Outer Hebrides © istockphoto


Surfing & Windsurfing in Scotland

Listen up, beach bums and surfer dudes! Surf spots in Scotland include golden sandy beaches, long coastlines and beautiful clear waters add up to one of Europe's top surfing destinations. Surrounded by Atlantic and North Sea swells throughout the year, you are guaranteed to catch some great waves. And thanks to its many lesser-known locations, you may even have the waves to yourself!

Surfing Holiday in Scotland - What should I expect?

  • The northerly tip of the Scottish mainland is known for providing the most consistent and best quality waves, and the town of Thurso is a world-class surf spot.
  • The prevailing and strong south westerly winds which blow over the west coast mean that the Isle of Tiree, Islay and the area around the Kintyre peninsula are among the best places to surf the west coast of Scotland. Similarly, some of the best and most consistent surf in Europe can be found around the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Also on the west coast, the Isle of Cumbrae is home to Scotland's premier watersports centre, sportscotland Cumbrae.
  • On the east coast, check out Coldingham Bay, Dunbar and Pease Bay, which are a short drive from Edinburgh.
  • You can expect consistent waves and breaks in Scotland in autumn and early winter and many surfers reckon Scotland is the best place to be at this time of year.
  • Scottish coastlines are frequented by all types of surfers, from complete beginners to wave-riding professionals. It's a sport that can be enjoyed by all the family and makes for a great active day out on the water.
  • You can rent equipment at surf schools - they will provide you with everything you need including wetsuits and boards.

Top Surfing Spots in Scotland

Wondering where to surf in Scotland? Home to some incredible surfing locations, from the west coast and our fantastic islands, to the northern corners and more, Scotland is a great choice for chasing those waves. From the Isle of Tiree on the west coast, to Belhaven Bay on the east coast, to the furthest point north of mainland Scotland and the shores of the Scottish Borders, choose from some of the best places to surf in Scotland.

FAQs for Surfing in Scotland

  • How long does it take to surf?

Surfing in Scotland can take as long or short as you like. Learning how to surf, however, can take between 2 hours and a month of practice. There are a variety of surf schools and lessons on offer across Scotland so you can get to grips with your board and how to surf the waves like a pro.

  • What do you need to surf?

Most surfing providers will supply a board and wetsuit, but it's best to check ahead. Bring along a swimsuit or trunks, a towel, a warm change of clothes, and surf shoes, if you have them. The boards are actually designed for bare feet to grip them, so a lot of people choose not to wear surf shoes.

  • When can you go surfing in Scotland?

Surfing is an all year-round sport, but it is advised to be cautious of low water temperatures in winter. Warmer temperatures and mellow weather makes for prime surfing conditions in September, October and November.