Where are the Best Surfing Beaches in Wales?
Despite the cooler sea temperatures compared to other destinations, Wales offers some incredible surf spots. Whether you’re on the North, South or West coastline, there will be no end to the exciting surfing opportunities, perfect for everyone from beginners to experts.
But, with Wales home to so many scenic surfing beaches, it’s essential to find the right spot for you to ride the waves. So, if you’re looking to get your board out, read on as we explore some of the best surfing beaches in Wales.
Where can I surf in South Wales?
With its rugged coastline and mountainous terrain, South Wales is on the top of the list for many visitors looking to explore the Welsh landscape. It’s also home to some of the best surfing in Wales, so it should be a high priority visit for surfers.
Coney Beach, Porthcawl
Coney Beach, perched upon the Porthcawl coastline, makes for the perfect surf spot for anyone visiting the Welsh capital and any of the Eastern towns. The best time to hit the beach here is at high tide due to the sheltered beach, and the waves here are often immaculate – an excellent trait that makes it a good choice for beginners.
The beach’s sheltered nature is what makes it one of the best surfing beaches in Wales as the waves won’t be scattered by high winds. However, if the weather is very calm, it may be best to search elsewhere for a wave to ride as there will be fewer breakers forming.
The time of year you visit Coney Beach can also make all the difference. In Spring and early Autumn, you’ll find warmer weather and larger waves. Beginners may prefer a visit in the Summer, though, where the waves are perfectly sized for learning the basics.
Oxwich Bay, Gower
Oxwich Bay is a popular destination for surfing in Wales with many with its scenic and well-facilitated surroundings. Again, an excellent spot for beginners who may be less confident as it offers a handful of swells and a relatively safe section of the sea in which to develop surfing skills.
However, on certain days on Oxwich Bay and its surrounding coastline, the surf can be incredible and will make for a truly exhilarating ride. It will be crucial on these days to find a good spot though, as you’ll likely find plenty of other surfers also attempting to catch the waves.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
A hidden jewel in Pembrokeshire, Freshwater West is a haven for experienced surfers. Known for its consistent waves and stunning scenery, it’s a spot where surf legends are made. Best visited during mid tide, this beach offers challenging waves that demand respect and skill.
Langland Bay, Gower
Langland Bay, with its mix of rocky and sandy terrains, is a haven for surfers looking for a diverse experience. Its waves cater to a range of skill levels, making it an ideal location for both beginners and intermediate surfers.
Where can I surf in North Wales?
Those who are planning on surfing in Wales would be mistaken to not head to North Wales. While it may be home to a more biting wind outside of Summer, the breakers can be incredible.
Aberdaron, Llyn Peninsula
For those a fan of quite surfing spots, Aberdaron is the place to go. It’s a hidden gem, nestled amongst Lleyn Penisula and a less prominent location for casual surfers, making it an idyllic and tranquil beach.
The waves themselves range from modest swells to fully rideable breakers, making it an excellent spot for all abilities. However, if you visit on a calm day and want something more thrilling, take a short trip along the coastline to Hell’s Mouth where a larger surf can be found.
Arguably one of the best traits of this small, Welsh surf spot is the surrounding village. Many of those who visit fall for its charm and quiet way of life. With a pub, a handful of eateries and notable pasty shop, it’s the perfect spot to relax in after a long day on the waves.
Rhosneigr is much more suited for those at an intermediate – expert level, but offers a consistently good surf, making it one of the best beaches in Wales for surfers.
If you do visit Rhosneigr, you’ll need to be confident in the water as it’s riptides are known to cause a little havoc with its surfers. However, they never create too much of a problem, and surfers will be able to find a wave to catch back to shore easily.
Surf Snowdonia, Conwy
An artificial wave pool set against the stunning backdrop of the Snowdonia mountains, Surf Snowdonia offers a unique experience. Ideal for those looking to perfect their technique, it’s a must-visit for surfers seeking consistent, perfect waves.
Hell’s Mouth (Porth Neigwl), Llyn Peninsula
Hell’s Mouth is renowned for its large waves and wide, sandy beach. It’s a hotspot for more experienced surfers, offering some of the most consistent and powerful waves in North Wales. The beach’s length ensures there’s plenty of room for everyone, even on busy days.
Where can I surf in West Wales?
