With the glistening, white beaches of France, Spain or Italy within easy traveling distance, there are not many people who cherish the idea of holidaying along the British coast. Gloomy skies and greyish waters is the picture that most of us conjure up, however, during summer, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth.
Coastal wildlife is abundant and beautiful, as is the variety of plants and geological makeup – many of our beaches offer a variety of water sports and activities for any thrill seekers too restless to relax beside the water.
I’m going to list a few of my favorite beaches and hopefully convince you that British beaches should not be put out of sight and out of mind this summer.
Popular Beaches in the UK
One of the finest beaches in the UK has to be Tynemouth Longsands in North Tyneside.
A jewel in the crown of the North East and home to surfers, fishermen and a steady stream of sandy-footed beach lovers.
In the North of England it doesn’t actually matter if the sun is out or not, the beaches are so beautiful and atmospheric that they are a year-round attraction for families, dog-walkers and runners.
Longsands is a glorious stretch of golden sand and is nestled just below Tynemouth town-center. The seaside settlement is an up-market Victorian town with tall, terraced houses and cobbled streets.
The town center is nostalgic and cheery and a relatively easy town in which to book accommodation. It is home to an array of high-end bars, restaurants and appealing little boutiques full of one-offs and surprises – the perfect setting in which to relax after a brusque walk along the beach.
Rhossili Bay in Wales, often tops the ‘Best Beach in UK’ polls and rightly so. It is huge and encircled with luscious green grass – the perfect contrast to the nearby sea which is always a perfect, crisp blue. The water is clean and inviting – perfect for a splash about – and always lively with surfers and swimmers!
Rhossili village is traditional and unspoiled, despite having a lot of visitors from ramblers, hikers and surfers, and has held onto its quaint charm. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts or camping spots so it makes an ideal location for a weekend break.
Hengistbury Head at Bournemouth is a superb choice for families; the pebble beach meanders gently around a pale-blue sea. The area is dotted with traditional multi-colored beach-huts which really add to its charm. The beach is surrounded by an unspoiled environment and has stunning views across the Dorset coastline.
Highcliffe Castle is a nearby rambling option (to break up your day at the beach) with its cliff-top grounds, ancient architecture and breath-taking view of the sea!
Cornwall, of course, has an expanse of beautiful beaches, which will leave most visitors utterly spoiled for choice. Penzance, the seaside town, has some of the best. The drawback – as the most westerly town in Cornwall – it’s quite a trek (for most) to get there.
On the plus side, it has a noticeably warmer climate and has a gorgeous Georgian high street speckled with quirky shops, art galleries and lovely places to eat and drink.
The area is dotted with great beaches, including Longrock Beach, which is perfect for families, and is close to the town of Penzance so isn’t a long walk from the action. Make sure you head to one of the restaurants in the town serving fish caught that day – a real treat!
Don’t write-off Britain as a destination for a coastal holiday. Check it out this summer and you’ll, without question, be glad you did…
(photo credit: 1)