Surfing while simultaneously exploring the UK in your trusted roadsurfer camper is a match made in heaven. Wake up at the beach, be the first in the water, enjoy sunset dinners while gazing out over the Atlantic, then drift to sleep with the sounds of crashing waves in the distance. To make the planning of your next UK road trip a success, the roadsurfer team has put together a list of some of the best and most scenic surf spots across the island that perfectly cater to your surfing skill level
The UK is a great place to learn to surf, with an abundance of beginner waves at small beach towns scattered across the island. Those making their first foray into the surfing world will be pleased to know the best time to learn to surf in the UK is Summer and early Autumn. Summer means the waves are small and mellow, the water mild, the days long, and the sun beating.
1. Praa Sands – Cornwall
Located in Cornwall, at the southern tip of England, Praa Sands and the surrounding region are undoubtedly the heart of the English surf scene. Golden sand beaches, easy-to-surf beach breaks, and relatively warm water make Praa Sands a carefree spot to get those first waves under your belt. The entire Cornwall region is catered towards servicing the surf and travel industry with amazing cafés, restaurants, and bars, as well as an abundance of beaches & national parks to explore.
Here you can get all those surfing essentials you need before catching the first waves of your camper surf tour through the UK. If you have never stood up on a board before, we highly recommend checking in with a pro and taking a course. Chat to the team at Global Boarderswho offer the best Surf Courses for beginners in and around Praa Sands.
2. Freshwater West – Wales
For those looking to escape the crowds of southern England somewhat, Wales in your camper is a great option. You not only have stunning coastal areas to explore, but also the Snowdonia National Park, so when you are not out on the surfboard, you can mountain bike, hike, or explore the cultural history of the area.
At Outer Reef Surf School, you can not only book surf and SUP lessons but also buy all the necessities you forgot to pack. Some things that we generally forget at home are fin keys and the appropriate surf wax.
3. Cayton Bay – England
Located along the East Coast of England, right between London and Edinburgh, Cayton Bay is a great place for those of you taking your camper on a circumnavigation of the UK. Facing the more placid North Sea, Cayton Bay is slightly more fickle in terms of wave quality and consistency, but what it lacks in the wave department, it more than makes up for with its limited crowds and huge range of extracurricular activities. North Yorkshire Moors, for example, home to some of the UK’s most picturesque landscapes and hiking trails, is located right at Cayton Bay’s doorstep.
Scarborough Surf School knows the waves around North Yorkshire Moors National Park are not as reliable as those on the Atlantic Coast, that’s why when the waves are rubbish the team has other activities on offer including SUP Tours & Coasteering.
Those of you who can paddle out, catch head high waves, and surf along the face, will want to visit the UK in late summer or Autumn. The later in summer, the higher the chances of larger swells rolling across the Atlantic to whip up some size and make the UK’s exposed coast come alive.
1. Fistral Beach, Cornwall
The first of our three recommendations is again located at the home of UK surfing, Cornwall. Fisrtal beach is one of the most iconic surf spots in the UK and sits on the more exposed side of the peninsula, right next to Newquay Golf Club. The beach is split into two, you have the north end which is more of a swell magnet, where waves tend to be steeper and faster, then the south end which is a little smaller and more mellow. If the swell ever gets too big and unruly during your stay, you can duck around the corner to the much more sheltered Newquay Beach.
Located just across the estuary from Newquay and Fistral Beach, Treago Farm offers a slightly more relaxed camper vibe than some of the more touristy campgrounds in Newquay. Its location, right up the hill from Polly Joke Beach, also means you can spend evenings exploring one of the prettiest bits of Cornwall once all the daytime tourists have left.
A bit of an institution in Newquay and a name that is deeply entrenched in the UK surf scene. At Ann’s Cottage, you will find friendly and helpful staff, a great selection of gear, and a bunch of local brands only available here.
