The UK’s Blue Flag Beaches

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The Blue Flag is a symbol of a well-kept beach with clean waters. They are given out every year to beaches in 41 countries across the globe as a sign of excellence, and this year the UK has even more beaches that made the grade, with a total of 79, nine more than in 2011!

So here is our pick of the best of these beaches. All have excellent beach safety standards, great facilities, and top marks for water quality so they make great places for families to hang out at.

Pick of the East Midlands: Central Beach, Skegness


Attractions include an outdoor pool, for those not hardy enough for a little sea bathing, donkeys that will take you for a stroll along the beach and fairground rides.

Pick of the East of England: Cromer Beach, Norfolk

Martin Pettitt

Overlooked by the village of Cromer which perches on the cliff, visit the pier and look out for Cromer Crab, the local delicacy. Best visited for the Cromer Carnival held each summer.

Pick of the North East: Tynemouth King Edward’s Bay


A small bay enclosed by grassy cliffs, situated at the foot of Tynemouth Priory and Castle. This is a great family beach as it’s fairly small and the waters are generally calm (if cold).

Pick of the South East: Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Lucy Boynton

A pretty and long beach that stretches all the way to Sandown – the waters are some of the warmest in the UK and very calm. Don’t miss out exploring the quaint old town either.

Pick of the South West: Oddicombe Beach

Reading Tom

With striking red cliffs, this bay is nestled at the bottom of Babbacombe Downs, which afford beautiful views of the area. You needn’t even walk the steep route to the top, the Cliff Railway will take you.

Runners up – Polzeath and Carbis Bay

Pick of Yorkshire: Filey Bay


This is a huge beach surrounded by woodland and parkland, and is home to a wide range of traditional holiday homes, making this a very popular spot when the sun shines!

Fancy visiting one of the UK’s Blue Flag beaches? See the full list here and use our UK breaks search tool to get your beach holiday on a budget!