A Guide to Surfing Holidays in Cornwall

man holding surfboard walking near seashore

Are you looking for the perfect surfing holiday in Cornwall?

With its stunning coastline, crystal clear waters and waves that draw surfers worldwide, it’s easy to see why Cornwall is a top destination for those seeking an adrenaline-filled break.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of spots to choose from. From accommodation and equipment hire to local attractions – this guide will show you how to make your dream surfing holiday in Cornwall come true!

Read on as we explore what makes this unique part of England so special – not forgetting our helpful safety tips too! You can also view our full beach guide here.

Best Surfing Spots in Cornwall

Cornwall is a great destination for surfers of all levels, from beginners to experienced riders. Its mild climate and consistent waves make it the perfect place to catch some waves. Here are some of the best surfing spots in Cornwall:

Porthmeor Beach

Located near St Ives, Porthmeor Beach offers good beginner-friendly conditions with small but powerful waves that break close to shore. The beach also has plenty of space for those who want to practice their skills without getting in anyone’s way.

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Cornwall and is renowned for its world-class surf breaks. It’s a great spot for experienced surfers looking for big swells and challenging rides. Beginners should be aware that this beach can get crowded during peak times, so it’s important to be mindful when paddling out or taking off on a wave.

Gwithian Towans

Gwithian Towans is an excellent spot for intermediate and advanced surfers due to its strong offshore winds which create long rolling waves ideal for carving turns or performing aerial maneuvers. Beginners may find these conditions too difficult, but there are still plenty of smaller waves closer inshore where they can practice their skills safely away from more experienced riders.

Polzeath Beach

Polzeath Beach offers something special – both novice and expert-level surfers will enjoy riding here as several wave formations are available depending on the swell size and direction at any given time. This makes it easy to switch up your session if you’re bored or need something new to challenge yourself.

Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove provides reliable year-round swell, making it an ideal spot no matter what season you visit Cornwall in. The cove itself creates shelter from strong winds, allowing even novice riders enough time on each wave before having to paddle back out again. Additionally, there are usually lots of other people around offering tips or advice if needed.

Accommodation for Surfers in Cornwall

When it comes to accommodation in Cornwall, there are plenty of options for a surfing holiday.

Hotels offer comfortable rooms with all the amenities you need; some even have surf schools or hire-out equipment.

Bed & Breakfasts provide a more homely atmosphere, often run by local families who can give great advice on where to go and what to do.

Campsites are ideal if you want to be close to nature and enjoy the outdoors; many have facilities such as showers, toilets and BBQs, so you don’t need to worry about packing too much gear.

Self-catering apartments also provide an excellent option for those looking for independence during their stay – they come equipped with everything from cooking utensils right down to bedding.

No matter which type of accommodation you choose, Cornwall has something for everyone when it comes to finding somewhere special for your next surfing holiday.

Click here to view our accommodation guides.

Surf Equipment Hire in Cornwall

Surfing is a popular activity in Cornwall, and getting the equipment you need for an unforgettable experience is easy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of places to hire surfboards and wetsuits throughout the county.

Newquay Surf Hire offers top-of-the-line boards and wetsuits at competitive prices. They have two locations in Newquay – one near Fistral Beach and another on Towan Beach – so they’re convenient for visitors staying in town. Prices start from £15 per day for board hire, with discounts available if you book online or rent multiple items.

If you want to try something different, head over to Polzeath Surf School & Shop, where they offer stand-up paddleboard (SUP) rentals as well as traditional surfing gear. You can also take lessons here if you want some extra guidance before hitting the waves. SUP rental starts from £20 per hour or £50 per day, while board hire is priced at £25 per day, with discounts available when hiring multiple items.

For those looking for more budget-friendly options, The Board Barn in Watergate Bay has everything you need, including bodyboards, skim boards and surf mats starting from just £10 per day plus free delivery within 5 miles of their store location. They also provide free advice on local conditions so that your time spent out on the water is safe and enjoyable.

Finally, don’t forget about local shops like Wavehunters Surf Store, which offer quality equipment rentals at great rates – perfect for those who are just getting started with surfing. Their range includes shortboards, longboards and soft tops starting from only £12 per day, along with wetsuit packages that include boots/gloves/hoods all included in one price, ideal if this is your first time visiting Cornwall’s beaches.

Local Attractions in Cornwall

Surfing in Cornwall is a popular activity for both locals and tourists alike. With its stunning coastline, warm waters and abundance of waves, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to the area each year. But while you’re here, don’t forget to check out some of the other attractions that make this region so special.

If you’re looking for an adventure-filled day trip away from the surf spots, then head to St Ives. This quaint fishing village is home to cobbled streets lined with art galleries and independent shops selling locally made crafts and souvenirs. Plenty of restaurants also serve delicious seafood dishes or traditional Cornish pasties if you fancy something more substantial.

