Our dramatic coastline is graced by a wide variety of excellent beaches, ranging from surfing hot spots to secluded sandy coves. And because there’s no location in the UK more than 70 miles from the sea, many are easily accessible, regardless of where you live.
So with the easing of lockdown measures underway, we’ve put together a list of ten top beaches in the UK. If you do decide to pay one of these a visit, please take care to observe Government health guidelines.
Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall
Watergate Bay boasts more than two miles of golden sand that’s backed by high-cliffs, rock pools and a warren of sea-caves. The lively local swells draw surfers and water-sport enthusiasts throughout the year. It’s also pet-friendly with no seasonal ban on dogs currently in place.
Camber Sands, Sussex
Many of the beaches on the Sussex coast are made up of shingle. Not so with this one though. Camber Sands comprises, well, sand and of the fine golden variety. Located near Rye, it stretches for almost five miles and is fringed by a large network of dunes. In addition to being largely unspoilt, Camber Sands is also quite remote which makes it an ideal spot for those looking for an escape.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Like Cornwall, Pembrokeshire is renowned for its wild and rugged coastline as well as an excellent collection of beaches such as the crescent-shaped Barafundle Bay. Voted as one of the top 12 beaches in the world, this lovely little beach has an undiscovered air about it and comprises soft sands backed by dunes and pine trees.
Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
This majestic, gently-sloping beach is overlooked by the brooding Bamburgh Castle and is about one and a half miles long.
Located on a remote stretch of Northumberland’s heritage coast, it is considered one of the top surfing beaches in the North East. The broad expanse of soft sands also attracts dog walkers and ramblers.
Formby Beach, Merseyside
The family-friendly Formby Beach is set between Liverpool and Southport and is backed by an extensive network of high sand-dunes that afford some inspiring coastal vistas. The beach itself is broad, spacious and sandy, well-suited to walkers and dog exercisers. Pine woodlands lie beyond the dunes that serve as a natural habitat for the red squirrel.
Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall
Porthcurno is considered one of the best beaches in Cornwall. Set in a sheltered cove beneath the open-air Minack Theatre, this beautiful white-sand beach is famous for its crystal clear waters as well as the stunning coastal vistas. There’s far more room at low tide, when the stand stretches as far as the neighbouring beach of Pedn Vounder.
Rhossili Beach, the Gower
Rhossili Beach stretches for around three miles and is ideal for walkers and water-sport enthusiasts. During low tide a large expanse of sand is revealed allowing access to the nearby village of Llangennith and Worms Head. Like most coastal settings in the UK, Rhossili Beach is a haven for wildlife, especially seabirds.
Saunton Sands, North Devon
Saunton Sands is a long, straight golden beach overlooked by the Braunton Burrows sand-dune system – the largest in the UK and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The beach’s length as well as the exposure to westerly winds means it’s very popular with swimmers and surfers.
Blackpool Sands, South Devon
Blackpool Sands lies near Dartmouth and is a Blue Flag award-winner. Despite its name, the beach is actually made up of shingle. The sheltered location and unusually clear waters make it very suitable with families. The beach is also on the South West Coast path which is perfect those looking to experience the beauty of the South Devon coastline.
Whitstable Beach, Kent
This long shingle and pebble beach runs a mile south from Whitstable’s pretty harbour towards Seasalter.
Partitioned by wooden groynes, the beach is quintessentially English, populated with traditional beach huts, fishing boats and weatherboard cottages – a traditional seaside setting if ever there was one.
More Information About the UK’s Beaches and Coast
Thinking of staying near one of these wonderful beaches once the lockdown has finished? Then head over to our home page and check out our hand-picked holiday properties.