The best beaches for surfing in Cornwall

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced surfer, there is no better place in the UK to enjoy some high quality surf than in Cornwall on the South West Coast. Here there is an amazing choice of beaches ideal for every level from novice to professional, most of which have lifeguards and none of which are over crowded. And speaking of crowds, you’ll love the Cornish surfing crowd, perhaps because of their relaxed temperament, or because of the subtropical weather conditions, or simply because they are blessed with the most picturesque Atlantic coastline that the UK has to offer.

Porthcurno beach
Porthcurno beach, CornwallTom Chambers / Foter / CC BY

Even if you’re not a surfer, this sport is quite a sight to behold, and not just because of the eye candy!  Just watching those dudes, swerve and ride the powerful waves of this majestic ocean is exhilarating and hypnotic all at once. And you never know, you might be tempted to give it a go – it is absolutely exciting throwing yourself into these natural elements!

Cottage by the Sea
Cottage by the Sea, CornwallBrron / Foter / CC BY

Despite what you might think, surfing in Cornwall is easy to organise and makes for such a fun get-away which really makes you switch off, not to mention the health and wellbeing benefits for all the family. You get to spend whole days bonding together on the beach, where everyone gets tons of exercise, plenty of healthy sun and sea and you’re never cold thanks to your wetsuits. Most surfing beaches in Cornwall tend to be broad, vast and beautiful and many offer surf lessons and hire out all the gear you’d need. So if you’re interested in trying out a surf safari holiday, or curious about where the best surfing beaches are in Cornwall, read on and all will be revealed.

The Island, St.Ives,Cornwall
Beach Cottages, Cornwalljohn47kent (Happy New Year) / Foter / CC BY

An excellent town that is well known for its experienced surfing culture is Bude, probably due to the fact that it really does offer a beach or cove with the ideal wave for every level. Crooklets and Sandymouth are beautiful and both offer fabulous waves for a mix of levels but if you are a total novice head to the school in Widemouth where you’ll be cutting up the waves in no time. Being one of the main Meccas of cornish surfing, Bude is well set up in the beach house department, offering some great, well-equipped seaside properties that have easy access to many of its prime beaches.

CornwallAndy Roberts / Foter / CC BY

Heading South are Gwithian, Hayle and Godrevy beaches near St Ives which also offers safe surfing for various levels during the summer and may be the most reliable for constant surfable swell. They are all lifeguarded beaches and the views are nothing but spectacular so great for taking the whole family. In fact, a great nearby area to choose as a base for your surfing holiday is Carbis Bay, as its close to the best surfing beaches and not too far from the buzzing social scene of St Ives. Whilst Carbis Bay does not deliver the most reliable waves, it definitely does deliver the best family beach experience with a great selection of coastal cottages to rent. And it certainly offers exciting enough swell for young bodyboarders.

Approaching Carbis Bay,Cornwall
Carbis Bay,Cornwalljohn47kent (Happy New Year) / Foter / CC BY

Further South is Sennen Cove, a pretty natural fishing harbour that faces the Atlantic. The main part of this beautiful fine sandy beach is quite open and gets a bit dangerous due to rip tides, so best left to the more experienced surfers. That said, its more protected south side is a little easier on novices and young ones.

NewquayEnnor / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

It would be remiss not to mention the capital city of surf, Newquay, especially its main surfing mile stretch of sand, Fistral Beach. Here is where the surf festivals and competitions are celebrated and where the young party animals hang. Probably the one place you will feel overwhelmed with crowds, so stay away in the summer months if you want some space and head for Newquay’s other great family favourites, namely the beaches of Great Western, Lusty Glaze and Tolcarne. Newquay’s beach accommodation is abundant and reasonably priced and as long as you book ahead you can secure some very nice ocean view properties.

In fact if you venture further south still, you won’t be disappointed with the endless miles of fine sand in Perranporth or Watergate. These are another two very cool, very popular surfing hangouts with great facilities. Last but not least are the surfing beaches of the Cornish south, Praa Sands and Perranuthnoe. Both are great for a family day out on the surf with all the trimmings and comfort of shops and cafes, so be sure to do some surfing in Cornwall.

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