For a bit more action and excitement, have a look at cottages to rent within reach of Cornwall's North Coast. Here you'll find miles of spectacular coastline, pounding surf and vibrant towns to visit. If it's safe, family swimming you're after then stick to areas such as Crantock, Newquay and Porthcothan and rent a holiday cottage near there. For those who want to have a go at surfing, Watergate Bay, Polzeath and Bude will suit. More challenging surf, suitable for those with a bit of experience, can be found at Perranporth, Constantine and Fistral Bay, which is home to the National Surfing Centre.
In fact, Cornwall is rumoured to be the birth place of surfing in the UK. Soldiers returning from the First World War took to the waves after being influenced by comrades in Australia and South Africa. Photographs dating from the 1920s show surfers on the beaches of Cornwall using boards fashioned from coffin lids by an entrepreneurial undertaker in Perranporth.
Windsurfing is also popular in Cornwall, and the varied coastline allows windsurfing opportunities for the beginner right up to the professional, in a range of conditions - this is a perfect part of the UK for a windsurfing holiday and there are lots of holiday cottages in Cornwall to rent near the sea. For those who are totally new to wave-riding, another option is waveski, which is a mix of surfing and white-water kayaking. It's easier to learn than surfing since you don't have to worry about standing up, and there's the added bonus of having a paddle to help you catch those waves! Another interesting fusion is kitesurfing, which combines elements of windsurfing, wakeboarding, paragliding and kiting. Even if you don't fancy having a go yourself, you'll find great entertainment in watching an experienced kitesurfer jump and spin their way around the beach at impressive speeds. Favourite Cornish beaches for kitesurfers include Watergate Bay, Hayle Towans, Perranporth and Daymar Bays in the North and Marazian on the South Coast.