The 4 Best Locations For A UK Surfing Holiday

Are you addicted to the waves and looking for your next fix? The UK has so many beautiful spots for surfers of every level, making it one of the greatest places in the world for a surfing holiday. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert, you’re sure to find the perfect destination for a surfing getaway.

From Sennen Cove, Cornwall, at the very bottom of England, to Thurso right at the tip of Scotland, the UK coastline is a surfer’s paradise. In this guide, talk you through the best surfing destinations across England, Scotland and Wales so you can get your next surfing holiday in the diary!

1. Cornwall

Not only is Cornwall a surfer’s dream, with plenty of beautiful beaches and coves to choose from, but it is also a great holiday destination when you’re not riding the waves. Often cited as one of the UK’s best surf spots, the Newquay coastline is made up of a number of beaches, so you can find the spot that’s right for you. Great Western and Towan beach are popular with tourists and beginners because these are nearer to the town centre.

Alternatively, Fistral beach is world-famous for its great surf, they even host annual surfing competitions in-line with the Boardmasters music festival there. There are also a number of surf hires and schools dotted throughout the city, so you’ll always be able to get equipment if you don’t have your own.

Another awesome thing about Cornwall is that it’s quite small and everything is within driving distance. So you can position yourself at Newquay or any of the other great holiday destinations and you can still drive the coastline to try out different beaches. Perranporth is another spot that is hugely popular with surfers and tourists thanks to its stunning three-mile beach and wonderful little seaside town. And while you might not choose to stay in these spots, Gwithian, Sennen Cove, and Porthtowan are all worth a visit to try the waves.

2. Scotland

Now we move from one end of the country to another, Scotland isn’t always the first place that comes to mind when you think about surfing in the UK, but it is home to some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear seas that the world has to offer. And best of all, it’s a great holiday destination which also offers some amazing road trip opportunities as well. So if you don’t like to sit still for too long, you can drive the Scottish coast and see everything it has to offer.

In terms of the best surf spots, why not drive the North Coast 500 route and stop in the very North at Dunnet Bay or Thurso East. At Dunnet Bay the three-mile stretch of beach has the waves breaking the whole way along and is very popular with beginners and intermediate surfers. For those with more expertise, Thurso East has been named one of the best places to surf in the whole of Europe thanks to its right-hand reef break.

Moving further down the country, Pease Bay in Cocksburnpath is on the East coast nearer to Edinburgh. There’s a popular surf school and leisure park nearby, though the medium to big swell makes it better for intermediate to expert riders. That said if the surf is just right it gets busy with tourists and those at a beginner level looking to learn the ropes.

3. Devon

Devon is another popular holiday destination in the UK thanks to its beaches and family-friendly seaside towns. It is also home to some great waves! Again, the range of beaches offer something for surfers of every level, beaches like Saunton Sands are particularly popular with surfers and those on holiday because the beach is very family-friendly. Woolacombe is perhaps one of Devon’s best-known beaches and so it can get pretty busy here. But the lovely surf town compliments the beach and makes it an ideal spot for holiday-goers.

And last but certainly not least, arguably Devon’s greatest surf spot is Croyde, rivaling Newquay, the beach offers perfect barrels and one of the UK’s best breaks. So, it comes as no surprise that it’s a popular destination for keen surfers.

4. Wales

Sticking to the western coastline, Wales not only offers some of the UK’s most wonderful national parks and hiking adventures, but also some of its best surf spots as well. The mellow waves at Gower, Llangennith, make it a great destination for all levels. The beach is around three miles long, meaning there is plenty of space to stretch out and find your own spot, so you won’t feel crowded.

If you’re an experienced surfer looking for a challenge, then look no further than Llantwit Major in Glamorgan. The beach can be found near Cardiff, but thanks to its rippy tides it is advised that only the more experienced surfers take on these waves. In fact, a number of Welsh surfing tournaments are held here to separate the best from the best. What’s more, the nearby town is lovely so you can enjoy some downtime after a long surfing session.

If you’re looking for beaches for more beginner to intermediate level surfers, there’s plenty of those too! Moving down south you have Caswell Bay near Swansea, which is great for beginners or Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire which offers better waves for intermediate surfers.

And finally, though not a beach, we have to mention the Surf Snowdonia experience if you’re going to holiday in Wales. This is the world’s first-ever commercial wave pool and offers consistent breaks and a great learning experience. You can even stay on-site in their wooden lodges, join the surf academy for some lessons and enjoy the bar after a great session. The only downside is it’ll cost you a lot more than just going to the beach – but it can be a great tool for improving your surfing techniques!


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