England's cleanest beaches revealed as 2018 Blue Flag award winners are announced

Dorset dominates with eight beaches under their jurisdiction scooping the prestigious Blue Flag award

Joanna Whitehead
Monday 22 October 2018 12:41 BST
Blackpool Sands, Devon
Blackpool Sands, Devon

England’s cleanest beaches have been revealed, with 65 awarded Blue Flag status today. A further 125 received a Seaside Award.

Dorset leads the way, with eight beaches scooping the prestigious Blue Flag award.

Overall, the south west region, incorporating Devon and Cornwall, had the most Blue Flag winners, with 26 awards dished out.

The Blue Flag is an international award and quality mark bestowed upon beaches. Blue Flag beaches are recognised for their cleanliness, safety and for meeting the highest environmental standards, as well as the toughest international water quality standards.

Blue Flag recipients are also required to host a minimum of five educational activities for the local community and visitors to increase awareness of the importance of caring for the natural environment.

Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England and celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline.

“Our success in being awarded so many Blue Flag and Seaside Awards confirm what we who live here already know – that Cornish beaches are among the best in the world,” said Cornwall council cabinet member, Sue James.

Whitby beach

Councillor Pat Oakley, responsible for tourism in Bournemouth, said: “Having been named the UK’s Best Seaside Town in the British Travel Awards 2017, we’re proud to have made this achievement in conjunction with our neighbours in Poole. This truly is the coast with the most!”

“This is fantastic news for residents and visitors alike,” said Councillor John Challinor, who holds responsibility for Tourism in Poole. “Whether you use the beach for work, rest or play, these awards demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety right across our 10-mile stretch of coastline.”

Keep Britain Tidy is the charity behind the scheme. Its chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said: “Blue Flag leads the fight-back for the Blue Planet. Our research shows that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of parents would prefer to visit beaches with Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, so growing the number of beaches with an award is vital to encourage more families to visit our beautiful coastline.

“Blue Flag and Seaside Awards set the standard for our beaches, including the war against the litter and plastic that does so much damage to our marine environment.”

The Blue Flag scheme began in 1987, when just 12 beaches were deemed worthy of the accolade. This number has now risen to 65, a drop of three from last year.

These are the Blue Flag 2018 winners:

East Midlands

Ingoldmells South

Central Beach, Mablethorpe

Skegness beach

Central Beach, Skegness

Central Beach, Sutton on Sea

East of England


Sea Palling



East Runton

West Runton

Mundesley beach, Norfolk

East Beach Shoeburyness

Shoebury Common

Thorpe Bay

Dovercourt Bay


Southwold Pier

North East

Tynemouth Longsands

King Edwards Bay

Whitley Bay

Sandhaven beach, South Shields

Sandhaven Bay



North West

Blackpool beach

Blackpool South



South East

Brighton Central

Hove Lawns


Marina St Leonards

Hayling Island Beachlands

Sheerness Beach

Botany Bay, Kent

Minster Leas

Leysdown Beach

Minnis Bay

West Bay

St Mildreds

Botany Bay

Margate Main Sands

Stone Bay

West Wittering Bay

South West

Blackpool Sands

Poole, Sandbanks Peninsular

Poole, Shore Road

Poole, Canford Cliffs

Poole, Branksome Chine

Alum Chine

Durley Chine

Blackpool Sands, Devon

Fisherman’s Walk


Carbis Bay



Great Western



Trevone Bay

Widemouth Bay

Sandy Bay

Challaborough Bay

Swanage Central

Dawlish Warren

Breakwater Beach

Meadfoot Beach

Oddicombe Beach

Westward Ho!

Weymouth Central

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