The 30 Best Beaches in the UK

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The UK Beaches Guide have put together our own collection of the best and most beautiful beaches in Britain as of 2024. However, we haven't just decided which on the top beaches ourselves - we've left that up to you. Glance over to the right and you will see the Beach Guide's list of the top 10 best beaches in the UK and Ireland by region. Feel free to have your say by rating any one of the 1,500 beaches listed on the website.

In addition to these beach ratings we have also included information on beaches that have received various awards for their cleanliness, facilities, accessibility etc.

The links below will take you through to the regions page which have the best beaches for each area of coastline in the UK.

Best Beaches in South West England

Woolacombe © Ian Woolcock | BY-SA

1. Woolacombe , Devon

Award-winning Woolacombe Beach is widely recognised as one of the best beaches in the UK. Located on the North Devon coast, between Croyde and Ilfracombe, the 3-mile sandy beach is popular with surfers and families looking for a traditional seaside experience.

Since 1848, the beach has been in the…

Best Beaches in South East England

West Wittering © Aurélien. | BY-SA

1. West Wittering , West Sussex

Located at the mouth of Chichester Harbour, West Wittering has an attractive sandy beach within a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The sloping sandy beach is lined with multi coloured beach huts (available to hire) in a relatively flat coastal area. 

Access is fairly easy over the sand dunes but there…

  • Camber Sands © All Rights Reserved | BY-SA

    2. Camber Sands

    Camber Sands is a little unusual for a Sussex beach and the reason is right there in the name. Yes, sand! Unlike most beaches along…

  • Wells / Holkham © Alan Reed | BY-SA

    3. Wells / Holkham

    Holkham beach is a widely recognised as being one of the finest beaches in Norfolk, if not England. The beach itself is a vast expanse…

Best Beaches in South Wales

Rhossili Bay © Roman Grac | BY-SA

1. Rhossili Bay , Glamorgan

Often described as one of the best beaches in Wales, one of the best beaches in the UK and even within the top ten beaches in the world, the stunning and wild Rhossili Bay is under the watchful care of the National Trust. 

Located on the southwestern tip of the…

  • Barafundle Bay © | BY-SA

    2. Barafundle Bay

    The small but perfectly formed Barafundle Bay was once a relatively little known gem of the Pembroke coast. Then all of a sudden everybody wanted…

  • Freshwater West © Mariosp | BY-SA

    3. Freshwater West

    Freshwater West Beach is a long strip of sandy beach which is backed by the extensive dune system of Broomhill Burrows. It is an area…

Best Beaches in Northern Scotland

Luskentyre © Helen Hotson | BY-SA

1. Luskentyre , Hebrides

Few people expect to find a beach like Luskentyre on the remote western side of the Isle of Harris. When the sun is shining and the tide is out the beach here is one of the most beautiful sights you will find anywhere; the water colour lies somewhere between aquamarine…

  • Seilebost © Chris Combe | BY-SA

    2. Seilebost

    The stretch of sand at Seilebost beach on the south side of Luskentyre Bay was once voted one of the top 10 best…

  • Achmelvich Bay © Paul Burnett | BY-SA

    3. 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…

Best Beaches in North East England

Bamburgh Castle © Rickbowden | BY-SA

1. Bamburgh Castle , Northumberland

Majestic Bamburgh Castle, once a Norman stronghold towers over the wide expanse of pristine, sandy beach, backed by sand dunes.

Bamburgh Castle beach is a perfect place to go for long, wind-swept walks at any time of year. The water temperatures don't really get particularly warm even in the…

  • Filey © Tim-hoggarth | BY-SA

    2. Filey

    The traditional seaside resort of Filey is less commercial than some of its East-Coast neighbours and is an ideal seaside location for young families or…

  • Scarborough © Airwolfhound | BY-SA

    3. Scarborough South Bay

    Scarborough is one of the UK's top seaside resorts and it's easy to see why.  Whatever your age, whatever your idea of what makes a…

