Discover more than 300 beaches in Cornwall and Devon
For those who think more southern climates are just that bit too hot, the southwestern English counties of Cornwall and Devon offer rather mild weather influenced by the Gulf Stream from April to October with generally good conditions for surfing, skim and bodyboarding or stand up paddling as well as stable winds for kite and windsurfing. The colder winter months from November to February with temperatures around 6° C are for those who can not resist stormy and extreme conditions. But during summer, you can most certainly enjoy sunbathing on the beach or go hiking and climbing in the splendid landscape on days with too little wind.
More than 300 beaches From London, it is easy to get to England's south-west by car, train or domestic flight (Newquay) with its more than 300 beaches that alternate with impressive cliffs and thus create a spectacular background for all kinds of watersports. The surfing hotspots are mostly located on the west coast, which opens up towards the Atlantic Ocean. Newquay in Cornwall, for example, has announced itself as "The Surfing Capital of Britain". After all, it is home to the popular Boardmasters Festival at Fistral Beach and Watergate Bay. But this is by far not the only event during the summer season. Many events such as the Moonlight Surf at Fistral Beach or international competitions attract young Brits as well as guests from around the world to the remote coastal area.
Accommodation & Food It is already for some time that tourist organizations have recognized surfers, kiters and other trendsport fans as a relevant target group apart from fans of the Victorian heritage and readers of Rosamunde Pilcher novels. Efforts to get these new groups to the beaches of the region have been remarkable. It is quite an interesting mix of holiday makers that comes together in Devon's and Cornwall's cosy holiday cattages, comfortable hotels overlooking the sea or small surfing lofges and hostels for smaller budgets. The famous scones with clotted cream and jam are a mandatory tea time treat for all of them. And why not go for dinner at Jamie Oliver's restaurant Fifteen after surfing on Watergate Bay?
The variety of beaches in the region has a great choice of spots for all skill levels to get out onto the water. With great breaking waves of one to five meters in height, surfer's paradise definitely is Croyde Beach, located in the eponymous cove on the north coast of Devon. It is undoubtedly one of the best surfing spots in the whole of Europe. But you should have gained some experince before you go out at this spot. In addition to the typical cliffs, the 800 meters long sandy beach and the perfect waves Croyde Beach also has great sand dunes that rise above the beach.
Newcomers, surfing schools and rental equipment Woolacombe Beach or Putsborough a little further are great training spots for newcomers and advanced surfers and kiters. Longboars surfing is great at Saunton Sands. And if you want to rent equipment locally, there are countless suppliers all over the region. Many surf schools and shops have settled close to the spots and the surrounding towns. And some of the hotels also have surf and kite courses on offer.
Further tips for the region A trip back in time: At Oddicombe Bay a 10,000 hectare Geopark offers insights into the formation of the English Riviera over time. The coastal region has won the Quality Coast Award for its child friendliness, good parking, cafes, beach shops and watersports facilities. A ride in the Babbacombe Cliff Railway is a great attraction particularly for families. The historic train takes you leisurely up the cliffs and offers stunning views over the bay.
Do you know a theater where you can listen to the waves and the screeching seagulls and enjoy the sparkle of the sun on the waves? The answer is the magic Minack Theatre at Porthcurno Beach at Lands End, which was built right into the cliffs. In addition to classics such as Shakespeare's Hamlet, the theatre also shows lighter pieces such as Madame Butterfly or Guys and Dolls. Afterwards, take a detour to the beach. The white sand, the turquoise waters and the rocky coast ensure a romantic atmosphere during sunset.
A cosy spot that can be reached by boat or canoe is the remote sandy bay of Soar Mill Cove. The small sandy beach in the middle of the rugged country around Bolt Head is part of the South-West Coast Trail, if you prefer a walk there.