Best Beaches in the UK

Best Beaches in the UK

The United Kingdom is a country very few consider a summer destination. That is quite unfair considering the country is bathed by sea on each side – the English Channel, the North Sea, the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. With a coast length of more than 30,000 kilometres, it is possible to imagine that the UK hides some magical bays and coves. Therefore, both locals and tourists would surely like to know what are the best beaches in the UK, according to their fellow visitors. 

We proved how UK beaches are underestimated when only 4 beaches managed to rank in the top 50 best beaches in Europe, as rated by visitors. Beaches in the United Kingdom vary from golden stretches of sand to secluded pebbly coves. Whether you’re a water sports enthusiast or looking for a quiet oasis, the options are endless. 

To help our readers who are searching for the best summer vacation in the United Kingdom, we decided to make a list of the best beaches in the UK as voted by visitors.

How did we do it?

While it is very subjective to say which beach deserves the title “best”, it seems fair to ask people who actually visited them. Among different approaches to making the list of the UK’s best beaches, we decided to collect Google reviews and ratings of real visitors as the main source of data to rank the best beaches in the UK. Our goal was to list the beaches according to the rating they had at the moment.

Data was collected within a day, so the list includes beaches with more than 1000 reviews. In case two (or more) beaches have the same rating, we considered the number of reviews as a deciding factor. Therefore, the beach with a higher number of reviews is ranked higher.

Top 50 Best Beaches in the UK

Among hundreds of beaches, coves and bays, visitors have chosen the following 50 as the best in the UK.

50. Camber Sands, England

Rating: 4.6

The first on our list of the best beaches in the UK is Camber Sands. As the name reveals, it is a sandy beach, unlike other beaches in Sussex. Moreover, it is the only place in East Sussex with dunes. The beach stretches for three miles with two holiday resorts nearby. Sand and wind make kitesurfing and similar sports very attractive. The beach has many facilities around such as a parking lot, bars, restaurants and accommodation options.

Visitors are mainly impressed with the dunes. Some discuss the dog restrictions, others comment on the high and low tide, while a few complain about the traffic jams.

“Beautiful, even in the rain. Big walk up a sand dune to get to the beach but well worth it”

49. West Shore Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.6

Llandudno West Shore Beach is a sandy beach in Wales attractive for kitesurfing and similar sports. It is equipped with a cafe and toilets with parking spots along the beach. Visitors can explore the Great Orme, a limestone headland, and enjoy the splendid sunsets as the beach is oriented towards the West. The beach is awarded a Blue Flag and dogs are not allowed.

Visitors enjoy the children’s play area and love things such as an ice cream van, the pond and the number of benches. They also like the miniature train running during the summer. 

“Beautiful beach and a lot less busy than East shore – a fantastic picnic spot with gorgeous views.”

48. Carbis Bay Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

Sheltered, sandy beach and the resort Carbis Bay is located only about a mile from St. Ives. Thanks to its position, it is ideal for families with small children. The beach has a cafe and toilets and is surrounded by lush greenery. The most popular activities include fishing, kayaking and surfing. The beach is awarded a Blue Flag and has a lifeguard. 

It is possible to spot the seals on the beach, which is very attractive to visitors. Many would say it is a ‘hidden gem’ among UK beaches. 

“This is a fantastic beach, very clean and a great place to see some wildlife including seals and dolphins.”

47. Sandy Bay Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

As it is obvious from its name, Sandy Bay Beach is about a mile long sandy beach surrounded by cliffs. It is secluded, so suitable for families with children. Moreover, the beach has lifeguards and a children’s play area. Among other facilities, there are cafes and toilets. Yet, the beach is not ideal if looking for a good offer of water sports and activities. 

Dogs are not allowed on the beach during the season, so many visitors warn about it. They mostly love the cliffs but don’t like the seaweed. Many recommend it as a holiday beach.

“Can only be used if staying on holiday site. Restrictions apply. Good view of coastline on clear day. Can be noisy as near to rifle range.”

46. Dawlish Warren Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

This popular sandy beach near Dawlish is a great beach for families. It’s made of sand and shingle that stretches for more than a mile so you don’t have to worry about the crowds. Since the beach is part of the resort, you can expect a good number of facilities and things to do around. The beach is guarded, has a Blue Flag award and dogs are allowed in winter.

Most visitors discuss the dog restrictions, others praise the amenities. They love the Dawlish Warren nature preserve and the vicinity of Dartmoor National Park.

“Beautiful long sandy beach with sand dunes, a nature reserve and good family amenities near car park. Often windy though.”

