The Best Places to Kitesurf Near Manchester
One of the largest cities in the UK, it’s no surprise that Manchester has a growing watersports scene. While generally lacking in the swells and curves seen in other parts of the UK, North-West England provides many opportunities for avid kitesurfers to cut their teeth in a range of conditions. Check out our short guide to some of the most notable kitesurfing locations in this part of the country!
St. Anne’s, Blackpool
Blackpool has long been known as one of the North West’s most popular beach locations. The seaside town has been entertaining guests for generations, but now it is beginning to make its name as a prime location for kitesurfing beginners.
St. Anne’s Beach is located in the Lytham district of Blackpool, south of the famous Pleasure Beach and just over one hour’s drive from the centre of Manchester. A beautifully-open space, kitesurfing works here with any westerly wind. The beach has a small, long decline, meaning low tides stretch far away and high tides take the water right up to the dunes. While any waves will by choppy, flatwater lagoons regularly develop in the water, creating the perfect environment for freestyling or simply getting the hang of the sport!
St. Anne’s is just one of many beaches in the Blackpool area with a kitesurfing community, making this town a perfect spot to visit. Just north of here lies Starr Gate, which shares a similar makeup except with larger waves. Starr Gate also works with a more northernly wind than St. Anne’s, which makes it a good option if the climate suddenly shifts.
In a region without many five-star surfing beaches, the Wirral hosts many of the North West’s best kitesurfing waters. Located on the north-western point of the Wirral Peninsula, Hoylake is a traditional seaside town located around one hour and 15 minutes from Manchester centre.
Hoylake’s beach is a long strip stretching for about six miles along the town’s coast. Similar to St. Anne’s above, this open location will support kitesurfing with a range of winds, generally from southwest to northeast. Located where the River Dee estuary meets the Irish Sea, this is quite a flat beach, lacking the big waves but creating an ideal environment for beginners and freestylers alike. An important thing to note before visiting this beach is its tide. Hoylake has a substantial tidal range, and its low tide can take the water around two miles away from the town. Therefore, it’s essential that you plan your kitesurfing around the tide, as finishing at low tide can create a very long trudge back to town!
As mentioned above, there are plenty of kitesurfing beaches in this region, and you may choose a different location depending on the way of the wind. On the Peninsula’s northern tip lies New Brighton, a beach favoured by locals, while West Kirby lies just south of Hoylake and is also a popular kitesurfing location!
For those living north of Greater Manchester, Morecambe Bay can offer a fantastic kitesurfing experience away from the more popular regional beaches of Blackpool. Located around one hour and 15 minutes from the centre of Manchester and less than one hour from towns such as Bolton, Morecambe Bay is a huge expanse that, on the right day, can serve as the perfect kitesurfer’s playground!
Morecambe Bay is the largest estuary in North-West England. More than that, it is also the largest expanse of intertidal sands and mudflats in the UK, which gives you an idea of the incredible open spaces available here. Similar to Hoylake, kitesurfers will be able to enjoy this beach with any wind from southwest to northeast. While it shares many of other North West spots’ characteristics, tides of over 8.5m can make launching and landing a challenge. Therefore, this is not an area that is recommended for beginners. Morecambe Bay experiences predominantly flatwater with some chop and even the occasional clean wave! There are plenty of facilities in the area, but at the same time, there are local regulations for kitesurfing that must be respected, such as launching from specific locations.
These are just some of the popular kitesurfing locations around Manchester, but what are your favourite spots in this region? Share your havens with fellow kitesurfers via our social channels! Remember, if you’re looking to upgrade your gear, we sell a range of kitesurfing equipment in the UK perfect for catching those English winds! If you’re willing to venture out a little further, why not check out our blog on kitesurfing beaches in the UK?