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The Best UK Beaches

Written by Lucy Cousins

Want to spend this summer outside?
How about a trip to the seaside?
Across the UK you can discover the joys,
of the sand, sea and buoys!

When you think of the UK you might not initially think of beaches. However, if you explore the coastline, you’ll discover some breathtaking spots. The much-loved Cornwall coast, the dazzling Dorset trails and secluded spots in Scotland are all waiting to be discovered! Where will you spend the summer months?

Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Just around the corner from Land’s End, it’s a remote but stunning beach. For surfers, the conditions are excellent, with long stretches of waves. The golden sand and the clear, clean blue sea make this a must-visit beach. It’ll feel as if you’ve been transported away from the UK.

Luskentyre Beach, Scotland

Luskentyre Sands, located on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, is a stunning beach boasting beautiful white sands and amazing green-blue water. You’d be mistaken for thinking you’re in the tropics! Luskentyre is a dog-friendly beach, so your good boys and girls can come along too. Find out more here.

Sandbanks, Dorset

Often referred to as the ‘Monte Carlo’ of the UK, this stretch of golden sands has been awarded a Blue Flag award and offers a variety of water sports activities for all of the family to enjoy, such as paddle boarding, windsurfing and more! There’s even a Crazy Golf course on site. Pay a visit to the nearby Shore Cafe or if you’re feeling fancy stop by the exclusive Rick Stein restaurant! Find out more.

Durdle Door, Dorset

This stunning beach, which is part of the Lulworth Estate and the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, is a popular site for snorkelling, cave exploring and swimming. The iconic arch leading out into the sea brings visitors year after year to its shores. Plan your visit here.

Montrose Beach, Angus

This famous beach runs north from Montrose to the mouth of the North Esk River with stretches of clean sands. These 3 miles of golden sands make it a perfect place to bathe. The facilities at the beach make for a wonderful trip, with a Seafront Splash play area, amusement park, promenade, toilets and plenty of parking. Find out more.

Whitby West Cliff, Yorkshire

This picturesque Blue Flag beach is the perfect seaside escape, with both free and pay & display car parking available nearby, as well as Whitby’s train station a short walk away, this beach is easy to get to. After you’ve stopped for fish and chips in the town centre that is! West Cliff has cafes, toilets, and a lost child centre, as well as a first-aid post. See if you can spot the famous Whale Bone Arch! Find out more.

Studland Bay, Dorset

This National Trust-owned beach, located a short five-minute chain ferry journey from Poole Harbour, is a lovely family day out! This beautiful beach has four miles of protected golden sands and a stunning view of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. It’s perfect for a variety of watersports and for exploring lots of exciting wildlife, including deer, insects and birds! For rumbling tums visit the Knoll Beach cafe. Find out more information here.

Druridge Bay, Northumberland

This seven-mile stretch of glorious sand has lots of dunes and rock pools to explore, as well as the 100-acre Ladyburn Lake with surrounding woodland. Pop into the nearby cafe (open on weekends and during the summer holidays) or their visitor centre for more information on the fascinating wildlife you can spot in Druridge Bay’s many nature reserves! Find out more.

Formby Beach, Liverpool

This National Trust beach is a coastal treasure with some of Europe’s best beach dunes which are a certified site of Special Scientific Interest! You can even spot some prehistoric human and animal footprints within the 30 footprint beds. Ice creams, snacks and drinks are available from vans on-site during peak periods. Find out more.

Barafundle Bay, Pembroke

With crystal clear blue waters, this popular National Trust-owned beach is the perfect place for a more relaxing day out. It’s your very own Mediterranean staycation! There’s no direct road access to the beach itself, but this allows you to take in the beautiful surroundings on a fifteen-minute walk from the car park to the coastline. Find out more.

Botany Bay, Kent

This Blue Flag beach offers amazing views of white cliffs and impressive chalk stacks! When the tide is out, it’s perfect for fossil hunting and rock pool exploring. There are kiosks on site selling ice creams or you can pay a visit to nearby cafes offering hot food and drinks. Dogs are not permitted on this beach from 10 am to 6 pm from May 1st until 30th September. Find out more.

Bournemouth Beach, Dorset

This famous activity and events-packed beach offers something for all of the family… there’s even a zip wire from the pier to the stretch of seven glorious miles of sand! Hosting events such as the Bournemouth Air Festival, Arts by the Sea and more, you’ll be spoilt for choice! Head to one of the many cafes and restaurants nearby, including West Beach and Harry Ramsden’s for traditional fish & chips by the sea. Plan your visit here.

Margate Beach, Kent

Known as ‘The Original Seaside’, Margate Beach is a charming seaside beach. The sandy shores stretch for miles and even in high tide, there’s still plenty of beach for sandcastles. Around the beach, there are Fish & Chip shops, Dreamland Fun Park, and seafood stalls and within the town, there’s also the famous Shell Grotto. Head to Margate for a trip back in time.

Marazion Beach, Cornwall

Situated steps away from the popular Cornish village, Marazion Beach is a wonderful beach to visit. Most famously St Michael’s Mount, an offshore island, overlooks the shores which makes for a picturesque backdrop. Once the tide is out you can venture along a stone causeway to the island. There are lots of toilets, cafes, and parking in the village next to the beach. Discover more about this beach and St Michael’s Mount here.

North Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales

Sheltered by two headlands, called Little Orme and Great Orme, this pebbly beach has superb views. If you walk along the promenade you’ll see both Ormes and can enjoy the quintessentially British aspects such as donkey rides, Punch and Judy puppet show and red-and-white deck chairs. Make sure you visit this charming beach this year. Discover more here.

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight has so many stunning beaches. However, this is one of the Island’s best-kept secrets. Compton Beach offers two miles of golden and dark sands with white chalk cliffs in the distance. This beach is great for finding fossils, surfing and swimming. There are facilities nearby making it perfect to stay all day if necessary. Find out more about this beautiful beach here.

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