Dawlish Warren Beach

Dawlish Warren Beach

45. East Looe Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

The Cornwall Beach in East Looe is a sandy beach relatively sheltered by the Banjo Pier. It is located right next to the city centre, so most facilities can be found in the vicinity. There are rental options and toilets right at the beach. Since the beach is part of the popular resorts, expect crowds. While the beach in the low tide is very safe for swimming, avoid swimming in the estuary beyond the pier. 

Of course, visitors love the location of the beach and its amenities. They warn about the dog restrictions and very lively seagulls

“Lots of places to eat and gift shops also the usual convenience stores and a bank. The beach is lovely and sandy, a good place for a day out.”

44. Crooklets Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

This small, sandy Cornish beach i s another one on the list of the best beaches in the UK. It is located close to the city centre of the seaside town Bude and next to the popular Summerleaze beach. Crooklets is the most popular among surfers and those seeking activities such as sailing and snorkelling. There are plenty of facilities around, including a parking lot, skate park, pubs, cafes etc. Swimming is allowed in the designated areas only due to the strong currents. 

Visitors come here to enjoy the walks and relax in the cafes. Others warn about dog restrictions. They love most facilities and suggest bodyboarding as an activity. 

“This is my favourite place to visit. A beautiful little beach with fabulous places to eat, stunning views and excellent walks. Very windswept and dramatic most of the time!”

Croocklets Beach

Croocklets Beach

43. Portreath Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

Another Cornwall Beach is located in the village of Portreath. The beach is sandy and spacious with a rocky part on the side. It features windy and wavy conditions, along with strong sea currents. Thus, the beach is popular with surfers. Also, there are plenty of activities by the beach for both children and adults. 

Dog restrictions are the main topic. Besides that, visitors love the interesting rock formations such as rock pools and caves. They also reveal that bodyboarding is a very attractive activity. 

“Excellent little beach. Off the beaten track and a real find. Very unspoilt so not for the bingo/arcade lovers.”

42. Charmouth Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

According to different magazines, the beach in Charmouth is often listed among the best beaches in the UK. The beach is a mix of shingle and sand which is exposed during the low tide. It is generally divided into two sides by the River Char, yet it is safe for swimming. There are different restrictions on each part of the beach, so follow the signs. 

The most attractive thing to do on the beach is fossil hunting. Visitors also love the pebbly terrain, cliffs and rock pools

“Such a beautiful beach, there’s hills to climb, pebbles to throw in the sea, ducks to feed and a small cafe with food and drinks 🤗 kids loved it and so did I.”

41. Aberavon Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.6

A three-mile sandy beach in Port Talbot is one of the longest beaches in Wales. Along the beach stretches a promenade packed with facilities and perfect for walks. The beach is popular among surfers and families with children who come to enjoy children play areas and playgrounds. During the summer, the beach is known for nightlife, events and festivals

Although it is a beach, visitors love the indoor pool. They like the promenade for dog walks and the facilities along the way. 

“Love, love, love this place. Never crowded, soft flat sand, lots of Life guards around, safe and secure for kids.”

40. Polperro Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

The small, sandy Polperro Beach is another Cornish beach. It stretches beneath the picturesque village, close to the harbour, so it is very secluded from the waves. The beach is also located away from the centre, so don’t expect many facilities around. Note that the beach ‘exists’ during the low tide only.

People often mention the harbour and the fishing village. They love the exciting caves and recommend taking a tram to the village

“Beautiful place. Recommending to visit on sunny days and also check info for sea levels. Polperro is simply beautiful and it has great atmosphere.”

39. Frinton Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

Frinton-on-Sea with its spacious sandy beach is a great place for family holidays. Since it is positioned in town, expect plenty of facilities, especially along the promenade stretching by the beach. Activities such as surfing and kitesurfing attract most visitors.

People discuss dog restrictions during the summer, they love the seaside and the nearby town. Many referred to the possibilities of social distancing during the pandemic.

“The best beach in Essex, perfect place for families and those who appreciate the nature … beautiful beach.”

Frinton beach

Frinton Beach

38. Beer Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

Although the name suggests differently, Beer Beach has nothing to do with beer (no more than any other beach). It is located in a charming fishing village of Beer, close to Seatown. The beach is made up of shingles and it is quite protected from the winds. Still, the beach has somewhat deep waters and no lifeguards, so it is recommended for experienced swimmers. However, there are plenty of facilities around where visitors can spend their day.

Pebble seems to be a good change for most visitors, they also love the nearby village, the cliffs and the fishing boats scattered all over the beach

“Great for caving, cliff and beach walks, not over commercialised, highly recommend visiting.”

37. Botany Bay, England

Rating: 4.6

One of seven bays in Broadstairs is recognizable for its chalk cliffs framing the sandy beach. Named after the Australian Botany Bay, the beach is clean and relatively calm, but still a huge attraction among surfers. Other activities include kayaking, canoeing and bodyboarding. The beach is well-equipped and has several rental options.

