People often say the UK is cold, wet and miserable, but they're clearly forgetting about the warm, inviting, Great British summer (and the ten days of it we get a year).
From the places with stunning natural beauty, to coastal retreats great for activities such as surfing or walking, make the most of these sunny days by visiting one of the many beautiful beaches our island is home to.
Best beaches in the UK
Best beaches in the UK
1/10 Barafundle Beach, Pembrokeshire
Previously a privately owned beach, Barafundle Beach is now open to the public. The solitary patch of sand that makes the bay is set between cliffs to the north and south and is surrounded by areas of rural beauty with few urban areas surrounding it. The lack of beach side facilities - while irritating for those in need - does mean the beach is often deserted - so it's a great location to avoid noise.
2/10 Lansallos Bay, Cornwall
A small, enclosed, and peaceful bay in Cornwall, perfect for anyone craving quiet from noisy tourists. Lansallos Bay is great for swimming thanks to the calm waters and is also dog friendly. The bay is slightly secluded yet near enough to some towns and the Killigarth holiday park to make nearby stays comfortable.
3/10 Holkham Bay, Norfolk
Holkham Bay is located in Norfolk, about an hour's drive from Norwich. This bay stretches for miles on end with little urban interference, which many will appreciate. With beautiful, (but often bleak) scenery it's a great location for long walks rather than the usual not-doing-anything-on-a-sun-lounger.
4/10 Rhosilli Bay, Swansea
Located in South-West Wales this gorgeous three-mile beach is a great spot for beauty thanks to surrounding cliffs and fields. A natural unspoiled location that’s also popular for water-sports, in-particular surfing. Rhosilli Bay is accessible from the small village of Rhosilli but could easily be reached from the nearby Swansea if you fancy a more traditional hotel location.
5/10 Camber Sands, Sussex
This is the closest the UK gets to the hot, golden, beach stereotype Hollywood has so kindly given us to feel jealous of over the years. Camber Sands of East Sussex stretches seven miles and trades in the traditional British pebbles for stretching golden sand dunes. Go there for a sunset walk on a hot day and you might just forget you were ever in Britain.
6/10 Porthminster Beach, Cornwall
Another much loved Cornish beach near the busy town of St Ives. This popular tourist location is home to a wide stretch of beautiful white sands and (on a good day) blue sea. Near to several shops and restaurants it’s a great choice for a family outing.
7/10 Nairn Beach, Nairnshire
On the small coastal town of Nairn, Scotland lays Nairn Beach. If you are comfortable with the proud northern traditions of cold and rain then you will be able to appreciate the quiet scenic beauty of this open sandy beach.
8/10 Brighton Beach, East Sussex
Brighton Beach is a fairly simple stretch, but the brilliant surrounding city and extending pier attraction means it makes its way onto the list. Brighton is a busy coastal city, very popular with tourists and filled with great restaurants, shops and accommodation all in close proximity to the beach. Plenty of great places to stroll along the beach and on-the-whole calm waters for swimming make it a great summer destination.
9/10 Sandwood Bay Beach, Sutherland
A picturesque desolate beach about as far north in Scotland you can go. At this beach you trade comfort and warmth for a striking natural landscape of white sandy dunes and cliff views.
10/10 Blackpool Sands, Devon
South Devon is home to a beautiful sandy, sheltered bay. This crescent beach is a popular tourist destination for those who want an exotic, sunny location without having to wait for the passport office to sort that renewal out. A great spot for swimming due to clean and calm surrounding waters.
Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales used to be privately owned - now the public can enjoy its rural beauty and relaxing location. Camber Sands, in Sussex, looks like something from a Hollywood movie – with traditional British pebbles and stretching golden sand dunes. There’s a chance you could forget you’re in the UK in Blackpool Sands, Devon. With its exotic scenery – it’s also a great spot for swimming due to the clean and calm waters. Our list also includes Holkham Bay in Norfolk, which is perfect for long walks, the enclosed and secluded Lansallos Bay, in Cornwall, the quiet and beautiful Nairn Beach in Nairnshire in Scotland – and Sandwood Bay Beach, even further north in Sutherland- one more in Wales in the form of the gorgeous Rhosilli Bay in Swansea, and a couple of popular tourist destinations such as Porthminster Beach in Cornwall and Brighton Beach in East Sussex.
Take a look through our gallery above, you might just be surprised at what you can find in the UK.Reuse content