Yorkshire surf season and weather
The largest county in England Yorkshire sits squarely on the North Sea and pulls in surf from passing low pressure systems. For an East facing coast it’s more consistent than you’d imagine and there’s quite a good surf scene entrenched in the area with Saltburn being the epicentre.
Forecasts in North Yorkshire call for clouds, rain and cold most of the year – typical English weather. The North Sea is cold too with mid-winter temps hovering between 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit and peak summer temps hitting 60 degrees if you’re lucky. 6/5/4 with boots, hood and gloves is mandatory winter suit while on the hottest day of summer you can slide by in a 3/2 fullsuit.
Yorkshire surfing spots and beaches
The main surf spots in Yorkshire are Saltburn, Scarborough and Whitby.
Besides hosting the annual Whitby Goth Weekend alternative music festival – the world’s premier Goth fest we’re told – Whitby hosts some choice surf (black lipstick optional). The main break along the Whitby pier works in small northeast and east swells.
Saltburn has good banks around the pier but is generally mushy. Occasionally low-tide will produce the tubes. The beach break here favors a southeast wind.
Scarborough boasts the best beginner break in the area with a wide open beach. Peaks dot this main stretch – pick the one that’s working for you. Longboards are optimal on small days just beware of the boulder-strewn shore on the south end.
Yorkshire surf schools and lessons
Scarborough Surf School has a standard private two-hour beginner lesson for 80€ or you can learn in a group for 40€ for the same time slot. But this establishment also offers group Stand Up Paddle lessons and “Coasteering”, which is exploring shoreline caves and rocks and swimming through impassible-by-land stretches. You might even get to dive off a cliff as well.
The Saltburn Surf School has 58€ one-hour private lessons but also offers a special five lesson punch card that works out to 30€ per lesson.
The main surf school in Whitby has guided SUP tours as well as surf lessons. Their main school program has a very popular two-hour lesson that sells out quickly, so be sure to book ahead. Surf camps available as well.
Hotels for surfers in Yorkshire
If you’re in Whitby take advantage of the town’s amazing sights, the main one of which is the Whitby Abbey – said to have inspired Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. The Crescent Lodge Whitby is a small, 9-room establishment with everything from a tight, single bed room at 57€ per night to a king bed-plus-twin family room for 110€.
In Saltburn one can stay at the dog-friendly Spa Hotel, a serene boutique establishment that offers a la carte add ons like massage, yoga classes, surf lessons and more. Rooms start at 90€ for a couple and go up from there depending on size and amenities. Their dining room features fresh seafood and neo-classical cuisine. Should your surf stay be on the periphery of a stag or hen party, they have a large offering of group packages including all the pampering one would expect at a spa
Overlooking the famous harbour and South Beach, the Scarborough Hotel is a trip back to the 1800s in grand style. It’s a monstrous building with that was one of the very first giant purpose-built hotels in Europe. The beautiful exterior is yellow brickwork and the whole thing feels very grand and regal. Rooms are relatively inexpensive starting at 50€ per night for a single and include ensuite bathrooms.
Yorkshire is a great vacation place for water sports activities.
Yorkshire surfing guide and tips prepared by Bryan Dickerson (wavepoolmag.com) for Dailystoke.com’s surf guides.
Photo by Parker Amstutz