For those who prefer a quieter experience, take a stroll along one of Cornwall’s many beaches – most notably Watergate Bay or Porthcurno Beach, which offer spectacular views across the bay. For those wanting something more active, plenty of activities are on offer, such as coasteering or kayaking tours around some of the nearby islands, including Tresco and Bryher – perfect for wildlife spotting.

If you’re after a bit more culture during your stay in Cornwall, then be sure to visit The Eden Project near St Austell – an educational charity dedicated to inspiring people about nature through their interactive displays and gardens filled with exotic plants from all over the world. Or perhaps take a tour around Pendennis Castle near Falmouth – one of Henry VIII’s finest fortresses built in 1540, which offers stunning views across Falmouth Bay towards St. Anthony Headland lighthouse.

Finally, when it comes time for dinner or just drinks, plenty of pubs are dotted around Cornwall offering local ales alongside hearty pub grub. For starters, try The Ship Inn at Portloe near Truro or The Old Coastguard Hotel at Mousehole near Penzance. So whatever type of holiday experience you’re looking for during your stay in Cornwall – be sure not to miss out on these fantastic attractions too.

Safety Tips for Surfers

Before heading out to sea, it’s important to check the weather forecast and ensure that conditions are suitable for surfing. It’s also essential to wear appropriate clothing and footwear when going into the water.


Wearing a wetsuit will help keep you warm in cold waters and provide some protection from any sharp objects or rocks on the seabed. Ensure your wetsuit fits properly so it doesn’t restrict movement while surfing.


Shoes with good grip are essential when walking on slippery surfaces near the beach, such as rocks or seaweed-covered areas. A pair of sandals with straps can be worn over bare feet if needed, but ensure they fit securely before entering the water.

Safety Equipment

Always carry safety equipment such as a buoyancy aid, whistle, torch and first aid kit when going out to sea – these items should be easily accessible at all times during your surf session. Additionally, consider investing in a personal locator beacon (PLB) which can alert emergency services if you get into difficulty while surfing alone or away from shoreline lifeguards/supervision points.

Beach Safety Flags

Be aware of local beach safety flags indicating whether it’s safe to enter the water – green means go ahead; yellow means exercise caution; red indicates danger; black signals no swimming allowed due to hazardous conditions like strong currents or sharks nearby.

Know Your Limits

Remember that even experienced surfers have limits – never attempt anything beyond your skill level, as this could put yourself and others at risk of injury or worse. If possible, always try to surf with someone else who has experience with local waves/conditions so they can offer advice if needed.

Finally, take regular breaks throughout your session by resting between sets (waves). This will help prevent fatigue which could lead to an accident occurring due to exhaustion or lack of concentration while riding waves further out at sea.


Where in Cornwall is best for surfing?

Cornwall is renowned for its world-class surfing spots, with some of the best waves in Europe. The North Coast is home to many of Cornwall’s most popular surf beaches, including Newquay and Perranporth. For more experienced surfers, there are challenging breaks at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay. Further south, Sennen Cove offers great conditions for beginners and intermediates alike. If you’re looking for a quieter spot to ride the waves, then try Porthleven or Gwithian Towans on the South Coast. Whatever your skill level, Cornwall has something to offer all levels of surfer.

Where to stay for surfing in Cornwall?

Cornwall is a popular destination for surfers, offering some of the best waves in the UK. For those looking to stay close to the action, Newquay is an ideal spot. Here you can find a variety of accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly hostels and B&Bs to luxury hotels and holiday homes. Further down the coast, St Ives has plenty of great spots for surfing as well as charming cottages and apartments that are perfect for couples or families. Finally, Watergate Bay offers excellent waves, beachfront lodges, and camping sites – making it an ideal base for anyone wanting to explore Cornwall’s stunning coastline.

Why is Cornwall famous for surfing?

Cornwall is renowned for its world-class surfing, with some of the best waves in Europe. Its coastline is blessed with a variety of beaches and bays that offer perfect conditions for all levels of surfers. The combination of consistent swell, warm waters and reliable winds make Cornwall an ideal destination for both beginners and experienced surfers alike. Furthermore, plenty of surf schools around the coast offer lessons to those who want to learn or improve their skills. With its stunning scenery and laid-back atmosphere, Cornwall has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations for surfing holidays.

Is Cornwall a good place to surf?

Yes, Cornwall is a great place to surf. With its rugged coastline and waves that break over rocky reefs, it offers some of the best surfing in Europe. There are plenty of beaches with good breaks for all levels of experience, from beginners to experts. The mild climate makes it an ideal spot for year-round surfing too. Whether you’re looking for a challenging wave or just want to enjoy the view while catching some gentle swells, Cornwall has something for everyone.

Come explore Cornwall and experience the thrill of surfing in its crystal-clear waters! With our comprehensive tourist guide and directory for this stunning region, you’ll find all the best spots to ride some waves. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer looking for new challenges, we’ve got everything you need to plan your perfect holiday. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip now!

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Cornwall Holidays

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