As the long, dark evenings draw in and the cold north wind whips through the Toon, plunging into the North Sea may be the last thing you feel like doing for kicks. But hear me out… in our busy, sometimes stressful, university lives it’s hard to completely clear your head. Surfing for me offers a form of escapism that leaves you feeling euphoric, energized and calm. So get your wetsuit on, be brave and go explore the awesome waves the coastline has to offer. If you are keen to get involved, Newcastle Surf Society is the perfect place to start; they run surf sessions on a Wednesday, weekends away, cool socials, trips abroad and have a reputation for being an inclusive, chilled society where the chances are you’ll meet some likeminded folk and have a wholesome time.
First up is Longsands beach at Tynemouth: right on your doorstep it’s perfect for a quick session in between your busy schedule. From ten regular surfers in the 1980s, to hosting some of the world’s best surfers in international competitions, the surf scene has really taken off in the past ten years. Get the conditions right and there are some incredible waves for all levels and a couple of places to hire equipment on the beach. Warm up afterwards in the quirky Surf Café just above which serves hearty food, big mugs of hot drinks and beer on tap. What’s not to like? Check out their events in the evening too for a refreshingly different evening. With Tynemouth’s very own surf shop you can get everything you need and equipment mended, all of this with friendly service and good advice. Although it appears that there isn’t really much need to surf anywhere but Tynemouth, surfing and travelling usually go hand in hand and I know you’re all an adventurous bunch so I’ll go on.
Bamburgh Castle beach has been described as one of the most consistent spots along the coast due to the Northerly swell being aided by the Farne Islands but it seems this isn’t the only charm of the spot. The white, sandy beach is overlooked by the formidable Bamburgh Castle and as the sunsets over the Farne Islands those surfing are blown away by the striking beauty of the spot. Surfing here is bound to get the endorphins going.
“One particular charity the centre works with is The Wave Project which uses surfing as a therapy to help young people “feel less anxious and more positive”, and their results have been incredible.”
Belhaven beach is an up and coming surf spot with a newly built Surf Centre in a charming little village, easily accessible from Edinburgh. What’s really cool about this new scene is that Belhaven Surf Centre Limited is a charity which aims to “improve physical and mental health” for the whole community by encouraging people to be more active, learn new skills and make the most of the beautiful coastline. One particular charity the centre works with is The Wave Project which uses surfing as a therapy to help young people “feel less anxious and more positive”, and their results have been incredible.
Rumour goes that Saltburn was described by the legend Jack O’Neill as “one of the best points in Britain, if not Europe”. Perhaps now one of the most famous surfing spots along the coastline, the scene has come along way from ten or so VW campers parked up on the weekends in the 1980s. The spot is perceived to have great flexibility: allowing beginners to advance quickly but also providing some knee trembling surf when the Artic swell hits. The Ship Inn, popular with the surfers, is a characterful pub on the beachfront that will no doubt entice you in with the promise of some good pub grub and a chance to get the feeling back into your extremities again.
Although I’ve only mentioned the few that stand out for one reason or another, there are plenty of other good surf spots along the coast, why not make a road trip of it?
Last modified: 20th October 2019