People on the beach are stunned by the cliffs, they love the rock formations and facilities. Some complain about seaweed

“Nice beach and not so crowded, bus stop is only 5 mins walk away that takes you to Broadstairs.”

36. West Wittering Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

The sandy beach near Chichester attracts numerous visitors thanks to plenty of facilities and activities on offer. West Wittering Beach is located near the mouth of Chichester Harbour and it boasts some of the cleanest waters in the area. The beach is mainly suitable for water sports such as surfing, kite surfing and snorkelling.

A huge parking lot is one of the biggest advantages of the beach but many complain about the traffic. Visitors love that the beach is guarded and others discuss the high and low tides. 

“Such a lovely white sandy beach, with a great café/restaurant and clean toilets. Visited on a weekday during term-time, so fairly empty.”

35. St Anne’s Beach, England

Rating: 4.6

One of the best beaches in the UK and a part of the list of best beaches in Europe is located in a Victorian seaside town Lytham St Annes. The beach is sandy and features a pier with a lot of attractions such as donkey rides, ice-cream stands and more. The beach is long and spacious with Victorian-style beach huts for hire. Surfing and similar activities are the top choices among visitors. The beach is easily accessible and has a huge parking lot.

The pier steals most of the attention among visitors. Others love the beach for dog walks and enjoying the seasides. 

“Lovely beach very clean and I usually take the dogs for a walk. Good parking the beach is not overcrowded.”

St Anne's Beach

St Anne’s Beach

34. Llangrannog Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.7

Llangrannog is a sandy beach nestled beneath lush green hills. It is attractive for both families with children and adventure seekers. Surfing is the main activity at the beach, while traditional pubs and restaurants offer relaxation. There are facilities such as showers and toilets, there are two car parks and the seasonal bus operates to and from the beach.  

Pubs are among the main reasons why people like coming here. They also love exploring the village and hills and enjoy dog walks. 

“Wonderful family-friendly beach with beach shops, cafe 2 pubs and public toilets. Parking is minimal so early arrival is recommended.”

Llangrannog Beach

33. Porth Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Right next to the Newquay Beach lies an expansive beach made of fine golden sand. Porth Beach is a great option for both families with children and surfers. Still, surfing is not allowed during the summer months. The low tide exposes attractive rock pools and formations. The beach is located close to the town centre, so all the necessary facilities are nearby.

The vastness of the sand during the low tide impresses visitors the most. They love the beach facilities and activities, some recommend food from Mermaid Inn

“Beautiful beach with great clean sand and a small stream going through. Lifeguard is present. Several cafe for lunch or ice-cream.”

32. Lulworth Cove, England

Rating: 4.7

A picturesque bay in Lulworth, Dorset is one of the most sheltered coves on our list. The beach and the surroundings are protected by UNESCO thanks to the unique geological features. During the low tide, the revealing rock pools hide sea life that visitors can explore. The cove has all kinds of facilities and visitors can include a visit to nearby landmarks for an amazing day trip. 

The cove is a popular destination for those who want to relax in nature. Visitors especially come here to enjoy the walks, explore the village and admire the surroundings.

“First time visitor, and I wasn’t disappointed. Stunning views and lovely place for walking. There is also a few nice pubs, shops and cafes to stop at too.”

Lulworth Cove

Lulworth Cove

31. Canford Cliffs Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Another Dorset gem is Canford Cliffs, a spacious sandy beach awarded a Blue Flag. It is one of many beaches lying on the same stretch of sand in Bournemouth. The beach has basic facilities such as drinking water and toilets and it is framed by wooden huts. The promenade is stretching along the beach, ideal for walking and cycling. The beach is easily accessible offering parking lots. 

Expectedly, visitors here enjoy simple strolling, cycling and dog walking. They love the amenities the beach offers. 

“Clean beach and water, not too crowded, decent facilities, beautiful scenery. You don’t need more for a perfect day!”

30. Putsborough Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Putsborough Sands is a southern part of Woolacombe Beach, both lying on the same stretch of golden sand. The beach is somewhat sheltered but still extremely popular with surfers. Besides surfing, visitors engage in activities such as sailing, kayaking, snorkelling and fishing. Besides the huge parking lot, the beach has cafes, toilets and many more facilities nearby. 

Simple strolls and dog walks are favourite things to do for visitors. They love the spacious parking lot but consider it too expensive. 

“Beautiful beach, dog-friendly, facilities nearby. Vast area so feels quiet even when relatively busy.”

29. Poppit Sands Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.7

Poppit Sands is a very popular beach in Wales backed by dunes and green hills. The low tide reveals the vast sand and rock pools, so finding a spot is rarely a problem. The area is ideal for all sorts of wildlife, so expect to spot playful dolphins or seals. The beach has basic facilities such as toilets, shops and cafes, as well as a good offer of water sports.

