Top 10 Best Beaches In UK

Regardless of the season, the UK’s beaches stand out as some of the nation’s most captivating attractions. However, it is during the summer months that these coastal gems truly shine. Imagine breathing in the fresh sea air, feeling soft sand beneath your feet, listening to the powerful crash of waves, and enjoying the warm weather—though expecting consistent sunshine may be optimistic. When these elements combine, it’s an unparalleled experience.

The UK boasts a myriad of stunning beaches ready for exploration. From expansive, sandy shores adjacent to vibrant seaside towns to secluded coves with crystal-clear waters accessible only by boat or through a hike, these islands offer a diverse array of coastal delights. Whether you’re in search of the perfect picnic spot, opportunities for nature observation, or landscapes so picturesque you’d scarcely believe they’re in the UK, our curated guide highlights the finest beaches the UK has to offer.

1) Luskentyre Beach

Visiting Luskentyre during the off-season could reward you with the privilege of enjoying miles of pristine white sand in solitude. Located just a short drive north of Scarista, Luskentyre is one of Harris’s most expansive beaches, offering visitors a tranquil escape on its deserted shores, nestled between the azure sky and turquoise waters.

It’s important to note that facilities in the area are limited, though there are toilets available near the car park. Dogs are permitted on the beach throughout the year.

To reach Luskentyre, there is a 90-minute bus service from Stornoway, making it accessible for those seeking a serene beach experience.

2) North Shore Beach

The North Shore of Llandudno stands as the town’s most fully furnished beach, featuring amenities such as a bandstand, a Victorian pier, and seasonal donkey rides. This beach has been a favored seaside resort for generations, retaining many traditional activities, including the Punch and Judy show, which continues to entertain on the promenade during pleasant weather.

For those interested, it’s recommended to ascend the Great Orme headland, which offers breathtaking, panoramic views of the beach from a gull’s perspective.

Accessibility is convenient, with the nearest train station located in Llandudno, just a brief 9-minute walk from the beach.

3) Beer Beach

This Beer beach remains a bustling hub for fishing, with boats, nets, and buoys scattered across the pebbles, creating a picturesque scene for visitors. It offers a quintessentially wholesome day out, where guests can embark on a mackerel fishing adventure, explore the vibrant fishmonger’s shop located on the slipway, or simply relax in one of the striped deck chairs along the shore. The adjacent village exudes charm and picture-perfect views, yet the beachfront café steals the show with its nostalgic menu featuring sandwiches (including prawn Marie Rose cut into triangles), ice cream, and unparalleled views of the dramatic chalk cliffs.

For those seeking a serene experience, visiting Beer during the off-season is highly recommended to enjoy its tranquil beauty to the fullest.

Transportation is convenient, with the nearest train station located in Axminster, a mere 20-minute drive away, making it accessible for a peaceful retreat.

4) Tankerton Beach

Tankerton Beach offers an idyllic blend of rolling grassy landscapes, an extensive promenade, charming beach huts, and the tranquil sea, with the added allure of Whitstable—a vibrant seaside town in the UK—just a 20-minute stroll away. After enjoying the pebble beach, visitors can venture into the lively town for some replenishment. Indulge in fresh seafood at the rustic yet esteemed Whitstable Oyster Company, or enjoy a bottle of wine and mezze at the popular seafront bar, JoJo’s.

Please note that from May 1 to September 30, Tankerton Beach is designated as a dog-free zone to ensure a pleasant experience for all visitors.

Access to Tankerton Beach is convenient, with the nearest train station located in Whitstable, facilitating an easy journey to this picturesque destination.

5) Summerleaze beach

Bude, Cornwall, England

Summerleaze, one of Bude’s most cherished beaches, epitomizes the quintessential British seaside experience. It is particularly suited for families seeking the comfort of home, with a variety of charming beach huts available for hire at different price points. Off-season, you can secure a seafront hut starting from £35 for a week. At low tide, the beach reveals a paddling pool and a vast stretch of golden sand, perfect for coastal walks. Additionally, there’s no need to pack a lunch, as the beach is conveniently located within walking distance of excellent bars and restaurants.

Please note that from 10am to 6pm, dogs are required to be kept on a lead to ensure the enjoyment and safety of all beachgoers.

Access to Summerleaze is facilitated by the nearest train station in Okehampton, which is a 50-minute drive away, making it a convenient destination for a memorable seaside outing.

