When it comes to high-octane sports, surfing the waves is enjoying a new popularity.
Consumer research firm Statista says 189,000 Brits took to surfing in 2021, making it the UK’s biggest action sport.
And it’s big business, too, contributing more than £1 billion a year to the national economy thanks to devotees who spend on surfboards, surfwear, accessories, accommodation and travel, and even keeping surfers busy. trendy surf bars and cafes.
It is now becoming a factor in the property market, with schemes such as The Beachside in one of the country’s top surf spots, Croyde Bay in North Devon.
Sweet Life: Croyde Bay in North Devon. Inset, a couple runs into the waves.
The complex, built as a hotel in the 1890s, was transformed into apartments for surfers in the 1990s.
Owner Mike Saltmarsh, who is retiring this year, says: “The access and views of one of the UK’s most iconic bays make this property very special.”
For those with deep pockets, The Beachside is on sale for £17.5 million, with planning permission for expansion.
“If you buy a cottage or an apartment and want to rent it out to the surfing fraternity, there are a few items you must have,” says Michael Batter, a former real estate agent who created a service to find properties in coastal hotspots in the South. from England.
“It is essential to have a lot of storage space, enough for boards and a lot of equipment, and make sure there are good spaces to wash and dry clothes,” he adds.
So if you’re ready to rip, where to buy? Here are six of the UK’s most popular surf breaks…
Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset: Known as K-Bay to the surfing crowd, this busy area is part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A Wild Seas Center promotes family diving, and there’s also a marine conservation area and the South West Coast Path.
A trip to the west finds Weymouth (median house price £310,000) and to the east is Swanage (£441,500).
North Cornwall: There are plenty of beaches here for surfing: Watergate Bay, Polzeath and Fistral are arguably the best known, while Harlyn is closest to foodie favourite, Padstow.
Typical house prices vary wildly according to Zoopla, from £387,000 in Newquay, where almost all houses are within walking distance of the beach, to over £1m in Polzeath, where many can see the sea from the door of his house.
Gower Peninsula: House prices here average £366,000, Zoopla says, though hilltop properties overlooking the best surfing beaches (Three Peaks, Langland Bay and Llangennith) will easily sell for three times as much.
Much of the peninsula is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
North Yorkshire: Saltburn-by-the-Sea and Staithes are increasingly popular surfing hotspots, while Whitby and Scarborough are more beginner-friendly.
A typical house in Whitby costs around £270,000; Scarborough is cheaper at approximately £202,000. Saltburn is coming in under £240,000.
North Devon: It’s less fashionable than Cornwall, but the British Surfing Museum is here in Braunton, while Croyde, Saunton Sands, Woolacombe and Westward Ho! they have legendary status among surfers.
This year the area gained World Surfing Reserve status. Waterfront properties often fetch seven figures, but Braunton and Lynmouth cost half that price, and Bideford averages less than £275,000, according to Zoopla.
Thurso, Caithness: The beach is close to the city, but Thurso is closer to Norway than London, so the water temperature is not for the faint of heart.
You can get a three-bed semi for less than £160,000.