Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK

Specific global air circulation patterns reaching the UK makes this part of the world unique for watersports and provides many windy days for kitesurfers to enjoy. Especially the Southeast cost that offers many fantastic kitesurfing spots near London.

Due to the nature of being an island, almost every accessible beach has the potential to be suitable for kitesurfing or other watersports. However, we all know that kitesurfing is more complicated than that, so before we start with the best kitespots in the south-east coast of the UK, we wanted to remind you of the best practices of choosing the perfect beach.

How to choose the best location for your session?

As in every location around the globe, preparation for the kitesurfing sessions is essential, and if kiting in the UK, it’s crucial. No one wants to make the trip to the beach and find out that conditions are not as good, or don’t have the right gear to enjoy the time on the water.

As a good reminder, you can use this small checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for the independent session:

1. Check the forecast for the wind direction first. It will indicate which beach will be the safest to kitesurf.
2. Check the tides for that coast/location. You will be able to see the time gap that’s safest to kite in. Majority of beaches in the UK are not kiteable 2-3H either side of high tide. For more details about tides, read this article.
3. Check the wind speed. It will allow making the best desition on which gear you should take. In the UK, the best is to take all you have as the wind strength tends to change throughout the day. And make sure there are no storm or wind direction changes shown in the forecast!
4. Look at a live wind feed/stats (if there is one at the spot) or ask friends at the beach to see if the forecast matches the live feed. Don’t forget that sea-breezes and other thermic effects are very common in the UK. On a sunny summers day, you can expect an increase in the wind that may not be suited for beginner kitesurfers or may exceed the capabilities for the gear that you have.
5. Do site/beach assessment. Once you are at the beach, you should be able to notice all the hard hazards that may be in your way for equipment set up and when in the water. In the UK it is very common to find steep shingle banks, lineups of groins and staircases almost on every beach. That is the main reason why in the UK we have to miss kitesurfing around the high tide in most of the beaches. Additionally, if you are choosing a location you have never been before, make sure that you have a chat with the local kitesurfers or a school, they will be able to point out any underwater hazards or beach rules.
6. Know how to perform a self-rescue should you need to. If you want to be considered an independent kitesurfer, you should be able to rescue yourself in deep water and know how to pack your gear and get yourself to the shore safely. Please read this detailed article to make sure you fully understand this procedure.

GOOD TO KNOW

Season

The kiting season in the UK generally runs from March to November for most riders, and that’s the time when you’ll see the most kiters on the water, making summer months the busiest watersports season. Winter kiting is quite popular due to some good winds and sometimes stronger swells bringing great waves around the coast, just in that case make sure you are dressed for the colder water.

Gear

Some tough Englishman may disagree, but a 5mm wetsuit is required for most of the year. During peak summer a 3mm wetsuit may be sufficient for some days. Boots and gloves are recommended during winter, early spring and late autumn; they are not needed at any other time. A pair of sandals may be useful for crossing the gravel car park and small stones (‘shingle’) beach areas in most of the locations around the UK.

Equipment

Due to the varied wind conditions throughout the year, you can be using kites from 5m to even 17m, depending on your choice. Most kitesurfer chooses to opt for the average quiver set. Good examples would be an 80kg kitesurfer with a medium-size board (138-150cm) would have a 12m and an 8/9m kites. If they like some stronger wind sessions, they would include a 7/6m kite, and for the lighter wind, they would get a 14/15m as an addition. It all depends on your preference and abilities.

Insurance

Most of the UK kitesurfing schools are operating under BKSA rules (British Kite Sports Association), and they are strong advocates for a kitesurfing specific insurance, covering you for any accidents with a third party. More info can be found here.

Local Clubs

Kitesurfing specific clubs are established at nearly every beach, so if you already found a location that its closest to you or you are lucky enough to live close to the beach, we would encourage you to search BKSA website or look around Facebook pages to locate a nearby club and join the kitesurfers community.
For kitesurfers living in and around London, we would highly recommend joining London kitesurfing Association, where you will find over a thousand of likeminded individuals. Most of the clubs tend to organise monthly drinks and are great advocates for car shares to the beach (not mentioning the networking opportunity with the fellow kitesurfers).

BEST KITESPOTS AROUND LONDON

East Beach, Shoeburyness

Thorpe Bay/Uncle Toms Cabin

Minster-on-Sea, Sheepey

Whitstable

Greatstone

Camber Sands

Shoreham-by-Sea

Lancing Beach

Hayling Island

Minnis Bay

Pegwell Bay

Sandwich Bay

East Beach, Essex

Located in Southend-on-Sea in Essex, this beach features almost sandy beach with a large grass field, ideal for setting your gear or to have a picnic. Few kitesurfing schools operate here and have designated kitesurfing zones, also, often uses the grass field for the land or beginner lessons with the trainer kites.

