If you’re from Maui or California, you may well not look to far outside the confines of your own environment for a world class surfing location. However the world is full of great surfing beaches, many of them in Europe and one or two in the United Kingdom.
Fistral Beach is the U.K.’s most well known surfing location. Cornwall is a beautiful location, Newquay is a fun town and Fistral Beach provides it with a focal point. The town of Newquay is situated on a headland meaning there are several beaches (nine in fact) a short distance away. Several are suitable for surfing but the best is without doubt Fistral.
Fistral is a bit less than one kilometre from one end to the other and has been a premier surfing destination since at least the 1960s. It has held international competitions for more than 20 years and the consistency of the waves which roll in across the Atlantic from the west mean that surfers love it here for good reasons. Surf regularly measures in at 2 – 3 metres and can reach more than 10 metres.
There are a couple of other things which add to the beach’s attraction (for some); it’s not the best place for sunbathing as the flat beach rarely dries out from one tide to the next. Sunbathers are relegated to the steeper, pebbly section to the rear of the beach or the dunes which separate the beach from the golf course behind but the other beaches offer plenty of scope for that.
If you consider the golf course to be a waste of good real estate then you may also be reassured somewhat by the fact that without the golf course, Fistral may well be just another overcrowded location with unsightly shops, cafes and restaurants intruding on the beauty of a stunning location.
The winter months are great here; the car park at the end of the beach road is usually empty and you can park all day for a small charge. There’s a cafe at one end of the beach and another about half way along but neither intrude on the atmosphere of Fistral. Even if you don’t want to surf, Fistral is a great location for a stroll along the beach and in the summer, perhaps even a dip in the water for a swim.