TRAVEL | 5 Places to Surf and Camp in the South West

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Surfing is the perfect watersport for those who want to be challenged but also feel a sense of adrenaline! Nothing can beat the feeling of riding a wave, and surfing can become very addictive! Something both your mind and body will thank you for, no matter your age.

A surfer lying on a surfboard in sunset
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The South West is blessed with many stunning coastal locations which offer not only some amazing surf spots but also plenty of places to camp, meaning it is ideal for those who want to combine the two!

As lockdown restrictions begin to lift this month, including the re-opening of some campsites and hotels, we explore the best locations in the South West, explain what makes them so unique and how they accommodate both surfing and camping.


Bournemouth coast
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Bournemouth is situated on the coast of Dorset and its energetic and friendly atmosphere has attracted visitors for the past two centuries.

Voted as the UK’s best beach for the second year in a row in 2019, you can imagine why it draws the crowds, especially during the summer months. Combining glorious landscapes alongside the bustling town, it is the perfect place to explore both land and watersports and is very tempting for those who love an adventure!

Camping Facilities

Bournemouth has an array of camping facilities, whether you are looking to pitch up a tent, hire a caravan for the week or treat yourself to some glamping.

Less than half an hour from the town, there are also plenty of camping options such as in Wimborne, Christchurch and Poole. 

Surf Spots

Bournemouth is an ideal surf location because it offers accessibility for a range of abilities.

Bournemouth is home to a fantastic selection of surf schools, meaning that beginners can get involved from the beginning, grab their wetsuits and head in the water.

Bournemouth beach is ideal for those who are at the start of their surf experience, just watch out for the crowds! For more confident surfers, you may want to head over to Kimmeridge which is favoured by the locals.


Marine Drive, Woolacombe
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Further down in North Devon, you can find stunning Woolacombe Bay which looks out on the spectacular waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Woolacombe Bay has almost three miles of golden sands and has plenty of surf to offer all abilities, as well as exciting coastal walks such as Baggy and Morte point which shelter the bay on either side.

Camping Facilities

Woolacombe is inundated with idyllic camping spots in and around the village. Whether you want somewhere to set up camp or prefer the comforts of a caravan, there are plenty of places to choose from.

Whether you choose Woolacombe or nearby Mortehoe or Putsborough, you will find somewhere you want to settle down for a few days.

On the other side of Baggy Point, there is a thriving surf village called Croyde which also offers plenty of scope for surfing and camping.

Surf Spots

There is something for everyone at Woolacombe, and the surfer’s paradise opens its arms out to newbies, with plenty of appraised surf schools in the small area for you to choose, whether you need a recap or would like some help developing your style.

The beach has plenty of peaks for a whole scope of surfers, and the conditions can vary from soft and gentle to big and explosive.

Combesgate is where more experienced surfers tend to congregate and don’t forget to check out Putsborough on the opposite side of the bay.

On calm days, Woolacombe is fantastic for packing your inflatable paddleboard. Start in Woolacombe and venture along to Barricaine Beach and then follow the coast along to Combesgate and end at Grunta Beach.

Remember to keep an eye on the surf and weather conditions and SUP with a friend for safety.


As you travel further west, you will find the cute village of Bude. Bude has an array of beaches to choose from, as well as offering many coastal walks, so it is perfect for those who love to stretch their legs. Popular due to its comforting, mild climate, it tends to attract many visitors during the summer months.

Camping Facilities

There is a campsite in Bude just over the other side of the river where you can ride on a pedalo; it is perfect for those who want to pitch a tent for a few days. There are also plenty of campsites on the journey travelling down into the town which offer caravan accommodation, and the surrounding small villages also provide plenty of places to stay.

Surf Spots

Despite its small size, Bude has a variety of spots for surfers to access. Widemouth Bay tends to be the biggest and most popular spot and is the prime location for surf lessons in the area.

Summerleaze is the beach you can walk to from the centre of the village and is also a popular spot. Sandymouth Beach is also ideal for surfing and located just a few miles from Bude. Crooklets is perfect for more advanced surfers and is just north of Bude.


Surfers on beach at Watergate Bay
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You may be familiar with Newquay, and despite its reputation for being a party centre, it has really progressed in more recent years. It is the prime location for camping and surfing, with plenty of campsites and beaches on offer in and around the town centre. You will not fall short on either here.

Camping Facilities

Newquay has plenty of camping spots located just outside the town centre. For some, this may be perfect as it takes you away from the busy centre and transports you into the more tranquil and surrounding areas which adorn this coastal town.

Like the other locations, Newquay is ideal because it offers a range of camping facilities including pitches and caravans.

Surf Spots

Newquay has so many beaches, in and surrounding the main town; you will be stuck for choice.

Fistral is probably the most well-known break in the area and can accommodate all abilities of surfers. A consistent beach break it is a great place to get plenty of practice.

Lusty Gaze also offers a lovely escape if you feel overwhelmed by the crowds at Fistral in the summer. Towan, Great Western, Tolcarne, Porth and Whipsiderry are also local to Newquay and can vary in their suitability for surfers, depending on ability and confidence.

Watergate Bay is situated just a few miles from Newquay town and is another popular spot for surfing.


Sennen Cove, Cornwall
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Sennen Cove is situated right at the bottom of Cornwall, not too far from land’s end! A perfect place to base yourself, it is incredibly accessible to surrounding towns and villages including St Ives, while offering an exciting and remote setting for a unique camping experience.

Camping Facilities

The camping facilities in Sennen seem slightly more limited in comparison to the other locations, but there are a couple of spots you can pitch or hire a caravan for your stay.

Its draw comes from the beauty of its surrounding countryside and the quirky and distinct atmosphere in the cove.

Surf Spots

Being so southerly, Sennen Cove is ideal in its setting because it picks up much swell but tends to be quite sheltered due to the cove which protects the beach from the wind.

Sennen hosts a few surf schools which is ideal for those who want some guidance in the water to begin with.

Which camp and surf spot are you most looking forward to visiting from our list? Why not let us know in the comments?

DISCLOSURE | This post is sponsored by Wetsuit Centre. You can find out more about our sponsored post policy here.

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Shell Robshaw-Bryan
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