Surf in the UK? Really??? Though the UK may not have what we would typically think of as the ideal climate for surfing, you might be surprised by the wealth of surf spots scattered around the UK that are accessible all year round. You can catch waves all over the country, from Pease Bay in Scotland to Sennen Cove in Cornwall. It will also save you a lot of money taking a little surf break in the UK rather than travelling abroad! The biggest swells roll in between autumn and spring. However, the season is year-round for beginners, with smaller summer waves perfect for learning.
Below is a list of great spots to learn how to surf!
1. Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Watergate Bay boasts two miles of golden sand at low tide, making this a superb beach for surfers and activity lovers of all ages and capabilities. It is home to a number of top surf schools, such as Xtreme Academy. Watergate Bay hosts a number of sporting activities and events, including the annual Polo on the Beach. For those who don’t want to surf, there are plenty of designated safe swimming areas and rock pools for children in the bay. Also be sure to check out Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant and social enterprise that overlooks the beach!
2. Saltburn, Cleveland, north-east England
Saltburn is just down the road from our offices and is a popular break not just with surfers. The lack of power in the waves makes this is a good beginners spot and good beginner waves can be found on both sides of the pier. It is one of the original centres of the north-east surf scene and the locals are welcoming and friendly despite the busy waves. The family run Saltburn Surf Shop just on top of the beach can provide board, and wetsuit rental as well as lessons or even guidance on new boards.
3. Pease Bay, Borders, Scotland
Scenic bay that offers both a beach break and a more demanding reef break for more advanced surfers, Pease Bay has emerged as one of the centres of the budding Scottish surf scene. It is pretty chilly in the water all year round so it is advised to have a decent 5/3 mm wetsuit. If you are brave enough to go in winter, booties, gloves and a hood are a must. Coast2Coast surf school run lessons, tours and excursions from March through to November.
4. Llangennith, Gower, Wales
Llangennith is home to three miles of beautiful sandy dunes, making it a great spot for all types of surfer – from beginners to pros there is a spot for you. Several excellent surf schools operate in the area, check out Llangennith Surf School who run lessons from April through to November and even offer sunset surf lessons. It is one of the most consistent spots on Gower with a fairly consistent beachbreak.
5. Longsands, Tynemouth
Popular beachbreak at the epicentre of the Newcastle surf scene. This break works through all tides but is best on higher tides. The British Nationals are held here annually and it is home to some of the UK’s top pro’s so when you’re taking a break you may have a great show! There is a surfshop and café right on the beach. Learn the ropes with the likes of Tynemouth Surf Company, which has a great little surf shop where you can also rent equipment right on the seafront. Make sure to pack your wetsuit! Water temperatures here rarely creep above 15 degrees!
The UK is very diverse and offers a whole array of surf spots and waves. England receives swell on its entire coastline, next time you are thinking of learning how to surf check out the local scene!!
Before you embark on your surf trip
Be sure to stop by UrbanSurfer to pick up some of these essentials:
• I am loving these vintage style O’neill Board Shorts
• Don’t forget your flip flops!
• This Dakine Duffle Bag will fit all of your surf gear in perfectly
• This Dakine Cinch Mat makes changing and storing your wet items a lot easier! It’s as easy as stop, drop and cinch.
See you in the line up!!