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Best Places to Surf in the UK and Ireland this Winter

Best surfing spots UK and Ireland in the winter

Surfing in the UK and Ireland can be incredible throughout the winter. As Summer turns to Autumn and into early winter, the residual heat from the summer lingers and the water can feel pleasant for a long time.  When temperatures drop into the single-digit and below zero zones, you’ll certainly need winter gear to make it more pleasant! But in winter you’ll find bigger and more consistent waves along with spectacular scenery.

The UK has some world-class surfing areas, so if you are seeking to get on your wetsuit and catch some waves, we have listed some of the best places to go across the UK and Ireland –

1. Strandhill, County Sligo, Ireland

Strandhill Surfing, Sligo

Strandhill, located along the Wild Atlantic Way, draws in surfers from far and wide, including every ability level from beginner to experienced. The Atlantic Ocean helps Strandhill Beach pick up swells from Southwest to North, providing consistently brilliant surfing conditions all year round.

Having gone to Strandhill myself just last year, I got a lesson along with a friend from Strandhill Surf School and couldn’t recommend them anymore. David Mulcahy, our instructor was very patient, well informed and made everything easy to understand.

After you have had a shower and warmed up, we’d recommend heading into the Strand Bar for a pint of Guinness and a woodfired pizza to help warm up…

Surfer Level: Suitable for experienced and beginner surfers.

2. Mullaghmore, County Sligo, Ireland

Mullaghmore, located on the Northwest Coast of Ireland, is quickly gathering a name as one of the world’s prime big-wave locations. With the ability to hold the largest swells of any shore on either side of the Atlantic, this is a surfing spot for seasoned veterans, with waves reaching up to 60 feet tall.

This spot grew to become one of the most famous surfing destinations in Ireland when Billabong hosted Ireland’s first big wave surf competition in 2011. Even if you are not the most experienced surfer, the waves don’t break until about 100m from the shore, so you can spectate from the headland or the warmth of your campervan.

Surfer Level: Suitable for very experienced surfers.

3. Thurso East, Caithness, Scotland

Thurso East surfing

This Scottish paradise has surfers travelling from far and wide to experience the surf. Thurso and Caithness are also a bit out of the way, so consider this to be a hidden gem – perfect to be reached by motorhome hire. Although it may be a bit out of the way, we assure you it’s worth the journey. The best time to make the trip here is any time between October and April.

Expect the conditions to be cold and windy, but you can expect the surfing conditions to be ideal. Surfing has grown immensely in Scotland over the years, so you’ll likely encounter a few like-minded people ready to join you in the water.  These waves are suitable for beginners too, we’d recommend North Coast Watersports for Scotland’s most northerly surf lesson!

Surfer Level: Suitable for beginner and experienced surfers.

4. Fistral Beach, Cornwall, England

Fistral beach, Cornwall surfing

You’ll be spoilt for choice with surf spots when it comes to Cornwall on the Southwest coast of England, but Fistral Beach has something suitable for everyone. During the summer months, smaller and gentler waves can be found here but, in the winter, can bring powerful waves, with international surfing contests being held here.

On the beach itself is Fistral Beach Surf School, to get involved yourself. The surf school is open all year round and wetsuits and surfboard hire are included too. As well as this, there is plenty of bars and restaurants along the beach to help you refuel after a tiring session in the water.

Surfer Level: Suitable for beginner and experienced surfers.

5. Whiterocks Beach, Portrush, Northern Ireland

Whiterocks surfing

Whilst Portrush is a stunning seaside town located along the North Coast of Northern Ireland, it is also home to Whiterocks Beach. This gorgeous part of the Causeway Coastal road trip route is regarded as the best surfing spot in the country. The waves generally aren’t too heavy and are ideal for beginners, whilst the northern end of the beach has plenty of rights and lefts on the sandbars for those with a bit more experience.

TK’s Surf School offers 3-hour (yes – 3 hours!) lessons twice a day, including 2 hours in the water, lessons, and a hot steamy shower afterwards. Head into Portrush town after for a bite to eat at 2 of the best restaurants around, Neptune and Prawn or Ramore.

Surfer Level: Suitable for beginner and experienced surfers.

Why Bunk Campers?

With depots located across the UK and Ireland, we are perfect for helping you embark on your surfer’s paradise road trip from our convenient hire locations. Before you arrive, drive to some remote surfing locations in your motorhome, and after your time in the water, grab a shower in your home on wheels.

We have a wide range of modern 2 – 6 berth motorhomes and campervans available for you to hire. Booking your motorhome holiday online is easy. Simply visit our website to enter your preferred dates, pick-up, and drop-off locations to obtain pricing. Or you can email us at [email protected]