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27th July 2017

Categories: Visitor News

We know that this will divide people…but which stretch of coast is best for surfing in North Devon?

The area has many quality spots all year round, which makes North Devon a must-surf. The consistent west facing beachbreaks mean there’s always a place to surf waves and the beaches are reliable year round, with sheltered spots drawing in crowds.

So, for those who have never visited the area before, here’s our breakdown of the best places to go surfing in North Devon…






Image by Simon Cotter

Thought to be one of the best places to surf in the UK, in competition with Cornish waves, Croyde gets our vote any day.

The waves are good on all tides, but especially at low tide. World class waves mean board breakers occur and the waves can be fast, so Croyde’s the beach to hit if you’re more experienced riding quickly and through busy seas.

Croyde is perhaps a place for beginners to avoid in peak summer due to how busy it can be, but, if you have the confidence, you will love it!  

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 



Image by Simon Cotter

This popular North Devon beach is a highlight of the summer; for sunbathers and surfers alike.

With a reef break, the surf produces some very good waves. It can be surfed on all tides and there’s plenty of swell as the break is quite exposed to west and north west swell.

Woolacombe is great for experienced surfers and beginners alike, as there are many surf schools here and it stretches for miles, so it’s easy to avoid the crowds if you walk down the beach a bit.

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 



Image by Rowan Chanin

The best place to surf off Westward Ho! is close to the rocks on the left or by the estuary on the right!

The beach is known for it’s long stretch of pebbles and surfing here is relaxed and casual, ideal for when keeping it chilled is the aim of the game.

Other beaches do it better, but Westward Ho! is the place to be for the complete seaside package of surf, beach, ice cream, fish ‘n’ chips and family arcades.

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 



Saunton is an underrated beach, and so is the surf. Often overshadowed by Croyde and Woolacombe, Saunton Sands really is just as good.

Like Woolacombe this sandy beach stretches as far as the eye can see, so finding your spot isn’t a problem during busy sessions.

There’s a good vibe here; relaxed and encouraging experienced surfers to mix with classes and families learning to surf.

Saunton is great for long boards and always worth a visit.

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 



Putsborough; again a very underrated surf spot. The surf is good and sheltered, super clean when conditions are good.

On the same three-mile stretch as Woolacombe (on the horizon in the above photo), Putsborough is a classic beach with golden sands and blue waters that beg to be surfed.

Come here away from the main summer holiday season and you’ll see why so many people love Putsborough.  

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 



Not a first choice for many, but Lynmouth is actually a good little point to surf.

Based on the north coast, where Exmoor meets the sea, Lynmouth beach is difficult to get to but when the surf is right it’s worth the trip.

When the surf works well it provides long lefthanders that can work on all tides.

Over the years the waves here have become busier with surfers coming to enjoy the tide – a sign that something must be right at a place not traditionally associated with surfers.  

Due to it’s location it doesn’t get really busy that often, but it’s well worth it if you time it right.

Wave Quality 

Surfing Standard 


Where have we missed? Do you have any further points about these beaches?

Let us know your  surfing thoughts over on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


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