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Best Beaches for Surfing near Edinburgh

The Best Surfing Spots Near Edinburgh

Scotland, the land of lochs and mountains, also offers some of the most exciting surfing opportunities in the UK. The beauty of Scotland's beaches is not just in their rugged charm but also in the remarkable surf opportunities they provide.

The famous north coast wave at Thurso East is world class, making Scotland a top choice for surf enthusiasts. The Western Isles and Inner Hebrides offers wild North Atlantic swell throughout the year. The East Coast, where Scotland's capital - Edinburgh is, offers a multitude of opportunities from gentle waves for the beginner to challenging reefs and points for the seasoned surfer. There really is something for every wave rider if they are willing to explore.

Belhaven Bay

One of Scotland's finest beaches, Belhaven Bay, offers consistent waves that are fantastic for surfers of all levels.

This stunning golden sandy beach is the home base for Ocean Vertical's surfing lessons. Ocean Vertical offer expert training in a fun and safe learning environment, whether you're new to the sport or looking to enhance your skills. With qualified instructors to guide you, and the stunning Scottish coast as your backdrop, there's no better place to start or continue your surfing journey. Throughout the year we offer surf lessons and Yoga and Surf Day Retreats for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Postcode: EH42 1TS

Parking: pay and display options at shore road or Link field car park.

Nearby eats: Wishing Tree By The Sea is excellent and close by.

Toilets: Public toilets are available at both car parks.

Petrol station: The nearest is in Dunbar, at the Rigg service station.

Pease Bay

Pease Bay is known for its consistent surf, making it a go-to spot for both beginners and experienced surfers. 

As with every surf spot, it's important to make yourself aware of the different sections of the beach and therefore different waves and rip currents that form.

There's a boulder reef break for experienced surfers almost in front of the river mouth, and sand bar beach breaks that form more gentle waves for intermediate and even beginner surfers.

Postcode: TD14 5PN

Parking: Free parking is available at the Pease Bay Holiday Home Park.

Nearby eats: Pease Bay Holiday Home Park has an onsite bar and

Toilets: Available at the holiday park.

Petrol station: The closest petrol station is in Cockburnspath, at the Co-op.


Possibly the best wave in East Lothian when it works! It needs a large Swell in a specific direction to make this sleeping gem work its magic.

Most of the time though, Gullane is a sheltered bay. It’s location makes it much better suited for swimming and paddle boarding.

Ocean Vertical Regularly uses Gullane for introducing paddle board clients to the sea on our Level 2 lessons.

Postcode EH31 2BE

Parking: Gullane Bents pay and display

Toilets: Public toilets available a short walk from the car park.

Petrol Station: The nearest fuel station is the Esso Garage on Dirleton Road.


The capitals cities beach, better known for its cafés and dog walking. However, Portobello is being surfed more and more.

It needs huge winter swells to make it this far down the forth, but it
does happen. Portabello, and Wardie Bay, are regular hang outs for the increasing number of
sea dippers and open water swimmers.

Watch out for poor water quality after heavy rain!

Postcode EH15 1DR

Parking: Various street parking available.

Nearest eats: Take your pick!

Toilets: Public toilets available

Petrol station: The nearest fuel is at ASDA at The Jewel.

Thorntonloch Beach

Thorntonloch beach can be easily seen from the A1 when travelling south from Edinburgh towards
the border. Only minutes away from Pease Bay, this can be a quieter option.

Thornonloch beach does have a serous lateral rip, so be cautious and stay alert. You'll see surfers manage this by paddling out, surfing their wave to the beach and running back start point and repeating.

Postcode: EH42 1QS

Parking: There are free parking spaces available.

Nearby eats: Pop along to Dunbar High Street where there are lots of options around 6 miles away.

Petrol station: The nearest fuel station is in Dunbar's ASDA.

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Surfing lessons with Ocean Vertical at Belhaven Bay in East Lothian

Coldingham Bay

Coldingham Bay, with its sandy bottom beach break, is suited for surfers of all skill levels. Beginners will appreciate the softer landings, while more advanced surfers can find waves to enjoy and develop their skills too.

Coldingham Bay is also the only RNLI lifeguard patrolled beach south of Edinburgh, in Scotland.

Make sure to pop in to St Vedas surf shop while you're there.

Postcode: TD14 5PA

Parking: Car park adjacent to the beach (£2 per day).

Nearby eats: Coldingham Bay Café is right by the beach.

Toilets: Public toilets are available at the car park.

Petrol station: The nearest petrol station is in Eyemouth at the Eyemouth Garage (TD14 5BE).

Seacliff Beach

Seacliff Beach must be one of the most beautiful in Scotland (and the U.K. for that matter). It lies at the end of a private track, with the turnoff at Auldhame. The beach is primarily sand with a few rocks, and looks straight out to the Bass Rock. It also has one of the smallest working harbours in the UK! Surfing or not, you need to see Seacliff Beach.

Be alert to the permanent rip current over and by the side of the structure of rocks heading out to the Island with St Baldred's Cross. This can be a powerful rip current on big days, worth making yourself aware of.

Postcode: EH39 5NX

Parking: There's plenty of parking by the beach, but make sure you have £3 in coins for the barrier.

Nearby eats: Drift café is one of the best in East Lothian and is 5 minutes drive away.

Toilets: There is a small toilet block by the second parking area.

Petrol station: The closest is in North Berwick, at Tesco (EH39 5NF).

St Andrews: East and West Sands

St Andrews East Sands is a favoured spot, delivering consistent waves with a sandy bottom. 

St Andrews West Sands is an iconic, long, sandy beach recognised for its steady surf.

Both locations deliver waves that can be enjoyed by all levels of surfers.

Postcode: KY16 8LB (East) / KY16 9XL (West)

Parking: Both beaches have parking available (£5 for over 5 hours)

Nearby eats: East Sands Leisure Centre Café. The nearest café to West Sands is at the British Golf Museum.

Toilets: Available at East Sands leisure centre. Public toilets available at West Sands car park.

Petrol station: The nearest is Esso at Largo Rd, St Andrews (KY16 8NH)

So, why not catch a wave or two? 

Surfing is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle. Feel the thrill, the freedom, and the pure exhilaration of riding the waves. If you're in or near Edinburgh, join Ocean Vertical for an unforgettable surfing experience.

You bring the spirit of adventure; they'll provide the rest - from boards and wetsuits to expert coaching. 

Welcome to Adventure                                              [email protected].

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