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THE 10 BEST BEACHES TO SURF IN CORNWALL

With so many beaches to choose from, how do you know which are the best spots to surf in Cornwall…

 

 

Cornwall is the UK’s surf capital with nearly 200 stunning beaches to choose from. With consistent waves swelling in from the Atlantic, a milder climate than the rest of the country and a lifestyle to match, it’s easy to see why thousands of people head to Cornwall to pick up a board.

But with so many beaches to choose from, how do you know which are the best spots you should be hitting? We’ve put together a list of our favourite places to surf right around the county. So, whether you’re a beginner or someone looking for a bit more adventure, you’ll be able to find it in Cornwall!

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FISTRAL BEACH, NEWQUAY

Fistral Beach is a particular favourite of ours at Cornish Wave and one we go to a lot. With a long stretch of sand and consistent waves, it’s great for all levels of ability. For many, it’s not just the best beach to surf in Cornwall but the best in the UK – so you can expect it to be fairly busy.

In the winter months, the Atlantic swells can get pretty big. Check out the Cribbar for one of the best big wave spots in the country.

BOOK YOUR SURF LESSON HERE

 

POLZEATH BEACH

Polzeath is a great beach for beginner surfers who are looking for calmer waters to learn the basics. It’s a very wide beach with plenty of protective coves to let smaller waves through. It’s right at the mouth of the River Camel and the surrounding towns and restaurants can make it quite a crowded beach in the summer. It’s still worth heading to – especially if you’re wanting to learn in a beautiful area!

 

GWITHIAN BEACH

Gwithian is a long and popular beach about 20 minutes from St Ives. Unlike some others on this list, the length of this surfing beach means it’s pretty uncrowded, even in the summer months. You need to make sure you check the wind and weather conditions before heading to Gwithian as it’s quite exposed and the water can easily turn choppy.

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PERRANPORTH BEACH

The area around Perranporth is stunning and just one mile from St Agnes. It’s a big beach so with a little bit of swell and the correct winds you’re likely to find something suitable for intermediate surfers. It’s not the beach for you if you’re looking for something huge but the area around The Penhale has consistently good waves.

You can also try the surf spot to the south of the beach. It’s not as popular and a little harder to get to – but well worth it when you get there!

 

PORTHTOWAN BEACH

This little coastal village in the north of Cornwall boasts some of the best waves in the county for intermediate and advanced surfers – plus the scenery is incredible! There’s often more swell than in Gwithian and with the right conditions, the waves here can be steep and amazing. The conditions are likely to be better in winter but even in summer, you can expect some great waves to surf.

 

PORTHMEOR BEACH, ST IVES

Porthmeor is an ideal beach for beginners and is very close to St Ives. It’s a fairly sheltered beach which means the waves are steady and great for learning. If you’re lucky (and more of an intermediate surfer) you might catch Porthmeor on a more intense day when the waves can be powerful and hollow.

The location of this beautiful beach means the usual SW winds are offshore, meaning you can expect clean conditions. Perfect for those big winter swells. 

PRAA SANDS BEACH, HELSTON

And now for a beach on the south of the peninsula – and probably the best-known one. This beach is more for advanced surfers who are looking to catch some hollow, pretty heavy rights. Because of its location, this Cornish surf beach gets crowded when there’s a northern wind or a swell from the south, so be prepared to share the waves with a few others!

 

SENNEN BEACH

Sennen beach is an iconically beautiful Cornish beach with green fields running into white sand and brilliantly clear water. It’s also a great surf spot for all levels. Sennen is close to Land’s End and therefore pretty exposed to weather and the various swells coming up from the Atlantic. The north of the beach tends to see higher and stronger waves, whereas to the south the waves can be knee-high and ideal for learning. When other surfing beaches in Cornwall are flat and calm, you can expect some waves at Sennen.

 

WATERGATE BAY, NEWQUAY

This is another favourite of ours and one we take surf classes to regularly. Just a couple of miles from Newquay, this beach offers different-sized waves for all levels. In summer, it tends to be slightly calmer but in winter the waves get pretty powerful and heavy and the conditions are ideal for advanced surfers. You can check out our favourite Newquay surf beaches here.

 

MILLOOK HAVEN BEACH, BUDE

This beach is becoming ever more popular amongst local Cornish surfers looking to avoid the crowds at the sandier beaches along the coast. This pebble and shingle beach is ideally located for westerly winds, which means fun and challenging conditions for experienced surfers. One of the best things about this beach is the stunning cliff backdrop. It’s a paradise for wildlife and surfers alike!

 

And there it is. Ten of the best beaches to surf in Cornwall. A mixture of landscape, waves and locations – there’s something for every surfer. If you want to give Fistral or Watergate a go, get in touch with us to book a private or group surf lesson. We’ll be happy to show you the best bits these beaches have to offer!

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