, Wales
This stunning stretch of the cove is one of the top spots Wales has to offer for surfers. Llangennith Gower has swells streaming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Get your boards out and hit the waves at this beautiful village beach.
5. Porthleven Beach, Cornwall
A huge stretch of golden sands that makes for a surfer’s paradise. Porthleven Beach is another to add to the list, and shows off exactly why Cornwall is the surfing capital of the United Kingdom. It’s another beach that is recommended to experienced surfers.
6. Portrush, Northern Ireland
Portrush is the premium surfing spot in Northern Ireland. It’s a perfect spot to take up the activity due to the sheer volume of surf schools in the area. Surfers from the likes of Hawaii and Canada travel all the way here to experience the cracking waves—plus it has an edge over its famous Cornwall counterparts due to less overcrowding.
7. Saltburn, Yorkshire
The stunning bay across Saltburn-on-Sea is a popular surfing spot for those in the north of England. The waves aren’t quite as strong as the big-hitters on this list, making it a great spot for beginner and intermediate surfers.
8. Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Sennen Cove sits just at the end of Cornwall, under two miles from Land’s End. It picks up heavy swells from northerly and southerly directions making it a superb location for whacking out the board. This is a popular spot that gets very busy in the summer, but it is great for surfers at all levels.
9. Woolacombe Beach, North Devon
Woolacombe Beach is a beautiful three-mile stretch of sand that is a perfect family holiday spot. Better still, the surf is one of the best the country has to offer. Just look at those storming waves! If that doesn’t whet the appetite of advanced surfers, what will? But beginners, do not be put off. There are plenty of areas where the surf is calmer, making it the perfect environment for anyone to join the ride.
10. Polzeath, Cornwall
One of the best family beaches in Cornwall also tends to have a brilliant surf. Polzeath is filled with surf lesson stands, and its waves tend to be fairly calm, making it an excellent place to learn the ropes.