Best beaches for surfing in Cornwall

In need of some vitamin-Sea? Grab your board and head to glorious Cornwall. Golden shorelines and great swell are synonymous with England’s furthest-flung county – and to help you choose which Cornish beaches you should visit during your next aquatic adventure, the team at have given me their rundown of the best beaches for surfing in Cornwall.

Surfing in Cornwall - Best beaches


Gwithian Towans coast SSPGwithian nestles close to Godrevy Head and Hayle on the northern Cornish coast. The constant swell means that Gwithian experiences sustained conditions throughout the year, making it a haven for surfers at all times. The gentle, sloping nature of the beach means that it’s a great place for beginners to learn the basics, but’s just as popular with experienced riders. At just over three miles in length, there’s plenty of room for everyone to catch a few waves.


Praa Sands coast SSP 02The mile-long sandy beach at Praa Sands, located on the southern coast of Cornwall between Porthleven and Marazion, is a popular haunt for surfers in the county. The beautiful beach is backed by a large expanse of sand dunes which offer some degree of shelter whilst hitting the waves, which are enhanced by the good swell and largely northerly winds that are experienced here. When the beaches along the north coast of Cornwall can’t cut it, head to Praa Sands for a fun session.


Perranporth coastPerranporth is a well-loved beach amongst locals and visitors alike, and caters for everyone from families looking to run along the miles and miles of sand to those looking to hit the surf. At the far left of the beach is Droskyn Point where many surfers congregate, but a lot of the action is had at Penhale Sands. The shore here is quiet and immensely sheltered which provides beautifully clear rollers to enjoy throughout the summer season. Perranporth is also home to the famous Watering Hole Bar, a great place for post-surf beer and burger.

Newquay Watergate Bay coast SSPSmack bang in Newquay territory, it’s easy to see why the beach at Watergate Bay is a popular spot among the sunbleached surfing contingent of Cornwall. The long sandy beach provides plenty of room for everyone to catch a ride, whether you’re tearing it up in the white water with the kids or carving around in the water. Due to being exposed to the swell coming from the Atlantic Ocean, the water at Watergate Bay is rarely flat and space means it’s suitable for both beginners and more advanced surfers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 16.44.41Situated close to Bude on the North Cornwall coast, near the Cornwall/Devon border, Crooklets Beach offers good clean fun across the entire length of the beach, which stretches from Summerleaze to Northcott Mouth at low tide. It’s common knowledge that if the wind is blowing in from the east, surf’s up at Crooklets! Great for families too, this beach can get busy in the summer but comes into its own during the autumn/winter months for hardcore wave worshippers. Photo via Sue Rowlands.

Sennen coast SSP02A truly beautiful place to get your fix of salt water, Sennen is becoming renowned for being able to forecast the standard of the surfing conditions throughout the county. Another beach where the conditions are rarely flat and lifeless, stunning Sennen catches the swell from both the North Atlantic and Biscay which means that the waves can range from knee to head height from one end of the beach to the other. Head to this hidden gem on a weeknight to get the break to yourself.

Harlyn BayHarlyn Bay is considered to be one of the safest beaches in the county, and its crescent shape means that it’s a great place for novices to master the basics. More experienced surfers head out to the east side of the bay, where the conditions can get a little choppy and big, but there’s plenty of fun to be had along the beach whatever your ability. The cosy Harlyn Inn on the edge of the beach is the perfect place to refuel after a day on the water.

Newquay Fistral Beach coast SSPNo list about surfing in Cornwall is complete without mentioning the world famous Fistral Beach in Cornwall. A regular host location for national and international competitions, the largest beach in the popular resort town of Newquay offers plenty of space for everyone who visits and is home to some big, BIG waves due to its location, nestled between two headlands. For beginners, you’ll find some of the best surf schools in the country close to Fistral – there’s no better place to learn than the mecca of surfing in the UK.
For unforgettable surfing holidays, discover fantastic coastal accommodation in Cornwall as well as informative visitor guides for the best beaches, things to do, and places to eat in the county with

Main image by Paul McGee

Matt Fletcher is a marketing manager for tourism website and a proud advocate for UK holidays.

This post is in collaboration with Stay In Cornwall


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