The fact that the beach is dog friendly appears to be the biggest advantage. Visitors also love the leisure facilities and natural rock formations. 

“Fabulous large sandy beach, absolutely massive when the tide is out. Dog friendly on the estuary side all year around.”

28. Great Western Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Close to the popular Fistral and Newquay beaches lies a small sandy beach and another Cornish gem. It is surrounded by cliffs and the sand extends far towards the sea, especially when the tide is out. Unlike other beaches, the high cliffs provide some shade. The beach is well-equipped and offers a good number of activities. No doubt, surfing is the most popular one.

The beach is once again a dog’s choice. Besides that, visitors love the beach during the low tide and all its natural features. 

“Great little beach, a hidden gem in the middle of Newquay. No parking, so make sure you walk or cycle. And what a location for an evening drink & pizza.”

27. Porthtowan Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Porthtowan is a popular surfing beach that is a part of a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. The beach is spacious, sandy and backed by high cliffs. Besides swimming, water sports and exploring rock pools, the beach has various facilities. You will find a range of shops, cafes and restaurants. There is a parking lot and a bus station nearby.

Visitors love to come here to relax, casually stroll and walk the dog. When it comes to activities, bodyboarding is the most attractive sport.

“Very clean and lots of room. The first bit as you walk is soft sand and then turns pebbly but then back to soft sand again. Perfect for chilling on a sunny day.”

26. Langland Bay, Wales

Rating: 4.7

An attractive beach near Swansea is a protected bay suitable for families with children. Langland Bay Beach is sandy and surrounded by beach huts. There is a promenade stretching between the beach and the extensive parking and tennis courts. The beach is also backed by various facilities such as cafes, toilets etc. 

Besides enjoying the long walks, visitors often say the beach is beautiful and love its facilities. 

“A beautiful beach, both stony and plenty of sand when the tide is further out. Beach huts, bars and takeaways are aplenty and all the parking you can ask for!”

25. Aberporth Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.7

The small village of Aberporth is a charming Welsh resort located close to West Wales Airport. Aberporth beach is the main attraction with its two other beaches nearby. The gentle sandy descend is suitable for children, while nearby facilities provide everything you need for a great day at the beach.

The beach is adored for the great offer of pubs, inns and shops. Visitors love the rock pools and encountering dolphins. They also love the fact that the beach is dog-friendly

“Lovely very tidy and quiet beach. There is a small car park above the beach. Stunning views all around and there is an adjacent beach which is also dog friendly.”

24. Alum Chine Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Besides being one of the best beaches in the UK, Alum Chine is certainly a favourite in Bournemouth. Locals love it for the perfectly clean sand and shingle, paddling pool and a playground where families can enjoy. The beach is well-equipped and the land train takes you to the popular Bournemouth and Boscombe Piers

Locals and visitors alike love the beach for being clean and offering numerous amenities and facilities. 

“This is the beach to GO! Amazingly good water is crystal clear, very family-friendly apart from coming down the cliff!”

23. Southbourne Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Another Bournemouth beach is situated west of the piers and away from the crowds they attract. Like most beaches in the area, it is awarded a Blue Flag. It is safe for swimming and water sports. There is a promenade stretching behind the beach, it offers all kinds of facilities and beach huts. You will also find a spacious parking lot and a bus stop

Visitors come here to enjoy the long walks, bars and restaurants along the promenade. They consider the beach clean and warn about summer crowds.

“Nice beach, less crowded than Bournemouth. Nice mix of big beach and shallow water for the kids. Might even forgive the fortress of stones separating nice sand and sea!”

Southbourne Beach

Southbourne Beach

22. Barricane Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Barricane is a small adorable cove tucked in and surrounded by rocks. Also known as Combesgate Beach, it got its name after the variety of shells carried from the Caribbean islands. Due to weather conditions, the beach is popular with surfers. Besides a parking lot, you won’t find many facilities directly at the beach.

Interestingly, visitors praise the excellent curry from the restaurant by the beach. Other than the food, they love the facilities, rock pools and evening walks. 

“Great little beach area with calm water lapping against the sand but be sure to get here early as space is at a premium. I went along for the sunset and got some stunning photos.”

21. Lyme Regis Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Dorset beaches often find their spot among the best beaches in the UK. The picturesque seaside town of Lyme Regis is no exception. The huge sandy/pebbly beach is an all-year-round attraction. It is framed by colourful beach huts and other facilities where visitors can spend their time. There is an extended list of activities on offer. The most attractive ones include surfing, snorkelling, kayaking and water skiing

Both locals and visitors love the seaside town and its offer. Fish and chips are highly recommended. 