2. Dalmore Bay, Isle of Lewis
Those determined to experience a real adventure, as well as really utilizing your home away from home, should definitely take a look at the Isle of Lewis. This secluded island off the northwest coast of Scotland is about as remote as you can get in the UK. Surf-wise, the Isle of Lewis has a great selection of waves. For intermediate surfers, Dalmore Bay is consistent, not overly dangerous, and empty. To get to the Isle of Lewis for your next surf adventure, pick up your roadsurfer camper from our Edinburgh station and head towards Ullapool, where you can catch the ferry to Stornoway, the main harbour town on the Isle of Lewis.
Where to stay?
On the Isle of Lewis, things are a little more relaxed than in southern England. Here is a list of places you can park, public toilets, and other helpful sites during your surf adventure. Helpful Hints on the Isle of Lewis.
Best surf shop?
Easy question as there is only one surf shop on the Isle of Lewis, Surflewis & Harris, located near the harbour, so once you get off the ferry, quickly check you have everything you need before your next surf.
3. Gower Peninsula, Wales
Gower Peninsula ticks all the boxes for any intermediate surfer looking to escape this summer. It’s not as busy as a surf hub like Cornwall, but not as remote as a place like the Isle of Lewis. Gower Peninsula actually has three surf spots adjacent to one another, each picking up different swell and wind angles. The first, Thee Peaks, is at the northern tip of Llangennith Beach. The second, Langland Bay, famous for its hollow waves is located right around the corner, and finally, Llangennith, which is the most consistent of the 3.
Wake up to the sound of the surf, go to bed with the sound of the surf. Located right at Llangennith, you’ll be able to check the surf while snuggled up in your extremely comfortable roadsurfer camper.
Late Autumn UK camper Surf tour for advanced surfers
Planning a camper tour through the UK to catch world-class waves has some inherent challenges, but it also has fantastic rewards. As the best waves in the UK roll through later in the year, it’s recommended to start your trip in Autumn (October). The days will be getting shorter and the nights cooler, but roadsurfer campers are well-insulated and warm during even the coldest of the UK’s autumn weather. It will be an adventure, and packing appropriately will be key, but with a little planning and preparation, you’ll be rewarded with all-time waves, friendly locals a diverse range of committed surfers in the line-up.
1. Thurso East, Scotland
North of Edinburgh, the sleepy coastal Scottish village has a vibrant surf scene and is home to some world-class waves. Thurso East, previously home to the Coldwater Classic, isn’t one wave per se, it is a collection of world-class breaks that light up come Autumn. Some stand-outs are the original Murkle Point, Brimms Ness and Gills Bay. When the swell gets too big, you can duck around the corner to Sinclair’s, located on the more sheltered eastern side of the peninsula.
Locals that sell gear that works in a place they know.
2. Porth Neigwl, Wales
Located at the western edge of Snowdonia National Park, Porth Neigwl, is an intimidating beach break lovingly referred to as Hell’s Mouth. The Welsh surf spot is a long beach split into various sections, there’s the rocky southern end with a steeper and heavier left-hander, the main beach, then a reef to the north. Surfing here opens up a world of other activities during your stay, including some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the UK.
Shop local and get the right gear for the waves you’re about to catch.
3. Porthleven, Cornwall
Finishing where we started, the southern tip of England and the centre of British surfing, Cornwall. Porthleven is an exposed reef break at the edge of a Porthleven Harbour. There is a beach, but the reef is what made the spot famous, with consistently good waves during the cooler months. When you’re not surfing, you also have an abundance of cultural and scenic activities to partake in with or without your camper.
Both are near the harbour and have great access to all the other attractions in the area.
Best surf shop?
There is an abundance of good surf shops in the area, but what is really special is Waves Gallery. The Gallery displays photos documenting the local surf scene as well as local waves.
Enjoy exploring the UK coastline this summer and Autumn in your roadsurfer camper. Make new local friends, push your surfing on great waves, and spend evenings in beautiful landscapes. Book your dream campervan in Edinburgh or London, and start your surfing adventure today.
Book your 2023 campervan or motorhome rental and save €75 with the early booking discount! And as a Valentine’s treat, you will also receive free roadsurfer bedding (sheets, duvets, and pillows) for your road trip.
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