Best Beaches in Northern Ireland

Whiterocks Beach © Albert Bridge | BY-SA

1. Whiterocks Beach , County Antrim

Whiterocks is a two mile stretch of sandy beach starting (or ends) in Portrush at the East Strand beach. The height of the waves makes Whiterocks popular with water sports enthusiasts, including anglers, bodyboarders, surfers, and surf kayakers. Equipment can be hired in season. There is an RNLI Lifeguard Service…

  • Downhill Strand © Kenneth Allen | BY-SA

    2. Downhill Strand

    Downhill Strand beach forms the eastern end of a magnificent 7 mile (11km) stretch of sand and surf centred on the town of Castlerock. The…

  • The Strand Portstewart © Des Colhoun | BY-SA

    3. The Strand Portstewart

    Widely regarded as one of the best beaches in Northern Ireland, Portstewart Strand is a long sandy beach perfect for sand castles, beach games, and…

Best Beaches in Southern Scotland

Lunan Bay © Ellen Munro | BY-SA

1. Lunan Bay , Tayside

Lunan Bay is a mile-long sandy beach, with a reputation as one of the best in Angus. It is set in a secluded, pretty, rural location, with a cave and arch at the northern end, and is divided in two by Lunan Water, backed by sand dunes. The beach is…
  • St Andrews West Sands © James Allan | BY-SA

    2. St Andrews West Sands

    West Sands is the largest and best-known beach in St Andrew's, surprisingly one of the sunniest and driest places in Britain.

    The south end of the…

  • Kingsbarns © Richard Law | BY-SA

    3. Kingsbarns

    Admirers of big skies and wide open spaces will enjoy Kingsbarns Beach, which can be found about 8 miles down the coast from St Andrews.…

Best Beaches in North Wales

Harlech © Interbeat | BY-SA

1. Harlech , Gwynedd

Harlech Beach provides a four-mile stretch of pristine golden sand, with stunning views of the Snowdonia mountain range. The beach is backed by grassy dunes. The Morfa Harlech National Nature Reserve at the north end of the beach is Wales’s only growing dune system and provides a good example of…
  • Benllech © Peter Barr | BY-SA

    2. Benllech

    Set on Anglesey's east coast, Benllech Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island. It has fine golden sand and clear Blue…

  • Llanddwyn Beach © Alan Fryer | BY-SA

    3. Llanddwyn Beach

    Llanddwyn is an excellent sandy beach backed by forest and extensive dunes, at the south-western tip of Anglesey. The beach includes a narrow peninsula (Llanddwyn…

Best Beaches in the Isle of Man

Ramsey © David Dixon | BY-SA

1. Ramsey , Isle of Man

Located just one minute away from the town centre of Ramsey, the Isle of Man's second largest town, Ramsey Beach is a sandy expanse and is reputedly one of the sunniest spots on the island. 

The beach is bordered on one side by an impressive, victorian era 2160 foot (600m) pier.…

  • Port Erin © Richard Hoare | BY-SA

    2. Port Erin

    Port Erin Bay is found on the south-western tip of the Isle of Man. The delightful sandy beach here curves around the bay in a…

  • Castletown © Kevin Rothwell | BY-SA

    3. Castletown

    The old Manx capital of Castletown lies in a large horseshoe-shaped bay and was built around the harbour at the mouth of the Silverburn river.


Best Beaches in North West England

St Bees © Reading Tom | BY-SA

1. St Bees , Cumbria

Stretching out below the dramatic headland of St Bees Head is a mile long sand and pebble beach. Stretching from South Head to Seamill lane, St Bees beach consists of a shingle bank which slopes down to an expanse of golden sand. The sand here is exposed at most states…
  • Formby © Cat_collector | BY-SA

    2. Formby

    Formby beach is a spacious stretch of beach backed by extensive sand dunes giving it a much more rural feel than its neighbours. Beyond the…

  • Blackpool Beach © Snaphappyuk | BY-SA

    3. Blackpool Beach

    Blackpool is, for better or worse, possibly the best known seaside resort in the UK. The beach and seafront here have been a major draw…