This beach is one of the more known for kitesurfers and also for holidaymakers, as a kitesurfer you will be expected to exercise caution here, especially in busy summer months and bank holidays.
You should leave at least a 60-90 minutes before and after high tide to kite here, also at the low tide perfect flat water lagoons will stay with waist-deep water; however, they may be occupied with the kitesurfing lessons, so you should make space for them as much as posible.

Best wind direction: SW, S, SE, E, NE
When to ride: No kiting 1-1,5 H either side of high tide
How to get there: The easiest way to get closest to the kite spot would be to get there by car and park at the East Beach car park or on the Blackgate road. The Shoeburyness train station is also just a 10 min walk to the beach, making this a perfect spot for people travelling from London with public transport.
Good to know: All the facilities are situated near the main car park. Also, a food van operates here in the summer months.
Local Club: Essex Kite Club
Kite Centre: Essex Kitesurf School

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
East Beach - wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Thorpe Bay/Uncle Toms Cabin, Essex

This spot is also located in Southend-on-Sea in Essex and offers very similar experienced as the earlier mentioned East Beach. This location is often considered as the alternative spot offering more exposure for the winds from the West. Also, due to this spot being a little further from the main train station in the busy summer months there tend to be slightly fewer holidaymakers around.

There is only a small section of beach to launch and land, so please ensure that you pump up your kite and get to the water as soon as possible. Also, launching your kite on the green behind the huts is not permitted.

Best wind direction: W, SW, S, SE, E
When to ride: No kiting 1-1,5 H either side of high tide 
How to get there: Park at the main car park near the Uncle Toms and the public toilets or the green behind the beach huts.
Good to know: The rule of thumb here is – don’t go out kiting until the concrete at the end of the storm drain pipe is visible. At the shoreline, the beach has some mussel beds which will shred a kite very quickly. Also, if you are still learning, wetsuit boots are recommended to protect your feet. Be aware that the tides at Southend move quickly. Make sure you are aware of the tide times and be mindful that powerful currents can form in the estuary. 
Local Club: Essex Kite Club
Kite Centre: Southend Kitesurfing

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Uncle Toms - wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Minster-on-Sea, Sheerness, Kent

Located in the Isle of Sheppey, this beach offers wast open flat water paradise. This location is entirely different than other kitesurfing beaches nearby, as it rarely gets many holidaymakers in the summer months. The beach itself is a shingle bank and has no groynes or hard hazards insight.

Good to kite at any time of the tide, however at the lowest tide the water can be very shallow at places and as the tide rises the pull of the water can be quite strong due to the position of the beach. If you are not as comfortable in riding upwind, we recommend staying closer to the beach.

Best wind direction: NW, N, NE, E
When to ride: For safest kitesurfing sessions we would offer to kite no earlier that one hour either side of Low and High tide.
How to get there: The easiest way to get closest to the kite spot would be to get there by car. You can park at the Shingle bank Marine Parade car Park (pay-and-display), located just at the beachfront.
Good to know: There are no facilities nearby, and the cafes and bars around the area will not offer much, therefore make sure you come here prepared.
Kite Centre: None, therefore make sure you are not kiting there on your own.

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Minster-on-Sea wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Minnis Bay, Birchington, Kent

Perfectly suited for the days with Northerly winds, Minnis bay in Birchington-on-sea is already well known for water sports with a thriving windsurf and sailing club at the beach. The only restriction here is that there is no kiting allowed at the high tide, due to a tall concrete wall spread across the coast.

It’s a learner-friendly space with a knee to waist-deep water for a good 300 metres. This Bay tend to be windier than other North Facing spots in the region.

Best wind direction: NW, N, NE
When to ride: Recommended to leave at least 2 hours either side of high tide for a safe kitesurfing session. 
How to get there:  There’s a small cafe/pub which has a great view over the beach and a car park (free in winter months, metered in the summer).
Good to know: The only difference is it’s quite rocky underfoot in a few isolated places. Neoprene booties are advised.
Local Club: Kent Pirates Kite Surfing Group
Kite Centre: KitePirates 

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Minnis Bay wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Sandwich and Pegwell Bay, Kent

Located between Ramsgate and Deal on the East coast of Kent, the beach at Sandwich Bay faces directly east, ideal for a large range of wind directions that other local beaches may be unsuitable in. The beach is a large shingle beach with sand and pebbles becoming exposed once the tide starts dropping. At high tide, there can be some shore dump, therefore for less experienced riders its recommended to kitesurf around low tide.

Pegwell bay offers a flat water bay; however, it is a national nature reserve and as such has some restrictions and considerations to its use. It requires us to stay off the mudflats at all times and use it only when high tide when no birds are feeding or low tide when we access via the western Undercliff. Please talk with the local kiteboarding school before using this beach.

