Surfing in Cornwall

Cornwall boasts some of the best surf spots, not just in the UK, but in the whole of Europe. There are also plenty of surf schools and surf equipment rental shops to ensure the sport remains accessible to not only the very proficient surfers, but also to beginners. All year round the conditions in Cornwall are favourable, the waves are consistently good, and the surfing community is welcoming. So, what are you waiting for? Surf’s up!

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach by Bryan Ledgard licensed under CC BY 2.0

Popular surf spots in North Cornwall

  • Crantock Beach, Newquay – Not far from Newquay, Crantock Beach is less-crowded than some of the other nearby surf spots. Nonetheless, it’s a great place to surf and suitable for all abilities
  • Fistral Beach, Newquay – Newquay is often regarded as the surf capital of the UK, and Fistral Beach is at Newquay’s heart. With the UK’s best beach breaks, and the powerful waves and lofty swell, Fistral is a surfer’s paradise
  • Perranporth Beach, Perranporth – Perranporth’s two mile stretch of golden sand is flanked by cliffs, which provide a decent windbreak. The waves here are suitable to all abilities and the rental facilities and surf schools are great

Learn more about other outdoor activities in North Cornwall

Popular surf spots in South Cornwall

  • Whitsand Bay – This stunning three-mile stretch of sandy beach runs from Portwrinkle in the west, to Rame Head in the east. There are many excellent surf equipment rental shops and schools in the area. Access to the beach can be tricky during high tide

Learn more about other outdoor activities in South Cornwall

Popular surf spots in West Cornwall

  • Porthmeor Beach, St Ives – This beach is a firm favourite with surfers and holiday makers. It’s overlooked by St Ives’ Tate gallery, as well as some highly-trained lifeguards
  • Porthleven Beach – In early 2015 a particularly high tide stripped Porthleven of all its sand, but within a few hours it was returned to its former glory. Porthleven is a beautiful beach, but only the more-accomplished surfers should attempt to ride its waves
  • Gwithian Towans Beach, Hayle – This magnificent beach is a huge swathe of golden sand and a popular beach for surfers. There’s a constant swell year round caused by the Atlantic winds

Learn more about other outdoor activities in West Cornwall

At a glance

If you're looking for your first foray into the world of surfing, then somewhere like Crantock Beach may be just the ticket

More experienced surfers may want a challenge, and a suitable one may present itself at Porthleven

Be inspired by our latest guides

Browse our selection of Cornish highlights for ideas of things to see and do

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