The rule of surf in Wales holiday cottages

The rule of surf in Wales

Dawn Stephens-Borg 27 February 2020

Let us begin with how the rule of surf goes wherever you may be, Wales or otherwise. First and foremost, it's immense fun.

Secondly, well, you know how it goes. You turn up expecting corduroy and it's blown-out mush or flat. "Should have been here yesterday, man!" comes the oft-repeated quote from the knowledgeable few.

riders on the storm

Well, from fast waves to friendly beach breaks, Wales' impressive coast does indeed throw up some incredible opportunities for surfing. So whether you're a novice looking for a fun, reliable wave or an experienced surfer seeking out a new break, this guide gives you a heads-up on ten great surf spots around the coastline – perfect for planning a trip to go surfing in Wales.

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🌊 North Wales coast
🌊 West Wales coast
🌊  South Wales coast

Surfing on the North Wales coast

Anglesey, North Wales

Anglesey surf
Angelsey surf credit: Instagram @annajohncock


The Isle of Anglesey is Wales' most northerly surf spot. Though it needs a huge south-westerly swell to get it working, when it does, surfing here is incredible, making it one of the best surfing beaches in Wales. 

Winter is the best time to visit and scope out some of the more secret surf spots. For most surfers, the most popular areas are Aberffraw, an exposed beach; Cable Bay, a small bay which can hold fairly large waves; and Broad Beach and Rhosneigr, facing west and ideal for beginners. Take a look at our luxury cottages in Anglesey to retreat to after a day on the waves. 

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Gecko, Rhosneigr
Best place for a post-surf pint? The Oystercatcher, Rhosneigr 
Stay nearby? 
Island Hide, Pentre Berw | sleeps 2 + 1 dog

Surf Snowdonia

Surf Snowdonia
Surf Snowdonia credit: Instagram @gabriellazagni


Set in the rural Conwy Valley near Snowdonia, there is a fresh-water lagoon, roughly the size of six football pitches. Taking Welsh surfing to the next level, this is Surf Snowdonia! With a powerful head-high wave, peeling perfectly for more than 150 metres, this is now one of the best and definitely the most consistent wave in the country, and it’s home to one of the most popular surf schools in Wales too. This incredible creation makes it possible to surf all year round with areas set aside for beginners, intermediate and experienced surfers. For non-surfers, there is lots to do too.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Yes, at Surf Snowdonia itself!
Best place for a post-surf pint? The wave park’s Bar & Kitchen has great views over the surf
Stay nearby? 
Maes Yr Hendre, Conwy Valley | sleeps 8 + 2 dogs

Surfing on the West Wales coast

Hell's Mouth, Llyn Peninsula

Hells Mouth surf
Hell's Mouth credit: Instagram @stebarrand


Don't be fooled by the name! Hell's Mouth is actually a fairly agreeable wave. This 4-mile stretch of south-westerly facing beach is mainly sand with a few rocky areas. Picking up any swell going, Hell's Mouth attracts surfers from all over the country making it one of the most popular surfing beaches in Wales. While there are party waves all along the beach, the reef at the north end is a favourite, but remember the rules and don't drop in. 

Surf school or surf hire nearby? West Coast Surf Shop, Abersoch
Best place for a post-surf pint? The Sun Inn, Llanengan
Stay nearby? 
The Llyn Retreat, Trefor Beach | Sleeps 2

Porth Ceiriad, Llyn Peninsula

Porth Ceiriad surf
Porth Ceiriad credit: Instagram @abersochwatersports


Porth Ceiriad can be found at the tip of the Llyn Peninsula, between Abersoch and Hell's Mouth. Working best with a south-westerly swell, the beach feels incredibly remote and is a 15 to 20-minute walk away from the car park. Porth Ceiriad works best with large winter storms, allowing it to kick up steep, hollow barrels around mid to high tide. Dig out your winter wetsuit!

