5 Best Places to Learn to Surf in Cornwall

Cornwall is undoubtedly one of the best places to learn to surf in the UK. The warm climate and the Atlantic Ocean on the north coast provide Cornwall with some of the best surfing conditions in Europe. With its craggy coves and variety of beaches, Cornwall has a variety of waves to surf depending on your location which makes it a great spot for beginners and experts alike. It’s no surprise that the most famous surfing competition in the UK is hosted in Newquay Cornwall - The Boardmasters.

While there are many great spots to surf in Cornwall, if you’re a beginner you want a safe place to surf with lifeguards, facilities such as snacks, high quality surf schools and not forgetting nice and easy waves to give you the best chance to catch your first wave.

The following five locations that are best for beginner surfers was kindly provided by West Cornwall Cottage Holidays who provide self catering holiday cottages in Cornwall to suit all budgets.

Gwithian Beach

Gwithian is a small coastal town on the North Coast close to Hayle and St Ives with a huge 3 mile beach that begins and ends at the mouth of two rivers. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards from late March through to late September which means there is a comfortable safety net for newbie surfers and the surf is often clean.

Sunset Surf is the place to go at Gwithian Beach for surfing equipment of all kinds and affordable effective surf lessons. The shop has a great reputation excellent for customer service.

Harlyn Bay

Harlyn Bay is a beach in the small town of Harlyn located on Cornwall’s north coast. Most residents only live here during the summer months which is also when surfers and tourists flock to the beach. It is a nationally protected beach that stays stunning all year round and is ideal for beginner surfers.

Harlyn Surf School is one of the most well known surf schools in all of Cornwall and specialises in private surf lessons on Harlyn Bay.

Polzeath Beach

Polzeath is another small town most commonly known for its stunning beach that is very is popular among surfers as well as bird watchers. It is a small beach at only 360 meters wide and extends about 370 meters long. Like Harlyn Bay, Polzeath Beach is also nationally protected.

There are quite a few surf schools and surf shops to check out in Polzeath. One of the best schools is Surf’s Up Surf School with their expert surf tuition designed to help people to learn to surf in the most effective and uncomplicated way.

Perran Beach

Perran Beach is in the small seaside town of Perranporth which is extremely popular among holidaymakers in summer months. The beach has almost a mile of sand dunes which makes it a popular spot for biologists and of course children!

Perranporth Surf School offers lessons as well as surf board
rentals and is an excellent choice in particular for those looking for group lessons

Ticket to Ride Surf School is another great option and always has special offers available to their customers.

Towan Beach in Newquay

Towan Beach is located in Newquay, the most popular town in Cornwall for holidaymakers and is very busy in the summer holidays. Newquay is the home of UK surfing and home to the biggest annual surf competition, The Boardmasters. Fistral beach is the most well known surfing beach in the UK and does offer great beginner conditions but our vote goes to Towan Beach which has a more reliable clean wave. The beach itself is at the bottom of a steep hill and gets waves ideal for surfing.

Bathrooms, parking, and lifeguards are all available at this superb location which makes it a popular choice among surfers.

Escape Surf School and Cornwall Surf Academy are a superb surf schools located just minutes from Towan Beach.


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