With holidays abroad still up in the air this summer, we’re looking to places closer to home to get our fix of ice cream, sea air and ultimate relaxation. But with hotels and Airbnbs booking up quickly, we turned to you guys for some destination inspiration via Instagram Stories. Hundreds of you hit us up with your all-time favourite beach locations within the UK and we’re sharing the top 16 in an easy-to-find feature. Here and ready whenever you need it.
We hope it’s useful when it comes to finding the perfect summer 2021 holiday location, without even needing your passport…
Located in Dorset on the south coast, and just over 100-miles from London, is Weymouth. There’s an award-winning sandy beach, a Sea Life centre and you’re also not far from places like the infamous Lulworth Cove which are absolutely worth an explore and an adventure. A picturesque part of the Jurassic Coast.
Located on the Isle Of Harris (north west of mainland Scotland) is one of the most outrageously beautiful beaches in the UK. With white sand and turquoise waters, Luskentyre Beach is quite simply breathtaking. Hot? Probably not. But with heavenly rural scenery around you it’s a good place to escape everyday life. Your best best is to get the train/fly to Inverness and then drive and take a ferry from Ullapool to get there.
Head to the most easterly part of Kent and you’ll find the likes of Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Margate all within a few miles of each other (it’s easy to hop between them if you’re coming by car). There’s lots of cool restaurants, gelato places and coffee shops, as well as sandy beaches such as Viking Bay. It’s also easy to get to by car and there are fairly frequent trains from London.
Northumberland came up time and time again from you guys as a top seaside recommendation, with Bamburgh taking the top spot as favourite destination. It’s about an hour’s drive north from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and is home to a castle, golden beaches, and an idyllic away-from-home rural vibe.
Give ‘Tenby’ a quick Google and you’ll be inundated with images of picturesque rows of coloured houses and a gloriously clear harbour beach. The quaint 13th century town is located in Pembrokeshire in Wales (which so many of you recommended as a fave coastal area to visit) – which just FYI, is in the south west of the country. It’s a beautiful stretch for walks and spending time exploring, plus there’s also a couple of nearby castles to visit.
WELLS NEXT THE SEA
The north Norfolk coastline has plenty of excellent seaside towns which make for great day trips out if you find a decent Airbnb in the area. The most popular with you lot was of course, Wells Next The Sea (there’s also Cromer, Sheringham and Holkham). Wells Beach is made up of pastel beach huts and white sand, whilst the local area is full of classic pubs, ice cream parlours and cute shops to explore.
For amusements, ice cream parlours and fish and chips, you simply can’t beat Brighton. With plenty of shopping options, things to do and great places to eat and drink, the seaside city is great for a day trip or a holiday. Great for families, couples or groups of mates, although probably less of a relaxed vibe compared to other locations. Just over an hour from London by train.
Just north of Edinburgh you’ll find Fife (easy to combine the two within a trip if you fancy part city break and part rural beach break). It’s meant to be one of the happiest places to live in Scotland and is dotted with colourful buildings, coastal walls and rugged backdrops. There’s also St Andrews beach which is on the east coast of Fife and is home to both a sandy beach and a cathedral.
Cleethorpes is a traditional seaside town which sits on the Humber estuary in North East Lincolnshire. It has a sandy beach, a light railway and places you at at an easy exploring distance from other popular Lincolnshire seaside spots such as Mablethorpe, Skegness and Sutton-on-Sea.
If a bustling town with golden beaches and plenty to do is your kinda bag, then let us introduce you to Bournemouth. It’s two hours by car from London and is situated on the south coast. It has the New Forest right on its doorstep for plenty of countryside exploring, plus all the classic beach-side attractions you’d expect like mini golf, amusement arcades and an oceanarium, as well as plenty of restaurants. There’s also Peppa Pig World just half an hour away…
No British beach round-up could be complete with of course the best known of them all, Cornwall. And, whilst there’s plenty of options in the most southernly tip of mainland England, it was the town of St Ives that won your vote. With turquoise waters, white sand, and a huge variety of places to eat, drink and stay, it’s a no brainer. Accommodation books up quick so it’s easier to visit out of peak season.
Nestled on the north coast of Northern Ireland is Portrush – a small seaside town full of plenty of charm. Expect to find outrageously beautiful sandy beaches, pretty pastel coloured townhouses looking over the water and plenty of great options for coastal walks. The town itself is only an hour’s drive from Belfast, and has plenty of classic seaside town amusements, bars and restaurants.
Lyme Regis is situated on the Dorset coast and is just under an hour away from both Weymouth and Exeter. It’s famous for its fossil-studded cliffs and dinosaur museum, as well as its charm and quaint seaside vibes. There’s multiple beaches including a curved sandy one (popular with sunbathers and swimmers, as well as Monmouth Beach which contains hidden fossils and shingle.
Another Welsh gem, the Gower Peninsula is just west of Swansea and contains incredible sandy stretches, rolling hills and lapping blue waves. It was also the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Beauty. There’s plenty of outdoor exploring to be done, including in coves and caves. Think long walks, picnics and stretching out with a book at the end of a long day.
A quaint seaside town dotted on the Suffolk coast and perfect for pub lunches, ice creams, goodies from the bakery, and slow walks along the beach. It’s about 90 minutes by train from London, or two and a half hours by car, and is also close to Aldeburgh and Woodbridge which are both worth an explore.
ISLE OF WIGHT
There’s plenty of seaside resorts nestled on the Isle of Wight which is just a short ferry ride south of Portsmouth. Shanklin, Sandown and Ryde are all great options to stay and explore – and most have heavenly sandy beaches and great food and drink options, whilst Robin Hill and Black Gang Chime make for great family days out.