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Amazing surfing beaches in the UK

By Leanne Downs8 August 2017

When most people think about surfing, places such as Australia and Hawaii spring to mind. But what about all of the amazing surfing beaches right on our doorstep, here in the UK?

Admittedly, our waters are a little colder – but that shouldn’t stop us enjoying the ride. Being at one with nature and the thrill of the chase has inspired surfers worldwide to constantly seek that perfect wave.

It is easy to start surfing, with equipment easily accessible at most popular surf spots as well as plenty of experienced surfers and schools to help you develop your skills. As the saying goes, the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun!

We have over 150 surfing beaches listed here on Thryve, some with waves so good that they could rival those of the Gold Coast. It’s time that we started appreciating and making more use of our great surf spots here in Blighty, so read on to see which spots we love in particular.

Hells Mouth, also known as Porth Neigwl, North Wales | Saltburn, North Yorkshire

Hells Mouth (Porth Neigwl)

This beautiful beach is situated along the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales, known as Hells Mouth due to it being like a ‘broad open mouth’ on the Llŷn and the danger this created during storms for ships. It makes for a great surf spot though for this very reason, as it is exposed to swells coming in from the Atlantic.


Saltburn is a great beach for surfers of all abilities, located on the North Yorkshire coastline. It has great facilities making it a welcoming environment for groups and families, as well as being picturesque.

Tynemouth Longsands, North Tyneside | Bamburgh, Northumberland

Tynemouth – Longsands

Not too far from Newcastle and Sunderland, Tynemouth Longsands is a blue flag awarded beach with great surfing and facilities for beginners and enthusiasts alike. Surrounded by golden sands, rock formations, dunes and cliffs – what’s not to love?


Backed by grassy dunes and overlooked by a dramatic castle, this beach is considered one of the best surfing beaches in the area, picking up good swells. It’s a good choice if you’re near the Scottish border.

White Rocks, Portrush | Cliff Beach, Isle of Lewis

White Rocks

White Rocks is a blue-flag awarded beach in Northern Ireland which has great surfing most of the year round. Is has long golden sands backed by towering limestone cliffs and is easily accessible with good facilities.

Cliff Beach

Situated on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, this is an exposed beach with great surfing conditions for experienced surfers, even in the summer. We like this beach because, even though it has great surfing, its not as crowded as a lot of other equally great spots. It is also a beautiful place and well worth a visit just for the views. Also known as Porthluney Cove.

Caerhays Bay, Cornwall | Westward Ho! Devon

Caerhays Bay

Also known as Porthluney Cove, Caerhays Bay is situated on the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. The bay has good surfing conditions and good facilities making it a must visit if in the area.

Westward Ho!

Fun by name and fun by nature. Westward Ho! (which is actually how it is supposed to be written) is a nice surfing beach for beginners, with little crowding and gentle waves, near the lovely village of Bideford.

Rhossili Bay, Swansea | Newquay Harbour, Cornwall

Rhosilli Bay

Rhosilli Bay is fully exposed to swells from the Atlantic Ocean and is popular with surfers, so you know its good. A great place to surf all year round, set on the stunning Gower Peninsula.

Newquay Harbour

Newquay and surfing go hand in hand, but the harbour isn’t the most popular beach there. We don’t think this is a bad thing as this beach still has some fun waves for beginners and intermediate surfers, without being very crowded when its on. It’s a little different and we like it.

Fistral Beach, Cornwall | Joss Bay, Kent

Fistral Beach

Fistral. This wouldn’t be a UK surf spot list without Fistral. Regarded as the UK’s premier surfing beach, it has it all. The waves, the sand, the facilities. Definitely a must-surf for any enthusiast and just as great for spectating. It is used for international surfing competitions, so this one is right up there with the Gold Coast of Australia.

Joss Bay

For the city dwellers of London, Joss Bay is a great day escape to catch some waves. It has good transport links from the city by both road and train and is considered the best surfing beach in Kent by many. It has good facilities and is backed by pretty chalk cliffs.

Camber Sands, East Sussex | Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset

Camber Sands

The huge expanse of gold sand that is Camber is a great beach for people in and around East Sussex. It has been used in many a movie for its aesthetics and it has an interesting history for its role in World War II. The huge dunes that back the beach are a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ and a ‘Site of Nature Conservation Importance’. It has good surfing and facilities, making it a great all-rounder.

Kimmeridge Bay

Picturesque Kimmeridge Bay is a popular and often busy surfing spot in Dorset. The bay produces some punchy, hollow waves which will challenge even more experienced surfers, although a section of the beach is more suitable for beginners. A climb up to Clavell Tower on nearby Hen Cliff will reward you with unparalleled views across the bay and the Jurassic Coast.

Leanne Downs

About Leanne Downs

Leanne Downs is the content editor for Thryve and works as an outdoor writer, blogger and photographer. She loves hiking, hillwalking and wild camping.

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