Despite being an island, surfing probably isn’t the first thing that you’d associate with Britain. However, with almost 20,000 miles of beautiful coastline, Britain boasts some of the finest surf beaches in the world.
With an estimated 500,000 regular surfers in Britain, the sport has become increasingly popular in recent years - and with warmer weather on the horizon thousands more are expected to hit the open waters.
For those looking to catch their first break, we’ve unearthed some of the best surfing beaches around our holiday parks, for you to enjoy on your next stay with Parkdean Resorts.
Watergate Bay, Newquay
Newquay is the UK's surfing capital. The town has 12 world class beaches and several great surfing hotspots, including Watergate Bay, which has earned a reputation for being one of the best surf spots in the UK.
Under 10 minutes from Newquay Holiday Park, this large, open bay picks up swell from the Atlantic - so if you’re looking for a great place to surf, then Watergate Bay is a must visit destination. Unlike many other beaches in the region, you can surf here on most tides. However, you’ll find the best waves during mid to high tide.
If you’ve left your surf board at home you can hire one from Extreme Academy, which is located right on the passageway to the beach. With lifeguard cover from May to September, you’ll be in safe hands when surfing at Watergate Bay.
The beach is one of the best year-round dog friendly beaches in Cornwall and has a great family atmosphere, with plenty of caves and rock pools to discover. After playing in the sea, explore the clifftops and see how many dolphins you can spot splashing around in the turquoise water.
A trip to one of the nation's favourite seaside resorts wouldn’t be complete without exploring the historic town, which is packed full of things to see and do. Newquay has plenty of hidden gems, including the harbour, Trenance Gardens and the impressive Newquay Zoo, where you’ll find pandas, monkeys, zebras, antelope and many other amazing animals.
Video courtesy of Fingerprint Media
When it comes to surfing, Saltburn-by-the-Sea is hard to beat. Just 30 minutes from Crimdon Dene Holiday Park, this exposed beach consistently comes up with the goods and in recent years has seen the development of a large surfing community.
A bustling beach with lots to see and do, the gentle waves make this is a great spot for learning to surf. The smallest and safest waves can be found on either side of the old pier, which are at their best during high tide and are perfect for beginners and intermediates. South of the pier, you can watch in awe as experienced surfers take on some of the North Sea’s most powerful waves.
Surfing aside, this part of the world is famous for its fish and chips and there’s plenty of places to try some, including The Seaview Restaurant - which serves some of the tastiest fish and chips in the area. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter after riding the waves, then head to Camfield's Coffee Bar which is set right on the beach. Here you’ll find great coffee and lots of mouth-watering treats.
After having something to eat, discover the recently renovated Victorian pier, which is the jewel in Saltburn’s crown. You can also explore a section of the Cleveland Way National Trail that runs from Helmsley all the way to Filey Brigg.
Video sourced from Norman of Normanby
Located deep in the South Hams at the opening of the beautiful river Avon, Bantham Beach is one of Devon’s most spectacular beaches. The sandy shore sits on the Atlantic facing coast and is renowned for being one of the best surf beaches in the region.
Only 20 minutes from Challaborough Bay Holiday Park, the beach picks up more swell than other beaches in Devon, meaning you can get some long rides on the waves. If you’re new to surfing, ask the resident surfers for a few tips before heading out on the open water.
Bigbury Bay itself is a shallow sandy bay and is the perfect destination for families. When the tide is out, the gentle tidal pools are ideal play areas for young children. After a day at the beach, explore the nearby estuary which is a natural haven for wildlife - and is enjoyed by walkers and cyclists. Just 20 minutes from the scenic coastal towns of Salcombe and Kingsbridge, Bantham Beach is a great family day out.
Video sourced from Surfinglongboards couk
Rest Bay, South Wales
Porthcawl is a charming seaside resort on the South Coast of Wales, situated amongst the picturesque towns of Port Talbot and Ogmore-by-Sea. Only 10 minutes from Trecco Bay Holiday Park, the resort has a lovely promenade and several stunning beaches to explore running from Sker Point to Ogmore.
A magnificent beach with miles of golden sands and crystal clear waters, Rest Bay is the main surfing beach in Porthcawl and can rival any surf spot in Europe. This spectacular Blue Flag beach is popular with families and boasts rideable waves on any given day, with swells up to 6ft high. Whilst the best time to surf is generally from mid to high tide, you can surf at Rest Bay anytime if there's enough swell.
With several excellent surfing schools operating in the area, including Porthcawl Surf School and Cressy’s Surf Academy, Rest Bay is a must visit destination for surfing enthusiasts.
For a spot of lunch, visit Malc's Cafe which is the perfect place for a hot drink and some delicious food. Afterwards, walk along the clifftops to Pink Bay and beyond, where you will see plenty of sea birds and marine life.
Video sourced from SB4Watersports
Have you got a favourite surfing beach? We’d love to hear your recommendations on our Facebook page.