Time to stow your winter clothes, put on your favorite bathing suit and–weather permitting!–soak up the sun. Here’s a look at some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK!
Perhaps images of a beach filled with sunbathers aren’t the first thing to come to mind when one thinks of typical UK climes. However, the clouds do break up during the summer to reveal some of Europe’s best sandy beaches complete with sweeping cliffsides! So, please, on those gloriously sunny days, enjoy some of these beaches. Here are ten of our favorites!
1. Bigbury on Sea, South Devon, England
A wonderful location for family holidays due to its soft sand and shallow water, Bigbury on Sea boasts a variety of water sports such as kitesurfing, bodyboarding, surfing and more. Due to its popularity, the beach is manned by lifeguards from May through September and is bedecked with a solid selection of cafes and surf ‘n’ turf style restaurants, too.
2. Brighton Beach, Brighton, England
Take a break from the London rush and head to Brighton Beach. Slow down on the lovely seaside city of Brighton, just an hour from Big Smoke via train. Brighton beachgoers can go kayak, paddle board and sunbathe. Independent shops, restaurants, and long stretches of pebbled beach comprise the extensive boardwalk.
3. Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall, England
Characterized by stunning cliffs, sand dunes and big waves, Fistral Beach is a surfer’s paradise. In fact, all of the UK’s annual surfing competitions take place here. The beach’s seaside amenities such as showers, toilets, restaurants, cafes, shops and parking make it particularly well suited to families. Who knows? You might just inspire the next generation of surfers.
4. Rhos-y-Llan Beach, Gwynedd, Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales
Situated in the natural cove of Lleyn Peninsula in North Wales, the ruggedly beautiful Rhos-y-Llan Beach is small yet untouched. Close to Snowdonia National Park, Rhos-y-Llan offers a tranquil beach experience with campsites and cottages for rent nearby. Be sure to check the weather and the tides before you go, as there are no lifeguards on duty.
5. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Wales
Named the best beach in Europe–yes, in Europe!– by Suitcase Magazine as well as the recipient of a plethora of other distinctions during the last decade, Rhossili Bay is a stunner with sweeping views and approximately five kilometers of golden sand. The bay is also home to the mysterious landmark; Worms Head, a long headland historically named by Viking invaders that thought it looked like a giant sea serpent.
6. Sandwood Bay, Sutherland, Scotland
A remote natural bay northwest of the Scottish Highlands, the mysterious Sandwood Bay can only be reached by a six-and-a-half-kilometer path starting from the hamlet of Blairmore. Well worth the trek, the bay has been cloaked with legend for centuries due to its unparalleled views, rugged wilderness and North Atlantic location.
7. Murlough Bay, Northern Ireland
One of the filming locations from the hit HBO series Games of Thrones, Murlough Bay is situated on the Antrim coast, close to Ballycastle town. This remote and picturesque bay in Northern Ireland can only be accessed by the narrow Torr Head Scenic Route. Home to the breathtaking cliff face overlooking the beach, Fair Head rises 600 feet above sea level.
8. Glen Wyllin Beach, Isle of Man
Nestled in untouched woodland with Cooildarry Nature Reserve nearby and situated by a well-kept campsite, Glen Wyllin boasts spectacular night sky views. For natural camping with very little light pollution, this beach and the surrounding area offers some of the best camping, stargazing, hiking and waterfall spotting on the Isle of Man.
9. Fanore Beach, County Clare, Republic of Ireland
This extensive sandy beach that’s popular among swimmers is situated on Ireland’s west coast close to the lovely seaside village of Fanore. A wonderful spot for walking, cycling and fishing, swimming and more, this natural coast is also within a gorgeous thirty-five-minute drive from the Cliffs of Moher.
10. Keem Beach, County Mayo, Republic of Ireland
Cradled within Keem Bay on Achill Island, Ireland’s largest westernmost island, Keem Beach is a sandy paradise for beach-goers and hikers alike. Very popular in the summer, the beach is manned by a lifeguard and offers many facilities to visitors as well as optimal swimming conditions.