Best wind direction: N, NE, E, SE, S
When to ride: can be used at all stages of the tide; however, for beginners, it is best at mid to low tide.
How to get there:For Pegwell Bay parking is available at the Huggin Green, behind the Viking Ship Cafe – a path from the left-hand corner of the car park leads down to the bay which is about a 5 minute walk away. For Sandwich bay, the route goes through the golf clubs; you can park around here. Entry tolls cost £4-£5 Winter/Summer and the car park has toilet facilities.
Good to know: In 2004 an agreement was signed between kitesurfers and conservationists, restricting the areas in which you are able to launch from and kitesurf. At high tide you can launch from Pegwell Beach, whilst at Low / Medium tide you must launch from Western Undercliffe. Launching from the car park opposite the Sportsman Pub is prohibited at all times, and only half the bay is available for kitesurfing once you have launched. This agreement is in place to protect local wildlife, so please abide by it’s restrictions.
Local Club: Kent Pirates Kite Surfing Group
Kite Centre: KitePirates 

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Sandwich Bay wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Whitstable, Kent

This beach is well known for its popularity when the Northerly wind reaches the UK. At the Low tide, the main spot called ‘the street’ will provide a perfect flat water condition and exposed sandbank for safe set-up and launch away from any obstacles. Keep in mind that when the tide rises, it is quite dangerous to kite here as you will get too close to the hard hazards. 

If you are a more advanced rider, you can kite from the additional spot that is available at the high tide. ‘The point‘ is located at the Marine Crescent, and you can park straight in front of the spot. It features deeper water and decent waves, also can have a strong shore break in windier days.

Best wind direction: SW, W, NW, N, NE
When to ride: Recommended to leave at least 2,5 – 3 hours either side of high tide for a safe kitesurfing session. 
How to get there: The easiest way would be to get there by car, you can park at the beachfront in front of Hotel Continental or at the Tower Hill in front of the Whitstable Bowling club and walk for few minutes down the hill to the spot.
Good to know: Public toilets are available right at the spot; also a cosy Beach Cafe will offer fantastic food and beverages before and after the session. Boardworx watersports shop is right at the spot too, should you need additional equipment.
Local Club: Whitstable Kitesurfing Legends
Kite Centre: Aquilo Kiteboarding School

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Whitstable wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Greatstone Beach, Romney Marsh, Kent

Open shingle bank beach with silky smooth sandy bottom stretching for miles, offering small to wavy chop and shallow water. Due to the relatively flat beach, on the low tide, you will have to walk for quite a while to reach the water’s edge for a shallow & flat water session. Deeper you go, small waves will start rolling in offering perfect kickers. Time planing here is crucial because the walk is seriously long (about 20 min each way from the beach to the water’s edge at the low tide) but certainly worth it. As the tide is rising the water will gently bring you back to the beach and for around 1h will offer a vast flat water playground.

Kiting at the high tide is posible here for more advanced riders; however, the shore break can be challenging for less experienced riders.

Best wind direction: NNE, NE, E, SE
When to ride: The best time to kite here is 1,5 H either side of high tide. 
How to get there: The car is essential here as public transport runs only once in an hour. You can park at pay and display car park with the toilet block opposite the Taylor road.
Good to know: Toilet block closes for the night, and there is a small convenience shop just opposite the car park.
Local Club: Camber Kitesurfing Club
Kite Centre: The Kitesurf Centre & Camber Kitesurfing

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Greatstone wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Camber Sands, East Sussex

Notoriously known for its timely sea breezes, bringing more kiteable days than anywhere else in the south coast of UK, Camber Sands beach offers dedicated kitesurfing zone and several kitesurfing schools offering lessons for less experienced riders just at the spot. 

Due to the hard-packed sand, this beach is perfect for Kite Landboarders and Landbuggies, therefore if you are a kitesurfer make sure you set-up your kites away from the dry-packed sand.

This beach is one of the few in the UK that has a dedicated kitesurfing and teaching zones, onsite kitesurfing schools and shops and all the needed facilities. If you are kiting here for the first time, please ask the kite school or instructors to explain the beach rules, dedicated areas and point out the hard hazards before you head out.

Best wind direction: W, SW, S, SE
When to ride: No kiting 2-3H either side of high tide 
How to get there: if you are driving with the car, you can reach the kite beach by passing through Camber Sands village and you will find a Broomhill Sands car park (free parking, but has a 2.10m height restriction), you will see The Kitesurf centre located there. You can also get here by getting a train to Rye and then taking a bus to Camber Sands, note that the bus only runs every hour and at the summer months can be delayed due to traffic. The bus journey usually takes only 15 min, and the bus can stop straight at the centre if you ask the driver politely.
Good to know: Shower and toilets are further away along the promenade at the caravan park (camping toilet block). At the Carpark, you will also find Tatners food truck, ideal for the after sessions burgers (excellent food) and coffee.
Local Club: Camber Kitesurfing Club
Kite Centre: The Kitesurf Centre & Camber Kitesurfing

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Camber Sands wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Counted as an intermediate to advance rider beach, Shoreham offers some great small waves for everyone that wants to test their skills in more advanced conditions. Shingle bank beach without any hard obstacles, but with a serious shore break, can be quite challenging for less advanced riders, so if you are a beginner, we highly recommend going out with an instructor.

