These Are The Best Beaches In The UK
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These Are The Best Beaches In The UK

From Cornwall to Scotland, here are 12 of our favourite British beaches

Who needs St Tropez? There are an abundance of beautiful beaches to visit right on our doorstep, whether it’s a daycation or staycation that you’re looking for. So, ditch the far-flung travel and read on for our pick of the best beaches in the UK to visit this summer.

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The Best Beaches In The UK

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The beach of Chapman's Pool

Chapman’s Pool, Dorset

Swanage, Dorset BH19 3LL

Once the site of a lifeboat station, this quiet beach is off-the-beaten path, located to the west of Worth Matravers on the Isle of Purbeck. A remote spot, there aren’t any facilities and it can only be reached by a rather steep descent – but the beauty of Chapman’s Pool more than makes up for it. It’s horseshoe-shaped so the waves are calm, and backed by a tall cliff-face, giving it a secluded feel. Perfect for desert island vibes.

Studland Bay Flickr 2008

Studland Bay, Dorset

Studland, Dorset BH19 3AH

The famous Old Harry Rocks make Studland Bay a place to behold. This National Trust beach was a popular summer residence of the aristocratic Banks family, who owned Corfe Castle. Be sure to stop by The Pig on the Beach for a botanical cocktail or two.

Image: Studland Bay Flickr 2008

Porthcurno Flickr Nic Trott 2014

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Porthcurno, Cornwall TR19 6JX

Beaches in the UK don’t come much better than Cornwall‘s – but many are perilously overcrowded. Try Porthcurno, which sits below the majestic Minack Theatre, a stone theatre carved into the rock face and built by an old aristocratic lady. It overlooks the turquoise water – a rarity in the UK.

Discover more of Cornwall’s gorgeous beaches here

Image: Porthcurno Flickr Nic Trott 2014

Three Cliffs Bay Flickr Vinay Nair 2014

Three Cliffs Bay, Wales

Gower, Swansea SA3 2HB

Getting to Three Cliffs Bay can be tricky, but the views are worth it – and it’s very quiet. Keep your eyes open for the rare peregrine falcon too.

Image: Three Cliffs Bay Flickr Vinay Nair 2014

Tresco Flickr Nosha 2012

Pentle Bay, Tresco, The Isles of Scilly

Hugh Town, Tresco, Isles of Scilly

The clear, bright blue waters of Tresco are pretty special. For quiet, untouched beaches, this place is unbeatable. On a fine day, you really could believe you’re on a Pacific island.

Image: Tresco Flickr Nosha 2012

Durdle Door Flickr Kosala Bandara

Durdle Door, Dorset

Wareham BH20 5PU

Found along the Jurassic Coast on the Lulworth estate, Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch and lovely sand beach. As impressive as it looks.

Image: Durdle Door Flickr Kosala Bandara

Nairn beach Flickr Iain Cameron 2014

Nairn Beach, Scotland

Nairn IV12 4EA

The home of the Moray Firth dolphins, Nairn’s lovely stretch of sandy beach and dunes is made that much more interesting with the wildlife. Seals, dolphins and flying fish abound in this little pocket of Scotland. It’s not far from Inverness either.

Image: Nairn beach Flickr Iain Cameron 2014

Botany Bay Flickr Michael Camilleri 2012

Botany Bay, Kent

Marine Drive, Cliftonville, Broadstairs CT10 3LG

Who doesn’t love white cliffs? Botany Bay has some rather impressive ones at the end of its sandy beach.

Image: Botany Bay Flickr Michael Camilleri 2012

Putsborough Flickr becks 2012

Putsborough, North Devon

Vention Lane, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1LB

With two and a half miles of golden sands, Putsborough is a glorious spot of coast – quieter and arguably more beautiful than the ever-busy Woolacombe Sands (at the other end of the bay).

Image: Putsborough Flickr becks 2012

West Wittering Flickr Aurelien Guichard 2014

West Wittering, Chichester

West Wittering, Chichester PO20 8GH

Ever-popular for its coloured beach huts and quirky charm, West Wittering is beautiful whatever the weather. Perfect for walking the dogs and enjoying an ice cream.

Image: West Wittering Flickr Aurelien Guichard 2014

Croyde Flickr Emma 2013

Croyde Bay, North Devon

Croyde, Braunton EX33 1NU

Well-known as a surfer’s hangout, the beach is as relaxed as the cool, laid-back Devon town it lies beneath.

Image: Croyde Flickr Emma 2013

Sandbanks, Dorset

Banks Road, Poole BH13 7QQ

A long stretch of golden sand with gently lapping waves and a European Blue Flag Award. What more could we ask for?

Image: Nick Fewings