Our 10 favourite beaches from across the UK

While the British Isles may not be famous for their beaches, that’s not to say that they aren’t blessed with some beautiful coastal spots. In fact, there are over 100 blue flag beaches across the UK for enjoying the sun in the height of summer or embracing a moment of serenity out of season – so we’ve picked out our 10 favourites.

Seven Sisters, Sussex

Seven Sisters Country Park makes up part of the South Downs in Sussex. On the park’s fringe are its famous chalk cliffs which tower above the swathes of sand below, forming one of Britain’s most scenic unspoiled coastlines.

Polzeath, Cornwall

Polzeath Beach sits on Cornwall’s northern coast, around half an hour’s drive from Newquay. The award-winning beach is popular with surfers thanks to its slow consistent waves and has been known to welcome seals and dolphins into the swell off its shores.

Durdle Door, Dorset

The Jurassic Coast stretches through Devon and Dorset and was, in 2001, named a World Heritage Site thanks to its historical significance. The rocks along this coastline capture 185 million years of earth’s history in their well-preserved fossils.

Along the Dorset leg of the coast, you’ll find Durdle Door, a limestone arch formed by thousands of years of erosion, which now provides the setting for countless postcard images as well as the backdrop to a beautiful beach.

West Wittering Beach, Chichester

This important coastal ecosystem is home to thousands of Brent Geese and common seals, which feast on the plentiful supply of fish and crustaceans. A section of the beach is designated for wind and kite surfing while the grassy areas beside it make for the perfect spot for a picnic on blissful sunny days.

Llanddwyn, Anglesey Island

Located on Anglesey’s southern coast, the tidal island of Llanddwyn is an incredibly picturesque corner of the British Isles. The island can easily be covered by a short leisurely stroll but while you’re there, take some time out to relax on one of its beautiful beaches or along the acres of sand found along the neighbouring Newborough Beach – you could even pin on a walk through Newborough forest which lines the beach with coniferous woodland.

St. Bees, Cumbria

The village of St. Bees is Cumbria’s most westerly settlement and the start of the coast to coast walk. While the beach may not be comparable to the sun-soaked swathes of sand across the Caribbean, it possesses its own unique charm with its windswept beauty and enduring feeling of solitude.

Pentle Bay, Isles of Scilly

You could be forgiven for thinking the snow-white sands of Pentle Bay belonged to a lush tropical island in the Indian Ocean, but instead they can be found on the sheltered eastern coast of Tresco in a tiny archipelago of islands off the southwest coast of Cornwall.

If this beach isn’t to your taste, there are 34 others across the archipelago where you could find yourself with an entire stretch to yourself, even in the height of summer with the sun covering the sands in its warming embrace.

Sandbanks Beach, Dorset

Sandbanks Beach has been the proud recipient of the Blue Flag for over 30 years now. The small peninsula across the mouth of Poole Harbour is edged by soft golden sands which make the perfect building materials for a sandcastle.

Along the western edge of the beach is a designated barbecue area where you can cook up a storm as the sun begins to dip.

Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

The Isle of Harris carries a real sense of solitude across its undulating hills on the edge of the Hebrides Islands. Despite its unassuming location, Harris is home to a number of beaches that would be more at home in the Caribbean than the outer isles of Scotland, with their azure waters and soft white sands. One such beach is Luskentyre.

Holkham Beach, Norfolk

You may recognise Holkham Beach from the closing scene of Shakespeare in Love in which Gwyneth Paltrow’s character washes up upon the large expanse of golden sand.

The National Nature reserve that borders the beach is one of the largest in the country and is home to all manner of flora and fauna from darting peregrines to vibrant orchids, so be sure to pack your binoculars.

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