Britain has over 10,000 miles of coastline and endless stunning beaches to discover. You probably won't have time to see all of them (in fact you definitely won't!), so we've picked out 5 of the best for you to explore on your next trip.
Bournemouth benefits from 7 miles of pure gold. Voted the UK’s number one beach resort (Trip Advisor 2012), its Blue Flag beaches and Green Flag gardens offer the perfect for space families to enjoy the best of the UK’s summer. It’s won awards for cleanliness and on a clear day you can see out to the Needles on the Isle of Wight. True, it’s not a deserted paradise, but as shown in the recent Bournemouth vs. Californiaviral video campaign, you can’t ask for much more so close to a major town.
West Wittering near Chichester manages to please all comers with expansive sands, superior water quality and a thriving dune ecosystem. The beach shelves gently towards the sea making it ideal for safe swimming and when the tide is out you can bask in shallow tidal pools warmed by the sun. If you feel restless you can walk around East Head, a sandy spit populated by absorbing coastal flora and fauna.
Not strictly a beach, Abereiddi Blue Lagoon is actually an old quarry with a tidal channel to the sea. The quarry forms a satisfying circle, protecting and enclosing a disc of shimmering azure water. It’s a romantic spot reached by walking past ruined slate workers’ cottages and quarry buildings. Surrounded by cliffs, it’s popular with cliff jumpers and coasteerers.
Just off the coast of Northumberland, Holy Island can be reached twice a day at low tide, via a mile-long paved causeway. The rugged beach (also known as Lindisfarne Beach) is a haven for marine life and little critters, which live among the dozens of rock pools. Meanwhile, the nearby Tudor castle is well worth a look, as is the ancient Pilgrims' Way, complete with handy refuge boxes for stranded walkers (who’ve lost track of the tidal times) en route. While on the island, don’t forget to indulge in one of the famous local crab sandwiches.
Holkham, in Norfolk’s east coast, you’ll find the same idyllic stretch of butterscotch sand from the closing scenes of rom-com-drama Shakespeare in Love. This spectacular beach, cradled by big blue skies, salt marshes and pine woodlands, is also part of the largest nature reserve in England, where sign-posted walks will lead you through an abundance of wild scenery. If you’ve got little people in tow, the shallow lagoons at high tide are safe, dinghy-friendly places to splash around in.