“Great place to visit for a day out plenty of facilities, bars cafes and restaurants to choose from. Exploring the back streets is a must with all its quaint shops. Highly recommend a visit.”

20. Knoll Beach Studland, England

Rating: 4.7

On the northern part of Studland bay stretches a long sandy beach popular both with families with children and sports lovers. Like the entire coast, the beach is part of the Studland National Nature Reserve. There is a good sports offer at the beach, so you can try kayaking, windsurfing, snorkelling etc. On the southern part of the coast stretches Studland Naturist Beach.

Since the beach is near the ferry port, visitors often hop on a ferry to Sandbanks. They also love the sports offer and amenities.

“A smashing beach, run by National Trust who keep it nice. Toilets and a pay and display carpark (free to Trust members just swipe your membership card).”

19. Sandbanks Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Quite by chance, Sandbanks Beach is ranked right after Knoll Beach. The two are connected by a ferry, so they can be visited on a single day trip. Sandbanks Beach is made of perfect golden sand that stretches for miles. Thanks to its cleanliness and sea quality, it is awarded a Blue Flag. The beach is well-equipped, including facilities for the disabled. There is also a wide selection of activities on offer.

Like most UK beaches, visitors love them simply for the dog walks. They consider the beach and the sea very clean. The beach authorities reply to most reviews. 

“Perfect beach place for family outing. Especially if you have kids its ideal as there is plenty of space for them to play. The place is less crowded too.”

Sandbanks Beach

Sandbanks Beach

18. Old Hunstanton Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

The village of Old Hunstanton is a charming place with a sandy coast, not to be mistaken for a Hunstanton lively resort. The beach in Old Hunstanton is sandy and spacious with gentle descents. The beach is very popular for kitesurfing, but also has magnificent sunsets. Besides plenty of beach huts, you will easily find pubs, restaurants and other facilities. 

Visitors love the natural setting featuring cliffs, dunes and rock pools. They consider the beach spacious and perfect for dog walking. 

“Great open beach backed by a mix of dunes and coloured cliffs. There is a large car park at the top of the cliffs as well as a mix of pubs and cafes.”

17. Brancaster Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Brancaster is a wide sandy beach with shallow waters and a very gentle descent. The beach is owned by the National Trust as it belongs to the part of the coast designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty. There are basic facilities such as toilets and refreshment kiosks. Kite surfing is the most attractive sport, along with dog walking. During the low tide, visitors can see the SS Vina shipwreck.  

Besides dog walking, visitors often encounter seals and enjoy the facilities. Some warn about the tide times. 

“Beautiful beach. Went on a busy Saturday and even though it seems busy, the beach is so long that if you keep walking in either direction you’ll be able to reach a quieter patch.”

16. Castle Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.7

Tenby seaside resort boasts several beautiful beaches, but the most popular one is Castle Beach where Tenby Castle rises from the sea. The beach is sandy and awarded a Blue Flag. It is surrounded by cliffs and a charming cobbled town. Therefore, you will find all the necessary facilities within the streets of Tenby. 

Visitors love the vicinity of the town and harbour, they love the natural features such as the caves and rock pools. They also warn about dog restrictions. 

“Small beach but fabulously situated. Tiny St. Catherine’s Island with a 19th-century fort and a castle hill separated by golden sand. Unforgettable time on Tenby beaches.”

15. Gorleston-on-Sea Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Gorleston is a huge sandy beach that both children and adults adore. Along the three miles of sand stretches the promenade with various facilities. The low tide is perfect for picnics and building sandcastles, while adventure seekers can try surfing, kitesurfing and bodyboarding

Those who visit the beach love the pier and the spacious parking lot. But they especially love the fun and games offered on the beach and nearby.

“Absolutely picture-perfect beach, Very clean wide sandy beach with very well maintained footpaths and the most generous amount of public benches I’ve ever seen beautifully laid out across a mile wide walkway”

14. Summerleaze Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Right next to Bude city centre, Summerleaze Beach is a popular destination among vacationers. The vast sand is backed by all the necessary facilities, including a surfing school. The beach also features Bude Sea Pool, a safe swimming zone where families can enjoy with small children.

No doubt, visitors love the fact that the beach is dog-friendly. They feel safe with lifeguards on duty and love to explore what the beach has to offer.

“Great beach. Brilliant for the kids and dogs. Parking is good. Ice cream available nearby. Toilets are close. Scenic views nearby. 👍🏻”

13. Weymouth Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Not only locals would agree that Weymouth Beach is among the best beaches in the UK, but also King George III who frequently visited during his illness. Located near the harbour and the lively city centre, you will find everything for a perfect day on a beach. The beach is sandy with shallow waters, ideal for families with children. 

