Surfing in England – discover the beautiful coasts of Cornwall

Remote beaches, secret surf spots, amazing food and romantic cottages. England’s countryside is full of hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Whenever I tell someone I have been surfing in England, many people are surprised. Cornwall is not as easy to reach, but I promise, it is worth every minute. And if you plan your trip in advance, it will become an unforgettable and affordable surf trip.

How to get to Cornwall:

Some airlines fly directly to the local airport in Newquay. A car is heavily recommended to get around the beautiful coasts of Cornwall. I would recommend making sure you choose the most experienced driver of the group to rent the car, as in England you drive on the left-hand side of the road. Be careful when going around narrow corners. If there are no direct flights to Newquay, you can either book flights with a stop-over in London or fly to Bristol airport. It is a three-hour drive from Bristol to Cornwall. And you can include a session at the Wavegarden in Bristol to start your UK surf trip (read our article about wave gardens in Europe).

Surf spots and beaches in Cornwall are worth a visit, not only because of its waves.

Godrevy Bay

Tom surfing at Godrevy

Godrevy is a beautiful place to visit, whether you are a surfer or not. It is located in a national trust area, perfect for a little walk where you can find seals and many birds if you are lucky. A big car park and a lovely Café on top of the Bay make your stay very convenient. Usually, Godrevy is a great spot for beginners and intermediate surfers and has a very friendly crowd. The bay is long and offers various peaks for lefts and rights.

Looking down to the waves at Mexico (the long stretch of sand next to Godrevy)
The seals resting at Godrevy.

Fistral Beach

Cornwall surf hot spot is located in Newquay. If you are looking for a lively neighbourhood with many restaurants, bars and surf shops, Fistral is the place to be. The west-facing beach is, at the same time, one of the most consistent surf spots in the UK. You can find some surf schools, restaurants and boutiques located on Fistral beach. There is plenty to do before and after your surfing. And if you plan accordingly, you can witness the annual surf- and skate festival ‘Boardmasters’. A beautiful coastal cafe for a tasty after-surf breakfast is Box and Barber.

A gloomy day at Fistral Beach in Newquay – when it’s sunny, and there are great waves, but it can get fairly crowded.

Sennen Cove

Sennen is the western point of Cornwall, which is very close to land’s end. It is known for its clear and clean water and fascinating colours thanks to a specific rock type shining through. Sennen is the spot that most likely still offers some surfable waves when there is hardly any swell. The water can be a little bit colder down there, so bring your warm wetsuit (5:4 or 4:3 are never wrong)

St Ives Bay

To visit St. Ives Bay is a must when you are in Cornwall. It even has a Tate Gallery, showcasing a stunning collection of modern art for art lovers. Also, if you plan to go shopping for souvenirs, St. Ives is the place to go in Cornwall. Little art shops, beautiful maritime decoration items and local delicacies can be found at every corner. St. Ives is especially beautiful during high tide. Enjoy a beer by the promenade and observe the coastal life.

The ten best beach bars and cafés in the south-west of Cornwall

Perfect Apero – Fresh Prawns, Cheesy Chips and Olives at Gilly Beach Café in Falmouth

5 Restaurants in the south-west of Cornwall

A picturesque sight: dragon boat race outside the Ferry Boat.
The charming interior of the traditional Chainlocker pub in Falmouth.

Things to do in the south-west of Cornwall

View on the coastal walk from Pollurian Bay to Kynance Cove

Where to find your surfboard and wetsuits?

  • Freeriders: Located in Falmouth, is a purist surf shop with a broad selection of boards, both new and second-hand. The turnover of quality second-hand boards at free-riders is incredible due to the local university student traffic. A great place to buy-sell a board rather than a potentially expensive and stressful rental process.
  • Sessions: Also in Falmouth, Sessions has a great selection of wetsuits and boards but is also home to an excellent range of cool clothing, magazines, and general ancillary surf gear.
  • Down the line: is a surf shop located in Hayle with a phenomenal selection of surfboards. It is said, it is one of the biggest selections in Europe. I can confirm that it is very easy to find a board there. For whatever else you need, may it be a wetsuit, gloves, or zinc – down the line will have it? You can also rent surfboards and wetsuits for your stay.
‘Down the line’ has the biggest selection of surfboards in Europe!

Now there is nothing left but to wish you a fantastic time! Let us know in the comments what your favourite surf spots, restaurants and experiences in Cornwall are!

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