Due to the steepness of the beach, you should only kite around low tide. It is recommended to leave 2-3h either side of high tide as a no kiting block.

Best wind direction: E, SE, S, SW, W
When to ride: No kiting 2-3H either side of high tide 
How to get there: If you go there with a car, you can park at the Old Fort road leading straight at the beach. If you are taking a train, be prepared to walk for a while to reach the beach.
Good to know: Toilet block is a mile away from the kitesurfing area. Before you cross the footpath bridge, there is amazing patisserie just on the high street.
Local Club: Shoreham Kitesurfing Club
Kite Centre: Kite Surf Kings

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Shoreham-by-Sea wind stats | windyapp.com
Shoreham-by-sea

Lancing-by-Sea, West Sussex

Located at the Lancing Green beach front, this beach is excellent for any lever kitesurfer. At the low tide, it provides safe shallower water lagoon for about 100 meters from the shore, mostly used for beginner kiters or lessons. With the stronger winds and in the winter months, this location provides great entry-level wave conditions. 

Best wind direction: W, SW, S, SE, E
When to ride: no kiting 3-4H either side of high tide 
How to get there: Park your car straight at the beach car park for the Lancing Beach Green (height-restricted car park – pay and display).
Good to know: There are a cafe and a toilet block right on the green.
Local Club: Lancing Kitesurfing Club
Kite Centre: BN1 Kitesurfing, Brighton Kitesurfing Academy and Lewis Cratham

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Lancing wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

Hayling Island, Havant, Hampshire

The only Club regulated beach in the UK, Hayling island offers a variety of kitesurfing condition for every level kitesurfer in a safe and organised environment. You can only kite here if you have a membership to the club or a daily pass that comes with a coloured rash west that everyone must wear. 

At the low tide, you can expect flat water conditions, due to the exposed sandbar that shelters the beach. As the tide rises small to chop to a small wave will appear at certain parts of the beach. Waist deep water around the lower tide provides a perfect playground for the freestyle riders. At the high tide the beach break can be strong, therefore less experienced riders should wait for the tide to drop.

Best wind direction: W, SW, S, SE
When to ride: No kiting 2H either side of high tide 
How to get there: The only way to get here is by car. Pay and display car park is right at the beach past the ‘Inn on the Beach’ bar. 
Good to know: You must have a membership or a daily pass to kitesurf here. Toilet and shower block is only available to open with the lock tokens that you must get from the Council office in advance.
Local Club: CBK club
Kite Centre: CBK kitesurfing

Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com
Hayling Island wind stats | windyapp.com
Best Kitesurfing spots near London, UK | Knowledge Centre | thekitespot.com

RECAP

  • Always kite with another person.
  • If you go alone, take a means of calling or signalling for help.
  • Never ride out further than you can swim back.
  • Equipment failure does happen. Be prepared.
  • Check the conditions and tides. Don’t go out in conditions you can’t handle.
  • Check what sizes of kites other riders are using. If you do not have the correct size, do not go out.
  • Do not ask or allow someone who is not familiar with kites to help you launch or land – give them some training on how to do it.
  • Always tell someone you are going out and when you will be back.
  • Follow the safety advice from the governing body for kitesurfing, the BKSA, and other expert organisations.

In the UK almost every bit of land connected with the sea will offer you a possibility to kitesurf. So if you can, explore even further.

What's Your favourite kitesurfing spot near London?

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK 💬​

ABOUT US

Thekitespot.com is a platform created for kitesports enthusiasts, that want to learn more about the sport; find ideal destinations to kite and explore all the relevant topics in one place and share the knowledge with other kiters worldwide.

LEARN EXPLORE CONNECT

ULTIMATE KITESPORTS NEWSLETTER

Receive latest industry news, detailed guides of the most popular kitesurfing destinations, gear specifications and all the knowledge needed to become a better participant of all the kitesports.

By subscribing to our newsletter you agree with our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Samina is a co-founder and managing director of thekitespot.com. Samina was so inspired by kitesurfing and so passionate about it that she gave up her career in London to help others get into this awesome sport. She now handles the daily running of thekitespot.com and shares her knowledge and travel experiences throughout the many articles and location guides available on thekitespot.com website.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on telegram

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

>

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. For more information check out our Privacy Policy & Term and Conditions.