There’s no doubt that one of the top UK holiday destinations for adrenalin sports enthusiasts is Cornwall. Renowned throughout the world for being home to some of the best surfing hotspots, Cornwall has been a popular holiday destination for decades – here we take a look at why.
Probably one of the most well known surfing hotspots is Fistral Beach. Located in Newquay, Fistral is home to surf competitions such as Ripcurl Boardmasters and the Quicksilver Skins. It’s no wonder budget backpackers and surfing enthusiasts swarm to Fistral with its 750 meters of straight, sandy beach which borders the Atlantic Ocean and its amazing swells. Plus for those hard-core surfers, there is the illusive off-shore reef The Criber which is one of the Cornish holy grails when it comes to surfing.
For those looking for the whole surfing holiday package, Fistral Beach boosts a parade of shops known as ‘the mall’ with many surf brand shops, plus the amazing restaurant, Fistral Blu, with unbeatable panoramic views of the ocean. Nearby to both hostels, B&Bs and more luxurious holiday accommodation, Fistral is also one of the most easy to get to surfing beaches in Cornwall.
Just a couple of miles east of Newquay is another popular surfing beach – Watergate Bay. In complete contrast to the straight beach of Fistral, Watergate Bay is a cove which boosts a secluded swell at high tide. Although historically more popular with local surfers than holiday makers, Watergate Bay has recently become a key UK tourist destination. Accommodation ranges from private upmarket sea-view apartments to the 4 star Watergate Hotel and Extreme Academy who also offer surfing lessons amongst other extreme sporting activities.
Approximately fifteen miles west of Newquay is another cove which is popular with those seeking out surfing adventure. Porthtowan is a coastal village which in Cornish means ‘cove of dunes’ – so called due to its small, sandy beach featuring two wide dunes. Towered either side by cliffs, Porthtowan Beach is truly a picturesque location for surfing. However this spot offers far from easy surfing conditions as it regularly has dangerous currents to challenge even the most confident of surfers.
Porthtowan is home to infamous Blue Bar, a laid back, friendly bar-come-restaurant located right on the beach. The Blue Burgers come highly recommended, as do the regular live bands that perform there. With no hotel in the village, holiday makers flock to the one and only B&B, to low-budget Porthtowan Backpackers or to the many self-catering holiday lets in the village itself.
Further along the coast to the west is another beach in a rural village location. Gwithian Beach stretches just over three miles and is flanked by Gwithian Towans an area of coastal dune land, home to a plethora of local wildlife. The expanse of ocean accessible from the long beach means there is a variety of surf and it’s renowned for clean peels and barrel action. With a cosy beach-side café plus a local pub, there is plenty on offer to satisfy your hunger or thirst. For those wishing to stay near the beach, Gwithian Village offers holiday rental properties, B&Bs and family-friendly camping.
So for those looking for an excellent UK surfing holiday, head to Cornwall. For those following their surfing loved ones, Cornwall has plenty more to offer too.