Devon is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the best surfing spots in the UK. With it’s stunning coastline and excellent surfing conditions, both North Devon and South Devon offer some of the most fantastic surfing beaches around.
In this guide, we’ll explore the best surfing beaches in Devon, helping you make the most of your time on the waves.
Our top picks for the best surfing beaches in Devon include:
- Westward Ho!
- Bude (Crooklets Beach and Summerleaze Beach)
- Wembury Beach
- Saunton Sands
- Bigbury on Sea & Challaborough
- Widemouth bay
Croyde is one of the most popular surfing spots in North Devon, renowned for its perfect barrels at low tide. Boasting some of the best swells in the region during winter, Croyde is a must-visit for surfers across the UK.
This stunner of a coastal town is home to a top-rated surf school and transforms into a bustling holiday destination during summer, so be sure to book your accommodation early.
We have a full review on Croyde Bay and Croyde Beach and have put one of the popular, family-run campsites below.
Westward Ho Beach, often overlooked as a surf spot, offers fun waves once you pass the initial pebbles. The beach is ideal for beginner surfers and makes for a great family beach day.
Occasionally, you may even find a good swell on the right day. Westward Ho! has recently undergone rejuvenation, quickly becoming a popular holiday destination in Devon.
Looking for a Surf School in Westward Ho? Meet James from Sandy SUP & Surf here.
Woolacombe Beach, another popular North Devon surf spot, is a favourite among families. Its three-mile stretch of golden sand benefits from Devon’s microclimate, creating a vibrant atmosphere during summer.
Low tide offers the best waves, which are typically mellow and perfect for longboarders and beginners. Woolacombe is also a popular location for bodyboarding.
Located in South Devon, Bantham Beach is among the finest beaches on the south coast. Offering consistent swells, Bantham is an ideal surfing destination. However, inexperienced surfers should be cautious of the rip from the River Avon.
Beginners should stick close to the shoreline, while more experienced surfers can catch impressive swells further out.
With its popularity, Bantham can become quite busy, so be prepared for crowds. Don’t miss the stunning coastal walk to Burgh Island while you’re there.
Bude (Crooklets Beach and Summerleaze Beach)
Situated along the North Devon coast, is a seaside town known for its beautiful beaches and fantastic surf spots (and shops, lots of shops!).
With a variety of breaks catering to surfers of all levels, Bude is an ideal destination for skill levels of surfers. Popular surf spots in the area include Crooklets Beach and Summerleaze Beach, each offering its own unique wave conditions.
In addition to its exceptional surf, Bude boasts a vibrant local community and lots of places to shop, eat and while away the day while the waves pick up. The town offers a selection of surf schools and equipment rental shops, making it easy for anyone to get started with surfing.
Situated near Plymouth, Wembury Beach is a favourite surfing spot on the South Devon coast. On a good day, Wembury can hold swells of up to 10 feet, providing an exciting ride for surfers.
With waves that are not too strong, Wembury is an excellent location for surfers of all levels. The best conditions are typically found in the spring, and the beach can get quite busy during peak times.
Nestled between Woolacombe and Croyde, Putsborough Beach spans a beautiful three miles and offers fantastic waves on good days.
Experienced surfers will appreciate the swells, while beginners can enjoy more mellow conditions. Speak to locals for advice on potential hazards, such as the cliffs at the south end of the beach. Putsborough Sands is an excellent spot to practice or start surfing.
Saunton Sands, a large and idyllic beach, is visible from the road as you approach Croyde Bay.
Popular among longboarders, particularly at low tide, Saunton Sands is also an excellent spot for beginner surfers.
There is a large hotel that looks over the entire bay called “The Saunton Sands Hotel”, personally we prefer the beachside grill or cafe which is situated right down at the beach edge.
Lynmouth, one of Devon’s lesser-known surf spots, is situated on the North Devon coast. Suitable only for experienced surfers, Lynmouth offers one of the few high-quality point breaks in the area.
When conditions align, creating exceptional swells, Lynmouth can become quite crowded. The town itself is worth exploring, with its cliffside railway attracting numerous visitors.
Bigbury on Sea and Challaborough
Close to Bantham Beach and across the River Avon, you’ll find the twin beaches of Bigbury on Sea and Challaborough.
Challaborough, a popular South Devon surf spot, sees its best waves during the winter months. While decent waves can be inconsistent, and some hazardous rocks may be present, locals can offer advice to help you navigate the area safely.
The nearby holiday park provides convenient beach facilities, making this an attractive beach day destination.
Widemouth Bay, located on the North Devon coast, just south of Bude is an excellent surf spot known for its consistent waves and sandy beach.
The spacious bay offers plenty of room for surfers of all levels to enjoy the water, making it a perfect destination for beginners and experienced surfers. The waves at Widemouth Bay can be particularly enjoyable during low tide, providing a thrilling surfing experience.
One of the best features of Widemouth Bay is its close proximity to ample car parking, making it easy for visitors to access the beach and enjoy a day of surfing. The nearby facilities also add to the convenience and comfort of this popular surf destination.
The North Devon Surfing Reserve
Approved in January 2022, spanning approximately 30 km of coastline and encompasses a high density of world-class surf destinations, including iconic breaks such as Croyde, Saunton, Woolacombe, and Lynmouth.
As the 12th World Surfing Reserve, its core focus is preserving the quality of the waves and the ecosystems that produce them, giving the surfing community a voice in decision-making processes affecting the coastline and the best beaches in the UK.
Surfing contributes over £50 million to the local economy annually and supports around 1,500 jobs. The North Devon Surfing Reserve aims to ensure the continued enjoyment of these pristine surf spots for everyone, from beginners to expert surfers.
The area’s beautiful, rugged coastline offers something for everyone, whether they are a surfer, wild swimmers, stand-up paddleboarders, or simply enjoying a walk along the wild coastal path. You can find out more about reserve here.
Recovering the Bideford Witches (Book)
So Best surfing beaches in Devon?
We really do have the best surfing beaches in Devon right here on our coastline, offering something for everyone. From a beginner surfer just getting started to the experienced surfer who can smash out the biggest of waves.
Devon, with its breathtaking scenery and wide array of excellent surf spots, North Devon and South Devon is must-visit destinations for any surf enthusiast.
Whether you’re catching a wave at Croyde, exploring Woolacombe Beach, one of the best beaches in the world or enjoying the South West Coast Path, Devon is a surfer’s paradise waiting to be discovered.
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About the Author
Welcome to Bideford.com! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.
On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.
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