Devon is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and has become one of the most popular staycation destinations for families in the UK. From rolling down dunes and building sandcastles to rock-pooling expeditions and splashing around in the sea, there’s something to keep everyone busy during a day out at the beach in Devon. Given that the weather during the summer in the UK can be unpredictable, those hoping to try their hand at surfing need not be bothered, for they’ll be getting wet anyway! Whether you’re a professional shredder that can pull off all kinds of tricks to the delight of the crowd that gather on the sands to watch or you’re an absolute beginner and experience a few wipeouts at first…again to the delight of the crowds watching on the sands, surfing is a fantastic activity to try out next time you’re glamping in Devon. If this is something you’re interested in, we’ve created a list of some of the best surfing beaches in Devon so you can find one close to your chosen abode.
A beautiful expanse of golden sand that stretches for three-miles and is backed by towering dunes, providing the perfect opportunity to check out the conditions and take in the views of the surrounding coastline from above. The beach is big enough for everyone, from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals and all in between. The waves are often two or three foot, making it ideal for white water learners and those looking for the perfect swell out back. On windier days, head to the other end of the beach where Putsborough will provide a fun, clean and playful wave that is sheltered from the wind. There is also lots to do in the village of Woolacombe, including nipping to the neighbouring beach, Barricane for a curry on the beach to refuel after all that time in the sea.
Again, on the North Devon Coast sits Croyde, a fantastic beach and village that lives and breathes all things surf. The waves provide great practice for beginners and experts travel from far and wide when the waves are working here for great waves and an even better vibe. Perhaps most well-known for hosting Goldcoast’s Oceanfest, which involves an array of sports competitions, music acts and funky stalls to explore – a must visit if you’re glamping in Devon around the middle of June.
Hailed by locals as the filming location of Robbie Williams’ Angels music video, Saunton provides a fun, clean wave close to Barnstaple, the biggest town in North Devon. Head here during the busiest days of the summer to avoid the crowds that flock to neighbouring beaches as there’s certainly more than enough room for everyone here. A successful surf life-saving club operates from here, which is always a good indication of the attitude towards surfing. If conditions are messy, we recommend visiting nearby beaches Croyde and Putsborough instead for a cleaner ride.
Not so much one for the beginners because of the dangerous rocks and unique conditions that require only the most experienced of riders. However, when Lynmouth is working it’s been hailed as the best surfing spot in the UK and beyond, and professionals are often spotted pulling off all kinds of tricks from the esplanade. There are plenty of pubs and a decent chippy making for the ideal post-surfing pint and snack.
This great beach is often overlooked, with many opting for the better-known havens of Croyde and Woolacombe. However, for anyone glamping in Hartland, this beach is close-by and with the right conditions can provide a clean, fun wave for all to enjoy. Locals tend to head to this beach to escape the crowds of bodyboard-cladded holiday makers that flock to the area during the summer, and its favourable surf conditions is arguably one of North Devon’s best-kept secrets!
Over on the south coast, Bantham is renowned for having the most consistent beach break in the region. The size of the breaks depends on the conditions, with those close to the shore providing the perfect conditions for beginners and the larger swells bringing big waves further out for those with a little more experience. Be wary of the rips from the river and to the left of the beach as these are difficult to spot unless you already know that they are there. Head to the Sloop Inn to warm yourself up from the inside out and enjoy some of the fine local cuisine on offer.
Challaborough provides the ideal break for a range of abilities, but completely depends on what the conditions are like on the day. It works particularly well in offshore north-easterly winds and a south-westerly swell. The left-hand point breaks makes for long-lasting rides, which can work well for those looking to practice and hone existing skills and jumps. That said, don’t try for too much air near to the right end of the beach where hidden rocks could lead to unfortunate accidents out on the water.
That concludes our guide to some of the best surfing spots in Devon. Whether you’re staying in South Devon, North Devon or somewhere in between, there’s plenty of fantastic surfing havens for you to choose from and each and every one is well-worth a day spent out in the waves. Do you have a favourite beach in Devon? Let us know which one and why via the comments on our social media channels! If the weather takes a turn for the worst during your glamping trip, discover the best indoor attractions with our recent blog, Rainy Day Activities in Devon.
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