6) Durdle Door Beach

Approximately 10,000 years ago, water breached a stack of rocks along the Jurassic Coast, giving rise to one of the UK’s most magnificent natural formations. Today, Durdle Door stands as a breathtaking archway that elegantly frames the crystal-clear waters that lie beyond. This rock formation is ideally complemented by a visit to the nearby Lulworth Cove. A mere 30-minute walk along the coastal path leads to a secluded white pebble beach, almost perfectly circular in shape, offering a tranquil retreat as you observe the boats gently swaying in the emerald waters.

It’s important to note that the car park may reach capacity during peak times—consider cycling or arriving early to secure a parking spot, especially in the summer months.

For those traveling by public transport, the nearest train station is Wool, which is a 15-minute drive from the destination, making it accessible for a memorable visit to these iconic natural landmarks.

7) Formby Beach

Formby Beach, celebrated for being one of the National Trust’s most rapidly evolving shorelines, offers a splendid, family-friendly coastal experience. It is encircled by a dynamic network of dunes that shift at a remarkable rate of four meters annually. This natural movement uncovers prehistoric footprints, inviting visitors to explore the sands for these ancient traces while enjoying breathtaking views across the Irish Sea. The adjacent woodlands are carefully managed to protect the habitat of the red squirrel, and the National Trust’s website offers downloadable ‘squirrel walks’ for visitors interested in exploring these areas. Additionally, a 30-minute drive to Crosby beach will reward you with the opportunity to view Antony Gormley’s iconic public artwork, ‘Another Place’.

Facilities are available at Victoria Road, including pushchair-accessible paths through selected woodland areas, ensuring a comfortable visit for all.

For those using public transport, the nearest station is Formby, providing convenient access to this unique coastal destination.

8) Camusdarach Beach

For enthusiasts of the rugged Scottish coastline, Camusdarach Beach stands out as a premier destination. Recognized as one of the cleanest and most serene beaches along the western coast, it features a picturesque crescent of soft white sand, embraced by crystal-clear blue waters and set against a backdrop of dramatic, jagged rocks. The one caveat is the limited availability of facilities directly at the beach. However, the nearby town of Morar, just an eight-minute drive away, offers a range of amenities including cafés, restaurants, and hotels for comfort. Further north in Mallaig, visitors can experience The Jacobite steam train, famous from the Harry Potter films, where you can dine in the old dining cars or even spend the night in one of the restored carriages.

It’s advisable to bring a picnic, as the beach itself only has a small car park and no other facilities.

For those traveling by public transport, Morar station is the nearest train station, located a mere 10-minute drive from Camusdarach Beach, making it readily accessible for a day of exploration or relaxation.

9) Compton Bay Beach

Beach enthusiasts will find their haven lounging on the sandy expanses or catching waves at Compton Bay. However, venturing across the verdant grassy banks offers an intriguing twist — the chance to encounter traces of prehistoric life. As the tide recedes, make your way to the eastern side of the Compton Bay car park at Hanover Point, where you can discover the prominent three-toed footprints of the Iguanodon at the cliff base. A brief ten-minute drive will take you to Freshwater, home to The Freshwater Coffee House known for its excellent flat whites. Alternatively, a 30-minute drive south to Ventnor presents the opportunity for indulging in extravagant burgers and a playful cocktail at Stripped.

Facilities include on-site toilets and a food van available during the summer months for convenience.

Accessibility is straightforward with a one-hour bus journey from Newport, making Compton Bay a compelling choice for both relaxation and adventure.

10) Chesil Beach

Set aside the traditional beach gear; Chesil Beach offers a different kind of coastal experience. This rugged yet stunningly beautiful 18-mile stretch of pebble beach is distinctively separated from the mainland by a serene lagoon, presenting a breathtaking natural structure. For the best views, venture to the top of Tout Quarry Nature Reserve and Sculpture Park on the Isle of Portland. When it’s time to eat, the Crab House Café nearby is a must-visit. Here, locally caught crabs are served with a hammer and bib for an interactive dining experience, while fresh oysters, cultivated on the café’s own beds, are savored moments after being harvested from the ocean.

For convenience, a visitor’s center equipped with toilets and a café is located near the bridge at the Fortuneswell end of Chesil Beach.

Accessibility is straightforward, with the nearest train stations being Weymouth or Upwey, both approximately a 20-minute drive away, ensuring a smooth journey to this unique coastal destination.

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