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England may be more famous for football, horse racing and fish and chips, but there are plenty of locations around the country that are great for surfing and bodysurfing.

Here are five beaches around England to head to if you fancy riding some waves.

Fistral Beach, Cornwall

Cornwall is one of the most popular locations in England for surfing with a number of options available, and Fistral Beachis arguably the most well-known. The reason it makes this list, though, is because depending on the time of year, it accommodates all levels.

In the summer, when the sea is calmer and the waves gentler, it is ideal for bodyboarding and for beginners keen to learn how to surf, with a centre offering lessons on the beach.

In the winter, however, swells produce big waves for the expert surfers to enjoy. The location is so good for surfing that Fistral Beach hosts numerous competitions, including the British National Surf Championships, and UK Bodysurfing Championships.

Saltburn, North Yorkshire

Given the range of surf available at Saltburn, it is little wonder this location in England’s north-east has been a long-standing destination for surfers in the UK. The mellow waves near the pier are perfect for surf beginners and those looking for a casual bodysurf.

The Saltburn Surf School, which has been operating in the area since 1983, is the place to go for lessons, equipment hire and for local knowledge of conditions. While Saltburn itself is more beginner friendly, Cayton just down the coast is a quiet bay that provides excellent surfing year-round for learners all the way up to expert surfers and bodysurfers.

Saunton Sands, Saunton, Devon 

With five miles of open beach and long breaking right and left waves, Saunton Sands is one of the best places in England for surf beginners and bodysurfers.

Set among green hills and granite cliffs and surrounded by quintessential English coastal villages like Woolacombe, Croyde and Braunton, the expansive area of Saunton Sands means there is plenty of space for every surfer and bodysurfer to find their own peaks.

The best time to visit is through the summer months, from April to October, and in the hottest months the water temperature can rise to as high as 19°C, making it comfortable conditions for casual surfers and bodysurfers.

Widemouth Bay, Cornwall

Widemouth Bay is a large and popular beach for surfers and bodysurfers. There are numerous surf schools to get lessons and to hire equipment, and it received the Blue Flag Beach Award in 2019.

Surfers and bodysurfers will enjoy a variety of peaks at Widemouth Bay depending on which side of the bay they are located. Waves will break on either the reef or sand, which produces barreling waves and spilling waves.

Widemouth Bay is suitable for both beginning surfers and bodysurfers as well as more experienced surfers, although there are high tide rocks to be mindful of. There is also convenient parking with panoramic views of the bay, so park up, grab your gear, and get straight out into the water!

Bantham Beach, Devon

Named by Lonely Planet in 2015 as one of the 10 best beaches in Europe, it’s clear to see why when you arrive at Bantham Beach.

This is not just a beautiful beach but a fantastic surf and bodysurf destination, with a natural topography that provides reliable waves for surfers and bodysurfers of all levels.  For lessons and equipment hire, make your way to the Bantham Surfing Academy, which is listed as a British Surf School Centre of Excellence. 

There is an active local surf community called the Bantham Surf Life Saving Club, which was founded in 1960, while rumor has it that Prince Charles used to regularly surf here during his time at the Dartmouth Royal Naval College!

We hope this inspired YOU to book at trip to England!

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 Images by Ben Schofield

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