Best Beaches in the U.K

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Best beaches in the U.K. no, it’s not as dark, wet and cold in the U.K. as you think. However, despite the unpredictable mercury, the sun has been known to appear occasionally (usually for two weeks in July or August). Yes, it’s raining hard, and the weather is changing so fast you’ll hardly notice the storm heading your way, but this is an island nation, after all, so leave it alone for a bit.

Fortunately, the four nations that make up the UK England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also, it takes its fair share of beautiful beaches, from delightful seaside towns to the most idyllic coves you’ve ever seen. And here are 18 of the best beaches in the U.K. To help you thin down your choices.

The 18 Best Beaches In The U.K

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Pelistry Bay, Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly have many beautiful beaches. Still, Pelistry Bay in St Mary’s has to be one of the best, making it one of the finest seashores in the U.K. Unspoiled, sandy and isolated, the beach has many rock pools and is connected at low tide to the rocky island of Toll. There is also an excellent cafe nearby called the Carn Vean Cafe.

Crosby Beach, Liverpool

North of Liverpool’s bustling sprawl, Crosby Beach is worth a visit for its controversial sculpture, Another Place by Antony Gormley. The cast figures of Gormley’s body face out to sea, appearing and disappearing underwater with the ebb and flow of the tide.

Porthcurno, Cornwall

The famous Porthcurno beach is located near the most westerly part of England, Land’s End. On an (admittedly rare) summer day, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stumbled and landed in the Mediterranean, as the turquoise sea here shimmers and sparkles in the sun. To add to the attractions, Porthcurno is dominated by the magnificent open-air Minack Theatre.

Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire is full of great, excellent beaches, but Hunmanby Gap, near the small seaside town of Filey, is one of the lesser known. Massive clay cliffs tower over a flat sandy beach that quickly absorbs crowds of buckets and shovels.

Scolt Head, Norfolk

United. Scolt Head, an island off the coast between Brancaster and Wells-next-the-Sea, is difficult to get to, but that’s part of its charm and what makes it one of the U.K.’s best beaches. A seasonal ferry leaves Burnham Overy Staithe (the best way to access the island) in good weather, and once there, descend into the dunes for a picnic, take your binoculars for bird watching so intensive (the island is a protected conservation area) and paint the beach for some intriguing seashells.

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Multicoloured cliffs tumble down into windy Compton Bay, a favourite spot for surfers (kite and board) on the Isle of Wight. The waves hit the sand, creating a milky foam and spitting a salty spray in your face. Watch the surfers from the top of the bluff where the Tennyson Trail meanders along the shoreline.

Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

It’s rarely a time for sunbathing and swimming here, but this massive beach on Northumberland’s rugged coastline is the perfect spot for a quick morning walk with the dog. The brooding Norman-era Bamburgh Castle looms over the golden sands and forms a wonderfully haunting backdrop.

Rhossili Beach, Wales

Wales is full of amazing beaches, and Rhossili Beach is one of them. As the westernmost beach on the Gower Peninsula, its brutal waves and powerful Atlantic swell are not for the faint-hearted, so, understandably, you’ll find surfers here rather than swimmers. Please note that the path to the beach is very steep.

Beadnell Beach, Northumberland

You could walk for miles here and not see a soul (most likely in winter, of course). Vast and golden, Beadnell Beach on the Northumberland coast is a windswept beauty, ideal for windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and surfing. Diving is also popular, as there are many shipwrecks in the local waters.

Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

Bigbury-on-Sea on the South Devon coast is a particularly child-friendly beach with shallow water, clean sand, and plenty of rock pools to wade through, so bring your fishing net, a bucket in plastic and an unwavering enthusiasm for sea creatures.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire

The U.K.’s most visited tourist attraction, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, makes it onto this list because of its steadfast and treasured heritage. The sand and water on the beach have benefited from an effective cleaning: Blackpool South Beach is now the only Blue Flag beach in the North West. But it’s the backdrop of a furious tourist town and screaming century-old theme park that gives the charm.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Certainly no stranger to ‘Best Beach’ awards, cute little Barafundle takes a small, bay-shaped slice of Pembrokeshire’s inimitable coastline. It’s a short walk from the space lot, but unspoiled sands and crystal-clear waters are worth the trip.

Longsands, Tynemouth

Connected by a tube to the centre of Newcastle, Longsands is an easy and exhilarating escape from the city. The sea may be perpetually cold, but hardened surfers still flock, which explains the number of surf schools, professional surf events, and rental shops in town.

Sandwood Bay, Scotland

Braving the icy gusts of the North Atlantic off Scotland’s northwest coast boldly, Sandwood Bay is undoubtedly a bustling beach destination. But with its gorgeous pink sand undulating on the soft dunes and views over the remarkably eroded sea stacks, it is a stunning sight and easily one of the best beaches in the U.K.

West Wittering, Sussex

A longtime favourite of British beachgoers – hence the private beach huts that sell out quickly if they ever come up for sale – West Wittering is earning its Blue Flag status with flying colours. The water and sand are sparkling clean, while the facilities

Whitesand Bay, Pembrokeshire

Vast and wild, with a nice mix of sand and rock, Whitesands Bay meanders. It is a prime surf spot and part of the famous Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. On a sunny day, the sea goes a bottomless and hypnotic sapphire blue.

Studland Bay, Dorset

Those who like to strip down to their birthday suit will enjoy Purbeck’s Studland Bay, the U.K.’s most famous nudist beach. Protected by the National Trust, the beach is a stretch of golden sand from which you can take in views of the limestone formations of Old Harry Rocks and the nearby Isle of Wight.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

A stunning crevasse on the Cornish coast north of Lizard Point, Kynance Cove has been famous since Victorian times. The surrounding rocks are green and red, polished by the endless waves.

What do you think?

Written by Dr. Traveller

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