North Devon is home to some hidden gems, rolling waves peeling down pebbled points for as far as the eye can see and fast, treacherous reefs with rows of sharp rocks just feet under the surface.
Surfing in North Devon has become busier in recent years due to its relatively easy access to surfers from Bristol and beyond.
There are still a few reefs, points and beaches that escape the worst of the crowds and provide high-quality waves for surfers willing to try to score them.
We’ve created a list of 5 of the lesser-known semi-secret surf spots in North Devon.
Lynmouth is the gem in North Devon’s crown for surfing all manner of crafts. Shortboards, Fish, Longboards, SUP and Kayaks all share the rare point break waves that bend up the Bristol Channel to finally break on Lynmouth’s cobble point.
Unlike some of the other spots on this list, Lynmouth requires a serious South Westerly swell to get enough swell to awake.
It does however provide the precious shelter required when trying to escape gusty South Westerlies.
The spot is split into three clear areas each offering slightly different waves and personalities.
At high tide, an A-frame peak appears on the left-hand side of the river as you look to the sea. The right-hander provides a quick snappy ride that dissipates into deep water fairly quickly while the left offers longer rides that can leave you in ankle-deep water as the wave churns along the smooth pebble bottom.
At mid to low tide the wave splits into an upper and lower point. The upper point is usually larger in size and due to its sometimes unruly nature tends to be the quieter wave.
The lower point is the classic point break set-up that Lynmouth is famous for. Waves break quickly down a pebblestone point providing several sections for surfers to perform a range of manoeuvres.
2. Combesgate Beach
Combesgate beach is located at the North end of Woolacombe beach. Predominantly underwater at high tide, it shows good surfable waves from mid-tide onwards.
Unlike Woolacombe’s main beach, waves here crash on rocks in some areas, making the wave dangerous at certain states of the tide.
Combesgate can offer steeper faster waves than the main beach at Woolacombe making it popular with shortboarders. You’ll often find talented local rippers honing their craft.
Cruise over to our guide on surfing at Woolacombe to learn more about this quality surf beach.
The area around Abbotsham is home to some of North Devon’s premier reef breaks. This stretch of coastline is gifted with quality waves of all varieties including A-frame reef breaks and long barreling point breaks.
Finding waves here requires commitment and a high level of ability. Local surfers have these waves dialled, keeping a constant eye on upcoming swells ready for the next session.
4. Baggy Point
Baggy Point sits at the North end of Croybe beach, in the right conditions it can line up with a quality groundswell and provide long reeling right-handers offering barrel sections and long walls for driving carves and snaps.
Much like Croyde’s main beach, the wave will be populated by dedicated local rippers who wait long periods for the wave to break and will be the first there when it starts to break.
Check out our in-depth Croyde surf and beach guide to get the full low down on surfing here.
5. Saunton Middle Beach
One for the longboarders. Nestled in the Braunton Burrows, Saunton beach is an iconic location for surfing, providing long walls that peel gradually across the ven sand bottom floor.
Due to its iconic nature, Saunton can attract crowds and on a hot summer’s day, it can be hard to find a wave in the lineup.
Saunton Middle Beach is just a short walk South down the beach and offers the same quality waves with non of the crowd. Take care around the river mouth and avoid any visible rips.
Head over to our surfing Saunton guide to learn more about this longboarders paradise.