Scotlands North Shore boasts breaks in the world-class category. The water might be cold, but a barrel served up by the reeling right-hander that is Thurso East will keep you stoked for months. If you’re after surfing perfection – great waves and no crowds – go north. But don’t stint on the best wetsuit that money can buy coz its COLD!! We recommend a Hooded 6mm, boots and gloves for winter. Rest of the year a decent 4mm or 5mm for longer sessions. It never gets that warm and thanks to the rivers you can get ice chunks in the line up in winter.
North Berwick (East Bay)
Beyween St Cyrus, at the north end of the beach, and Stonehaven some 12 miles further north, there are a number of reef breaks which offer plenty of scope for exploration – access is from small side-roads off the A92 down to tiny fishing villages.
Barassie North Beach Troon
Not so much Surfing here but Scotlands Mecca for Kite Surfing and wind surfing.
North Easterly on the North Beach. A vibrant, cool community. People travel from far and wide to expereience our fantastic conditions.
Get the Current Conditions here.
Troon South Beach
Epic Conditions with the best backdrop in Scotland.
Scotlands Wind and kitesurfing Mecca!
Scotland can justly lay claim to having the biggest, the best, and the most consistent surf in (mainland) Britain.
Those who take the journey north will find a unique environment in which to surf – big, fast, powerful reef and beach breaks, superb unspoilt scenery and in summer the chance to make late night rideing sessions. Thurso, Pease Bay and Fraserburgh will be busy on a good swell, but elsewhere you can expect to have the waves pretty much to yourself.
The east coast has a number of very good breaks all the way from the Border to John O’Groats. The south-west coast, although less accessible, can also produce good quality surf. It’s the north coast and the islands, however, that are best known for both quality and consistency.
It’s a long journey to the best breaks and even in summer you’ll be wearing a full steamer, but no one who experiences the magnificent combination of Scottish waves and landscapes will ever regret it.
Generally speaking, the water gradually gets colder as you move from the south-west to north-west coast, along the north coast, then down the east coast. Average water temperatures in winter vary between 4 and 7° C, and in summer between 13 and 16° C.
The ideal time to visit is late summer to early autumn, when the air temperature is still reasonably mild, the sea’s at its ‘warmest’ and the first of the big autumn swells are beginning to roll in.
Winter has the most consistent and biggest waves (triple overhead on the north coast is not uncommon), but the cold is a very serious consideration and restricts the amount of time you can stay in the water as well as the number of sessions you can fit into one day. Also, daylight hours are short – eight hours at most. Conversely, in mid summer you can theoretically surf for around 20 hours a day in the far north.
There’s little point in surfing in Scotland unless you’ve got a really good wetsuit. In winter you’ll need the best winter steamer you can get along with boots, gloves and a hood. In summer, you’ll probably still feel more comfortable in a winter steamer and boots.
Tidal ranges are large and must be taken into account. Some breaks may be totally flat at one stage of the tide and head high at another. And one last point – if you’re camping here in summer, make sure you’re well provided with mosquito coils and a good insect repellent. The midges can be hell..
As for things to do when it’s flat – world-class mountain biking, hill walking, climbing, sea kayaking, diving, wildlife watching – you name it, just about any outdoor activity that doesn’t rely entirely on sunshine is possible. There are also fantastic castles and other historic sites to visit and, of course, no end of whisky distilleries that will be happy to let you sample their product.