Of course, visitors love to combine swimming and sunbathing with exploring the streets of Weymouth. Many refer to amazing donkey rides.

“So much to do on this beach for both adults and children. Sand is gorgeous and deck chair and sunbed hire available. Restaurants and bars aplenty around the area.”

Weymouth

Weymouth

12. Whitby Beach, England

Rating: 4.7

Not only is it considered among the best beaches in the UK, but also one of the best beaches in entire Europe! Whitby is a dog-friendly sandy beach with shallow waters. So, it is perfect for families with small children. The beach is well-equipped and offers facilities of all kinds, especially to entertain the youngest. Donkey rides are a big attraction.

Visitors are mainly recommending the famous fish and chips nearby. Besides that, they simply love walks to the harbour and the nearby abbey.

“Lovely little town with a lot of history. The beach located just below Whitby Abbey and near to Fortune’s Kipper is dog friendly all year round.”

Whitby Beach

Whitby Beach

11. Traeth Abermaw Beach, Wales

Rating: 4.7

Another UK gem that managed to rank in the top 5 best beaches in Europe is located in Barmouth, close to Snowdonia National Park. The beach is long and spacious, especially during the low tide. There is a promenade stretching along, equipped with all kinds of facilities and a huge parking lot. If it gets too hot to explore around, hop on a land train that runs along the promenade.

Visitors love this seaside town, its fairs, donkey rides, fish & chips from Mermaid and a lot more.

“Beautiful sandy beach, stunning backdrop of the mountains and a lovely turquoise sea, who would need to venture abroad when we have beautiful locations like Barmouth.”

Top 10 Beaches in the UK

Finally, both locals and visitors agreed that the following beaches are the top 10 beaches in the UK.

10. Benone Beach, North Ireland

Rating: 4.8

The only beach in Northern Ireland on our list is definitely the longest one in the UK. Benone Strand is a popular beach that stretches for 7 miles and is nearly impossible not to find a perfect spot on it. The beach is backed by scenic cliffs and mountains. And while there aren’t many facilities around, you will find more than enough for an amazing day at a beach.

One simple word is often used by visitors to describe the beach – beautiful. They primarily come here to stroll, sip coffee or walk a dog.

“Nice clean beach. Cars are allowed on it so if you have children or dogs you need to be mindful of this. Lovely coffee place at the entrance too.”

9. Gwithian Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

If you’re looking for miles of golden sand, you’ll find it in Gwithian Towans beach. The beach is popular with beach sports enthusiasts, especially surfers. Those persistent can try surfing school. The beach is backed by a good number of cafes, bistros and other facilities to fulfil your experience. 

As in the case of all UK beaches, Gwithian Beach is a favourite choice among dog walkers, joggers and outdoor enthusiasts. Rockpools, cliffs and dunes are big attractions.

“One of the simplest but longest beaches. Very calm, great for long walks. Park at Godrevy car park and just enjoy the stroll with a beautiful view of the entire St Ives bay.”

Gwithian Beach

Gwithian Beach

8. Man O’War Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

Man O’ War Cove is a picturesque place in Dorset for everyone who wants to escape the popular, fully-equipped resorts. Located near the famous Durdle Door, Man O’ War Beach offers pure sand backed by green cliffs and almost no facilities. Besides swimming and sunbathing, the beach is good for fishing and snorkelling.

Most visitors describe the beach as simply beautiful. While many express their love for casual walking in this area, some explain the tricky access with lots of steps

“Shoes are suggested. The beach has rocks, great view here because you can see the this beach AND St. Oswald’s Bay from here. Also next to Durdle Door.”

Man O'War Cove

Man O’War Cove

7. Cuckmere Haven, England

Rating: 4.8

Unlike most beaches on our list, Cuckmere is a pebbly beach located next to the majestic Seven Sisters white cliffs. No wonder it was used in several movies including Robin Hood and Harry Potter. Anyway, the beach is very quiet with a few facilities such as a cafe and restaurant. It is also popular among fishermen.

Visitors who come here often get amazed by the cliffs. They love the walks along the river and the fact that the beach is dog-friendly.

“The most beautiful part of the East Sussex coast line. Pay and display car park cost £4 for over 2 hours. Then a lovely walk by the water down to the beach.”

6. Porthcurno Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

Soft white sand and turquoise water backed by green hills is what makes Porthcurno Beach so attractive. Although the currents are strong and the waves can hit hard, it is still quite safe for families with children. Especially with a lifeguard during the season. Regarding the facilities, there is a Minack Theater and a museum nearby as well as food and drinks. Those looking for activities won’t find many. 

Once again, visitors praise the beach for being so beautiful. Simple things such as walking and exploring the surroundings are favourite things to do around. Some warn to bring cash and coins if using the parking lot

“Love that best sandy beach. Clean and peaceful. Evening was like healing your inner life. So romantic and relaxing vibes out there.”

