Wales is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, but what most people don’t know is that Wales is an international surfing hotspot too, and the Welsh coastline has some of the worlds best surf in all conditions and all seasons. Here are 10 of the best surf spots in Wales.
It doesn’t matter if you are a pro surfer or you have never been on a board before, Wales is a great option for surfing with some perfect breaks and a lot of great surfing schools to choose from. Check out this guide to some of the best surfing beaches in Wales and become a master surfer!
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire.
You cannot mention surfing in Wales without mentioning Freshwater West. Part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Freshwater West is one of the best surfing locations in Europe, world renowned for its consistent swell and strong waves and is home to the annual Welsh National Surfing Championships.
It is worth noting though that the coast here does have strong rip currents, so is not for a beginner or novice surfer or swimmer. There are usually lifeguards present but it is still not a place to attempt until you are sure of your abilities.
Manorbier is a lovely beach overlooked by the ruins of an old Norman castle and is a perfect surf spot with gentle breaks for beginners and a right handed reef off the cliffs at the west end of the bay that is more suited to advanced surfers. It can get really busy here though, which is a testament to how good it is.
The Gower is not only one of the most stunning stretches of coastline in the entire United Kingdom, it is also one of the best surfing spots, which is probably why the Welsh Surfing Federation school is based here! The waves here are considered among the best in the UK with many saying they surpass even Newquay.
Unlike many Gower breaks Llangennith works at all stages of the tide and offer a great workout once the tide gets up a bit. It has a consistent beach break with peaks right across its two mile length, which means it’s always extremely popular with locals and visitors alike, especially in summer and especially around the main access point in front of Hillend Campsite. You can usually find a less busy spot if you walk up the coast a bit though.
Three Cliff Bay, Gower.
Three cliff bay is picture postcard perfect, a stunning stretch of sand ringed by cliffs (hence the name) and the ruins of the old Pennard castle. Although technically a beach in and of itself at low tide Three Cliff Bay links up with Oxwich Bay.
The breaks here are as consistent as they are at Llangennith, but it is usually a lot less crowded because it is more difficult to get to, and at high tide the surfing is excellent with some decent beach breaks.
Porthcawl isn’t the most picturesque beach in Wales but it is an almost perfect beach for beginner surfers like me or those wanting to try it out for the first time because along most of the beach the waves break pretty gently. There are some breaks slightly along the coast that are good for more experienced surfers too, so Porthcawl is a pretty great all rounder.
This is one of the longest and most magnificent stretches of beach in Pembrokshire and because of it’s length it rarely gets too crowded. The waves here are good between low to high tide and are more than suitable for novice to intermediate surfers looking for a bit of fun surfing. Experts may need to look elsewhere to get a challenge, but for most people this is an extremely popular spot.
Cardigan Bay is a large inlet of the Irish Sea and the largest bay in Wales, stretching from Strumble Head in the south to Aberystwyth in the north, and although it is technically not a surfing beach, there are tons of inlets, beaches and reef breaks along the bay where locals in the know go to surf. You’ll need a big swell to surf here and may have to go exploring along the coastal road a bit, but if you do you will be rewarded with some awesome surf!
Whitsands in Pembrokshire has a stunning beach and consistent tall waves, there is even a surf school here if you need a bit of training. The only downside to this perfection is its popularity and it can get crowded, but that is definitely balanced out by the awesome surfing!
Tywin is a perfect beach for beginners as it is considered a safe surfing destination with a long stretch of beach with no rocks or rip tides. It is generally relatively quiet compared to some of the more popular beaches but still has consistent swells that are good for any level of surfer.
Porth Neigwl, Lleyn Peninsula.
Otherwise known as Hells Mouth, don’t let the name intimidate you. Next to freshwater Porth Neigwl is the most well known and most popular surf spots in all of Wales. An impressive four mile long bay in the shape of a large semi circle (hence the name Hells Mouth), it picks up solid and dependable swells all day long.
Most swells come from the south or south west, so the best spots are in the south east of the bay, although if you are a beginner or a novice you may be best sticking to the middle of the bay where it gets less crowded.
There are plenty of surf schools available on many of these beaches where you can rent equipment if you don’t have your own or book yourself in for some lessons if you want to learn. Some of the best options are SurfGSD, Outer Reed Surf School and Newsurf.
Surfing is a popular sport in Wales and the Welsh coastline offers up some spectacular surf spots. Always remember to stay safe and research weather and local conditions such as rip tides and follow surf etiquette, if you do you are bound to have an awesome time here!
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