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Britain has some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. So if you are looking to visit the beach with your family for a picnic or some fun in the sun, you have plenty of UK beaches to choose from! In this blog post you will find the 20 most beautiful beaches of the United Kingdom! 

Watergate Bay Newquay

Located on the North Cornwall coast, Watergate Bat is a two mile long beach of golden coloured sand and low tides. Further up, the waves get a big larger providing the perfect playground for surfing and kitesurfing. The limpid waters have the highest standard of bathing water in the UK, making this beach perfectly safe for swimmers. The rock pools formed amidst this azure splendour is a haven for families as well, creating a safe environment for kids to splash around in. You can find several restaurants and cafes around as well as the famous Extreme Academy for  surf, kite surf, paddle board, waveski or handplane.

Porthcurno Beach South Cornwall

Some might say this award winning beach is one of the country’s most beautiful beaches. It is located in the far west side of Cornwall, comprising of supple white sand, turquoise waters and tall, green cliffs enveloping it from both sides. Apart from its picturesque setting, the beach is also famous for the internationally famed Minack Theatre, built in the 1920’s by theatrical visionary Rowena Wade. This stunning beauty is also equipped with a stream which flows down one side, which is great for kids to paddle in. the beach is popular with families and is dog friendly except between 1 July and 31 August (10am – 6pm).

Pentle Bay Isles of Scilly

Walk through tall grass to find yourself in front of an almost tropical setting. For a moment you’ll forget you’re in England, only to be brought back when dipping into the colder than average water. The sand is white and the sea all shades of blues and turquoise. The temperature is warmer than many places in England, which is good news for swimmers and loungers alike. Water sports and collecting sea shells is common place around here, as it is to go hunting for figureheads salvaged from wrecked ships on the shores of Tresco.

Saunton Sands North Devon

uk beautiful beaches Saunton Sands North Devon

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Lulworth Cove Dorset

These may be some of the most striking beaches in England, with the Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch, being one of the most famous landmarks in Dorset. The beach is made up of pebbles and shingles, and access is through a long footpath, about half a mile long and a steep path downhill. A number of caves carved out by the sea can be seen at the base of the chalk cliffs, but are unsafe to explore. The sea is safe to bathe in, except for a few steep places, caution is advisable. You can walk the coast or hike up on the cliffs.

Blackpool Sands

uk beautiful beaches Blackpool Sands

This crescent shaped beach is made up of coarse, almost shingle like, golden coloured sand with a backdrop of pine trees and country side. The beach, while safe for bathing, is known to become steep very fast. The entire surrounding is however well equipped for beach goers. You can find everything from toilet facilities, showers and local cafes. Activities such as kayaking/canoeing, diving & snorkelling are also common here. You can find a lifeguard on duty from July to September and the beach is dog friendly only for part of the year.

Chesil Beach Dorset

The name is derived from the Old English word for “gravel” or “shingle” so it’s safe to say that building sandcastles may have to be put on hold here. The 18 mile long beach is a site to behold, and is one of three major shingle structures in England. It is ocean on one side and shallow lagoon on the other. The view from the top is unlike any other in the world. Chesil beach is too rugged for swimming, due to the strong currents. It is most famed for the wildlife found around and its original structure. 

Kynance Cove Cornwall

uk beautiful beaches Kynance Cove Cornwall

Almost magical, with its soft white sand and surrounded by striking rock formations, this little cove can almost only be found in low tide, as it almost vanishes in high tide. As the waves recede, they magically uncover a network of coves and caves to be explored. Located in the eastern side of Mount’s Bay in Cornwall, it is one of the most scenic beaches in England, and not surprisingly, also gets crowded very early in the summer. The environment makes it perfect for snorkelling and picnics by the beach.

Formby Beach Merseyside

A place where beach meets woodland and sand dudes, it is one of Merseyside’s beach gems. Due to erosion, the tides also often expose prehistoric mud layers creating fascinating walks to immerse yourself in, trying to find some prehistoric animal’s footprints. The sand dunes are high and offer spectacular view of the Irish sea and they’re also moving at an incredible rate of four metres a year. The beach becomes swimmable during high tide, even though with no lifeguard present, caution is advised. The red squirrel forests are famed here.

Holkham Beach Norfolk

Famous for being part of ‘Shakespeare in Love’, this enormous sandy beach is almost surreal, with its green backdrop. It maybe one of the best looking beaches in England. It is completely dog friendly and part of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, home to many rare flora and fauna. During very high tide, the semi-circular basin behind the shoreline fills up, creating a magnificent shallow lagoon.

Woolacombe Beach Devon

uk beautiful beaches Woolacombe Beach Devon​

This is a golden sandy beach which stretches for three miles, found in North Devon. It lies at the mouth of the valley, aka “combe” in the parish of Mortehoe. It is one of the most famous and scenic beaches in England, the massive sandy beach and inviting blue waters attracting large crowds in the summer. It is also popular for many water sports such as kayaking/canoeing, jet-skiing as well as surfing, wind surfing, and sailing. Being close to the village of Woolacombe, it is well-served and resourceful for eateries and facilities.