5. Sennen Cove, England

Rating: 4.8

Located in West Cornwall, Sennen Cove Beach is a spacious sandy beach in the village of the same name. The beach is very popular among families with children and surfing enthusiasts. Besides restaurants, cafes and toilets, you won’t find many facilities around. Ideal for a relaxing day at the beach.

People come here to enjoy the dog-walks and escape the hustle of the big cities. Bodyboarding and surfing are favourite activities. 

“Absolutely amazing place to visit. Good parking. Places for snacks. Great beach. Nice coastal walk to lands end. Kids really enjoyed it.”

Sennan Cove

Sennan Cove

4. Crantock Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

On the estuary of the River Gannel, south of famous Fistral Beach lies a sandy Crantock Beach. This huge sandy vastness is nestled in a picturesque green setting backed by dunes. It offers all kinds of facilities around and nature lovers can discover one of the main attractions – a cave Piper’s Hole. During the tide, most of the beach is underwater.

The tide, the dunes and all the natural features impress the visitors. They love the fact that the beach is dog-friendly

“Such a beautiful beach with the river running through perfect for kids and paddle boarding lessons.”

3. Trebah Garden, England

Rating: 4.8

Near the very top of the best beaches in the UK is a place like no other on our list. Trebah Garden is a magical place with plants from the southern hemisphere and a spring that reminds of a tropical paradise. At the end of the garden is a pebbly secluded cove that visitors adore. You will find food, drinks and all kinds of entertainment in the Garden which is open from Saturday to Wednesday.

Despite the green oasis, visitors here mostly enjoy the beach. Being dog-friendly is a huge advantage. Of course, a great number of visitors praise the beauty of the garden.

“Beautiful gardens and beach. Loads of plants from around the world, humongous trees and pretty flowers. Very uphill and down dale; you’ll definitely get a workout, but totally worth it.”

2. Woolacombe Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

It is quite common to see Woolacombe Beach rank high on various lists of the best beaches in the UK. Certainly, it is one of the finest UK sandy beaches and it stretches for 3 miles. It is backed by colourful beach huts and it is a very popular traditional resort. Families with children can feel safe in the shallow waters while surfers can chase the waves. Besides surfing, there are many more activities on offer such as jet-skiing, kayaking and sailing. Besides a pub, there are not many facilities around.

Visitors refer to different aspects of the beach. While some describe the dog restrictions, others praise the activities and amenities. Some warn about the “hungry” seagulls

“Amazing beach, different sections of the beach allows dogs, local facilities are perfect,  very big car park right next to the beach.”

1. Perranporth Beach, England

Rating: 4.8

Brits obviously love the sandy beaches that stretch for miles. Apparently, Perranporth Beach in Cornwall is their favourite one! The beach combines surfing enthusiasts with casual swimmers, sunbathers and walkers. You won’t find many facilities directly at the beach except for a bar and a parking lot. However, the beach offers a good number of water sports which in combination with everything else is enough to be ranked as the best beach in the United Kingdom.

Visitors love the natural features of the beach such as rock pools and caves. They like the vicinity of the town and the activities offered at the beach.

“This is a fantastic places for any age group the beach is massive. There are plenty of places to have something to eat and lots of shops to look around.”

Perranporth Beach

Perranporth Beach

Best Beaches in the UK by Regions

As an island country, the United Kingdom is full of beaches that vary in type, sea temperature and weather conditions. Expectedly, beaches in England have the biggest number of reviews thanks to some worldwide recognized holiday destinations such as Cornwall, Kent, Sussex etc. Regardless of the smaller number of reviews, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland hide some incredible beaches worth a visit. Check out the list of the best UK beaches sorted by region.

Best Beaches in England

England’s beaches are mostly situated on the southern coast, so it doesn’t surprise that they take up the majority of the list of top 50 beaches. If planning a vacation in England, here is a list of the best beaches in England with more than 1000 reviews.

