The Best Places to Kitesurf Near Bristol
A city full of music, art and culture, Bristol is a popular and vibrant city perched just on the edge of the South West. With its chilled vibes and alternative nature, you would be forgiven for thinking it feels more like a big bustling town than a major city.
The downside is that with the city comes a huge port, not ideal for kitesurfing. Fortunately, less than a couple of hours away are several prime spots to set up the kite and get out on the waves.
Here are the best kitesurfing beaches close to Bristol.
Just a stone’s throw away and the closest location on our list, Weston-Super-Mare sits just west of the city. Depending on the weather, the winds here are ideal for a range of skill levels. The area is reminiscent of a Victorian seaside town and due to its urban proximity can get very busy so watch out in peak season.
You’ll be riding on the Bristol Channel, don’t forget that it has the second-largest tidal range in the world, so keep an eye on tide times to avoid having to walk for miles to get to the ocean. Two hours either side of high tide is usually the best time to go.
Access is ideal as you can drive right on to the beach and park, just watch out for the high tide mark. The beach has a designated wind zone which we do recommend you stick to; otherwise, you are likely to receive a telling off from the wind patrol!
Around one and a half hours drive from Bristol (straight down the M5), Exmouth is a neat little seaside town and tourist hotspot on the South Devon coast. There are two spots on the beach that are great for kites.
The first one, known as ‘The Duck Pond’, is a large area that is protected by a sandbank that provides a decent flat water space, especially when a northwesterly channels down the river. Kitesurfing is possible at all tide stages here but around three hours before high tide is the best time to arrive.
For a bit more wave action, head beyond the sandbank where you’ll pick up a decent enough wind most of the time. Recommended for experienced kiters only, the perfect time to get out here is on a dropping tide.
A reasonable two hours away is Portland Harbour, which juts out away from the coast, just after Weymouth. Portland has some of the best winds, but there are several spots in this area that are well known amongst kitesurfers, so you can always explore the area further.
If you do want to go out here you have to acquire a watersports permit from Portland Port, failure to do so could result in a serious telling off and a ban. To get a permit, you must be a competent kitesurfer and have 3rd party insurance. Day permits are only £3.70 and seasonal and annual ones are also available at a sensible price.
Wales has a number of brilliant kitesurfing spots, and Porthcawl is just over an hour away, across the Severn Bridge. Rest Bay is a long sandy beach with an Atlantic swell that makes it fantastic for most types of boarding. The car park is close by, overlooking the beach, and there are some surfer friendly cafes and amenities all in close proximity.
Kitesurfing is restricted to the Western end of the beach, and it’s best to avoid either side of high tide due to rocks. Outside of this time, there is lots of hard flat sand which is ideal for landing on. The best winds range from South through to North West, and there is often a decent swell for wave riding.
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