Tiny inlets, craggy coves and miles and miles of golden sand, Britain’s coastline is teaming with beautiful beaches. With a record number of beaches being commended for their excellent water quality by The Marine Conservation Society (MSC) it’s easy to understand why so many holidaymakers are exploring our own coastline rather than heading aboard.
Here are, in no particular order, 15 beautiful beaches to discover this summer.
1. Durdle Door, Dorset
A visit to the Jurassic Coast would not be complete without stopping off to admire the natural limestone arch Durdle Door. This shingle beach is only accessible on foot via a steep path and steps, however many visitors will happily tell you it is well worth the trek!
Popular for: Fossil hunting, hiking, photography
2. Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
Overlooked by one of the UK’s most imposing castles, Bamburgh Beach is a popular choice for families and walkers. Great for relaxing and rock pooling, this beach also offers stunning views over to the Farne Islands and Holy Island.
Popular for: History, nature, hiking
3. Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
Boasting one of the longest expanses of beach and the shortest pier, Burnham-on-Sea is extremely popular and its “lighthouse on legs” is a particular attraction.
Popular for: Watersports, sunbathing
4. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Accessible only by a half a mile walk, Barafundle Bay is a Seaside Award and Green Coast Award winner! Backed by sand dunes and pine trees, the swathes of golden sand are lapped by crystal clear waters. But be aware there are no facilities, so why not take a picnic?
Popular for: Relaxing, hiking and swimming
5. Croyde Beach, Devon
A popular choice for surfers and walkers, Croyde Bay on Devon’s north coast offers golden sand beaches, spectacular scenery and a village steeped in old-world charm.
Popular for: Surfing, walking, families
6. Durness Beach, Highlands
This dramatic coastline situated at the most north westerly point of the British mainland is a must for adventurous beach goers. The pristine white sand beaches, rugged coastline and crystal clear waters draw plenty of visitors. This area is also a haven for an array of wildlife.
Popular for: Scenery, hiking, wildlife
7. Hayle Beach, Cornwall
Situated on Cornwall’s north coast, Hayle Beach boasts 3 miles of golden sands. The beach starts in the mouth of the estuary and is a popular spot for bird watching with Avocets and Ospreys often visible.
Popular for: Walking, bird-watching, sunbathing
8. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
Pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters are not just found in the Caribbean, Scotland’s Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris has it all in abundance the only thing missing is the balmy temperature!
Popular for: Scenery, photography, nature
9. Perranporth Beach, Cornwall
Recommended in the 2014 edition of the Marine Conservation Society Good Beach Guide for excellent water quality, Perranporth is a popular choice for surfing, snorkelling and swimming. The stunning expanse of golden sand is easily accessible from the village.
Popular for: Snorkelling, walking, ease of access
10. Rhossili Beach, Swansea
Rhossili Beach has won many accolades including ‘Best Beach’ as voted for my TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice for two years running and it’s easy to understand why with 3 miles of soft sand, stunning views and great conditions for surfers and water sport enthusiasts. Be aware though that Rhossili is only accessible via steps from the small village and so is not suitable for those in a wheelchair or with pushchairs.
Popular for: Walkers, surfing, dog owners
11. Saunton Sands, Devon
This popular beach is a hotspot for walkers and dog walkers, particularly as it offers easy access to the dramatic North Devon coastline.
Popular for: Dog walking, walkers, surfers
12. Sennen Cove, Cornwall
This popular blue-flag beach is situated just round the corner from Lands’ End and offers beach lovers long stretches of beautiful white sand and enjoyable cliff walks from the cove to Lands’ End. There are also plenty of amenities close by including a top class restaurant right on the beach.
Popular with: Walkers, sunbathers, surfers
13. Seven Sisters, East Sussex
Sandwiched between Seaford and Eastbourne the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs are examples of Britain’s unspoilt coastline. With great views from the beach at low tide, this stunning backdrop is a real lure for budding photographers.
Popular for: Photography, scenery, hiking
14. Porthminster Beach, Cornwall
Located just a short walk from the centre of St Ives, this award-winning Blue Flag beach is popular with families and swimmers. The beach is framed by the bay and provides beautiful views acro
ss to Godrevy Lighthouse, the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famous novel ‘To the Lighthouse’.
Popular for: Swimmers, families
15. Woolacombe Bay, Devon
Voted number 1 in the UK by Tripadviser (February 2015), Woolacombe Bay is a stunning sandy beach situated between Morte Point and Baggy Point. This stretch of sand is renowned for its cleanliness, water quality and facilities. With easy access to the stunning coastal path, this destinations is very popular with families, walkers and wildlife lovers.
Popular for: Families, walkers, wildlife