Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

England’s cleanest blue flag beaches 2022

The South West of England had the most clean beaches

Cathy Adams
Friday 15 July 2022 16:22 BST
Bournemouth has 10 miles of sandy beach
Bournemouth has 10 miles of sandy beach (Poole Tourism)

England’s cleanest beaches have been revealed, with the largest number in the South West.

Seventy-one beaches from across the country were awarded Blue Flag status, an international mark from the Foundation for Environmental Education that deems seashores as being clean, safe, environmentally friendly and having great facilities.

The South West had the most Blue Flag beaches in England, with 32 of its seashores winning the award, while Yorkshire and the Humber had just one.

In the East Midlands, five beaches were awarded Blue Flags; in the East of England there were 12; in the North East there were six; and in the South East there were 15 winners.

English favourites that were awarded Blue Flag status include Brighton, Whitby, Cromer, Cleethorpes and Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, 137 beaches across the country were presented with a Seaside Award. Run by Keep Britain Tidy, the national Seaside Awards rewards high-quality beaches in England with good water quality.

The 71 beaches with Blue Flag status and the 137 Seaside Awards represent an increase of 18 from 2018.

“Visiting beaches with the Blue Flag or Seaside Award status means beach-goers can feel more relaxed in a setting that is environmentally considerate,” said Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton.

“We as individuals feel emotionally connected to the environment more than ever, with so many experiencing eco-anxiety. Keep Britain Tidy continues to push for more environmentally responsible beaches, where visitors needn’t feel this stress.

“We’re incredibly pleased to have even more winners this year than last, proving the great dedication of the beach staff. From environmental education for the local community and ensuring responsible beach use, to cleaning regimes and an increasing number of recycling facilities, it is a full-time commitment to create beaches worthy of the awards.

“Thanks to the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, visitors can be reassured their destination is cared for and they will be able to help maintain the high standards of these awards thanks to their environmental initiatives.”

England’s Blue Flag-awarded beaches by region

East Midlands

Ingoldmells South

Central Beach, Mablethorpe

Central Beach, Skegness

Central Beach, Sutton on Sea

Cleethorpes Central

East of England


Sea Palling



East Runton

West Runton

East Beach Shoeburyness

Shoebury Common

Thorpe Bay

Three Shells Beach

Dovercourt Bay


North East

Tynemouth Longsands

King Edwards Bay

Whitley Bay



Saltburn by the Sea

Yorkshire & Humber


South East

Brighton Central

Hove Lawns


Marina St Leonards

Hayling Island Beachlands

Sheerness Beach

Minster Leas

Minnis Bay

West Bay

St Mildreds

Botany Bay

Margate Main Sands

Stone Bay

Westbrook Bay

West Wittering Beach

South West

Blackpool Sands

Poole, Sandbanks Peninsular

Poole, Shore Road

Poole, Canford Cliffs

Poole, Branksome Chine

Alum Chine

Bournemouth Manor Steps

Durley Chine

Fisherman’s Walk


Carbis Bay



Great Western


Trevone Bay

Widemouth Bay

Sandy Bay

Exmouth East

Challaborough Bay

Croyde Bay

Swanage Central

Dawlish Warren

Teignmouth Town

Breakwater Beach


Meadfoot Beach

Oddicombe Beach

Preston Sands

Torre Abbey Sands

Westward Ho!

Weymouth Central

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in