The 9 Best Surf Spots in the South West

Bird’s-eye view of surfers in the sea

Scattered across the South West coast are some pretty incredible surf spots. Whittling them down to only nine is pretty challenging, especially as we’re aiming to only provide the best surf spots for you to scope out.

We’ll be exploring an array of areas that are great for beginner, intermediate and advanced level! If you are a beginner and you’re looking to suit up for your surf, buy wetsuits online from our store here, at Wetsuit Centre!

Penzance beach

Sennen Cove Beach, Penzance

A reputable surf spot that’s favoured and famed for its consistency and picturesque quality. Sennen Cove is one of Cornwall’s most stunning beaches, it offers some of the finest surf in the UK.

The beach is only 1.5km from Land’s End and has two car parks for excellent accessibility. The beach proudly hosts the UK’s top surf school, so it’s perfect for beginners to check out!

For beginners it’s advised to stick to the south end as it’s more sheltered with less powerful waves, whereas experienced surfers should check out the north side where the waves can top 6 ft.

Porthtowan, Truro

Thanks to the Atlantic swells, you can expect the waves at Porthtowan to be pretty big, powerful and hollow. We wouldn’t recommend beginners to paddle out for a surf, it’s probably best left to the more experienced surfers.

Beginners might find a close-by beach, Trevaunce, much more enjoyable as it’s sheltered with a good surf to get you going.

A man surfing a wave

Porthleven, Helston

This surfing spot is great for more experienced surfers due to the beach's strong breaks and undercurrents. The tough conditions lower the competition across the three-mile sandy shingle, but there are submerged rocks to be aware of.

Gwithian

Gwithian is situated in the North of St Ives Bay. The beach is protected from harsh winds, unlike other beaches in the country, which makes it one of our favourite surf spots.

The popular spot is very rarely flat, so you can be sure to catch a wave. As well as catering to more experienced surfers, it is also a prime location to learn how to surf.

If you’re keen to get involved with a surf school, than there are a couple surf schools in the area that will help you to advance your surf skills. The waves are usually quite slow, which will help beginners to stand up and build their confidence.

The best conditions for surfing are east-southeast offshore winds and the best swell direction is from the west-northwest. It’s best to be aware of the most significant threats before visiting, these consist of rips and crowds.

Woolacombe beach

Woolacombe

Situated in North Devon, Woolacombe’s beach is a three-mile expanse of glistening, golden sand that welcomes every surfer- from beginners to pros!

If you are a beginner or fancy a day out with the family, you can check out Woolacombe’s surf school. Woolacombe was rated Britain’s best beach in 2015 and 2016, although its title has since been stolen, it’s still up there when it comes to one of the best surf spots in Britain.

The surf will work at all points of the tide, and the long lined-up sets are popular among longboarders. If the conditions aren’t ideal and are too windy, you can head over to the far end to Putsborough, which is much more sheltered, but you can still throw some heavy sets on the right day.

Bantham

Bantham is the home of surfing in the south of Devon, even prince Charles is said to have visited the beach for a day out riding the waves.

The surf has a consistent swell with quality waves that are highly dependent on the sandbanks. Because the beach is at the head of a river Avon, these can shift, and the summer tends to be quite flat.

Bantham is best around low tide and in the spring. The best conditions are when a southwest swell combines with an offshore wind from the northeast.

A man surfing a wave at Croyde beach

Croyde

Situated between a popular climbing spot, Baggy Point, and a popular beach, Saunton, Croyde is increasingly popular because of its faster waves favoured for more advanced shortboard surfers.

But that’s not to say beginners can’t get in on the action too; there is an abundance of surf schools available for less experienced surfers. Or you can check out a much steadier surf with milder waves over at Saunton!

Croyde beach is best at low tide, the more the tide comes in, the messier it will become. Parking, toilets and outdoor showers are available.

Widemouth Bay

Widemouth Bay is favoured for its accessibility for new surfers, so grab your beginner’s surfboard and head straight in. Similar to Woolacombe, it provides many different peaks on its long shoreline and tends to work regardless of tides.

A boy riding a wave at The Wave in Bristol

Bristol

Slightly unorthodox when compared to the stunning coast of the South West. t. InNovember 2019, Bristol opened The Wave, powered by WaveGarden technology. It’s one of the top-rated artificial wave pools in the world.

The Wave can create 15-20 wave sets with only a few minutes intervals so you can grab 10-15 waves in one hour’s session.

Let us know about your favourite surf spots; we’d love to hear from you! You can also check out our social media channels to stay up to date!