We’re well into summer, so if you’re looking for a short break you may not know that there are some great spots in the UK to surf! Choosing to spend your holidays in the UK not only reduces your environmental impact but also supports local industries and towns which depend on the tourist industry. UK surfing is thriving and it’s time to experience it for yourself.

Porthleven, Cornwall

Porthleven is the most southerly port on the island of Great Britain. A beautiful harbour village with an unspoilt, rugged landscape with sandy beaches which you can explore during your holiday. When the wind, swell and weather line up, you will find perfect barrel waves that can peel for up to 100m!

If you’re a rookie surfer, Porthleven is a no go, but it’s fun to sit on the harbour wall to watch the adrenaline-seeking surfers braving the waves!

Experience Level: Advanced

Croyde, North Devon

Croyde bay sits between two headlands dotted with beautiful thatched cottages and backed by Devon’s rolling green hills. Locals claim that Croyde is the best surfing spot in the UK; there are a wide variety of waves, but Croyde is known for A-frame low tide barrels which break in waist-deep water. 

It’s a popular area for surf schools and hires, so the waters can get crowded. Make sure you’re respectful and aware of other surfers. If Croyde gets too busy, Woolacombe and Saunton Sands are a short journey away.

Experience Level: All surfing levels.
Beginners not encouraged to surf in Croyde at low tide due to the strength of the waves.

Surfing in Croyde Bay, North Devon

Thurso East, North East Scotland

At the opposite end of the UK to Porthleven, Thurso is the British Isles’ most northerly town. You’ll be surfing against the backdrop of Thurso Castle ruins, on what many call one of the best waves in Europe! Hawaiian pro, Love Hodel, even described surfing in Thurso East as “pretty damned perfect”.

The right-hand wave reef break over a rock shelf is best on a north-west swell and the beach hosts competitions that attract top surfers from around the world.

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced.

Dalmore Bay, Isle of Lewis

Another Scottish spot, Dalmore Bay on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides is perfect for combining a surfing and road trip adventure. The island’s coastline is home to the kind of pale sandy beaches and turquoise water you’d associate with Mediterranean islands, not the far reaches of the UK! The area is also great for wildlife spotting as everything from dolphins to orcas are found in these waters.

Experience Level: Intermediate/Advanced.

Surfing at Whiterocks, Portrush, County Antrim

Portrush, County Antrim

Just 3 miles from Dunluce Castle and 8 miles from the Giant’s Causeway, Portrush is a small town in County Antrim with three sandy beaches: the West Strand, East Strand and White Rocks. Portrush is in the perfect location to explore the Causeway Coast and Glens.

There are multiple surf spots around Portrush. East Strand is protected by the headland so it has smaller waves and is popular for beginners on calmer days. On stormy days, this spot has exploding left and right barrels, best suited to advanced surfers – the best swell direction is from the northwest.

Experience Level: Beginner +

Saltburn, North Yorkshire

Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a seaside town in North Yorkshire full of Victorian charm, including a magnificent 600ft long Victorian Pier (the last one in Yorkshire!). Saltburn is surrounded by the North Yorkshire Moors, brand-new bike trails and, of course, plenty of cosy local pubs to warm up in after spending a day in the North Sea surf.

Saltburn is a great area for beginner surfing; on either side of the pier are mellow waves with good banks. Cayton is a quiet and unspoilt bay just further down the coast if you fancy a change of scene.

Experience Level: Beginner +

Saltburn, North Yorkshire

Llangennith, Gower Peninsula

Moving on to the Gower Peninsula in Wales, Llangennith has a stunning three-mile stretch of sandy beach. The area is rich in history with many local shipwrecks and tales of smuggling. The church is Llangennith is the largest in the Gower Peninsula and dates back to the 6th Century. The beach is family-friendly and dogs are permitted on the beach all year round.

Llangennith is an exposed beach with reliable surf throughout the year; the optimum swell angle is from the west. Llangennith can be busy in summer but there is a 5km stretch of beachbreak – if you’re prepared to walk along the beach you’ll find a quieter spot. When the waves are over head-height, paddling out can become very tiring.

Experience Level: Beginner +
Watch out for rips and jellyfish!

Jay Surfboards: Made in Scotland

You may not know that there are many local brands manufacturing products for surfing right there in the UK. They combine our reputation for high-quality manufacturing and the UK surfing community’s passion for their sport and lifestyle.

Neon Wetsuits: Made in Cornwall
RockSUPs: Paddle Boards Made in Bristol