Why Cornwall is Famous for its Surfing?

The Atlantic Ocean provides Cornwall, England with excellent waves all year round. It has many miles of sandy beaches and stunning cliffs and dunes to enjoy on the way there too. The waves are created by deep Atlantic low pressure systems, which push their swell eastwards and create some of the best surfing conditions in Europe.

Cornwall is certainly the home of British Surfing and probably the most famous spot of all is Newquay. Newquay holds surf contests every year, the most famous is Boardmasters, which takes place in August. There is a whole weekend of competitive surfing to enjoy, along with some brilliant bands and events taking place throughout the town as well.

With the rise of the internet it is now possible to get surf reports from websites such as Magic Seaweed and A1 Surf. Gone are the days of simply having to head down to the beach and hope, now it is possible to locate the best wave before even leaving home. Many surf spots even have webcams so you can see the quality of the wave and even how crowded it is before setting off. And with the advantage of having easily accessible North and South coasts it is pretty much always possible to find a good wave, no matter which direction the swell is rolling in from.

Polzeath is a lovely little town on the north coast of Cornwall which has a fantastic surfing beach. Polzeath self-catering holidays can be a good way to get down there and test your surfing prowess in the waves. There are great places to eat and drink in the town too and it generally has a brilliant laid-back Cornish vibe, which has made it popular with many celebs too!

Harry and Wills were recently spotted there having a go at Bodyboarding (pictured below), David Cameron famously visited last summer and it is well known to be a favourite spot of Hugh Grant.

If you are looking for somewhere great on the South Coast, Praa Sands is an excellent surf spot to head too. It is a good beach-break (the waves break on sand rather than rock or reef) that picks up lots of swell. This following picture was sourced from the website Magic Seaweed.

There is a good beach bar at Praa Sands where you can get snacks and refreshments throughout the day and stay for a bit of a party into the evening as well! Nearby Perranuthnoe is a gorgeous little fishing village where you can find self-catering cottages and places to stay if you wish to make your break a longer one.

With all of these great waves around the county there is no shortage of surf hire shops, where for as little £10 for an hour you can hire a board and wetsuit and get started! This is a really good thing to do if you are just starting out as a new one can set you back several hundred pounds. Wait until you decide you are into it and then can make a better choice about which length and shape of board will best suit you.

Cornwall’s surfing is famous around the world, so what are you waiting for! Check out what fun you could be having at a beach not too far from you!

The Endless Winter - A Very British Surf Movie
Finally, The Endless Winter - A Very British Surf Movie series is going to be shown on Channel 4 TV starting 12th August 2012 so you must check that out if you can, more information here.

Surfing in Cornwall will be showcased along with other British surfing locations such as Devon and Scotland.

Here's a few of the videos from this series to wet your appetite...enjoy:


  1. Sennen Cove is worth a look as well. The Cornish coastline is nice to look at too, so if you get a day with no waves you can still enjoying bobbing around in the sea looking at the view.