Widemouth bay is a large sand and rock beach about two miles south of Bude. Despite its close proximity to one of North Cornwall’s surfing hubs, it’s fairly undeveloped here but still has some great facilities for visiting surfers and holidaymakers.
Heading for a surf? Don’t miss out guide to surfing in Cornwall for more local knowledge and tips for your next session.
The beach itself is about two miles wide with great coastal walks stretching up the cliffs to the north and south making for great views of the surf. A large rocky patch called Black Rock juts out of the sea at the south end of the beach and offers a great reef for experienced surfers.
If you’re thinking of surfing Widemouth Bay anytime soon don’t miss this detailed guide with all the info you need to get catch some great waves at one of this beach’s many peaks.
Is Widemouth Bay good for surfing?
Yes, Widemouth Bay is a fantastic surfing beach and can offer waves all the way through the tidal range. Best surfed with westerly swell and easterly offshore winds this regional classic is home to a variety of different peaks all down the length of the beach.
The beach is flanked on each side by fingers of reef that stretch out to sea in the stereotypical North Cornish fashion making for great reefs.
Take a look at the video below where some longboarders make the most of the fun rippable conditions on offer.
The main beach
The main beach offers a predominantly sand-bottomed arena to surf with waves to be had at both ends of the beach. The north end has a large paid car park that sits literally feet away from the sand making surfing here very quick and easy.
You can find lefts and rights breaking through all stages of the tide with a slight preference for longer, steeper right-handers. It’s typically the busiest part of the beach here so you’ll need to battle with lots of other surfers if you want to catch some waves.
Moving to the south of the beach you’ll find more similar peaks with slightly less quality at low tide. Take note that some rocks start to appear here from low to mid tide.
As the tide pushes up at the south end of the bay a long peeling right can be found on good days with the potential for multiple sections for turns and a pitching lip as the wave crashes onto the sandy shore.
Black Rock left
Black Rock cuts a foreboding figure at the south end of the beach but it has some great options for experienced surfers who don’t mind the occasional rock dodging and scary moments.
Black Rock left is the more mellow of the two reefs here, breaking on the right-hand side of Black Rock as you look out to sea it starts to work from around mid tide and can work all the way up to high with a large ground swell. The main beach will need to be at least 4ft before Black Rock starts to break with a surfable wave.
It’s typically a steep take-off with a good one or two sections before it starts to fatten off. If you can cut back to the power source some of the waves will let you hop your way to the next section but beware, two large rocks sit considerably higher out of the water here and can pop up quickly so keep your wits about you.
If you can successfully navigate the fat section of the wave it’ll start to pick up the pace again offering an opportunity for a few more manoeuvres before closing out on the shore.
Black Rock right
Black Rock right is the more powerful of the two waves, offering a steep sometimes barreling take off into a quick walling right that breaks very close to shallow rocks.
The right here has a small window when it works well from around mid tide but you need to watch it carefully to score it. The wave here requires you to take off with rocks jutting out of the water just metres in front of you so make sure to bring your A game.
Strictly for experienced surfers, this spot has a crew of committed local crew that is always waiting for the next time a good ground swell lights up the report.
Other surf spots close to Widemouth Bay
When it comes to finding another wave to surf close by you’ve got more than enough choice here. Where to head depends on what you want, we’ll walk you through all of the other beaches in the area and when to go if the surf at Widemouth doesn’t look too great.
Bude’s got two great beaches to choose from that offer very different waves. Summerleaze from mid to high tide has a very user-friendly right-hander that breaks in fairly shallow water on a sandy bottom. This is a great place to head if the waves at Widemouth look a bit daunting.
Crooklets at the north end of Bude is more of a high-performance playground with the added danger of a few rocks peppering the lineup. Check out our surfing Bude guide to get the full lowdown on everything this little surfing town has to offer.
Sandymouth is more remote again than Widemouth and sits a few miles north of Bude in the other direction. It’s a large open stretch of sandy beach that’s surfable from low to mid tide.
Head here if Widemouth gets too busy like it regularly does in the busy summer months, once you get down to the beach you can walk north or south until you find a nice uncrowded peak. Don’t miss our guide to surfing Sandymouth Beach to find out more about this exposed beachie.
If surfing Widemouth Bay is looking like it’s going to be a windy mess then Crackington Haven might be your saviour. It’s a small sheltered bay about 8 miles south of Widemouth and it can be a perfect hideaway when strong winds blow from the north or south.
Head over to our guide on surfing at Crackington Haven to find out the best tides to surf and rumours of some hidden reefs in the area.
Are Widemouth Bay and Trelawny Beach the same place?
Yes, the north end of Widemouth Bay is sometimes still referred to as Trelawny Beach by the locals but this old name for the beach isn’t used on maps or road signs.
Can you surf Widemouth Bay at high tide?
Yes, as long as you’ve got a good round swell in the waist-to-head high range, waves will break through all stages of the tide offering both lefts and rights.
Does Widemouth Bay have lifeguards?
Widemouth Bay is lifeguarded daily from April 30th to September 25th. Only surf outside of the lifeguarded hours if you’re a confident surfer and swimmer.
Can you bodyboard at Widemouth Bay?
Widemouth Bay is great for bodyboarding. If you’re just starting out make sure to stick between the designated areas laid out by the lifeguards on duty.
Does Widemouth Bay have easy accessibility?
Yes, both the north and south ends of Widemouth Bay have ramps suitable for wheelchair users.