The UK’s Top Surf Destinations

If you’re a diehard lover of all things surfing, you’ll know there are some spectacular places to enjoy the sport. Whether surfing for fun, practicing for competition, or competing in the professional ranks, we’re spoiled for choice.

Travel far and wide to find your favorite surfing spot, or go on the lookout for some hidden gems, moving off the well-beaten path trodden by thousands annually. You know, the tourist hotspots that are popular with hobbyists. Not that we’re surfing snobs. Well, not much.

Surfing is fun, adventurous, and accessible, with many attractions just a short drive from major cities. But you don’t need the best to be the best.

Like the top footballers in the English Premier League or the leading names from the NFL quoted at the best online betting sites in California, stars of sports are born far from the crowds and media attention. Pros want to work hard away from the public eye, only emerging from the shadows when the time is right to burst onto the scene.

surfing in lewis
Surfing in Lewis

Try Something New

Great Britain may be an island with shores on the North Sea and Celtic Sea, but it’s not an area you’d automatically consider visiting to improve your surfing.

Yes, it has waves by the Bucket load, but surfing off the beaches of Scotland or Wales is about as inviting as it sounds. It’s bitterly cold and windy, and transport links aren’t excellent. But don’t give up just yet.

Britain and Ireland have some hidden gems for surfers digging deep to find the treasure. You won’t see them in surfing magazines; there aren’t too many movie stars, models, athletes, and pro surfers flocking to England.

But the best the island has to offer is worth trying. Who knows, England may surprise you, giving you a remote beach with excellent conditions to practice your art.

That’s where this article comes in handy. Our team of writers and surfing enthusiasts select the best places to surf in the United Kingdom today. These areas are tried and tested by the best in the business, but they are less popular than the world-famous beaches named earlier. Ready to give UK surfing a chance to impress? Keep reading as we explain all.

Woolacombe, Devon

We finish with Woolacombe in Devon, as it has something for everyone, and if you’ve ever surfed here, it’ll already be in your diary of places worth revisiting.

The beach breaks are perfect for beginners and young children looking to dip their toes into the waters of surfing. Those looking to teach the skills to their children will appreciate Woolacombe.

If you’re after more of a challenge and want to see what Devon offers, hit the water at high tide off the rocks found at the beach’s northside. That’s where the magic happens, attracting the wave riders, and it’s perfect for showing off your abilities.

woolacombe surfing
Cranking at Woolacombe Bay

Lewis, Outer Hebrides

We’ll start with Lewis, and although it may not look or feel like it at the time, you’ll be in Scotland. The Outer Hebrides is one of the most beautiful areas of the United Kingdom, with its surprisingly blue seas and white sandy beaches.

It is the perfect setting for improving your surfing skills and working on those competition moves. Chances are, you’ll be left alone.

Exposed to the eastern edge of the mighty Atlantic Ocean, the one thing you’ll get in Lewis is consistency. The big waves will come all day, creating the perfect playground for you and your fellow surfers. Due to its remote location, Lewis isn’t an excellent spot for beginners or novices, as there’s little help.

The island of Lewis and neighboring Harris is about as good as you’ll find for surfing in the United Kingdom. The only problem is reaching these hidden gems, which are worth seeing.

Perranporth, Cornwall

Hit Perranporth during low tide for the best results. You’ll thank us for that later. It’s in Cornwall so you can guarantee two things: the surfing will be great, but it’ll be busy with tourists and hobbyists. That’s an attraction for surfers with little experience, but more experienced surfers find space at a premium.

If you’re after a bit of solitude, we advise traveling to nearby Perran Sands. You’ll find challenging rips on the larger swells there, which can be too much for less experienced surfers. If you like the safety of having others around, try Perranporth. If you need some headspace and surfing space, Perran Sands is your best bet.

Both beaches are accessible by public highways and are well-signposted. If you’re traveling light without board and equipment, you’ll find affordable board hire and lessons to improve your skills.

perranporth surfing
Perrenporth Cliff Wave

Port Rush, County Antrim

Northern Ireland chips in with its surfing option at Port Rush. The comparisons between Port Rush and Torquay in England are evident as the surfing is good-to-fair year-round, and the place has an authentic British seaside town feel.

You’ll enjoy a morning on the waves and an afternoon enjoying the sights and sounds of Port Rush.

We’re confident you’ll enjoy your day surfing in Port Rush, but unlike the entry above, Couty Antrim isn’t a remote location. It can get busy with holidaymakers and novice surfers, and the waters can become active, especially during summer. 

If you’re an experienced surfer looking for a hideaway to practice, Port Rush probably isn’t the answer. But if you fancy a spot of surfing with friends and family, you’ll go far to find better than Port Rush’s offering.

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