Treyarnon Bay Cornwall

uk beautiful beaches Treyarnon Bay Cornwall​

Pass through the sand dunes to be led to a beautiful, secluded bay, sheltered from the south and north by Trethias Island, with natural pools and enclosed by low cliffs. The low waters and soft sand make it inviting to families and children have the opportunity of exploring sand and rock pools around. It is rated as one of the best beaches in the Padstow area and comprises of toilet facilities and a small shop that rents beach kits. It is dog friendly all year around so you don’t have to worry about leaving your pooch behind.

Marloes Sands Wales

uk beautiful beaches Marloes Sands Wales

This remote beach is located in Pembrokeshire, Wales, near the village of Marloes. The beautiful golden coloured sandy beach and light-coloured waters are surrounded by unusually orangy sandstone cliffs, and the rock formations have divided the beach into little bays, creating even more secluded beaches. It is famous for the views of the neighbouring islands, fossils, rock pools and immense sandy space. Watch out for the tide times here, as high tides can cause the beach to disappear altogether. The beach is pretty secluded, cafes and eateries can be found at the village. 

Rhossili beach Wales

Crystal blue waters, 3 miles of sandy beach, backed by enormous green, historic valleys. It all lays at the western end of the beautiful Gower peninsula. You’ll get 360 degrees of views here. The surrounding cliffs offers a great number of walks, and the waters offers all kinds of surfing, kite, wind and even hang gliders shooting down from above. The area is also famous for the old wooden shipwreck, the Helvetica, which can be seen through the sand.  The beach is dog friendly all year around, with miles to be walked while taking in the views. It is located within an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the United Kingdom.

Beadnell Beach Northumberland

uk beautiful beaches Beadnell Beach Northumberland

This horseshoe shaped bay, just south of the village of Beadnell, is backed by grassy sand dunes and fields, with the shape of the bay creating a natural harbour. The large caravan park behind the beach and the multitude of holiday accommodations around make this village a popular holiday destination. While its loved by swimmers, it also accommodates surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Being part of the North Northumberland Heritage Coast means the area makes for great walks with endless views. Dogs are allowed all year around, but must be kept close by during nesting season.

Where to stay at Beadnell Beach Northumberland

($) Levade Entire bungalow 

($$) No 1 West House, Bamburgh

($$$) Castle View Cottage

Summerleaze Cornwall

uk beautiful beaches summerleaze cornwall

This horseshoe shaped bay, just south of the village of Beadnell, is backed by grassy sand dunes and fields, with the shape of the bay creating a natural harbour. The large caravan park behind the beach and the multitude of holiday accommodations around make this village a popular holiday destination. While its loved by swimmers, it also accommodates surfing, sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving. Being part of the North Northumberland Heritage Coast means the area makes for great walks with endless views. Dogs are allowed all year around, but must be kept close by during nesting season.

Camber Sands Sussex

uk beautiful beaches Camber Sands Sussex

This beach ones acted as a desert location, due to its extensive, golden beach, it is very much Arabian looking. The shore is about 5 miles long, with shallow waters inviting people to splash in. Camber Sands is famous for being one of the most pristine, long dune systems on the South Coast, the only one found in East Sussex. It is also one of the few sandy beaches around, making it ideal for laying around in, and famous for kite surfing, whether you are a beginner or an expert, but also a great place to learn.

Studland Bay

The 4 miles of golden sandy beaches offer shallow, gentle waters to bathe in and great views of the iconic Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. The beach is backed by sand dunes, high grasslands and woodlands, brimming with wild life. It is also important as the only known site for breeding of the long-snouted seahorse in the UK. This bay also includes one of the most popular naturist beach in Britain and the surrounding environment makes for great explorations and sighting of deer and birdlife, as well as a myriad of wildflowers.

Cromer Beach Norfolk

Cromer beach is a famous Blue flag beach, with a great Victorian Pier, creating a stunning romantic setting but also famed for crabbing. The unique view makes it a great typical English seaside location, with breathtaking sunset views. It is a great family destination, with a promenade to be enjoyed where children can ride their scooters. You can find natural rock pools during low tide, it is safe for swimmers and plenty of cafes around.

Where to stay at Cromer Beach Norfolk

($) Cooks Cabin Cromer 

($$) Two Cutty Sark – East Runton. Sleeps 4

($$$) Valonia Cottage

Botany Bay Kent

Botany Bay Kent is located in Broadstairs, Kent and is the northernmost of seven bays in Broadstairs. The massive, bright white chalk cliffs create an otherworldly environment and make for great pictures against the shimmering waters. The sandy beaches are famous amongst tourists and the stunning views allow for guests to enjoy long walks, exploring rock pools and finding fossils at low tide. It is safe for swimmers, with seasonal lifeguards present and toilets available and plenty of cafes around to be enjoyed.

most beautiful beaches in the UK
best beaches in the United Kingdom

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