As the UK looks to make the most of fresh air and warmer weather, outdoor sporting activities are once again booming.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Amongst these, is the growing popularity of surfing, and with Surfing England reporting their busiest season ever last year[1], 2022 could be the perfect time to try your hand at the sport. 

But if you’re looking for a destination to rival The Gold Coast, then look no further. Holiday cottage company Sweetcombe Cottages have analysed over 850,000 Instagram hashtags to reveal the most scenic surfing spots across the UK.

With the South East coast home to over 400 miles of coastline, unsurprisingly, the data reveals nine out of the top ten most scenic surfing beaches reside there, and Cornwall has appeared an impressive seven times.

Interestingly, the beach taking the top spot by an impressive 43,000 hashtags more than second place however, is Scarborough Beach in Yorkshire.

1. Scarborough Beach, Yorkshire 

Securing first place, Scarborough, Yorkshire’s only entry to the top ten, boasts both North and South beaches along with a Blue Flag to reflect its cleanliness. These two bays give surfers of all levels the opportunity to take advantage of differing heights of waves, making it a perfect destination to test your surfing ability.

2. Fistral Beach, Cornwall 

A popular surfing destination thanks to its West facing position and Atlantic waves which bring a constant and reliable surf, Fistral beach also boasts beautiful coastal walks with plenty of greenery, wildlife and panoramic sea views, for the non-surfers to enjoy.

3. Watergate Bay, Cornwall 

With two miles of golden sands, Watergate Bay is one of the largest sandy beaches on the South West coast of England, and a perfect scenic spot to take your board. The beach accommodates all surfing abilities, and even hosts the English National Surfing Championships.

4. Croyde Bay, North Devon 

The stunning Croyde Bay has secured its place in the top ten with thanks to more than just it’s ideal surf conditions, although it is known as the ‘surf capital of the UK’. The village and beach are both part of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so it’s no surprise it’s amassed so much popularity on Instagram. 

5. Mawgan Porth, Cornwall 

With a dramatic backdrop of magnificent, rugged cliffs, crystal clear rockpools and breath-taking sunsets all year round, Mawgan Porth’s top five positioning is unsurprising. It is also one of the few beaches in the South that surfers are able to surf at any stages of the tide.

6. Perranporth Beach, Cornwall 

With several rock pools, sea arches and caves at lower tides, Perranporth Beach is the perfect place to explore what Cornwall has to offer. For those wanting to get off land and in the water, this beach is regarded a brilliant spot to surf due to its impressive swells and vast size to hold a crowd.

7. Widemouth Bay, Cornwall 

Bringing in over 23,800 hashtags on Instragram, Widemouth Bay in Cornwall is the ideal spot for surfing, offering excellent conditions for differing abilities. The panoramic views of the Atlantic and the grassy banks behind, have cemented this incredible bay into the top ten.

8. Woolacombe Beach, Devon 

Joining the likes of Malibu and The Gold Coast, North Devon has recently been named the first UK World Surfing Reserve to join the efforts of protecting surfing ecosystems[2]. With clean water and designated swimming and surfing areas, Woolacombe Beach is a must see. This destination has even been recognised as the best UK beach for a second year running in a survey completed by Trip Advisor.

9. Constantine Bay, Cornwall 

Known for its strong rips, this Atlantic facing bay in Cornwall, is recommended for advanced surfers. Perfect for a hike, Constantine Bay is backed up with shallow grassy dunes and a sweeping arc of pale, clean sand that is not to be missed.

10. Praa Sands, Cornwall 

Famously recognised for its beautiful white sand, made from seashells over millions of years, it’s no wonder Praa Sands has made it into the top ten scenic beaches. Popular for surfing due to its powerful waves, this beach can get busy when the tide is high.



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