Where to surf in the UK

Caroline Cassidy

There's nothing quite like the thrill of surfing, whether you're experienced on a board or just getting that first rush of excitement. But we can't all afford to travel the globe in search of the world's best waves.

uk surf spots
uk surf spots

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Luckily, the UK's beaches aren't without their surfing possibilities and, since summer is finally here, we've picked out a few of the best of British.

Cornwall and Devon
Britain's southernmost county is well known for its surf spots and depending on where you go, caters for everyone from beginners to thrill-seeking surfers.

If you're just starting out, St Ives is a great place to begin. Porthmeor on the town's north coast is not only manned by lifeguards and perfect for newbies, there are enough challenges to pull in intermediate surfers too.

Devon also caters for a wide range of abilities - beginners should head to Saunton Sands where the slow-breaking waves are ideal for the uninitiated. For the more experienced surfer, Croyde, not far from Saunton, offers up powerful and often challenging waves and tuition is available if you're looking to take your skills to the next level.

Saltburn, Cleveland
For surf nuts in the North East, Saltburn, Cleveland, is the place to be. Popular with beginners and intermediates since the 1960s, its sandy beach and gentle shelf mean it's ideal for newcomers, who can also get some expert tuition at the surf school, while there's enough swell for surfers at the next level to enjoy the water.

The Welsh coast offers plenty of opportunities, ranging from super-safe to surf heaven. Beginners might want to start at Caswell Beach near Mumbles, where the smaller waves allow learners to get a feel for the water without getting into trouble, and lifeguards on patrol during the peak season.

On the more challenging side, Freshwater West consistently provides good surf for experienced adrenaline junkies, with strong currents and powerful waves to get the blood pumping.

If you don't mind the potentially chilly weather, get your wetsuit on and head to the beaches of Scotland. Pease Bay, not too far from Edinburgh, is safe enough for surfers of all levels and boasts excellent nearby facilities, but be careful should the weather turn bad as the rough sea can cause problems for relative beginners.

For the serious surfer, though, Thurso East is the place to be. Some of the biggest and best waves in Europe break there and the slate reef offers up its own challenges. If you're looking for a challenge and keen to get away from the crowds, it's perfect but is definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

Are you a keen surfer or beginner? Which UK beaches would you recommend? Leave your comments below...