Best Surf Beaches In Wales
If you are looking to explore new surf breaks north of the Tamar then Wales should be on your hit list. Our Celtic friends have some incredible surf spots when found on the right day, from The Gower Peninsula in south Wales, all the way up to Rhosneigr in north Wales. If it weren’t for Ireland being a rather large windbreak, Wales would be the premier surf spot in the UK. As it stands, Ireland isn’t going anywhere, so Wales has made the most of the swell that whips around the tips.
Most of these breaks work well during the winter swell, which is accompanied by a slight drop in temperature so make sure you’re prepared. Stock up on the goods with our Herringbone Wool Picnic Blanket to keep the chill off, and perhaps some Lightning Bolt socks to warm up those toes when you’re out of the water. Here’s our list to get you started.
Starting off strong we have Porthcawl, located on the southern coast of Wales, between Cardiff and Swansea. The surf here suits all levels thanks to its sandy beach break at Rest Bay, ideal for those wanting slower more forgiving waves, and Black Rock, a fairly exposed point break that is great for the more experienced surfers. Surfers love Porthcawl so much that in the summer of 2022, the BLU Longboard Classic was held here, with the likes of Sam Bleakley, Connor Griffiths and Beth Leighfield gracing the waves.
Caswell Bay, Gower
A little further along the coast, past Swansea and through the picturesque village of The Mumbles, you will enter The Gower Peninsula. Chock full of beaches and bays great for surfing. One of which is Caswell Bay. Winding through the countryside, with the ocean on your left you come down the hill to an unassuming rest stop equipped with a cafe and surf school. Look to your left and the bay opens out before you. This beach has extreme tidal ranges unlike those that we get here in Cornwall. At low tide the walk to the waves seems to go on forever. Luckily this spot works best at mid-high tide. A beautiful spot to surf for the verdant hills you’ll look back on, and great for beginners thanks to its relatively small swell size.
If you are looking to ramp things up, then travel a few miles along the coast road to Llangennith Beach. Like what Sennen is to Cornwall, this five-mile stretch of sand is usually a foot or two bigger than what Caswell Bay gets, and has some of the best surf on this coast. Keep an eye on the forecast before jumping in though, as the paddle out is one of the toughest there is, keep an eye on the period stat so you don’t get overwhelmed with wave after wave on the head. Waves can also be a little bigger than anticipated given how exposed this bay is, so don’t underestimate it. Llangennith is such a hotspot that the Welsh Surfing Federation is stationed here, along with Llangennith Surf School, if you want to try your hand at surfing for the first time. The vista that you are surrounded by is well worth a visit even if you don’t end up getting in, what with the miles upon miles of sand to explore, along with a shipwreck in the middle and an eerie looking cottage at the foot of the Rhossili Downs it’s certainly a place you won’t forget.
Porth Neigwl, Llanengan
This four-mile stretch of sand gives surfers a lot to explore. At the southern tip you will find Cilan head. Ideal for intermediate surfers due to the boulder reef and a rock-bottomed left. The locals like this spot so be careful who you drop in on. Further down the beach towards the main break the waves die down a little and are pretty consistent, but can vary depending on the sandy banks underfoot. Ideal for beginners thanks to the space that is available, everyone tends to spread out reducing the risk of rookie collisions.
Moving up the coast to the north we come to Treath Llydan, a beach break just south of the town of Rhosneigr. Perfect for learners and longboarders as the swell that whips over the tip of Northern Ireland and down the channel doesn’t reach here with full force, and it is protected by the headland further north. This is not to say that Anglesey so keep an eye on the forecast, for if Porth Neigwl is firing, you might be able to pick up a wave or two here. Be warned that the tide is two hours later than the aforementioned, so don’t miss it.
We couldn’t explore breaks in north Wales without mentioning this hotspot. Granted, it’s not a natural wave, but it sure does keep the cravings at bay when surf is as limited as it is at this end of the country. This 300 metre long inland surf lagoon can be found in the Conwy Valley of Snowdonia National Park. Not dissimilar to what our friends in Bristol can experience at The Wave, except a touch colder.
We can’t give you all the answers. Part of the joy of surfing is exploring new breaks for yourself right? So we will keep the rest a secret and let you begin the search, for there are a few to find!