Life’s a beach
We might not all be able to jet off to a sun-kissed beach in foreign climes this summer but that’s not to stop us feeling the sand between our toes at some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches.
Beyond highlights five of the best you can enjoy without having to leave the country.
Isle of Harris, Scotland
You may not think it, but the Scottish Highlands are home to some of the UK’s best beaches, with coastlines and landscapes that would rival the Caribbean. One such oasis of beauty is Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris which could be mistaken for the clear-blue seas of the Maldives. Situated on the west coast of South Harris, it’s easy to see why it was named one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
If this whets your appetite to explore Scotland’s coastal gems further, take a look at Sinclair’s Bay in Caithness or Sandwood Bay which has become a popular spot for wild camping.
Named a World Heritage Site in 2001, the Jurassic Coast that stretches between Devon and Dorset holds huge historical significance. The iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door on the Dorset leg of the coastline has been captured in many Instagram feeds in recent years and provides the backdrop to this stunning beach.
The rocks along the coastline capture 185 million years of the Earth’s history in their fossils and is now one of the UK’s beach hotspots. Other beautiful beaches in the area to explore are the Man O’ War Bay with its clear water, perfect for gentle swimming and paddling, and the picturesque Worbarrow Bay.
Isles of Scilly
The snow-white sands of Pentle bay look like an advert for the Indian Ocean, rather than a beautiful island off our own coastline. Located on the sheltered eastern coast of Tresco in the tiny archipelago of islands off the southwest coast of Cornwall, Pentle Bay is a favourite location of ours.
The draw of the Isles of Scilly lies in the 35 stunning beaches across the archipelago where you could find yourself with an entire stretch to yourself. Sit back, relax to the sound of the clear-blue waters washing up on the pure white sand, it can be the perfect romantic getaway or an idyllic spot for beachcombing and rock-pooling with the kids.
You’d go a long way to find a more iconic seaside holiday destination in the UK than Tenby. With the pretty winding streets pedestrianised in the summer months, cafes, restaurants and quaint shops, it’s got the makings of a picture-perfect postcard.
Although there are numerous beaches to choose from, Castle Beach recently claimed the Sunday Times Beach of the Year in 2019 making a great spot to take in the views of the colourful town and St Catherine’s island. However, if visiting with four-legged friends, Tenby’s South Beach is regarded to be the most pet-friendly with man’s best friend free to roam on parts of the sand.
An Area of Natural Beauty, the Northumberland Coast is the perfect spot to unwind, and for the more adventurous, to take part in some water sports. Capturing the wind, it creates the perfect conditions for surfing and windsurfing so no need to head down to the South Coast when this is just a few hours drive away.
Beadnell Bay has its own sailing club with the Farne Islands a popular spot from which to set sail. The Bay is also popular for water-skiing and wakeboarding but for those new to getting out on the water there are plenty of lessons and surf schools to choose from. If simply paddling and sunbathing is more your thing, with long stretches of sand along the coast, its also a great location for families looking to escape and relax, with numerous attractions nearby.