While many UK tourists often look abroad for their beach holidays, Coronavirus has increased the rate of staycations – more than 70% of the population are expected to remain in the UK in 2021 for their trips away.
It’s important to have an escape, so in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best beach escapes in the UK. You’re sure to find one that will suit you.
North East England
Many of the UK’s most popular beaches are in southern England, near the capital London. However, the northeast of England can offer wild and windswept beaches with rich history just steps away.
Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
Overlooked by one of the UK’s largest and most impressive castles, Bamburgh is a stunning beach which is perfect for long walks on soft powdery sand. It is at the head of the Northumberland Coastal Route – drive from Newcastle upon Tyne to take in several beaches and historic buildings. On your road trip, be sure to stop off at Druridge Bay, Warkworth Castle, and Seahouses for unbeatable fish and chips.
Tynemouth, Newcastle upon Tyne
Just 20 minutes on the metro from Newcastle upon Tyne, Tynemouth is the perfect beach to fit into a city break. There are places here where you can surf and stand up paddle – take your first lesson on the aptly named Longsands Beach.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
Whitby is an idyllic fishing town in North Yorkshire famed not only for fish and chips, but scampi too. The town will see you queueing for hours for the local delicacy, which you can then enjoy when walking along famed Whitby Sands Beach. Want quieter? Head further north to the village of Sandsend for a stroll on the cliff-lined beach.
There are some beaches in Scotland that will have you convinced you’re in Hawaii. Golden sands and azure waters surely don’t belong in such a cold country, right?!
Scarista Beach, Lewis and Harris
The Hebrides lie off the northwest coast of Scotland. While it may be a long journey to get there, it’ll all be worth it when you see the powdery sands of Scarista Beach. This is one of the best beaches in the UK for foodies as there are some epic places to eat nearby.
Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
Luskentyre was named the world’s 13th best beach by Trip Advisor this year. Need any more be said about this Caribbean-esque beach where you can spot wild ponies and dolphins?
Achmelvich Beach, Lochinver
This beautiful beach in the far north-west of Scotland is on the legendary North Coast 500 road trip. After a walk on the sands and a spot of porpoise spotting, check out Europe’s smallest castle – Hermit’s Castle.
Wales’ coastline does not get the attention and credit it deserves. Though there are some hugely popular beaches, many people skip the hidden coves and bays of this dramatic part of the UK. Because of the lack of tourists, many beaches are unguarded so do be careful when swimming.
Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula
One of the most remote beaches in Wales, Rhossili Bay has attracted enough critics for it to be dubbed the best beaches in Europe or one of the top ten beaches in the world. The golden sands stretch for more than three miles and on a clear day you can see back over to North Devon in England.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Another Wales beach that has been named the best in the world, Barafundle Bay boasts turquoise waters on a crescent of golden sand. Unlike many other Welsh beaches, this is a great swimming spot. However, be prepared for cold waters!
South West England
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches in South West England. Cornwall, Devon, and Dorset have some wonderful surf spots – while the Isles of Scilly may even grant you a sub-tropical beach all to yourself!
Blackpool Sands, Devon
Not to be confused with Blackpool in the north west (the beach there is okay at best), Blackpool Sands boasts one of the cleanest beaches in the UK so it’s great for swimming. The water is quite flat too, so it’s a good place to try stand up paddle boarding or kayaking. Blackpool sands is dog friendly, so bring him (and a PFD) with you.
Durdle Door, Dorset
Durdle Door is actually the name of a limestone arch between St Oswald’s Bay and Man O’War Cove. Part of the most stunning part of the Jurassic Coast, it has featured in artworks, movies, and music videos. It’s a great place to walk too – take the 30-minute path to Lulworth Cove and its white crescent-shaped pebble beach.
Kynance Cove, Cornwall
You’ll have to pick the right time to go to one of the most Instagrammed beaches in Cornwall – Kynance vanishes at high tide. Find it on the Lizard Peninsula.
Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall
Porthcurno is a small beach which you may recognise if you watch the drama ‘Poldark.’ Wildlife lovers will be pleased to know that basking shark and dolphin sightings are relatively common in the tranquil waters here.
Pentle Bay, Isle of Scilly
For the most dedicated readers, Pentle Bay in Tresco is the place to go. The Scilly Isles are an archipelago off the north Cornish coast with very few visitors. Maybe there would be more if Pentle Bay was less of a secret!
South East England
Travellers and day trippers from London will find beaches in the south east the easiest to get to. Here are three of the best!
Brighton Beach, Sussex
Outside of London, Brighton Pier is the biggest attraction in the United Kingdom. After exploring the pier’s rides, head to the beach and see if you can find a spot. It does get very busy here, especially in summer!
Seven Sisters, Sussex
The white chalk cliffs of England’s south coast are famous the world over. The best place to admire them is from the Seven Sisters National Park. Bring walking boots and take on the trails at the top if you don’t fancy chilling out on the beach!
Cromer Beach, Norfolk
A little further from London – Norfolk is in East Anglia. There are lots of amazing beaches in the county, but Cromer Beach is the most British of them all. Gorge yourselves on fish and chips or dressed crabs, take a ride at the funfair, or catch a show in the theatre pavilion.