Top 10 places to learn surfing in the UK
The best UK surfing spots for beginners
Want to know the best places to learn surfing in the UK? You've come to the right place. Here is our guide to the best places in the UK for surfing beginners wanting to hit the water.
Surfing in the UK spot 1: Llangennith Beach, Gower, Wales
Considered the surfing capital of Gower, mainly due to the consistent surf. It is situated at the northern end of Rhossili Bay and stretches for around three miles. During the summer months the beach area towards the car park at Hillend is patrolled by lifeguards, giving you that extra security if you’re just starting out. There are several surfing schools in the area that provide lessons during the summer. If you have never tried surfing then this is the place to go to.
Surfing in the UK spot 2: Watergate Bay, Newquay
This two-mile stretch has various peaks, depending on the weather conditions. It may be a little crowded at times – due to it being a firm favourite with many surfers because of its wide expanse of clean water, good parking facilities, and relaxed atmosphere – but a short walk along the beach means you can still find a quiet stretch. There is also a surf shop as part of the Extreme Academy complex. West Coast Surfari provide surfing lessons in the area.
Surfing in the UK spot 3: Perranporth, Cornwall
The long beach here is another popular spot for beginners who want to learn to surf due to its size and variety of breaks. Because the sandy beach is long (around three miles at low tide), it’s possible to get away from the town end and the crowds – so you won’t embarrass yourself in front of a viewing audience! The beach is fully lifeguarded between May and September. There are several local surf shops where gear can be hired, and Perranporth Surf School provides instructions at this location.
Surfing in the UK spot 4: Saunton Sands, Devon
The two-mile long stretch at Saunton Sands gives you plenty of opportunities to escape from the crowds. The waves are slow, break gently, and are generally more suitable for the beginner due to the gently sloping beach. The west-facing long sandy beach works at all states of the tide and is manned with lifeguards in the summer season. Surf shops can be found at Braunton and Croyde. Try to arrive early, as car parking space is limited and can fill up on busy days.
Surfing in the UK spot 5: Long Sands, Tynemouth
The main beach at Long Sands is the most popular place in the area, especially for beginners who want to learn to surf in the UK. The UK Autumn to Spring is the best and most reliable time to visit this place. Beginners should head to the end of Long Sands due to the strong currents elsewhere. It might be cold and enough to put any beginner off, but provided you wear a wetsuit you should be okay.
Surfing in the UK spot 6: Scarborough North Bay, North Yorkshire
A nice rolling beach break which is gentle enough to make it ideal for beginners to try. This beach is usually populated by lots of mellow longboarders who may give you a few pointers. Unfortunately, the beach area can be quite crowded due to the fact that it’s close to town. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. The waves generated here tend to happen in the middle of the bay around low tide.
Surfing in the UK spot 7: Dunnet Bay, Scotland
If you’re brave enough to venture up to the icy waters off the coast of Scotland, then you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful surf spot pretty much to yourself. Dunnet Bay is a three-mile stretch of beach with waves that break on the sandbars along its entirety. The waves are pretty consistent, especially when the wind is from the south-east. As you improve you may wish to check out the reef break at the northern end of the beach.
Surfing in the UK spot 8: Bude, Cornwall
Bude and the surrounding area offer many fine surfing spots, with uncrowded conditions and plenty of secret spots. The surf is consistent, and water temperatures remain comparatively high for most of the year. One of the best spots is at Summerleaze Beach, which is protected from the area’s dominant south-westerly winds, making it ideal for beginners. Surfing classes are provided here by Big Blue Surf School. Other good spots include Middle Beach and Crooklets Beach.
Surfing in the UK spot 9: Newgale, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Newgale is a nice long beach break with consistent small waves – which are ideal for learning or developing your technique in a safe manner The local surf shop here hires boards and wetsuits, and there is a campsite right at the back of the beach which provides handy accommodation if you’re a first-timer there. Be warned, though – on bigger days with offshore winds, Newgale gets nice and hollow and has been known to produce 6ft barrels!
Surfing in the UK spot 10: Tywyn, North West Wales
Tywyn beach is relatively safe for surfing as it is a long, straight beach with no rocks or tidal rip. The best surf is to be had just to the north of the concrete slipway at the South end of the promenade, near to where the chip shop and toilets are located. Gear can be hired from Dragon Surf Hire on the front, and instruction is offered by them from May to October.