Machrihanish, Kintyre Peninsula

Amazing surf location with a 4 mile long beach!

Thurso East

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.


A low to mid tide beach break with lefts and rights – breaks into the sea wall at high tide. SW to S winds are offshore. Watch out for a strong rip across the harbour mouth on a falling tide. The beach is OK for beginners.

Coldingham Bay

Coldingham Bay is an ENE-facing beach break, which works on large NW swells, medium to large NE to E swells and right round to SE swells – essentially it will pick up most swells going, and is offshore in W’ly winds. It works on all tides, mid tide is normally the best but as the sandbar is constantly moving when large swells hit the bay you can’t always say on which state of tide it will be best. OK for beginners in moderate conditions.

Pease Bay

One of the most popular breaks in Scotland. It faces NE and is well placed to pick up most swells. A wave breaks over the boulder reef at the south end of the bay, and there’s a beach break in the middle of the beach. The reef is best on a N swell at high tide and on a SE swell at mid to low tide. S to SW winds are offshore. The beach is OK for beginners. The reef is best left to experienced surfers.


A beach break with good lefts and rights from mid to high tide. There’s a strong longshore current, especially on bigger swells. W winds are offshore. A pleasant stretch of coastline marred by the looming bulk of Torness nuclear power station.

Belhaven Bay

A beach break with easy peaks all along, which works best on a N to NE swell. SW winds are offshore. OK for beginners, but beware of bad rips on a big swell. Other local breaks are almost always better.


Dunbar has surf on the beaches either side of the town and a reef break over rocks in the town which has good rights from mid to high tide. Winds from SW to W are offshore. The town break is not suitable for beginners, who should also be very wary of strong rips and currents around the mouth of the River Tyne when surfing the northern beach break. Dunbar is worth checking when a big swell is closing out other spots.

St Andrews

There are two breaks at St Andrews, which is better known for its golf course and university than its surf. The harbour has a good left breaking over a sandbar. West Sands is a magnificent stretch of beach backed by the five golf courses of the Royal and Ancient, and has good left- and right-hand peaks all the way along that work right through the tides. The breaks at St Andrews require a big swell to work, however. W to SW winds are offshore. West Sands in particular is a good beginner’s beach, although don’t get too near to the mouth of the River Eden at the north end of the beach, as there can be strong currents there.

Gullane Bay

A superb beach, often seen on TV as it backs onto the famous Muirfield golf course. Unfortunately it only works occasionally since it faces north-west and needs a very big swell. In such conditions you may find an excellent right-hand point break at the north-east end of the beach and inferior beach breaks on the main beach – these are OK for beginners. The point break is best left to experienced surfers. SE winds are offshore. There’s a strong W’ly rip on big swells.

North Berwick (East Bay)

A north-facing reef break that gives quality lefts which tend to be best on big northerly swells. Best from mid to high tide. S winds are offshore. There can be very bad rips on the outgoing tide. Not a beginner’s break. On big swells, there’s often a break to the east of North Berwick at Seacliff Bay but North Berwick is usually better.

Lunan Bay

A crescent-shaped, two-mile long beach which tends to be better than the beaches to the south. The more accessible north end of the beach picks up SE and S swells; the south end is better on N and NE swells. There are beach breaks throughout the length of the bay which work at all stages of the tide. Winds from SW to NW are offshore.


The beach at Montrose stretches north for some two and a half miles from the mouth of the River Esk and forms part of the St Cyrus National Nature Reserve. It has peaks along its length. The south end is better exposed to E, NE and big north swells than the north end, which picks up swells from the S, SE and E. Best from low to mid tide. Winds from W to NW are offshore. OK for beginners, but keep away from the river mouth where there can be very strong currents.
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.


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