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The Best Surfing Spots in the UK

May 17, 2024
Boat insurance

Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a beginner, find perfect waves, stunning scenery, and vibrant surf cultures across the UK's coastlines. Discover the chilly waters of Scotland or head to the charming bays of Cornwall and Wales, ride the waves at these must-visit surf spots.

Surfer rides the wave at sunny day

Surfing in the UK might not evoke the same dreamy imagery as the sun-drenched beaches of Hawaii or Australia, but the United Kingdom holds its own secret treasures for both seasoned surfers and novices eager to ride the waves. With its vast coastline, the UK is home to some of the best surfing spots in Europe, offering a mix of challenging waves, stunning scenery, and vibrant surf cultures. Here's a curated guide to the best surfing spots in the UK, where the waves beckon and adventure awaits.

1. Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

Fistral Beach in Newquay is often hailed as the surf capital of the UK. This iconic spot boasts consistent waves all year round, making it a favourite among both professional surfers and enthusiasts. The beach hosts numerous national and international surfing competitions, drawing crowds from all over the world. Its west-facing shores offer spectacular sunsets, adding to the overall surfing experience.

2. Thurso East, Scotland

For those willing to brave colder waters, Thurso East in Scotland presents some of the best quality waves in Europe. This reef break is renowned for its powerful, barrelling waves and is best suited for experienced surfers. The waves here can rival those found in more famous surfing destinations around the globe. Surrounded by rugged landscapes, surfing at Thurso East also offers a unique backdrop unlike any other.

3. Rhossili Bay, Wales

Rhossili Bay in Wales is not just a surfing hotspot but also one of the most picturesque beaches in the UK. It offers a relatively gentle wave, making it perfect for beginners and intermediate surfers. The bay stretches over three miles, ensuring plenty of space for everyone. Its natural beauty and less crowded waves make it a serene spot for those looking to enjoy a relaxed surfing session.

4. Croyde Bay, Devon

Croyde Bay in Devon is another gem in the UK's surfing crown. Renowned for its excellent beach breaks, the bay offers waves that cater to all levels of surfers. The summer months see the most consistent surfing conditions, but the waves are worth chasing year-round. Croyde Bay is also known for its tight-knit surfing community, vibrant nightlife, and the charming village nearby.

5. Pease Bay, Scotland

Pease Bay is a lesser-known spot located on the southeast coast of Scotland. It's a haven for surfers seeking peace and quiet, away from the more crowded surfing destinations. The bay offers a mix of reef and beach breaks, suitable for intermediate to advanced surfers. The waves here can be quite powerful, especially during the autumn and winter months.

6. Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Freshwater West is a stunning beach in Pembrokeshire, known for its consistent waves and beautiful scenery. It has a reputation for strong currents and powerful waves, making it more suited for experienced surfers. The beach is also a popular filming location, having featured in movies like "Harry Potter" and "Robin Hood".

Tips for Surfing in the UK

  • A Wetsuit is a Must: The waters can be cold, so a good quality wetsuit is essential for a comfortable surfing experience.
  • Check the Forecast: The UK's weather can be unpredictable. Always check the surf forecast before heading out.
  • Respect the Locals: Many of these spots have tight-knit surf communities. Show respect, follow the local surfing etiquette, and you'll be welcomed.
  • Explore the Surroundings: Each of these locations is set in beautiful natural scenery. Take the time to explore the local area and enjoy the unique landscapes and wildlife.
  • Insurance: Keep yourself and others safe with surfboard insurance or if you have any other watercraft visit our boat insurance page.

Whether you're a seasoned pro looking for your next big wave or a beginner eager to stand up on the board for the first time, the UK's surfing spots offer something for everyone. With their combination of challenging waves, stunning backdrops, and welcoming communities, these destinations prove that you don't need to travel to the other side of the world to catch some excellent surf.

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