If you’re looking for a beach nearer to home, there are plenty to choose from in the UK – and you won’t feel like you’re settling. From Scotland to Cornwall, a fantastic summer destination could be just a train ride away. Have fun surfing the waves in Newquay, exploring the beachside ancient castles in St Andrews and setting foot onto award-winning shores across the country. No plane journey necessary.
1. Weymouth, Dorset
With a Blue Flag beach, Weymouth is a buzzing seaside town. You have plenty of sites to explore such as the Portland Bill Lighthouse, the Pavilion Theatre, and Portland Castle. It’s right on the stunning Jurassic Coast – you’ll be blown away by wildlife, the architecture, and views. Get those cameras at the ready.
2. St Andrews, Scotland
Jutting into the sea just above Edinburgh, St Andrews is the beautiful town where Kate met Will. Ruined castles tumble into aquamarine waves, golden sands lie waiting to sink your toes into, and pastel covered boats rock gently in the water. With fantastic seafood restaurants nearby to try, you could easily spend days here.
3. Dartmouth, Devon
This quaint town is overflowing with boutiques, galleries, restaurants and charming pubs alongside its many visiting ships and yachts. Nearby are award-winning beaches such as Blackpool Sands and further afield the incredible Dartmoor National Park. You won’t be short of fantastic views.
4. Brighton, East Sussex
Dubbed London-on-Sea, Brighton’s sea breeze and relaxed atmosphere have attracted visitors for years. The many beachside clubs, brasseries and chic hotels make a welcome break from hectic city life. From Brighton Museum & Art Gallery to Brighton Pier, there’s always something going on in this lively city.
5. Newquay, Cornwall
Perched on Cornwall’s Atlantic cliffs and bordered by seven miles of beaches, Newquay becomes the epicentre of summer festivals and attracts everyone from surfers to beach lovers in the warmer months. You can do everything from abseil to rent pedalos in Trenance Park.
6. Hunstanton, Norfolk
This lovely Victorian coastal town boasts two-tone cliffs of chalk and carstone and the sound of the waves is never far from your ears. The idyllic beach has plenty of rock pools to explore and the fact Hunstanton is known for its spectacular sunsets never hurts.
7. Poole, Dorset
Poole has the second largest natural harbour after Sydney but that isn’t all it has to offer – its fine, white sandy beach attracts everyone to its sunny shores. Visit the picturesque Bennetts Water Gardens, explore the Blue Pool and Wareham Bears and even see the Dinosaur Museum.
8. Southwold, Suffolk
This quintessential English seaside town has colourful beach huts lining its shores and its pier is just dying to be enjoyed at sundown. Southwold has a quirky 1920s cinema and a restored historic lifeboat as well as the hamlet of Walberswick, with quaint tea rooms, pubs and a village green.
9. Whitby, North Yorkshire
Whitby offers history and heritage alongside its white sandy beach, bars, and delicious seafood restaurants. With an old Georgian house and abbey atop the cliffs, it’s also famously featured in Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel and the area Captain Cook learned his trade.
10. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Walkers, nature lovers, and foodies need to take note of the ridiculously postcard-perfect Tenby. It has a national park right on the coast, spacious, fine sandy beaches, and quaint cobbled streets. Take a day trip to Caldey Island for even more natural beauty.