Best beaches for watersports

From sea kayaking to windsurfing or coasteering, there are plenty of ways to get your adrenaline going and see the coast from a new perspective. There are opportunities to try out watersports at several of the coastal locations we look after, including beaches, estuaries and sea lochs.

a single kite surfer surfing at Brancaster Beach on a grey cloudy day

Brancaster Beach, Norfolk 

If you’re seeking a coastal adventure in North Norfolk, it’s hard to beat Brancaster. This wide expanse of golden sands is perfect for building sandcastles, seeking out wildlife, and even some more high-adrenaline sports. It’s particularly popular with kite-surfers, and there are designated zones for launching/landing and kite buggies to ensure all visitors can enjoy the beach. Due to strong tidal conditions it’s recommended that only experienced kite surfers use this beach.

Family bodyboarding at Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight 

Compton Bay is an excellent location for surfers of all abilities, with areas suited to both shortboarders and longboarders. The bay is also a good place for wind surfing beginners, although Brook Bay to the east is better for intermediates. If you’re new to surfing, the Isle of Wight Surf Club can offer lessons and advice on how to get started.

Surfer at Woolacombe, Devon

Top surfing spots in North Devon 

North Devon offers some of the best surfing beaches in the country - check out some of our top surf spots in stunning locations.

Getting above the waves at Poldhu

Poldhu Cove, Cornwall  

Poldhu Cove is particularly popular with surfers, and has a small surf school that operates every day in the summer. Former professional surfer Dan Joel offers family-friendly lessons from £25, with £1 of each booking coming back to the National Trust to look after beaches like Poldhu.

Child bodyboarding on a beach

Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland 

Sweeping along the edge of the North Coast, this two-mile stretch of golden sand is one of Northern Ireland's finest beaches. It’s an ideal place for lazy picnics and long walks into the sand dunes, and also provides the gentlest waves in Norther Ireland which makes it perfect for water sports. The middle of the beach is good for beginners, while either end provides more of a challenge for experienced surfers.

A row of kayaks at Stackpole Quay

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire 

This summer, get up close and personal with the Pembrokeshire coast during an adrenaline-fuelled watersports session at Stackpole Quay. Experts will be on hand to guide you through a sea kayaking session, or if you’ve got a head for heights you can have a go at coasteering, which was invented in Pembrokeshire and combines cliff jumping, low level rock traversing and swimming.

Kayakers at Wembury, Devon

Wembury, Devon 

As well as walking and discovering creatures on the beach, there's lots to see and do in the water and nearby too, including watersports, sailing, swimming, horse riding and diving.