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England's best beaches: Blue Flag and Seaside Award winners announced

The Isle of Wight has taken home the highest number of awards this year

Beaches across England have been recognised for both their cleanliness and the quality of their water, with the Isle of Wight taking home the highest number of Blue Flags and Seaside Awards for 2014.

In total, 168 awards were given to English beaches by Keep Britain Tidy (KBT). Blue Flags were awarded to 56 beaches while 112 picked up the Seaside Award.

The awards recognise "high standards of management, cleanliness and safety", according to KBT. This year the water quality was judged against the EC Bathing Water Directive, which the group said requires meeting “the very highest international standards”.

Thanet in Kent has claimed the title for the most Blue Flag beaches with seven, closely followed by Poole, Torbay, Bournemouth and Isle of Wight which received four each.

Richard McIlwain, Programmes Director for the charity Keep Britain Tidy, which is responsible for the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards in England, said: “It’s fantastic news for everyone who loves visiting the seaside that more than 160 awards have been won by beaches, which guarantees the public the best facilities and the cleanest beaches this summer.

“The sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives visitors the reassurance that they’ll have a great time.”

The Blue Flag beaches for 2014 are as follows:

  • East Midlands: Mablethorpe Central , Skegness Central, Sutton-on-Sea and Cleethorpes North Promenade
  • East of England: Cromer, Sea Palling, Sheringham, Mundesley, Martello Bay in Clacton on Sea, Dovercourt Bay, Brightlingsea, Frinton On Sea, Southwold Pier and South Claremont Pier in Lowestoft
  • North East: Tynemouth Longsands, King Edwards Bay, Whitley Bay, Sandhaven
  • Yorkshire: North Bay in Scarborough, Whitby and Hornsea
  • South East: Littlehampton Coastguards, Tankerton, Hayling Island Beachlands, Sandown, Ventnor, Yaverland, Colwell, Sheerness Beach, Minnis Bay, West Bay, St Mildreds, Westbrook Bay, Botany Bay, Joss Bay, Stone Bay, West Wittering
  • South West: Blackpool Sands, Sandbanks, Shore Road, Canford Cliffs and Branksome Chine in Poole, Alum Chine, Durley Chine, Fisherman's Walk and Southbourne in Bournemouth, Carbis Bay, Sandy Bay, Salcombe South Sands, Swanage Central, Dawlish Warren, Breakwater, Broadsands, Meadfoot, Oddicombe and Westward Ho!