There are only so many French riviera towns and Greek island villages you can visit until you’re longing for a beach town that offers something completely different.
For that, the UK is perfect. Not the typical sunny beach holiday destination, the UK has some picturesque and wonderful beach towns that offer a unique and typically British experience.
Best Beach Towns in the UK
Walberswick, Suffolk, England
Not far from Southwold (another quaint beach town) is this picturesque beachfront hamlet just past the River Blyth.
To cross the river from the Southwold side to Walberswick you can take the row boat ferry or the bridge.
The small community is nestled in the idyllic Suffolk countryside. There is a harbor trail you can follow and several beautiful beaches almost overshadowed by forests.
The town has ancient ruins and the 15th century St. Andrew’s Church as well as cozy pubs serving local dishes.
From the 13th century until World War I Walberwick was a major trading port but now half the houses in the town are holiday homes and the tourist industry is the heart of this great beach town.
The town has marshlands and heath which attracts flocks of birds and the town is surrounded by protected wetlands.
Walberswick is also a popular spot for celebrity holiday homes. In August the town hosts the British Open Crabbing Championships where the prize goes to the one who catches the largest crab within 90 minutes!
Camusdarach, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Travelers come to this beach near to Morar and Glenancross in the Highlands for the wide windswept beach of white sand facing the Isle of Egg.
The beach was the location for the filming of Local Hero. The austere landscape and stunning sunsets makes this a quiet peaceful beach town perfect for long walks on the beach and getting back to nature.
Woolacombe, Devon, England
This is a beach town for those who really want to spend their time on the sand and in the sea, unlike other towns on this list where the focus is more on the town itself, Woolacombe is all about the beach!
It is known as a good surfer’s beach and you can get lessons here. The Blue Flag beach runs for 2 miles and in the summer can get crowded with people enjoying both the family atmosphere and the perfect surroundings.
If you prefer a more secluded stretch of sand then walk along the coast to discover some of the hidden coves.
You can take boat excursions out on the open sea to see dolphins, seals and maybe even sharks. Above the water on the cliff tops is a path following the edge of the cliffs and in and around the town are marked cycle routes.
In July Woolacombe hosts the Woolacombe International Sandcastle Competition.
Margate, Kent, England
This is one of England’s typical seaside towns like Brighton, Blackpool and Ramsgate. The town has been a magnet for tourists for the last 250 years and was once a thriving port city.
Today many historic buildings remind us of the town’s illustrious past and the Victorian pier gives the seafront a certain elegance.
One of the town’s attractions is the Shell Grotto, a Grade I listed building of unknown origin. Inside the rooms and tunnels the walls are covered with over 190m² of shells. Also in the town you can see a 16th century timber framed Tudor house.
Margate has a Blue Flag beach where you can swim and take surf lessons. You can discover the place where the Vikings landed by following the Viking Coastal Trail past historic buildings and magnificent Kent countryside.
For those seeking culture there is the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery and the Margate Museum. The Theatre Royal is the 2ndoldest theatre in the UK. The Tom Thumb Theatre is the 2nd smallest theatre in the country.
Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This is a fortified Norman town with picture perfect Georgian buildings colored in a rainbow of pastels.
Many of the small narrow lanes are pedestrian-only and perfect for exploring the unique stores and tearooms.
Facing the sea are rolling dunes which break onto the Blue Flag beaches considered some of the best in the country.
Tenby is at the entrance to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park so you can connect up with the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path which can be followed from Tenby to Pembroke. Take a boat trip to Caldey Island.
On the island you can visit the Cistercian Abbey, see a large seal community or sun yourself on Priory Beach.
(photo credit: 1)