10 of the best UK diving beaches

  • Fairy Cove ©

    1. Fairy Cove

    Tucked away, just behind Paignton harbour wall is the little red sand beach of Fairy Cove. 

    This pretty little spot is a world away from the main beach, just the other side of the harbour. Backed by sandstone cliffs and the…

  • Penzance ©

    2. Penzance Beach

    There are a couple of areas that could be described as beaches between Penzance harbour and the end of the Promenade at Wherrytown.

    At lower tides there is a small band of sand and shingle running along the front of the Promenade.…

  • Beadnell Bay ©

    3. Beadnell Bay

    Beadnell Bay is a wide, sandy beach in a horseshoe shaped bay just south of the village of Beadnell. The glorious golden sand, curves around the bay forming a natural harbour. To the rear of the beach are grassy sand dunes and fields…

  • South Beach ©

    4. South Beach (Studland)

    South Beach, on the Studland Peninsula is a sheltered cove where a 2km stretch of sand slopes gently into the sea.  It is popular with families with young children as the waters of the bay are relatively shallow.  South Beach…

  • Kimmeridge Bay ©

    5. Kimmeridge Bay

    If you're interested in marine wildlife, Kimmeridge Bay is one of the best destinations in the country. The beach here is the best place to access the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve. With an absence of sand the water visibility at…

  • Stackpole Quay ©

    6. Stackpole Quay Beach

    Set along a stretch of coast best known for its beautiful sandy beaches is this hidden gem. Nestled in a gap in the wooded cliffs, this little cove is home to a small pebble…

  • Chesil Cove ©

    7. Chesil Cove

    Chesil Cove is the southern extremity of the twenty-nine kilometer pebble bank known as Chesil Beach.

    The Cove is very popular with scuba divers, especially those with less experience, as the waters are shallow, with little tidal…

  • St Brides Haven ©

    8. St Brides Haven Beach

    St Brides Haven a pretty shingle and pebble beach set in a sheltered inlet . Facing north-west the beach is protected from the worst of the prevailing winds. 

    looking down from the northern side are a clutch of cottages and…

  • Gruinard Beach ©

    9. Gruinard Beach

    Gruinard is a stunning, secluded beach with delightful views of the surrounding rugged countryside and across Gruinard Bay to the Coigach Hills and to Gruinard Island. Apart from the magnificent scenery, it is known for its crystal…

  • Achmelvich Bay ©

    10. Achmelvich Bay

    Beautiful Achmelvich Beach looks across the bay to the coastal village of Lochinver with the islands of Lewis and Harris just offshore. 

    This is a beautiful sheltered beach on the rural west coast. A large crescent of white…