Last Updated on August 15, 2022

Believe it or not, but sand surfing is not limited to sunny and warm locations in the desert. The United Kingdom may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of sandboarding, but both England and Wales offer quite a few spots where this sport can be practiced. Even rainy Scotland has some beach dunes where sand sledding is regularly practiced.

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Sandboarding in England

Holywell Bay Sand Dunes, England.
Holywell Bay Sand Dunes, England. Photo courtesy of hilaris.

Holywell Bay Beach Sand Dunes – Newquay

Holywell, Cornwall is also home to a beach with a complex of sand dunes; in the summer and during peak times, local shops that cater for beach goers also sell sandboards.

Braunton Burrows Sand Dunes – Devon

The Braunton Burrows sand dunes on the North Devon coast, were the filming location for where Alex Bird became the first sandboarder to be towed by a car on British shores. This is the largest sand dune system in England, with about 3120 hectars of what resembles a huge sand mountain.

Sandboard Rentals & Lessons

Barefoot Surf School in Putsborough is the only recognised sandboarding school in the UK. They offers sandboards and sandboard wax for rent as well as sandboarding lessons with an instructor.

Board rental price is £5 for half a day, £10 for a full day or £50 per week. Lessons cost £40 per person (in a group of 2-5 people per session), each class lasts 90 minutes and includes all the necessary equipment.

Seaton Sluice Sand Dunes – Northumberland

In the North East region of the United Kingdom, there is a small beach at Seaton Sluice where people can sandboard. This is a good alternative to sledding, as there is insufficient snow to support sledding there, even though the UK has a rather cold climate, with chilly winters and cool summers.

Camber Sands – Sussex

3km long beach with small sand dunes located in East Sussex. Mostly suitable for sand sledding and a lot of fun for kids.

Sandboarding in Wales

Sandboard at Merthyr Mawr, Wales
Sandboard in Merthyr Mawr, Wales. Photo courtesy of Jack Soley.

Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes – Bridgend

The site of the dunes is a large interdunal wetland that covers an area of 840 acres (340 ha) in the County of Bridgend, around five kilometres (3.1 mi) southwest of the town of Bridgend.

The village of Merthyr Mawr is close to a beach and it is home to the “Big Dipper”, the second largest sand dune in Europe, measuring around 61m (200 feet), second only to the Dune of Pilat in France.

Sand Dunes in Balmedie Beach, near Aberdeen
Sand Dunes in Balmedie Beach, near Aberdeen. Photo courtesy of Colin Galloway.

Sandboarding in Scotland

Balmedie Beach – Aberdeen

Lovely beach with large coastal dunes and a popular sand sledding spot with views on the North Sea. It’s a family-friendly destination with plenty of BBQ areas, toilets facilities and stores nearby.

Sandboarding in Murlough
Murlough Sand Dunes in Dundrum, Northern Ireland

Sandboarding in Northern Ireland

White Rocks Beach – Portrush

Very large beach on the Antrim Coast with miles and miles of white sand dunes. Sand boarding and sledding are both practiced. Bring your own board.

Portstewart Strand – Portstweart

Lovely coastal sand expanse with small dunes ideal for sledding.

Murlough Sand Dunes – Dundrum

Somewhat steep dunes surrounded by vegetation.

See also: Sandboarding in Ireland

Europe Sandboarding Map

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