Best Beaches in the UK
The UK has some of the prettiest beaches in the world, and it’s at times like this that you could make the very best use of them. From the ever popular Cornwall coast to the lesser known beaches of Scotland, we’ve showcased our top UK beaches for you to consider. With so many accommodation providers to book through, we’ve suggested a few to save you time and money when booking your UK trip.
Best Beaches in England
Studland Bay, Dorset
Fall in love with this National Trust managed stretch of Dorset’s coastline, where the rolling sand dunes give way to a long and wide sandy beach that is lapped by cool blue waters. Marvel at the much-photographed Old Harry rocks that reach into the sea and enjoy views across to the Isle of Wight on this idyllic piece of the south coast.
On Cornwall’s north coast is the secluded seaside village of Polzeath. This picturesque village rolls down the hillside to a beautiful sandy bay where sun worshipers and surfers while away their days in the warm Cornish sunshine. Close by is the foodie town of Padstow, as well as the island castle of King Arthur at Tintagel.
West Wittering, West Sussex
At the mouth of Chichester Harbour, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is the beautiful golden sand of West Wittering Beach. With delightful B&B and camping options a short walk away this is the ideal spot for a weekend break with the kids as you can play on the beach, cool off with a swim and explore the historic city of Chichester.
One of the UK’s finest beaches, with a wide and long stretch of deep golden sand, Woolacombe Beach is a jewel in Devon’s coastal crown. Take a boat ride out to spot local wildlife, saddle up for a horse ride along the sand or climb aboard the MS Oldenburg for a journey out to the island of Lundy with it’s rugged clifftop coastline.
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Blackpool Sands, Devon
Devon’s south coast is awash with beautiful beaches but often declared the most picturesque, Blackpool Sands is a sheltered stretch bordered by verdant woods and farmland. The pebbled beach is popular with sun seekers while the gentle waves attract kayakers and paddle boarders.
Cromer Beach, Norfolk
Take a step back in time at the Victorian beach resort town of Cromer. The quintessential Victorian pier sets the scene perfectly, standing proudly over the wide flat sands and the gently deepening waves. Famous for its arts and crafts, make time to explore the town’s independent shops and galleries.
Embleton Bay, Northumberland
In the hearth of Northumberland’s coastal Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are the long sweeping sands of Embleton Bay. With the village of Embleton just a mile away and the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle as a backdrop Embleton Bay is an ideal getaway for couples and families.
Saltburn, North Yorkshire
Welcome to Saltburn, or Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire’s premier beachside town. There is plenty here to explore besides the gorgeous stretch of sand, like the captivating Saltburn Cliff Tramway and the nearby miniature railway. Stroll to the pier for gorgeous sunrise and sunset views.
Best Beaches in Wales
Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula
Just beyond the city lights of Swansea is the exquisite Gower Peninsula, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sweeping along the coast is a 3 mile stretch of golden sand on the Rhossili Bay, backed by green hills. Enjoy a coastal walk for outstanding views or take a paddle board onto the waves.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
This wild and rugged beach has been the setting for many movie scenes, such as Dobby’s home in Harry Potter and a double for Dunkirk in Their Finest. The sea here boasts strong currents making it suitable to strong surfers, while the rest of us can enjoy a walk on the sand while watching them catch the waves.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
This broad swathe of sand sits sheltered between granite cliffs to the side and sand dunes and pine forest behind. Accessible only by a half mile walk from the nearest carpark, Barafundle beach is truly a tranquil escape that slopes gently into the turquoise sea.
Broad Haven South, Pembrokeshire
One of Wales’ most idyllic locations, the beach at Broad Haven South has picture perfect golden sand amid a backdrop of rocky outcrops and rolling dunes. Discover caves and springs flooding from the cliffs and explore the adjacent Bosherton Lakes. Strong tides make the sea ideal for kayaking, surfers and sea fishing.
Best Beaches in Scotland
Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris
St Ninian’s Isle, Shetland
Balnakeil Beach, Highlands
Tolsta Beach, Isle of Lewis
On the northern coast of Lewis you will find dramatic cliffs that dive suddenly to the delightful sands of Tolsta Beach. Capture atmospheric photographs of the giant rock stacks that reach into the sea and then walk on the nearby ‘bridge to nowhere’ with its uncompleted road.