Winter Surfing in Cornwall: The Best Cold Water Breaks

December 21st, 2023

As winter blankets the country, Cornwall is a beautiful place to stay and make the most of the colder months’ crisp, fresh, and renewing energy. Cornwall is full of scenic beaches, cosy little towns, atmospheric pubs, and, what’s more, the thrill of surfing doesn’t hibernate. In fact, the colder months bring a unique charm to the Cornish waves, offering a less crowded and more personal surfing experience.

Our holiday village, The Valley, is located in the perfect place, being within close proximity to various surrounding surf breaks that work well in winter for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

Our guide breaks down the best cold water breaks for surfing in Cornwall during the winter so you can make the most of your visit here. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner wanting to catch your first wave, Cornwall has something for everyone this winter season.

two surfers walking on the beach

1. Fistral Beach

Dubbed the surf capital of Cornwall, Fistral Beach transforms into a winter warrior’s playground when the temperature drops. Explore the iconic waves that beckon surf enthusiasts to this renowned location.

Why Fistral in Winter?

Fistral Beach is not only perfect for all levels of surfers, beginners, intermediates and advanced, but it’s also full of fabulous restaurants and eateries to warm you up after a cold session in the surf – rewarding you the right way!

2. Perranporth Beach

The wave quality at Perranporth is magical when the conditions are right. The conditions are usually best here in winter, with light/offshore winds. This beach picks up swell really well, and it is large enough to hold a lot of crowds, not that you’d need to worry much about that in winter!

Why Perranporth in Winter?

Winter tends to bring larger swells to the Cornish coast, allowing surfers to ride bigger waves and experience the thrill of challenging conditions for advanced surfers. Perranporth is a go-to if you fancy big waves, empty lineups, and scenic beauty!


3. Gyllyngvase Beach

Just a stone’s throw away from Falmouth, this versatile beach caters to surfers of all levels and provides a convenient escape and day trip to those staying with us at The Valley.

Why Gyllyngvase Beach?

It’s conveniently located and usually a good spot for beginners, as when the swell hits, it tends to be smaller here. So you can relax and go at your own pace.

4. Praa Sands

A scenic gem on the southern coast, where winter bliss awaits! Discover the long stretches of sandy beach and the consistent waves for a peaceful escape.

Why Praa Sands?

The bigger swells that hit during winter and the combination of the northerly winds make this a very fast and hollow wave – perfect for advanced surfers looking for a hell of a ride.

a surfer exiting the water at sunset

5. Swanpool Beach

A family-friendly destination that transforms into a winter retreat for surfers seeking a blend of accessibility and charm. Located close to Falmouth, this is the perfect spot for a thrilling surf followed by a delicious bite to eat and a pint of local Cornish beer (or hot chocolate if that’s your thing)!

Why Swanpool Beach?

When the swell is smaller, this spot is the go-to place for beginners. On bigger days, intermediate and advanced surfers can have fun, too.

6. Godrevy

Another winter wonderland on Cornwall’s north coast. Marvel at the iconic lighthouse and experience the exhilarating and fresh winter air whilst surfing consistent waves.

Why Godrevy?

Godrevy is a fairly exposed beach, meaning it’ll work any time of the year. So, if you’re struggling to find waves, this is your best bet. However, there isn’t much shelter here, so the conditions really need to be right for clean waves. But if you just want to get in for some fun and don’t care too much about the wave quality – eat your heart out!

We hope our blog has given you the guidance you need when surfing Cornwall this winter. If you fancy indulging in some other winter activities too but aren’t sure where to start, our previous blog can be found below:

fun things to do with the family this winter