The Best Places to Surf in the UK
Plum Guide will surf you right with this list of the swellest of swells in the country.
Looking for places to surf in the UK? You’ll probably want to go in summer, and you might be in need of a wet suit to brave the refreshing waters surrounding the British Isles. But, surfing is a surprisingly popular activity in the UK. Now, it is technically possible to surf in Scotland and in the rest of the northern reaches of the isles. But, we’re going to look at some of the southern belles of England in this article. And, as it happens, we have plenty of Plum Guide homes adorning the gorgeous countryside and villages by the beaches of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and East Sussex. Of course, we’ll look at Britain’s most-famous surfing hub of Newquay, while also taking you to lesser-known secret spots. Surf's up – are you ready?
This is the obvious place to start when it comes to places to surf in the UK, because surfers regularly flock down to the beaches of that little tail sticking out of the southwestern corner of the country. In fact, it is that very fin-shaped peninsula that creates all the fun, making it a magnet for swell (so the surfing community tell us). They even have the Boardmasters Festival running annually in August in Newquay, which is the surfing capital of the country. Pretty much all the beaches and all the quant fishing villages in this area are surfing hubs, but Newquay is the most famous of the bunch. Join the crowds at the Fistral Beach to watch dozens of surfers taking to the iconic waves. Other top sandy strands for surfing include the Gwithian Beach, the Perranporth Beach and the Polzeath Beach. And since you’re down here, make sure to see some of the major attractions. The golf-ball like domes of the Eden Project will teach you about the rainforest, while the Land’s End and Saint Michael’s Mount are among the scenic attractions.
So, you’ve got your board at the ready, booked the transport and have your summer set for Somerset. But where are the best places to surf? Admittedly, it’s not amongst the most well-known places to surf in the uk (it’s the least surfy, actually). Yet, where there’s coastline, there’s surfing…sort of. Pop down for a weekend getaway from nearby Bath or Bristol and get your surf on at the beach of the Minehead Terminus. Head to Porlock Weir for some more great waves. Then, for something completely different, explore the Cheddar Gorge and see the Glastonbury Tor and Glastonbury Abbey. Enjoy a posh meal at the Menu Gordon Jones, the Clockspire or the Little Barwick House.
It’s right next to Cornwall, so has some of the best waves and surfing conditions in the country. And like its neighbour, Devon has two coasts, north and south, lined with beaches. That’s not bad given many entire countries have no coasts at all. Poor Switzerland. The great luxury of choice in Devon means you’ll find surfing bays for everyone from beginners to experts. Get hold of that Atlantic swell on Bantham Beach or head to the north of the county for the popular Woolacombe Beach. Putsborough Beach has milder waves that are great for beginners, while Saunton Sands is also good for amateurs and surfers on longboards. What more could you want when looking for places to surf in the UK? Away from the waves, visit the Dartmoor National Park, the Crealy Theme Park & Resort and the Exeter Cathedral.
From Devon, we’re heading east past the New Forest of Hampshire to reach East Sussex. Head to Brighton for some of the area’s top surfing spots, including the West Pier area and the Brighton Marina. Hot Pipe in Shoreham is another top destination for surfers, as well as Westbeach in Littlehampton. Eastbourne Beach has a sheltered beach break making for a great southwestern swell. It is ideal for both experts (like you think you are) and beginners (like everybody else thinks you are). Admire the stunning Seven Sisters cliffs, relax on Camber Sands (pop on some sunscreen so as not to become one with the lobster) and admire the battlements and moat of the Bodiam Castle.