Fistral Beach and other top winter surf spots

Beaches, Coastal, Fall into Winter, Activity, Watersports

Posted by Clare on 17th November 2016

Uk surfing

Autumn and winter are the best seasons for UK surf. Why?

Because consistent swells generated by storms far out in the Atlantic hit the coast between September and March, rolling in with corduroy lines which form perfect surfing waves.

The culmination of experience and research, this graphic outlines the spots for surfing in the UK in Winter. So whether you're a beginner or a seasoned surfer, check out where to head for at this time of year. You may also be interested in our interview with Paul Robinson, founder of the Museum of British Surfing.

surfing UK

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Fistral Beach, Cornwall

Where would a list of best surfing beaches be without a mention of Newquay, the South West’s surfing Mecca. To the west of the town, Fistral Beach can be split into North and South Fistral. North Fistral is great for beginners and produces fantastic waves in all tides when there’s a big swell. It can also generate some great barrels at low tide. South Fistral works well from mid to high tide, offering mainly left hand breaks.

Browse our Newquay cottages.

Thurso East, Scotland

All surfers worth their salt will have heard of the infamous right-hand reef break at Thurso East, one of the top surf spots in Europe. It’s worth braving the chilly weather in the latter months of the year to make the most of the awesome swells which can churn up triple over head waves. This one’s best left to seasoned surfers, who gather throughout the year for various high profile surfing events.

Browse our Northern Highlands and Islands cottages.

Saunton Sands, Devon

Featuring on many a top 10, Saunton Sands is a good year-round surfing destination. The gentle slope of the beach makes it popular among beginners and it’s a favourite for longboarders too, thanks to its delicious slow wave perfect for ‘hanging 10’. While crowded in the summer, off-peak the mellow waves are less populated.

Browse our North Devon cottages.

Llangennith, Wales

A mammoth beach on the Gower Peninsula, Llangennith is renowned for its consistency making it an old reliable for surfers of all levels. The advantage of a surf trip out of season is that the waves in the winter months jack up to offer sensational lefts and rights. The paddle out is a workout in itself but let the stoke carry you through, and once you’ve caught a wave you’ll be laughing.

Browse our South Wales cottages.

Saltburn-on-Sea, North Yorkshire

Saltburn flies the flag for the North East surf scene. The iconic pier provides a photo worthy backdrop for the mellow beach break which is good for beginners. Saltburn Surf School offers lessons right through to October and hires out equipment year-round.

Browse our Yorkshire Coast cottages.

Porthleven, Cornwall

For intermediate surfers and above, Porthleven is a paradise in the autumn and winter months. The picturesque harbour town and beautiful beach are a pretty facade behind which has a reputation as one of Britains best reef breaks. It’s not the beach, but rather the reef beyond the harbour wall which draws surfers from all over, with storm swells throwing up perfect giant waves when conditions are right.

Browse our West Cornwall cottages.

If you've got another location in mind for your autumn or winter break, take a look at our selection of coastal cottages where you can cosy up in the evenings after days out and about.


Great British Coast


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.