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Top spots for surfing

National Trust Surf Ambassador surfing at Sandymouth, Cornwall
Surfing at Sandymouth, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Ben Selway

If you're looking for an adventure, why not pack up the board and head to one of our top beaches for surfing? Whether you're an experienced surfer or new to the waves, you'll find the perfect beach for your day out.

Surfing beaches in Cornwall

There are miles of natural coastline and beaches in Cornwall, many of which are great for surfing. Its always best to check the property website for up-to-date information before your visit.

Sharrow Beach at Whitsand Bay
Sharrow at Whitsand Bay on the Rame Peninsula is a great spot for surfing, often with RNLI lifeguards in the main season. Once you've discovered the area, you'll have lots of things to keep you busy. The coast path leads you over the cliff tops with far-reaching views and if you fancy a beach day, why not clamber down the footpaths to Sharrow Beach?Visit Sharrow beach
At the most eastern tip of North Cornwall, you'll find the wide-open spaces of Sandymouth. With great surf and also a National Trust car park, seasonal café, toilets and a lifeguard, you'll be able to have a great day by the sea.Visit Sandymouth
Holywell and Crantock
Are you new to surfing? Holywell and Crantock beaches offer a fantastic place for beginners and experts alike to catch some waves. Head to one of the National Trust-recognised surf schools, where surfboard hire is also available.Visit Holywell and Crantock
Surfer at Woolacombe on a cloudy day
Surfing at Woolacombe, North Devon | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Surfing beaches in North Devon

North Devon offers some of the best spots in the country for surfers of all abilities.

Combesgate and Woolacombe
This three-mile stretch of sand offers great surfing for beginners through to experts. Woolacombe will work at all points of tide and the long lined-up sets are popular with longboarders. If you're new to surfing, you’ll find lots of surf schools ready to get you up and riding your first wave.Visit Combesgate and Woolacombe
Croyde Bay
Sandwiched between Baggy Point and Saunton Down, Croyde Bay offers a faster wave and is popular with advanced shortboard surfers. There are also opportunities for less experienced surfers, with a selection of surf schools to choose from, but beware of the rocks and rip – especially as the waves get bigger.Visit Croyde Bay

Surfing beaches in Wales

Wales offers some great beaches for experienced surfers, where you'll find big swells and rip tides – but there are also plenty of places for beginners to get to grips with the board.

Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
With consistent swell and strong waves, Freshwater West is regarded as one of Wales’ top surfing spots. There can be strong rip currents on this part of the coast so it’s more suited for experienced surfers. However, keen beginners can book sessions with the local team at Outer Reef Surf School to learn how to enjoy this place safely.Visit Freshwater West
Porthor, Gwynedd
Known for its whistling sands that squeak under foot, this secluded beach is an ideal spot for a day of surfing. With the right conditions, tubular, barrelling waves will carry you to shore and if you're lucky, you may spot seals or even a dolphin. Just be mindful that there are a few rocks lurking under the water here.Visit Porthor
Rhossili, South Wales
Rhossili is arguably one of the best-known surf spots in the country and can be busy during the summer, but with three miles of golden sands on offer, there’s plenty of room to spread out. The bay offers some of the Gower’s most consistent surf spots that work well for all abilities, but experienced surfers in search of a slightly larger swell may want to head for the middle section of the beach, below Llangennith village.Visit Rhossili
A beginner surfer catches a wave in the shallows at Poldhu Beach, standing on their board while another beginner kneels on their board.
Surfing lesson at Poldhu Beach, Cornwall | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

More top spots for surfing

From gentle waves in Northern Ireland to varying swells on the Isle of Wight, here are some other great locations where you can go surfing.

Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland
Portstewart Strand is a two-mile beach that provides the gentlest waves in Northern Ireland. The middle of the beach is good for beginners and either end provides some quality waves. Bailey's, at the eastern end, provides a super-long right that can be the longest wave on the north shore.Visit Portstewart Strand
Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
Compton Bay is a great spot for surfing in summer and even through to autumn. Surfers of all abilities will be able to catch some waves here, even in small swells. The best conditions are low to mid-tides with winds from the south-east or north-west, when the swell can be anything from two to five feet. If you fancy a change of scene< then you can also head down the coast to Hanover Point, an A-frame reef with relatively gentle waves.Visit Compton Bay
Saltburn, North Yorkshire
With eight miles of golden sand, huge cliffs and a promenade, Saltburn is a great choice for spending a sunny day by the seaside. The beach is popular with surfers and has good beginner waves either side of the pier. You’ll find a surf shop just above the beach where you can pick up all the essentials, or book some lessons if you’d like a hand getting to grips with the board.Visit Saltburn
Visitors exploring the rocks in the Owler Tor area of Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

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