Most beautiful beaches in the UK from white sands to dramatic coastlines

The UK is filled with ridiculously beautiful beaches, whether you’re after picture-perfect golden sands, rugged coastlines, or Caribbean-worthy shores with white sands and turquoise waters.

It’s therefore no surprise that when the glorious summer sunshine hits, you’ll find Brits flocking to their nearest beach to soak up the great weather, and the views.

While there are heaps of beautiful coastal spots, there are some beaches that never fail to floor both locals and visitors with their spectacular settings.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve picked out 10 of the UK’s most beautiful beaches you’ll want to add to the staycation bucket list.

Check out our top picks below…

1. Rhossili Bay , Gower Peninsula

Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower Peninsula, Wales.
Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower Peninsula, Wales.

With over three miles of unspoiled powdered sands, turquoise waters and lush green backdrops, it’s no wonder Rhossili Bay regularly features on guides to the UK’s best beaches. Located on the Gower Peninsula, the best time to explore is at low tide, and there’s a vast expanse of sandy shore.

2. Durdle Door Beach, Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset in UK, Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site
Durdle Door in Dorset

Durdle Door beach is famed for the impressive limestone rock arch that’s an iconic part of the Jurassic Coast, not to mention the surrounding chalk cliffs that add to the spectacular settings. The beach is open year-round and it can get quite busy during the summer, but it’s well worth leaving space on the itinerary to go and check out the surroundings.

3. Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Kynance Cove beach
Kynance Cove beach

This National Trust site on the Lizard Peninsula looks like it could be straight out of the Caribbean with its white sands and swim-friendly crystalline waters. During the summer holidays the beach can get pretty busy, but even during the winter it’s well worth having a leisurely stroll along the sands for the views.

4. Pentle Bay, Isles of Scilly

Pentle Bay
Pentle Bay

If you’re after white sands, crystalline waters and breathtaking surroundings, Pentle Bay ticks all of the boxes. It’s one for adventurers thanks to its remote location on the east coast of Tresco, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular coastal views, as well as picturesque sand dunes and shallow waters. For those planning a trip, Tripadvisor has a handy guide to the best places to stay on the Isle of Scilly.

5. Barafundle Bay , Pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire
Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire

Intrepid explorers can get their fill at this breathtaking bay in Pembrokeshire, from the sandy dunes that surround the shores to the pine tree-filled scenery. There’s something storybook-worthy about this beautiful bay with its golden sands and remote location (if you do plan a trip, it’s worth noting the beach doesn’t have any facilities).

6. Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall

Porthcurno beach
Porthcurno beach

Porthcurno regularly features on lists of the UK’s most spectacular beaches, with its Caribbean-esque soft white sands or the crystal-clear waters where you can enjoy a paddle. For those who like to do some exploring, Cornwall’s famous Minack Theatre is nearby, tucked away amidst the surrounding cliffs.

7. Woolacombe Sands, Devon

Woolacombe Sands in Devon
Woolacombe Sands in Devon

A popular spot with families during the holidays, Woolacombe has a large stretch of sand and swim-friendly waters, not to mention plenty of rock pools for little adventurers. There are plenty of holiday parks nearby including the Woolacombe Holiday Park itself, as well as sites from Hoseasons and Parkdean Resorts.

8. Three Cliffs Bay, Wales

Aerial view of Three Cliffs Bay at low tide
Aerial view of Three Cliffs Bay at low tide

As the name suggests, it’s the rugged coastline that makes this bay in Swansea stand out from other beaches. Expect limestone cliffs, sand dunes and even salt marshes on a day out at this hotspot – it’s part of the Gower Coast Path so it’s often a hit with hikers and ramblers. However, the strong tides mean that this isn’t a swim-friendly spot.

9. Luskentyre Sands & Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris

Seilebost Beach on Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland
Seilebost Beach on Harris in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland

Thanks to its very remote location in the Outer Hebrides, this beach is unspoiled, and you’ll rarely meet other people while wandering around. The beautiful beach is home to heaps of birds, while the rocky landscape and bursts of greenery will leave you feeling like you’ve wandered into a real-life fairytale.

10. Balnakeil Beach, Scotland

Balnakeil beach
Balnakeil beach

This wide white sand bay is surrounded by impressive sand dunes, with plenty of birds and other wildlife to be found. If you’re only stopping by, try and time it for sunset – the beach itself looks like something out of a storybook against the colourful skies.

Looking for more inspiration?

If you’re after a beach day but none of the above quite fit the bill, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also got guides to the best family-friendly beaches, dog-friendly beaches and even the most popular seaside towns for a getaway.

You may also want to check out our sister site 2Chill where holidaymakers are sharing their top recommendations on the best things to see and do as well as where to eat and drink in their chosen destination.

Is there a beach you think we’ve missed off the list? Let us know in the comments below.




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