The Best Places to Surf in Scotland

Scotland has some of the best surf spots in all of the UK. With its strong winds and consistent breaks, it’s no wonder that Scotland is frequented by surfers of all levels of experience.

If you’re new to surfing or just want to find a new spot to catch some waves, then stick around! We’ve compiled a list of the top spots in Scotland to catch the best surf.

Before you head out, make sure you’ve got all the kit you need. At Wetsuit Centre, we stock a range of kit from women’s shorty wetsuits to surfboard repair kits, all available online now.

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Thurso East

Thurso is the surfing capital of Scotland. Every year, surfers from across the UK and beyond flock to its shores. With surfing competitions, strong winds and waves not meant for the faint of heart, Thurso is the perfect spot for surf adrenaline junkies!

Thanks to the baltic temperatures, you can be sure to find uncrowded waters with waves ranging between 2 and 15 feet.

The town itself is the northernmost town on Scotland’s mainland and gives you the perfect place to explore the Scottish countryside.

The Isle of Tiree

The Isle of Tiree is the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides. Arguably one of the sunniest spots in the UK, this 10-mile-long island is every surfer’s dream. With clean air and a horizon made of nothing but sea and sky, there’s not a better place to surf in solitude.

With warm Gulf Stream waters that produce brilliant waves all year round from the North Atlantic Swell, it’s clear why this island was named the ‘Hawaii of the North.’

Despite being so out of the way, there are plenty of ways to travel to Tiree. With its own airport, you can fly to Tiree from Glasgow. Or, if you’d rather take your own transport to travel and explore the island freely, you can catch the ferry from Oban, which allows foot and vehicle passengers.

A beach on the Isle of Lewis

Isle of Lewis

Like Tiree, the Isle of Lewis is a part of the archipelago known as the Hebrides and sits at the northwestern point.

With beaches of wispy white sand and waters of stunning blues, you’ll not want to venture far from this island. There are plenty of individual spots across the island that make for great surfing such as Dalmore, but you’ll find that no matter where you choose to surf you’ll be met with amazing swells as well as fabulous beach breaks.

If you’re planning to surf here then make sure you keep an eye on the conditions as the water’s been known to get quite rippy and may not be suitable for beginners.

Machrihanish

The small village of Machrihanish can be found in Argyll on the west coast of Scotland. This lesser-known spot is a treat for surfers with great waves and rivermouth peaks to keep you surfing all day long.

With an exposed beach that offers consistent waves, Machrihanish has been known to be a great surf spot all year around.

Westport Beach

If you’re planning a surfing holiday in Scotland, then Westport Beach is a must. Not only because of its often 8-foot waves but also because of its convenient distance to the previously mentioned Machrihanish. The two beaches are only a fourteen-minute drive from one another which makes for two perfect spots on a surfing road trip.

Beginners may want to give this beach a miss as it can be known to have some beast rip currents.

A man in the sea at Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay

Isle of Islay

If you were to stand on the shores of Machrihanish and turn your gaze north-west, you may be able to spot our next surfing location - The Isle of Islay.

This island is known for its single malts and sandy beaches, so it’s no wonder that it’s made our list.

Make your way over to the west coast of this island and look outwards, and you’ll find that there isn’t much there but the open North Atlantic. This means that when the winds pick up (and they do pick up), you’ll get some truly enormous swells.

A couple of the best surfing beaches to look out for on this island are Machir Bay and Laggan Bay.

Pease Bay

Less than an hour’s drive from the Scottish capital, you’ll find the well-known surf spot of Pease Bay.

Unlike some of the other spots we’ve mentioned, Pease Bay is suitable for surfers of all skill levels. If you’re a beginner, just make sure you stick to the beach breaks and leave the reef to the pros!

If the weather is on your side then you can expect some fantastic waves that are consistent all year round. Because of its reputation, this spot can get a little crowded, so make sure you stay safe and follow good surfing etiquette.

Belhaven Bay

Barely a ten-mile drive from the previously mentioned Pease Bay, you’ll find the sheltered and bustling Belhaven Bay in Dunbar.

Just like its coastal neighbour, Belhaven Bay gains a lot of its popularity from its proximity to Edinburgh and its quality waves.

With a smooth flat beach and not a lot of rocks, this spot is perfect for beginners. Add to that the shallow water and the local surf school, and there’s no better place to first take to the board.

Whether you’re local to Scotland or you’re looking to plan your next surfing staycation, we hope this guide will make picking your top spots a little easier.

It’s worth noting that the surf in Scotland is said to be best during the autumn and winter months, so make sure you’ve got the right kind of kit for your trip. Check out our store or get in touch with a member of our expert team today!

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