Surf school or surf hire nearby? West Coast Surf Shop, Abersoch
Best place for a post-surf pint? Mickey’s Boatyard Beach Café, Abersoch
Stay nearby? 
The Llyn Retreat, Trefor Beach | Sleeps 2

Tywyn, Gwynedd

Tywyn surf
Tywyn credit: Instagram @lindyloumac


This swell usually works best 1-2 hours either side of high tide. Tywyn offers a great wave that is ideal for both beginners and more experienced surfers. It's generally a quiet spot, so it is a good place to go if you are not confident of your prowess and are looking for a less crowded wave. Do watch out for the wooden groynes along sections of the beach though.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Head down the coast to Aberystwyth to Aber Adventures
Best place for a post-surf pint? The Victorian Slipway, Marine Parade, Tywyn
Stay nearby? 
Heaven On Severn, Llanidloes | sleeps 2

Surfing on the South Wales coast

Whitesands, Pembrokeshire

Whitesands surf
Whitesands credit: Instagram @isaac_w_01


Whitesands is a very popular surfing spot and is sheltered from the wind due to Ramsey Island. The beach holds reasonably large waves, occasionally up to 10 feet! It's best to aim for mid to high tide in the bay. With a solid beach break, beautiful views and potential for bigger, punching waves, it's little wonder why Whitesands has become so infamous.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Whitesands Surf School, St Davids
Best place for a post-surf pint? Take your pick from the pubs and bars in St Davids!
Stay nearby? 
Gwynfryn, St Davids | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West surf
Freshwater West credit: Instagram @mountexpeds


If you want to know where to surf in Wales, best start here. Known as the most consistent surf spot in Wales, Freshwater West is straight from the pages of a book about surfing and is the site of the Welsh national competition. The beach holds a fast, hollow, sand bar wave at low tide. When the swell is at its biggest, people tend to opt for the reef in the middle of the bay. The bay can get tricky due to its under currents and rips, so stay safe and have a good one.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Outer Reef Surf School, Pembroke
Best place for a post-surf pint? Cafe Môr, a solar-powered mobile café.
Stay nearby? 
Globe House, Angle | sleeps 24 + 2 dogs

Manorbier, Pembrokeshire

Manorbier surf
Manorbier credit: Instagram @burneygreen


Manorbier is a small, south-west facing 'secret spot' with a famous reef break known as the "dak". Sheltered at high tide by the cliffs, Manorbier is worth checking out if the wind picks up elsewhere. It's best to go between mid and high tide during bigger swells. This wave is advised for only more experienced surfers.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Outer Reef Surf School, Pembroke
Best place for a post-surf pint? The Castle Inn, Manorbier
Stay nearby? 
Ysbryd Y Mor | sleeps 6

Llangennith, Gower

Llangennith surf
Llangennith credit: Instagram @karlbakerphoto


Facing west, if Llangennith isn't working, you'll struggle to find anywhere else that is. The beach has breathtaking views, especially from the cliffs above Rhossilli looking down. Llangennith can hold waves of up to 6 feet before becoming unmanageable and is popular with all types of surfers, from novice to professionals. Enjoy this fun, varied wave and everything that surrounds it.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Lllangennith Surf School, Llangennith
Best place for a post-surf pint? Kings Head Inn, Llangennith

Llantwit Major, Glamorgan

Llantwit Major surf
Lllantwit Major credit: Instagram @madhaus_photography


Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is an exposed beach offering fairly consistent waves in the winter months. When the conditions are right, Llantwit Major offers an outstanding wave. The point works best with large swells and can hold waves of up to 6 feet, so while it’s one of the best places to surf in Wales, it’s definitely not suitable for beginners. With dramatic cliffs surrounding the rocky beach, it's also an incredibly picturesque place to spend the day.

Surf school or surf hire nearby? Round the coast at Coney Surf School, Porthcawl
Best place for a post-surf pint? Go up the coast a bit to the beer garden at the Plough and Harrow, Monknash


Looking for more information about surfing conditions on the day? Head over to Magic Seaweed. Or perhaps you want some more suggestions for action-packed adventures in Wales? Check out our guide to getting active in Wales. We've also written about the best beaches in Wales, not just for the surfers! 


Looking for a luxury cottage to unwind in after a busy day catching waves? Browse our collection.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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