There’s no doubt about it: we’ve all dreamt about feeling the wind beneath our ‘wings’ and taking off. And that’s exactly what kitesurfing feels like: the rush of the wind, the power of the kite and the sheer weightlessness of your body in the air.
If you’ve never tried kitesurfing, I’d highly recommend giving it a whirl. Read on to discover some of the best spots – perhaps you can include a trip to one of them in your summer holiday plans. They are worth a visit if only to sit back and witness the passion and excitement on the faces of those who are learning to fly.
And you riders, keep inspiring and exploring. The UK has so much to offer and there’s so much beauty to discover. Whether you’ve only begun your journey and need some flat water lagoons for practice or you seek adrenaline and aim to challenge yourself, we’ve got it!
Before you start, here are some top tips to help you choose the perfect kitesurfing spot for you. When picking your spot, keep in mind suitable wind directions for the coast and your chances of getting the right wind (you want to ensure you get the right conditions when making a four hour trip to Wales, or flying to Scotland just for the weekend!).
Perhaps you’d rather go to a local spot? If so, then it’s important to think about the water and coast conditions and the level of kitesurfing you’re at. Or maybe think about booking a lesson or two at a kitesurf school? (We’d definitely recommend this if you’re just starting your kitesurfing journey). Paracademy Extreme Sports Centre does a great one day kitesurf taster for anyone interested!
Otherwise, you can check for centres and fully qualified instructors. They’ll help you understand all about the wind, tides and anything else you need to know.
Feeling ready to do the research and get yourself out on the water? Here is a list of great spots across country, grouped by area.
The Eastern coast tends to be less windy than the West. Having said that, there are plenty of days with the right conditions and great weather to go riding. In fact there are some very popular places where kitesurfers from London and the entire South East drive to regularly for their fix. With the tendency for the wind to be southwesterly, the southern part of the South East coast is often everybody’s favourite.
Hunstanton and Brancaster Beach (Norfolk)
Hunstanton and Brancaster Beach in Norfolk is a perfect spot for those days when a northerly wind doesn’t allow you to ride in the southern coast of the South East. You can even get some lagoons at the mid tide; perfect for beginners and also those who want to practice some new freestyle tricks.
Camber Sands and Greatstone
These two great spots in East Sussex, only 15 mins away from each other, allow riders to go out in almost any wind direction (except northerly, when the wind is completely offshore). The beaches are large with plenty of room to launch (Greatstone especially) and the water varies from completely flat and shallow, to choppy with small waves on some days (especially Camber).
It’s perfect for beginners as well as more advanced riders. And if you’re great already, you don’t even have to wait for the tide to go out! (Just watch out for those rocks and groins!)
Again, the East coast tends to be less windy than the west coast, with wind tendency southwesterly. Don’t worry though, there’s still plenty to go around. Although skip a day if wind is westerly unless you’d like a trip to Europe.
Paddy’s Hole at Redcar
Over Middlesbrough way, Paddy’s Hole at Redcar is a place we’d highly recommend for kitesurfing. Although it’s possibly not the nicest beach in the country, on a southwest or south-southwest wind you can expect butter smooth flat water and it is actually safe to ride in westerly winds. It’s probably more for those who want to ride, rather than just spectate, unless you’re keen to see all those excited faces riding their boards and doing transitions. Which is actually really amazing to watch.
Good news for the riders (non-riders, take your windbreakers!), the West coast tends to be much more windy. This means the wind consistency in the West is much more reliable, making it easier to practise, even for those with super busy schedules.
Large, shallow, uncrowded – this sand and shingle beach in Cumbria is perfect for a peaceful walk, freestyle practice session or just a spot of seaside photography.
Flat water lagoons and strong winds make St Anne’s Beach in Lancashire a kitesurfer’s paradise. Go out on the highest tide, and you’ll make the most of the place. But make sure you watch out for the swells.
Good news for those who don’t like the cold, the South coast tends to be the warmest and sunniest part of the UK. It has a slightly below average amount of wind compared with other areas in the UK but you can ride in almost any wind direction. Plus, after a session, whether it’s your first lesson or a stroll along the beach, you can have a nice evening out in the hip city of Brighton.
Poole Harbour and Sandbanks Beach
Great conditions for any rider. If you can make your way down to the South to start your kitesurfing journey, this is the place to do it. Freestylers and wakeboarders will also appreciate it. Flat shallow bay, good facilities, it might get busy! It’s worth making your trip at least a couple of days to visit Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast, just a short drive away.
Shoreham & Lancing
Choppy and challenging but what beautiful blue water! We’d only recommend the beaches of Shoreham and Lancing in Sussex to those who can already ride upwind and who like a little bit of a challenge. Otherwise just enjoy the almost exotic water colour and soak up the sun, chilling by the rocks which beautifully frame the beach.
Cornwall’s southwesterly location puts it right in the firing line for the UK’s prevailing Southwesterly winds. It’s a very reliable place for wind, especially in the autumn and winter months. Being a peninsula it also has beaches to work on almost any wind direction.
The Bluff Hayle
A great and versatile kitesurfing spot, the Bluff in Hayle has a beautiful beach and conditions for flat water as well as waves. Riders should watch out for the westerly winds but otherwise it has great wind conditions. Important note: for riding here you’ll need a permit called the Bluff Pass. What’s more, anyone who is still not a keen rider can simply sit back and enjoy the sight of the Cornish coast – raw, wild and exquisitely beautiful.
The Western coast simply has to be my favourite kitesurfing spot in the whole of the UK. Similar to Cornwall, Wales has an amazing coastline, natural and varied, which is perfect for exploration. It tends to be cloudy, wet and windy but mild. In terms of kiting conditions, with the UK’s prevailing wind direction being southwesterly, Welsh spots are some of the most wind-sure in the UK. Definitely worth the long drive!
Conditions here at Pembrey change depending on the tides, so pick the best one for you. It’s a great spot for riding in all tides as there are fantastic lagoons at low to mid tide. It has a huge beach for long romantic walks or a bit more upbeat landboarding. Enjoy!
Rhosneigr is a tricky spot due to rocks along the coast. However, it has some great lagoon conditions when the tide is in, as well as small wave riding further out (you can even spot some surfers!). Plus it also has a great advantage of being near the beautiful Snowdonia National Park – perfect for a kiting and hiking break. You can also visit the Llanddwyn Bay for similarly mixed conditions and breathtaking views.
I doubt anyone needs convincing about the beauty of Scotland; mesmerising nature, friendly locals and fascinating heritage. Even the cold weather won’t scare away anyone who appreciates the rugged, windswept beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Having said that, the cold weather goes along with one of the windiest conditions in the UK. Fly high!
Troon’s North Beach
Located on the West coast, Troon North Beach is a beginner friendly kitesurfing spot, with a lot of space to launch and land and for you to practice. There are some waves, and the South is slightly flatter and forgiving. Plenty of riders to help you out when needed or try to inspire when you don’t feel ready to try kitesurfing yourself.
This East coast beach is a picturesque gem, situated close to the lovely town of Kinghorn. On a southwest or south-southwest wind you can expect butter smooth flat water at Pettycur Bay, ideal conditions for getting out and up into the air. And for the days without wind, the incredible city of Edinburgh is right on your doorstep.
Begin the journey. Feel the wind!