Summer city escapes
British beaches are underrated.
There I’ve said it. We may get rubbish weather a good chunk of the year, but some of our beaches are unrivalled. Take Cornwall and Devon for example, head to the south coast and your chances of paddling out next to a dolphin aren’t too shabby, team that with turquoise waters, amazing surf, and you’e got a killer combo.
British beaches will always hold a special place in my heart, as I learnt to surf on Fistral beach. and I have what some may describe an irrational fear of sharks, which is an issue being a surfer, so the cold waters of the UK keep me safe whilst surfing. Some of my favourite beaches in the world (and I’ve surfed a few now but not enough) are UK based.
Gwenver in Cornwall is a secret gem. Hidden in a Cornish garden, this off the beaten track spot isn’t even sign posted so it can be a bit of an adventure finding it. When I first stumbled across it I had the directions written on a piece of paper; “turn left at the surf church, down a lane and look for the tiny car park” after about 10 wrong turns and a lot of swearing between me and my fiance, we found it, and it was worth the drive. You park up in a local garden and clamber down a stairwell to an incredible secret cove. The water’s an amazing turquoise and you wouldn’t’ think you are still in the UK, oh and your chances of catching a wave with a dolphin are pretty high. The drive itself is pretty spectacular and really feels like you’re on the edge of the earth, take the coastal road out of St Ives and it’s a drive you won’t forget.
Another Cornish favourite of mine is Godrevy. A national trust gem. A long beach break which stretches for miles, it’s a great breach for a beginner, and if you don’t surf a beautiful place to wind away the days. When not surfing you can take a walk around the cliff tops and check out seal cove. I could spend hours watching them lull about in the sunshine. The beach itself is a sandy haven, and if you fancy a different spot in the afternoon you can take a walk along to Mexico’s another great break!
Porthmeor is also worth an adventure too, just outside of St Ives, it’s some of the clearest water I’ve seen in the UK and is a real surf favourite of mine. We’ve spent many a day wondering around St Ives and getting a good afternoon session in at this beach.
Saunton & Croyde
The beaches of North Devon are unrivalled and worth a trip down the A30 for. I love a good surf down at Croyde and Saunton, and the drive down to Croyde is incredible. I spent most of 2017 surfing down at Croyde so it’s a beach I’m particularly fond of. Saunton is something else too, you can spend hours getting lost in the dunes after a day surfing, and the cafe does a killer Cornish pasty. Saunton looks like it stretches for miles and you can rent a beach hut for a mere £15.00. Known as a long boarders beach, the waves are mellow, and theres always space as you can wonder down and find a quieter patch. Croyde is better for more a powerful wave, but can get packed out so I love to swap between the two, doing a morning session at Saunton and a sundowner at Croyde.
The UK beach breaks are pretty special, I love packing up my campervan and just hitting the road. We’re always going on mini surf safaris and you never know what new secret spot you might find.
Photos by Kylie Griffiths, Corinne Evans and Rosie Marns