The 9 Best Beginner Surfing Spots In The UK

best beginner surf spots uk

Are you looking for the best beginner-friendly surfing beaches the UK offers?

We’ve picked the best surf breaks to start your surfing journey with perfect waves and stunning scenery.

best beginner surf spots in the uk

Saunton Sands 

Saunton Sands in North Devon offers miles of golden sands and soft, mellow waves perfect for learning to surf.

The dunes that back up the beach are well worth a look, with huge slopes you can sand surf down.

There’s a large paid car park with easy access, and there’s a range of surf schools and surf equipment rental, so you’re all set for a day of hitting the waves.

You can find out more in our in-depth guide on surfing at Saunton Sands.

Pease Bay 

Pease Bay is a relatively popular beach break in southeast Scotland. It’s fairly open to ocean swells from the North Sea, making it perfect when you’re dealing with small summer waves.

It can be a bit of a close-out at low tide but as soon as the tide pushes up to mid it can offer some really fun peaks for surfers of all abilities.

The waves are user-friendly and it’s great when you’re trying to master your take-off or surfing along the wave rather than riding straight on the white water.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you’ll need a good wetsuit for most of the year here, Scotland’socean temperatures are no joke

Polzeath Beach 

Without a doubt one of the best spots in North Cornwall, Polzeath has become quite well known with surfers from all over the country.

On smaller days it can provide perfect conditions in the form of long peeling walls and open green faces that are ideal for when you’re just starting out.

It also hosts some great surf schools with Wavehunters Waves School and Surf’s Up Surf School located meters off the beach.

The small coastal village can get busy in the summer with crowds on the beach and in the ocean.

Want to find out more about Polzeath? Glide over to our guide on surfing at Polzeath packed with local tips and advice.

Cayton Bay Beach 

Cayton Bay is a popular surfing spot in North Yorkshire, its wide expanse of sand offers waves all up the beach with particularly good sand banks at higher tides.

It’s easy to access with a large car park at the top of the cliffs and Cayton Bay Surf Shop sits right next to the car park if you need to grab a spare surfboard leash or some wax.

For more experienced surfers there is a powerful left-hand point break at the right of the bay. It’s a long paddle to the point and the waves break over large boulders so only head out if you’re a skilled surfer.

There’s a variety of breaks located all around Scarborough so don’t be afraid to go on a little adventure, you’ll be amazed by some of the quality surf you can find nearby.

Sennen Cove Beach 

Known as the ‘toe’ of Cornwall, Sennen Beach is the last surf spot before the peninsula comes to a stop at Lands End.

This makes it perfect when you’re trying to make the most of small summer swells. 

It’s a long open beach so there’s plenty of space to spread out and the local fish and chip shop is easily one of the best in West Cornwall.

If you want to escape the crowds here there is a secluded bay to the North of Sennen called Gwenver. You can access it by traversing the cliff down to the break or by walking around from the Sennen side.

When the waves at Sennen Cove get larger it’s best left to experienced surfers, strong rip currents are not uncommon and its exposed location means it gets the full brunt of the North Atlantic’s swells.

Saltburn Beach 

Saltburn is somewhat of a surfing hub for the east coast of the UK. The main beach here is perfect for beginners with relaxed, mellow peaks to be found whenever there’s a small swell running.

If the waves on the beaches aren’t looking great you can head south to a surf spot called Pennys Hole. This sand and cobblestone peak offers lefts and rights and is typically the best spot to surf in Saltburn.

Remember to bring plenty of neoprene up here, Saltburn is the definition of cold water surfing and you’re going to need a winter wetsuit at the very least!

Whiterocks Beach

Whiterocks Beach in Portrush is an open beach break that can provide waves all year round with most of the ground swells arriving in autumn and winter.

The beach slopes gently make for cruisey rides more suited to beginner surfers, mal surfing and longboarding.

There’s even a surf school located just above the beach if you wanted to get some help from a professional surf instructor or just hire some surf equipment.

Its position on the Northern Irish coast means water temperatures are chilly for most of the year-round but Portrush is well equipped with surf shops.

Widemouth Bay 

Just south of Bude in North Cornwall is the long rugged beach of Widemouth Bay. This beach is an epic spot for a full day of surf with waves through all stages of the tide.

Despite its slightly remote look Widemouth actually has some great facilities for beginners. There are several surf schools that operate at the beach and it’s fully lifeguarded throughout the summer months.

The beach is spilt into two sides and as a beginner, you’re going to want to stick to the northern end of the bay where there are no rocks.

If you’re heading here with experienced surfers they’ll be pleased to know that the bay is flanked on either side by quality reef breaks that really light up when a groundswell arrives.

If Widemouth looks too big or wild you can head north up the coast to Bude, the town beach at Summerleaze is very sheltered as the tide comes in and the harbour wall acts as a barrier from the worst of the swell and wind.

Check out our local’s guide to surfing at Widemouth for the full low down on one of North Cornwall’s best surf spots.

Rest Bay 

Rest Bay is one of the best beginner surf spots in South Wales. Located in Glamorgan it’s suitable for all levels of surfer from complete beginners all the way up to seasoned shortboarders.

The beach spreads right out from low tide and can offer surfable rides all the way up to high on good days.

Rest Bay’s relatively easy-to-access location means it can get busy with crowds, particularly in the summer.


Now you’re all set with the best beginner surf spots the UK has to offer the real question is, which one are you going to surf first?

The UK is blessed with one of the most varied and interesting coastlines in the world and learning to surf here has its challenges but the positives are well worth the wait.

Don’t miss out on our other handy guides packed full of helpful tips on how to improve your surf technique in and out of the water.