Wales’ Western coastline is home to some truly spectacular sights, so a day surfing along these scenic shores certainly wouldn’t be a day wasted. From top to bottom, the Western facing beaches are well-known for experiencing plenty of perfect surf, so it’s just a case of picking your ideal spot.
Poppit Sands, Cardigan
Cardigan is a much-loved area of Wales for many tourists, so it’s no surprise that Poppit Sands will be one of the most populated surfing spots. However, this doesn’t mean to say it won’t be an enjoyable trip.
There are plenty of local facilities, including parking and toilets, and lifeguards are always on duty during peak months, ensuring you can feel safe as you hit the waves. On top of this, the beach is often pristine, and the local people are incredibly welcoming, so there’s plenty of reason to visit.
The surf here is more well-suited to beginners, but on a good day, there will be enough surf for everyone to enjoy. If you do take your board, be wary of the river estuary as there can be stronger currents on this side of the beach.
One of the best surfing beaches in Western Wales is Whitesands. Located in Pembrokeshire, the waves can be truly spectacular. In the right conditions, you can find the surf towering, making for an electrifying ride. And, thanks to the shelter offered by Ramsey Island and the headland, the breakers are often clean and longstanding.
That’s not to say the beach is only suitable for confident surfers, as the waves can be conquerable if you remain close to the beach. Throughout the summer months, lifeguards will also be present on the beach.
Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire
Newgale Beach is a long, sandy beach known for its strong winds and impressive surf. Ideal for both beginners and experienced surfers, it offers conditions that vary from gentle waves to challenging surf, depending on the weather.
Additional Surfing Insights
The Importance of Tides: Low and Mid Tide Surfing
Understanding tides is crucial for surfers. Low tide and mid tide conditions can significantly alter the surfing experience, affecting the formation of waves and overall beach topography.
Surfing for All Ages
Whether it’s during the school holidays or a weekend getaway, Wales offers surfing experiences for all ages. Family-friendly beaches like Langland Bay and Newgale Beach are perfect for introducing younger surfers to the sport.
Advanced Surfers: Challenging Waves
Experienced surfers seeking a challenge will find it at beaches like Freshwater West and Hell’s Mouth. With their reputation for larger, more powerful waves, these spots are ideal for advanced surfers looking to test their skills.
Surfing Lessons: A Gateway to Adventure
Taking surfing lessons is the first step in a surfer’s journey. From learning the basics at a surf school nearby to mastering advanced techniques, these lessons are integral for anyone serious about the sport. I’ve listed 3 surf schools below to get you started.
Surf School Wales
Location: Aberavon Beach, Port Talbot.
Offerings: They provide various surfing lessons for different age groups, including beginners and more experienced surfers. They also have special sessions like “Surf Sisters” and adult-only lessons.
Cost: Standard lessons start at £30, with private lessons available for £60. Group bookings and special sessions have different pricing.
Additional Info: Surf School Wales is a family-run, not-for-profit school is easily accessible from the M4 and close to the train station. They focus on the benefits of being near the sea and offer a welcoming environment for all learners.
Outer Reef Surf School
Location: Based in Saundersfoot Harbour, with locations at Tenby North Beach Harbour, Stackpole Quay, and Gupton Farm at Freshwater West.
Offerings: They provide a wide array of water sports courses and activities, including surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and equipment hire.
Additional Info: Recognised for its commitment to safety and quality instruction, Outer Reef Surf School is licensed by AALA and has ISA certified instructors. They have been serving the community and working with local councils and the National Trust for over 22 years.
Adventures Wales Surf School
Location: Porthcawl, with lessons typically conducted at local beaches such as Rest Bay and Coney Beach.
Offerings: They offer a range of surfing lessons for different skill levels and group sizes. They provide equipment and focus on surf safety tuition.
Cost: Half-day surfing lessons are priced at £40 per person, with a full-day lesson at £69. Surfboard hire is available at £20 per day, and a surfboard & wetsuit hire deal at £25.00.
Additional Info: Adventures Wales is a fully Licensed AALA Activity Centre and offers ISA qualified professional surfing lesson instructors. They cater to various group sizes, including family groups, schools, and corporate teams.
Nick, your trusted guide to Wales travel and exploration, shares a deep passion for this enchanting land. With years of exploration, Nick offers expert insights into the best of Wales. Join him on a journey through its captivating history, culture, and hidden gems, as he inspires you to create unforgettable Wales travel experiences.