The most popular surf spots across the UK holiday cottages

The most popular surf spots across the UK

Jemima Kirkwood 12 April 2021

Coming into spring and summer, we have been on the lookout for the best surf spots across the UK, and what better way to do this than finding out which locations surf enthusiasts are searching for the most?

Using the data platform SEMrush, we have discovered the most searched-for surf reports across the UK and used their search volume to determine which locations are the most popular within the surfing community.

Find out where the most searched-for surfing locations are and plan your own surfing staycation in the UK today!

Surfer takes to the waves on Saunton Sands

The Croyde surf report is the most searched-for surf report in the UK, with an impressive average monthly search volume of 2,900. This makes Croyde in Devon the most desirable surf spot for those looking for a day on the water. For those into surfing, it is a well-known fact that Newquay in Cornwall is widely known as the surfing capital of the UK, but our data puts Croyde in Devon at the top. Read on to discover the other most sought-after surfing destinations throughout the country.

Top 10 most popular surfing destinations in the UK

As you can see, Devon and Cornwall in South West England have taken over the top ten with their popular surfing beaches, with eight of them featuring in the line-up. When travelling around the coast of these beautiful balmy counties you won't be short of beaches that invite you in for a dip, however, if you want specific surfing destinations, these are the ones to look into:

LocationSearches per month
Croyde, Devon2,900
Newquay, Cornwall1,900
Polzeath, Cornwall1,900
Woolacombe, Devon1,900
Bantham, Devon1,600
Fistral, Cornwall1,600
Saunton, Devon1,600
Bude, Cornwall1,300
Porthcawl, Wales1,300
Gwithian, Cornwall and Rest Bay, Wales1,000

Woolacombe Beach, North Devon

Wales also makes it into the top ten, with Porthcawl and Rest Bay being the most sought-after spots. Rest Bay is a beach within Porthcawl, situated on the coastline between Swansea and Cardiff. 

Let’s break it down a little further...

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Top 5 most popular surf spots in Devon

The North Devon beaches appear to be more popular. This is likely to be down to the fact that they are graced with the strong Atlantic swells offering up fantastic waves. North Devon’s beaches also stretch for miles, and the wide sandy bays are perfect for practising with all the space you need.

Searches per month
Croyde, Devon2,900
Woolacombe, North Devon1,900
Bantham, South Devon1,600
Saunton, North Devon1,600
Westward Ho!, North Devon720

Croyde Bay, North Devon

Whilst South Devon has less demand, Bantham beach comes in third, with an average of 1,600 people a month seeking this beach out. It is said to be a popular spot for experienced surfers who like to avoid crowds.

Top 5 most popular surf spots in Cornwall

The northern coast of the county seems to be home to some of the most desirable spots for surfing, with Newquay, Polzeath and Fistral taking the top three places in Cornwall's top five. These three beaches sit on the northern coastline of the county and provide lovely stretches of sand to surf from.


Searches per month


Newquay Beach, South Devon

Where are the other popular surfing destinations across the UK?

We went on to discover other locations which are being searched for in conjunction with surf reports within England, Scotland and Wales. This is what we found...

Top 5 most popular surf spots on the South Coast

Although these surf reports are not quite as sought after as those of Devon and Cornwall, there are still a lot of people researching regional surf reports along the South Coast of England. Bournemouth has five great beaches which amount to 7 miles of award-winning coastline, so it comes as no surprise that it takes the number one spot for the South Coast.


Searches per month

Bracklesham Bay210

Bournemouth, South Coast

Top 5 most popular surf spots in Yorkshire

Saltburn beach in Yorkshire is a lovely shingle beach on England’s coast and is backed by a promenade with plenty of facilities for those who come to enjoy a day here. It is known for its great surfing due to the fact it faces north and picks up more swell than other spots close by. Scarborough and Cayton Bay follow closely behind, with Cayton Bay being home to the UK’s longest established surf school!


Searches per month


Saltburn Beach, Yorkshire

Top 5 most popular surf spots in Wales

Porthcawl is the most searched-for spot in Wales, making this area of Wales the most popular for surfing. There are two beaches in this area, Newton Beach and Rest Bay (taking second place.) Rest Bay is a sandy beach backed by the beautiful low cliffs of Porthcawl. Facing south-west, it is known to have big waves, making it great for surfing and other water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing. There is a designated zone for water sports so you will always feel safe.


Searches per month

Rest Bay1,000

Porthcawl beach, Wales

Top 5 most popular surf spots in Scotland

Due to the chillier temperatures and perhaps wilder weather on the Scottish coastline, Scotland is not quite as popular as other locations in the UK for surfing, but dedicated surfers still seek out its unique shores. Thurso is the best place in Scotland to surf, and many drive their boards up there to take on the waves, but compared to Devon and Cornwall, the surfing here is in smaller demand.


Searches per month

Coldingham Bay40
St Andrews20

Have we inspired you to try surfing for the first time? Now you have seen the data from across the UK, you have knowledge of the most popular places that surfers look at for a great day out on the ocean!

Stay in a self-catering cottage on the coast of Devon

If we have inspired you to come and stay in Devon to try some surfing, then keep our self-catering cottages in mind. We have everything from small romantic boltholes on the beach to larger family holiday homes with stunning coastal views. View the collections in some of Devon's top surfing destinations:

Croyde cottages - Woolacombe cottages - Westward Ho! cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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