Sunday 7th June 2020

Best Surf Locations in North Devon

Photo courtesy: Mark Clinton Johnson

If surfing and surf culture is part of your lifestyle then there is no better place to embrace the sport and hone your skills than the surf breaks in North Devon, there is something here for everyone!

Not only can the conditions be world class but the area offers a range of good quality, varied breaks that enable you to practice your skills; from short boards, long boarding, body boarding and the increasingly popular stand-up paddle boarding (SUP).

The west-facing coasts of North Devon take advantage of the west/southwest Atlantic swells. In general, this delivers pretty consistent conditions and there is always a break that can be surfed.

Willingcott Valley Holiday Village is perfectly placed to enjoy the top surfing breaks; Woolacombe, Combesgate, Croyde, Putsborough and Saunton, all can be reached within a 5 to 15-minute drive. These destinations all offer right and left-hand beach-breaks.

Learning to surf in Croyde North Devon - one of the best surfing spots in the country
Photo courtesy: Max Weston Photography


Croyde is considered to be the best wave in North Devon where the famous low-tide barrels can offer the perfect fast wave for the more experienced short-board surfer. Surf schools are plentiful and Croyde offers the perfect training ground. If you're looking for surf schools, check out Surfing Croyde Bay (shown in the photo’s displayed) and Croyde Surf Academy


Following the coast south, just around the headland of Saunton Down you will find the vast stretch of Saunton beach here the consistent long lines of swell are a long boarders and beginners paradise. Take a look at Surfed Out and Surf Saunton for more information.

Surfing in a stunning sunset at Saunton sands beach North DevonPhoto courtesy: Mark Clinton Johnson


Woolacombe’s award winning beach offers 3 miles of beach and surf, suitable for beginners through to experts. Woolacombe’ s surf-break works at all times of the tide and is the closest surf destination to Willingcott Valley, just under 2 miles away. There are plenty of surfing organisations in the area, check out Shore2Surf, Surf South West, Woolacombe Surf Centre, Nick Thorn surf coaching. and Gulfstream.

surfing croyde bay - learn to surf on holiday in North DevonPhoto courtesy: Max Weston Photography

Putsborough Sands

On windy days when the surf tends to be ‘blown-out’ sheltered spots such as Putsborough Sands offer a hidden gem when other beaches are too messy to surf. Alternatively head north of Woolacombe, just around the corner to Combesgate beach, a low to mid-tide spot where the waves can be on a par with Croyde.

To help you reach your surfing goals, look no further than the local businesses and teams mentioned that specialise in hardware, coaching, rental and most importantly advice on how to make the most of surfing in North Devon. Braunton also offers a wealth of expertise; The Board Barn, Tiki and Surfed Out.

surfing croyde bay - a great surf school in North DevonPhoto courtesy: Peter Lothian Photography

Ensure you check out eyeballhq and magicseaweed to get the latest information on surfing conditions, enabling you to choose the right destination for your needs. Both websites enable you to view webcams and understand tide times, sunsets and sunrises.

Beautiful sunset on Woolacombe beach - one of the best surfing locations in North DevonPhoto courtesy: Mark Clinton Johnson

It is important to note that only the surf-breaks at Woolacombe and Croyde are maintained by lifeguards during peak seasons to ensure you, your families and friends are safe. The RNLI operate from 10am – 6pm daily. All beaches have adequate parking, facilities and great places to reward yourself with something to eat and drink.

We hope you’ve been inspired by reading about the fantastic surf-breaks in North Devon. If you’d like to make this part of your holiday then check availablity now and book your stay in one of our family friendly self-catering holiday cottages, located just 2 miles from Woolacombe beach. We look forward to welcoming you.

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