Sykes’ guide to the UK’s best beaches

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For the majority of us Brits, the sea rouses memories of childhood holidays- digging in the sand, paddling in the surf and devouring innumerable 99s. But just what is it about our coastline that lures us back time and time again? As an island nation, we’re blessed with some of the world’s most beautiful beaches- over 600 of them to be exact. Of those, 150 have been granted Blue Flag classification; guaranteeing great facilities, cleanliness and safety. Couple this with the fact that the furthest you will ever be from the coast in Britain is two hours, and you have your answer as to why our love affair with the sea has endured for centuries.

Here at Sykes Cottages, we think we know Britain’s beaches pretty well, having provided quality coastal cottages beside them for over 25 years. From Dorset to Donegal, if you want to be beside the sea on your UK holiday, then we’ll more than likely have a beachfront holiday home to suit you. For those of you who aren’t sure which beach you’d like to be beside next summer, we’re here to help with our definitive guide to Britain’s beaches. And, because we’re in the know about what our customers want from their summer holiday, we’ve provided a selection of the beaches that we think are great for a number of different breaks, including family holidays, romantic weekends, surfing adventures and beach holidays with your four legged friend.

Best Beach for Families

Winner: Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Crystal clear, azure waters; spellbinding limestone cliffs; hidden coves and creeks teeming with wildlife- these are but a few of the things which make Barafundle Bay the perfect beach for a family holiday. For the sun worshipping mum to the apprehensive young swimmer, the golden sands and safe waters of this isolated bay are sure to be a winner.

Alternatively…
For an entirely different family holiday by the sea, head to South Bay in Scarborough, where you’ll find a plethora of beachfront eateries, souvenir shops and amusement arcades, as well as a ribbon of soft sand that’s ideal for sunbathing!

Best Beach for Couples

Winner: Newborough Warren, Anglesey

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

At over 2,000 hectares, it’s easy for couples to find some privacy on Newborough Warren beach. Enclosed in dense woodlands and boasting hypnotic views of the Menai Strait and Snowdonia, this evocative expanse of dunes seems as endless as a starry night’s sky.

Alternatively…
Head to Scotland’s most Northerly coast to experience the wild, windswept and devastatingly beautiful Sandwood Bay. Home to nothing but myth, legend and the odd seal, this isolated cove is thought to be one of Britain’s most idyllic swathes of sand.

Best Dog Friendly Beach

Winner: Porthluney Cove, Cornwall

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

Privately owned and managed, Porthluney Cove is an expansive stretch of golden sand that welcomes dogs at any time of year. Man and beast will relish the opportunity to fetch a Frisbee or two on Porthluney’s spacious sands; whilst a stroll around the grounds of Caerhays Castle offers an illuminating respite from all the seaside silliness.

Alternatively…
Hop aboard a ferry with your four legged pal to walk with dinosaurs at Compton Bay on the Isle of Wight. Famed for its prehistoric footprints, this gently shelving beach is ideal for long walks with your beloved pooch by your side.

Best Beach for Surfing

Winner: Bundoran Beach, County Donegal

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

If you’re looking for big swells and spectacular surroundings, there’s really no where better than Bundoran Beach in County Donegal. Listed as one of the top twenty surfing towns in the world by National Geographic, Bundoran trumps other surf spots thanks to its spacious sands and hulking great Atlantic breakers.

Alternatively…
If you’re new to the surfing scene, one of the best beaches from which to hone your skills is Saunton Sands in Devon. Benefiting from gentle, rolling waves and a long stretch of soft sand, Saunton is ideal for both the novice wave rider and the lazy spectator who’d rather tuck into a good book!

Book a coastal cottage with Sykes Cottages

Via Flickr

Via Flickr

So, what’s it going to be? A fleeting weekend break on the dunes of Anglesey? A seven night surfing bonanza on the West Coast of Ireland? Or a cosy family holiday in Pembrokeshire? Whatever you want from your holiday by the sea, we’re here to find you a coastal holiday cottage that’s within a stone’s throw from your preferred patch of sand. Simply visit the Sykes website today to choose your favourite; but remember, our summer holiday cottages are booking up faster than we can say ‘bucket and spade’, so be sure to reserve yours today to dodge disappointment!

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Jonathan Tuplin

By Jonathan Tuplin

Jonathan is a lover of books, music and good food. Originally from Yorkshire, there's nothing he likes more than a cycle in the country. One of his favourite spots in the UK is Tenby, where he spent many a happy holiday as a child.

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