BEACH REGION RATING
Perranporth Beach England 4.8 ★
Woolacombe Beach England 4.8 ★
Trebah Garden England 4.8 ★
Crantock Beach England 4.8 ★
Sennen Cove England 4.8 ★
Porthcurno Beach England 4.8 ★
Cuckmere Haven England 4.8 ★
Man O’War Beach England 4.8 ★
Gwithian Beach England 4.8 ★
Whitby Beach England 4.7 ★
Weymouth Beach England 4.7 ★
Summerleaze Beach England 4.7 ★
Gorleston-on-Sea (Beach) England 4.7 ★
Brancaster Beach England 4.7 ★
Old Hunstanton Beach England 4.7 ★
Sandbanks Beach England 4.7 ★
Knoll Beach Studland England 4.7 ★
Lyme Regis Beach England 4.7 ★
Barricane Beach England 4.7 ★
Southbourne Beach England 4.7 ★
Alum Chine Beach England 4.7 ★
Porthowan Beach England 4.7 ★
Great Western Beach England 4.7 ★
Putsborough Beach England 4.7 ★
Canford Cliffs Beach England 4.7 ★
Luluworth Cove England 4.7 ★
Porth Beach England 4.7 ★
St Anne’s Beach England 4.6 ★
West Wittering Beach England 4.6 ★
Botany Bay, Kent England 4.6 ★
Beer Beach England 4.6 ★
Frinton Beach England 4.6 ★
Polperro Beach England 4.6 ★
Charmouth Beach England 4.6 ★
Portreath Beach England 4.6 ★
Crooklets Beach England 4.6 ★
East Looe Beach England 4.6 ★
Dawlish Warren Beach England 4.6 ★
Sandy Bay Beach England 4.6 ★
Carbis Bay Beach England 4.6 ★
Camber Sands England 4.6 ★
Ryde Beach England 4.6 ★
Torquay Beach England 4.6 ★
Highcliff Beach England 4.6 ★
Praa Sands Beach England 4.6 ★
Boscombe Beach England 4.6 ★
Brighton Beach England 4.5 ★
Scarborough Beach England 4.5 ★
Shanklin Beach England 4.5 ★
Avon Beach England 4.5 ★
Ventnor Beach England 4.5 ★
Walton-on-the-Naze Beach England 4.5 ★
Herne Bay Beach England 4.5 ★
Brean Beach England 4.5 ★
Teignmouth Beach England 4.5 ★
Joss Bay England 4.5 ★
Tankerton Beach England 4.5 ★
Lee on the Solent beach England 4.5 ★
Babbacombe Beach England 4.5 ★
Hunstanton Cliffs England 4.5 ★
Sandown Beach England 4.4 ★
Weston Super Mare Beach England 4.3 ★
Hove beach Huts England 4.3 ★
Deal Pier England 4.3 ★
Jubilee Beach England 4.3 ★
Margate Beach England 4.3 ★
Leysdown Beach England 4.1 ★

Best Beaches in Scotland

Besides being home to the famous Portobello Beach, Scotland didn’t manage to rank any beach among the top 50. Considering its northern position, it doesn’t come as a surprise. However, check out the list of the best beaches in Scotland that had more than 500 reviews.

BEACH REGION RATING
Silver Sands Beach Scotland 4.6 ★
Portobello Beach Scotland 4.5 ★
Troon Beach Scotland 4.5 ★
Ayr Beach Scotland 4.5 ★
Brought Ferry Beach Scotland 4.5 ★
Irvine Beach Park Scotland 4.4 ★
Prestwick Beach Scotland 4.3 ★

Best Beaches in Wales

Although a good number of Wales beaches ranked in the top 50, the list of highly-rated beaches is even longer. Check out the list of best beaches in Wales with more than 500 reviews.

BEACH REGION RATING
Porth Dafarch Wales 4.8 ★
Traeth Abermaw Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Castle Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Aberporth Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Langland Bay Wales 4.7 ★
Poppit Sands Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Llangrannog Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Llansteffan Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Coppet Hall Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Llanbedrog Beach Wales 4.7 ★
New Quay Dog Friendly Beach Wales 4.7 ★
Traeth Lligwy Wales 4.7 ★
Aberavon Beach Wales 4.6 ★
West Shore Beach Wales 4.6 ★
Rhos-on-Sea Beach Wales 4.6 ★
Barkby Beach Wales 4.6 ★
Conwy Morfa Beach Wales 4.6 ★
Traeth Mawr Big Beach Wales 4.6 ★
Colwyn Bay Beach Wales 4.5 ★
North Shore Beach Wales 4.5 ★
Aberystwyth Beach Wales 4.5 ★
Talacre Beach Wales 4.5 ★
Aberareron Beach Wales 4.4 ★
Rhyl Beach Wales 4.3 ★

Best Beaches in Northern Ireland

Similar to Scotland, only one beach in Northern Ireland managed to rank among the top 50. Again, weather conditions and position is to blame for the lack of popularity. However, check out the list of the best beaches in Northern Ireland with more than 500 reviews.

BEACH REGION RATING
Benone Beach North Ireland 4.8 ★
Castlerock Beach North Ireland 4.8 ★
White Rocks North Ireland 4.8 ★
West Strand Beach North Ireland 4.7 ★
Holywood Sea Park North Ireland 4.6 ★
Newcastle Beach North Ireland 4.5 ★
Browns Bay North Ireland 4.5 ★

Map of the Best Beaches in the UK

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