We are very fortunate in this country to have such a wealth of magnificent beaches and coastline for all to enjoy. Recently, Cornwall was given multiple awards for its well-kept beaches, as the Keep Britain Tidy listings were announced.

The results mean that a third of bathing beaches in England can proudly fly a flag that marks them out as the best in the country.

The waves lapping on the shore at Holkham beach

The awards are the quality marks for the UK’s beaches. They are there to let visitors know the area is clean, safe, as well as adhering to the highest environmental standards, and also international bathing water quality standards too.

If you are heading out on a glamping UK adventure this summer, why not head to the beach while you’re away? In no particular order, we’ve got some of the best beaches in the UK listed for you to see. The question is, which one will you visit first?

 

Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Watergate Bay in Cornwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glorious two-mile stretch of golden sands teamed with cliffs and caves, await your arrival. For the surfers and water sports enthusiasts, the Atlantic swells are on hand to produce reliable surf when conditions are right. For anyone who loves the wildlife that the coast offers, expect to see peregrine falcons, and fulmars, joined by gulls soaring around while they enjoy the location just as much as you do. Why not take a leisurely stroll along the clifftop, and take in the sensational views that are on offer? Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can head for a bite to eat at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, or one of the other restaurants offering delicious, locally sourced ingredients.

Why not take a leisurely stroll along the clifftop, and take in the sensational views that are on offer? Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can head for a bite to eat at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, or one of the other restaurants offering delicious, locally sourced ingredients.

 

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach from the rocks above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set into one of the most divine scapes your eyes could set themselves on, Porthcurno boasts arguably the finest beach setting on UK shores. A funnel of sand caught between lichen-encrusted granite cliffs offers an air of relaxation as you approach, without the feeling of being overcrowded. The beach has easy access, which is a welcome bonus, and with its fine white sand and glistening waters, you’ll struggle to leave! To enjoy the beach at its best, head down at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay and perch yourselves on sandbars beneath the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas; pure vacation-style bliss!

The beach has easy access, which is a welcome bonus, and with its fine white sand and glistening waters, you’ll struggle to leave! To enjoy the beach at its best, head down at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay and perch yourselves on sandbars beneath the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas; pure vacation-style bliss!

 

Saunton Sands, Devon

Child walking along Saunton Sands beach in North Devon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind this untamed three-mile stretch of beach is Braunton Burrows, one of the largest sand dune systems in Britain, and home to myriad rare plants and butterflies. Atlantic rollers sweep on to the vast sandy beach. What’s more, the beach lays claim to the filming of Robbie Williams’ music video for his hit single Angels, as well as being the location for an Olly Murs music video.

Scenes from an upcoming movie Guernsey, a big-screen adaptation of an international best-selling historical novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows was also more recently filmed on this spectacular stretch of beach.

Aside from filming for movies and music videos, the beach provides visitors with a chance to enjoy what makes Devon a place of tranquil exquisiteness. The views are endless, so pick a spot to lay your towel and let the location take your breath away.

 

West Wittering, Sussex

The sunset over West Wittering beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Wittering provides those who visit with a wonderfully remote feel, without being too far from ‘civilisation.’ The Sussex beach has such a fine, open stretch of sand, that it’s hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else. The views overlooking the Solent and Chichester harbour are impeccable and, when you’re there at low tide, the pools that reveal themselves are ideal for a spot of paddling.

From the far western end, you can cross a narrow ridge to East Head, a lovely and remote sand-dune spit at the mouth of the harbour. What more could you possibly want from a coastal visit while you’re in Sussex?

 

Holkham, Norfolk 

The waves lapping on the shore at Holkham beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Holkham, then just let the image tell you what you need to know. The superb stretch of sand with alluring lapping waves on the shore are what quintessential British beaches are all about. Cross the wooden boards through the dunes and lay yourself out on the welcoming sand, located midway along the magnificent Norfolk coast.

Take your walks east via a path through the pinewoods to the slightly more sheltered beach at neighbouring Wells-next-the-Sea, if you fancy trying something equally as outstanding.

 

Woolacombe, Devon

Woolacombe beach above the water from Putsborough

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woolacombe boasts the ‘England for Excellence Gold Award’ for best family resort and was also bestowed with the winner of TripAdvisor’s best beaches in Britain award for 2016.

The model beach resort is located between Morte Point and Baggy Point, not far from the town of Ilfracombe where there are some amazing restaurants serving up locally sourced food that will certainly hit the right spots. Woolacombe’s three-mile long stretch of golden sand is famous for its cleanliness, water quality and local activities, priding itself on its accolades and welcoming feel. There are also a handful of traditional family pubs a short distance from the beach, should you fancy a libation.

Words are difficult to come across to explain the beauty and appeal here, so we’d advise a visit yourself to experience what’s on offer.

 

 

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

Weymouth beach with the pier in the foreground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weymouth Beach, similarly to Woolacombe, is home to a three-mile length of sand. One of Dorset’s best-loved destinations, located just minutes from the town centre and historic harbour, you can’t go far wrong with a trip to Weymouth beach.

In true English seaside fashion, there’s plenty of entertainment to enjoy, from traditional attractions such as Punch & Judy to donkey rides. For the sports lovers, you can often catch events such as beach volleyball championships, or perhaps live music and free summer firework displays are your thing? If so, Weymouth beach is the one for you!

Enjoy a stroll along the level promenade or on the sands with your dog during the quieter months, take part in the Christmas “Chase the Pudding” race or just relax in the sunshine on a summer’s day.

 

Images: David Collidge, Rum Bucolic ApeIan Capper, DS Pugh, xlibber, Chris Talbot, available under Creative Commons

 

 

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