Best Surf Spots in Cornwall

Published: Friday 9th Aug 2019


Whether surfing is about as familiar to you as balancing on an oversized ironing board in the sea or you are a salty skinned professional cutting whippet-fast shapes on the rollers out back, there are plenty of excellent surf spots in Cornwall to suit all abilities. Framed by glorious beaches merging sandy shores with translucent seas and manned by teams of lifeguards and surf tutors throughout the summer, you can take your pick of some of the best breaks in the world ready to release your inner John John Florence.

To get you started, here are some of the best surf spots in Cornwall that should definitely be on your list, whether you are just beginning or are truly ensconced in your wave journey:

Constantine Bay

One of the best surf beaches in Cornwall, Constantine is a west-facing beach in North Cornwall and very popular amongst experienced surfers. Not so suitable for learners, it has a reef break at the southern end of the beach and good waves in the middle of the bay, both excellent when the conditions are right.

Fistral Beach

Globally renowned as one of the finest surfing beaches in the world and the centre for surfing in the UK, Fistral beach regularly hosts major surfing tournaments and is also home to Cornwall’s big wave, the Cribbar. Great for beginners on calm days and a mecca for pros when sets are pumping.


A long sandy beach that often offers surfable waves even in summer, Gwithian is a hit with green-water junkies of all abilities. Get in touch with Gwithian Academy of Surfing if you are popping up for the first time and would like to hone your skills, or grab your board and paddle on out!

Harlyn Bay     

Only 3 miles from Padstow, Harlyn Bay is a beautiful beach not to mention a great surf spot in Cornwall, especially if you are a newbie. Home to Harlyn Bay Surf School, one of the UK’s leading surf schools with over 24 years’ experience, surfers of all ages can have fun playing in the white-water under the watchful eye of expert tutors.


Surfable at all stages of the tide and good for both groms and pros, Polzeath in North Cornwall is an exposed sandy beach with a decent point break that churns out consistent surf throughout the year. Regularly visited by local and mobile surf schools, there are plenty of options for a little extra guidance in the water should you need it.


Another of North Cornwall’s exposed beaches hit by the almighty power of the Atlantic, Porthtowan regularly produces serious waves for serious surfers. Watch the locals riding the rip to get to the meaty waves out back or join up with one of the local surf operators for tuition in the white-waters closer to shore; a day in the waves here is sure to delight.


Arguably one of the best breaks in the whole of the UK, Porthleven’s reef break calls to experienced surfers looking for somewhere with a kick. Providing heavy surf full of power, it attracts hardy water-lovers looking to make the most of the elements. As well as surfing, it is also very popular for bodyboarding.

Check out our beach holiday cottages here.