7 of the best family surfing spots in the UK
This year, add some excitement to a family beach holiday and try surfing with your brood. The good news is that you don’t need to jet off to exotic shores to find an excellent family surfing location as there are plenty of places to catch a wave in the UK, whether you’re beginners or pros.
From surfing favourite Cornwall and a sunny spot in Scotland, to a unique attraction in North Wales, here are seven top family surfing destinations in the UK.
Sennen Cove, Cornwall, England
Just around the coast from Land’s End, Sennen Cove Beach is Cornwall’s most westerly surfing spot. Not only is it a beautiful location – think a huge expanse of golden sand and clear, twinkling water – but there are excellent facilities for families including a surf school, beach restaurant, nearby car parks and RNLI lifeguards from April to the end of October.
Sennen Surfing Centre offers private family lessons and courses.
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Rest Bay, Porthcawl, Wales
Rest Bay in South Wales is just a 45-minute drive from Cardiff, around an hour-and-a-quarter from Bristol and just over three hours from London. For adventure-loving families, there’s a water sports centre that looks out over the sandy Blue Flag beach, where you can book surfing lessons and stand-up paddle boarding tuition.
Porthcawl Surf School has a family weekend offer with one learn to surf lesson and two surf hire sessions for £40 a person or five-day courses for children aged seven to 16 for £85. Once you’ve mastered the waves, you could all head to Pietro’s for an ice-cream sundae.
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Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland, England
Fancy surfing with the backdrop of a magnificent Norman castle? You can at the vast, sandy Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland. The beach gets consistent waves and is considered to be one of the best spots on the coast to surf, with lessons available through Northside Surf School, among others.
For more family fun, plan a boat trip from nearby Seahouses to visit the Farne Islands too, where you can spot puffins, seals, guillemots and more.
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Woolacombe, Devon, England
Regularly voted as one of the best beaches in the world in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards, children will love Woolacombe Beach with its dunes to race down, miles of white sand to play on and colourful beach huts. There are also several surf schools who offer lessons to help you all tame the Atlantic waves, such as Woolacombe Surf Centre where a half-day session costs £35, including photographs of your antics.
After your session in the sea, head to Woolacombe itself for an ice-cream or to peruse the surf shops. And, if the surfing conditions aren’t up to scratch, or your kids don’t want to brave the sea yet, there’s a surfing simulator, Wavesurfer, at the Golden Coast holiday park.
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Belhaven Beach, Dunbar, Scotland
Dunbar, just a 40-minute drive from Edinburgh, is nicknamed “Sunny Dunny” as it claims to be one of the sunniest spots in Scotland. And Belhaven Beach is the perfect place to take advantage of this as a family while learning to surf on its gentle waves, which are ideal for beginners.
Book a lesson with Coast to Coast Surf Adventures then enjoy a picnic next to its dunes while enjoying a view over the Forth Estuary.
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Portrush, Northern Ireland
Portrush is a popular resort on Northern Ireland’s Atlantic coast and attracts surfers from around the world due to its swell. If your kids know their surfers, pop into Troggs Surf Shop, which is owned by Andrew Hill, a six times Irish surfing champion. You could also enjoy a family surfing session with Portrush Surf School or book your little ones into a four-day kids’ surf camp with Alive Adventures.
Portrush itself has plenty of restaurants suitable for the fussiest of eaters, Barry’s Amusements and Blue Flag beaches to explore when you’re not on a board. And the nearby spectacular Giant’s Causeway is just around the coast.
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Adventure Parc, Snowdonia, North Wales
Blow the kids’ minds with a trip to an inland surf lagoon in Snowdonia with the backdrop of mountains and forest. At Adventure Parc Snowdonia, there are surf lessons available for all of the family on its lagoon, from “little rippers” lessons for children aged five to seven, and “groms” for those aged 8-12, to “just surf” sessions if you’re more experienced.
There are three zones at the centre: surf, adventures (think everything from indoor high ropes and climbing walls to a pump track) and, for the parents, a wave garden spa.