The Best UK Beaches
The UK coastline is home to some of the most breath-taking scenery in the world. From dramatic cliffs and sea stacks to idyllic beaches and bays, the variety of landscapes on offer is vast. The vibrant colours of the sea, sky and surrounding nature make for a truly stunning backdrop to any coastal holiday in the UK. With over 11,000 miles of coastline, whether you are in search of a secluded cove, a bustling seaside resort or a windswept stretch of sand, there’s a beach to suit every taste. And the best UK beaches offer endless holiday opportunities for families, solo travellers and couples alike.
Get a taste for the great outdoors with the countless activities that can be enjoyed along the UK’s coastline. Whether you’re looking to surf the waves, hike the coast path, or cycle along scenic routes, there is something for everyone. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try your hand at kayaking, coasteering, or paddleboarding. And for those looking for something more relaxing, simply take a stroll along the beach, build a sandcastle, or enjoy a picnic by the sea. And of course don’t forget to sample one of Britain’s most famous dishes, the traditional seaside Fish and Chips!
Take a look at just a small selection of the best UK beaches below and visit our coastal accommodation category to pair it with the perfect place to stay!
Bournemouth Beach, distinguished by its landmark pier, is an 11-mile stretch of golden sand that is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and surfing. The beach is backed by a bustling promenade, which is lined with restaurants, cafes and shops. In the summer months, it is a popular destination for families, with an abundance of activities to keep the kids entertained.
St Ives Beach
St Ives Beach is our first Cornish beach to feature on the list. Known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful sandy beach, you’ll feel a million miles away from home. The beach is surrounded by colourful buildings, art galleries, and shops, and it is an ideal destination for those who love to soak up the sun, surf or simply relax on a seaside escape.
Brighton is one of the most culturally diverse towns in the UK and has previously been voted one of the top 10 city beach break destinations in the world. The beach houses the famous Brighton pier, providing an iconic backdrop to your day out. Be warned though, Brighton Beach is a shingle beach, so wear your shoes, take a thick towel or camping chair and pack a jacket for that cool coastal breeze!
Devon is a popular summertime destination and Woolacombe Beach welcomes visitors with open arms to it’s 3 mile long stretch of golden sand. Crystal clear waters make it the perfect spot for swimming or surfing, with lifeguards on duty in the peak season. For those that enjoy a more peaceful spot, you’ll not struggle here, there is room for everyone! Voted the best beach twice in recent years and Woolacombe also holds the ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort.
Rhossili Bay is located on the Gower Peninsula in Wales, and it is known for its stunning views and beautiful beach. Consistently featured in Wales’ Best Beach top 10 and on numerous occasions voted as number 1! Such a beautiful spot in the UK, which has been described by The Independent as ‘The supermodel of British beaches’.
Blackpool has to be one of England’s most famous tourist destinations, and whilst it is not nearly as enticing as it used to be back in the Victorian era, it continues to attract millions of visitors each year. Flocking to visit the collection of major landmarks, but also for that sense of nostalgia for a traditional day beside the seaside. Blackpool Beach is a long sandy beach with Blue Flag Status and is also the only UK beach to house 3 fabulous piers.
Can you feel like you are abroad when you are in the UK? Absolutely you can! We all know that the Cornish Coast is picture perfect, but Porthcurno Beach is truly stunning and it is known for its stunning views and crystal-clear waters. The beach is backed by rugged cliffs, and it is an ideal destination for those who love to swim, sunbathe or simply relax on the beach.
Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris in Scotland is well loved for its white sand and turquoise waters, not to mention the rugged mountain views. Frequently described as a little slice of heaven, this secluded beach definitely has to feature in the best UK beaches list and it most certainly should feature on your list of places to visit!
West Wittering Beach
West Wittering in West Sussex is a cute spot that is renowned for its A-list celebrity residents and West Wittering Beach is one of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK. Boasting miles of golden sand and crystal-clear waters, it is a popular destination for wind and kite surfers. Equally families will love exploring the lagoons at low tide and the chance to build plenty of sandcastles!
Camber Sands, located in East Sussex, has long been recognised as one of the best UK beaches. Known for its miles of gorgeously soft golden sand and dramatic dunes. It is an incredible place to watch the sunset, so pack a picnic and a cosy blanket, dig those feet into the sand and enjoy the view!
Whether you are looking for a UK seaside break for the family, a relaxing weekend escape for two or just somewhere for a great day out, we think you’ll agree, that these are some of the best UK beaches you need to add to your bucket list of places to visit. Looking to take your four legged friend with you too? Check out our list of UK dog friendly beaches.
For the perfect accommodation to make the most of exploring all the best UK beaches, browse our full list of coastal holidays in the UK to find the ultimate seaside escape.