There is something very special about the waters surrounding Ireland and the UK, it’s freezing for the majority of the year, it’s unpredictable and it’s often rugged. For those who brave the cold water there is a real joy in surfing around these islands- the surprise and pleasure of having surf in your home country. So in to get you in the mood for some surf holidays
we’ve put together some of the most famous waves around Ireland and the UK.
The Peak, Bundoran
This barreling left-hander wave is the focal point to the home of Irish surfing. The Point breaks over a slab of rock, creating a steep take-off with a harsh wipe-out if you get it wrong. This wave attracts the only the experts and the foolish.
Easkey, Co. Sligo
Some places have all the luck. The town of Easkey is the base for the Irish Surfing Association, and the reason they chose this town lies in not one, but two amazing reef breaks... one going left (next to the river mouth) and one going right (near the castle).
At the foot of the cliffs of Moher lies the gargantuan wave known as Aileens. Surpassing all expectations of European waves, Aileens has become a mecca for big wave riders from across the globe. Reaching heights of over 50ft when storm swells hit, Aileens demands respect.
Site for the most northern of official surf events, Thurso East is a beautiful right-hander. This reefbreak consistently offers powerful walled rides, ancient scenery and of course cold waters of 8-10 degrees C.
Rest Bay, Porthcawl, Wales
Lying west of Porthcawl is the sandy beachbreak of Rest Bay. The break offers good lefts and rights that can last from anywhere between 50 - 100 metres in length. Restbay is good for all abilities but is also the Autumn choice for surf competitions when the south western swells start to churn through.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Just a few miles north of Newquay lies the stunning rugged coastline of Watergate Bay. Home to over 2 miles of shorebreak, Watergate is the site for the annual Surf Relief event where the UK Pro Surf Tour holds one of its competitions. Throughout the year Watergate provides a good combination of beginners surf and bigger swell outback for the more progressive surfer.
Newquay is known as the Cornish Blackpool, full of stag and hen parties- not for the faint hearted. However, each year it comes alive for the surf festivals and competitions. Fistral beach is the venue for thousands of surfers, beginners through to pros at the Boardmaster’s Competition. Its shorebreak peaks and southern point deservedly attract attention for all the right reasons.
Croyde Bay, Devon
On the northcoast of Devon in the small village of Croyde lies one of the best beach breaks in the UK. Croyde Bay provides consistent waves throughout the year, wedging it up when the bigger swell pulses through, providing both good lefts and rights to play in.
A great all rounder beach break. Site for competitions and learn-to-surf-schools, the break provides lefts and rights all over the place. Widemouth is also home to the reefbreak known as the Salt House that will satisfy the experts.
Tynemouth might be a bit of a controversial choice, many a discussion has hovered over the quality of the water. But times are changing. Tynemouth has received more and more blue flag awards from the Environmental Agency, and of course the waves are great regardless, what with their jacking up beach break that works in most swells.