Surfing in the UK can often be a punishing experience with endless drives to find a wave, cold seas and seemingly never ending drizzle all winter. But we do have a great selection of surfing spots that can be great on their day. Now is the perfect time to be planning your UK surf trip as the swells are increasing and the seas are about as warm as they are going to get. I still wouldn’t recommend going in without a wetsuit though!
Gower Peninsula, Wales
The most popular surf spot in Wales, you’ll be able to catch a wave here whether you’re a total beginner or a veteran. There are a choice of spots along the beaches so it’s easy to find your level, and if you’re really lucky and are prepared to walk a little you and your mates might just get a break to yourself.
Right at the southern tip of the country, Sennen is a good bet when all around you the swell is turning flat. Be aware though that the locals will be out in force if it’s the only spot working near by so you might want to hang back once you paddle out to check the lie of the land. This is a beautiful spot with plenty to keep you occupied when you’re not in the water as well.
by Gary Robson
The home of north-east surfing, this is a great spot to start out as there are easy-to-find waves either side of the pier that are just perfect for perfecting your technique. Lifeguards are on hand too and I’ve been told the guys at the surf shop are really helpful. Don’t think you’ll get away with your summer suit here though, it’s the North Sea and it’s pretty much cold all year round!
Thurso East, Scotland
This tiny place in the north of Scotland is home to one of Europe’s best reef breaks (the likes of which Bournemouth can only aspire to), so the trip up north is probably not for those just looking to try out the sport! Be aware that the locals can get territorial when the swell is great and make sure to wait your turn, although you can hardly blame them if they hang out here all year and then get the best waves taken out from underneath them by newcomers.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Newquay is a classic surf holiday destination, but try venturing just to the north of the centre to surf this break instead of crowding into Fistral. Unless it’s high tide there are normally plenty of spots to choose from and once you’re finished you can relax in the chic surroundings of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. Look out for places to stay where you can walk from your room to the beach with your wetsuit on and your board under your arm and you can’t go wrong.
Top image by mnapoleon