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North East Surf Guide

The North East is a series of long beaches, coves and top notch reefs, all offering good surf when a swell marches down over the top of Scotland. When all comes together, the north east can easily rival the southwest and still offers a lot of little known set ups for those with a real sense of adventure. Although this coast has suffered bad press due to poor water quality, things have improved and the far north, Northumberland, has long been a haven of beautifully clean water and pristine beaches.

Starting from the north, Bamburgh is the most consistent break in Northumberland. Standing on a rocky outcrop overlooking miles of beautiful sandy beach, the gothic Bamburgh Castle dominates the Northumbrian landscape and makes surfing here a surreal experience and a soul surfer’s dream. However, get there on a big swell and you’ll only be wondering whether you packed your rhino chaser!


There are a number of top spots around Newcastle. Blyth is a sheltered beachbreak which can offer cleaner waves in a big swell. Hartley Reef is northeast facing and therefore produces heavy waves in a north swell up to around 10ft and, for this reason, it is for experts only. Tynemouth suffers from poor water quality due to its proximity to Newcastle but its two main east facing breaks, Longsands & King Edward’s Bay, make up for this. Still in this area, The Black Middens is a heavy reef break in the mouth of the River Tyne which works on a huge swell for experts only and South Shields is beachbreak which can offer decent waves around mid tide.

Further south, Hartlepool plays host to three main spots. Both Steetley Pier and Seaton are beachbreaks facing east and northeast respectively. The Point, situated on the headland, is a reef break for experts only however which breaks around high tide. Continuing to the mouth of the River Tees, The Gare is a fast wave for advanced surfers only which breaks over boulders and actually works best on rare east and southeast swells.

Last but not least, Redcar, Saltburn and Skinningrove all face north and work on northerly swells. All have benefited from greatly improved water quality over recent years with Saltburn in particular being popular with surfers.

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