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Museum of British Surfing

museum of british surfing

Catch the Waves at the Museum of British Surfing

The Museum of British Surfing in Braunton, North Devon celebrates the UK’s enduring relationship with the waves. Colourful displays take you on a journey through the history and evolution of surfing in Britain across the decades, from decoratively carved wooden surfboards to today’s high-tech designs.

Interactive exhibits let you test your surf skills on land before reliving legendary UK surf competitions and stepping into the nostalgic original surf shop. Here’s everything you need to plan an inspiring day out at the hub of British surf heritage and culture.

museum of british surfing

Getting There

The Museum is conveniently located right in the centre of Braunton village, North Devon’s surfing hub. Braunton sits just 5 minutes inland from Saunton Sands beach and the epic surf at Croyde Bay.

By Car

Drivers can park in Braunton’s central pay and display car parks a couple of minutes’ walk from the Museum’s doorstep on Caen Street. Follow signs for Braunton’s main car parks.

By Bus

Frequent buses run between Braunton, Croyde, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple. Hop off in Braunton centre, with the Museum just around the corner.

Opening Times and Prices

The Museum of British Surfing is open 7 days a week:

  • April – Sept: 10am – 4pm
  • Oct – March: 10am – 3pm

Last entry is one hour before closing time.

Entry prices are:

  • Adults £2
  • Under 16s Free
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Surfboards Through the Decades

The Museum’s fascinating collections trace the evolution of British surf culture through more than a century of groundbreaking craftsmanship:

  • Pioneer Surfboards – Solid wooden boards from the early 20th century originators.
  • Vintage Malibus – Classic twin fin boards emerging in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Single Fin boards – Experience iconic 80s shapers.
  • Modern Shortboards – Leading edge designs.
  • Hand Planing – Watch experts crafting beautiful bespoke boards.

Interactive exhibits let you understand nuances between different surfboard shapes, fins and craftsmanship up close.

surfboards

Surf Heritage

In addition to rides and craftsmanship, the museum captures stories, events and culture defining British surfing:

  • Surf photography – Salute the lensmen like Ray Hutchings who captured our surf scenes.
  • Competition archives – Relive moments from groundbreaking UK contests.
  • Pioneers exhibits – Celebrate homegrown legends like Percy Bentham Baker.
  • Original surf shop – Step inside a vintage surf retail space.

It provides perspective on the inspiring figures and competitions that shaped the UK’s vibrant surf lifestyle.

museum of british surfing boards

Special Events and Family Fun

The Museum hosts events like:

  • Meet the Shapers – Talks from elite board makers.
  • Pop-up surf art – See works from leading creatives.
  • Film screenings – Enjoy classics like Big Wednesday.
  • Children’s activity days – Special kids’ events.

Younger kids will enjoy dress up zones, board decorating sessions, and interactive exhibits creating a playful learning space.

The Museum of British Surfing is the perfect place to discover the rich heritage of UK waves while trying surf simulation experiences. It captures the sights, sounds and nostalgia that make British surf culture so special.

Best surfers in North Devon

Within this tight-knit surfing community, several surfers have risen to legendary status, making North Devon a hub for world-class wave riders:

  1. Andrew “Andy” King: A true icon, King’s dedication to the sport has earned him numerous British and international titles. He’s also a respected surf coach and mentor to the next generation of North Devon surfers.
  2. Lucy Campbell: As the first female surfer from England to qualify for the World Surf League, Lucy Campbell has shattered glass ceilings. Her talent and determination continue to inspire aspiring female surfers in North Devon.
  3. Reubyn Ash: Known for his fearless approach to big waves and impressive aerial maneuvers, Ash is a local legend. His style and innovation have earned him respect on the international stage.
  4. Taz Knight: A big wave charger, Taz Knight is no stranger to conquering the North Devon’s powerful winter swells, earning accolades for his daring rides.

These surfers embody the spirit of North Devon’s surf culture, where the connection between people and the sea is celebrated. They have not only surfed the waves but have also given back to their community, ensuring that North Devon remains a world-renowned surfing destination for generations to come.

museum van

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I need for the surfing museum? – About an hour will give you a good flavour of what they have on offer

Are dogs allowed? No dogs in the museum

How many people surf in the UK? According to the Surfing England, there are 500,000 surfers in Britain.

Places to go nearby

As a start, there are great surfing beaches in Saunton, Croyde and Woolacombe. Other great places include:

  • Milky Way Adventure Park – Top family theme park with over 100 rides and indoor/outdoor attractions from rollercoasters to farm animals.
  • Big Sheep – Family attraction with shows, exhibits and sheep races. Opportunity to walk with alpacas and feed lambs.
  • North Devon Wake Park – Aqua park on Tiddlers Lake featuring obstacles and inflatables to traverse by wakeboard or canoe. Great family adventure.
  • Surfing at Saunton Sands – Take lessons or just enjoy these impressive waves at the vast beach backed by magnificent dunes.
  • Exmoor Zoo – Engaging zoo focused on wildlife conservation and education. Get close to endangered animals.
  • Tapeley Park Gardens – Beautiful gardens with exotic plants, adventure playground and seasonal events near Bideford.
  • Clovelly Village – Picturesque ancient fishing village with cobbled streets and whitewashed cottages cascading down to the harbour.
  • Arlington Court – Elegant Regency mansion once home to the Chichester family, set in acres of parkland.
  • Tarka Trail – Popular 180 mile walking/cycling trail following Tarka the Otter’s path through beautiful North Devon countryside.

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