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With summer just around the corner, beach holidays in the UK are soon approaching. Our guide to seaside staycations features all you need to know when it comes to planning your getaway.

Get ready to uncover more than just answers to commonly asked questions! We’re thrilled to showcase the most stunning coastal towns and breath-taking beaches in not just one, but 12 magnificent destinations.

From the golden sands of Cornwall to the rugged shores of Scotland, the UK offers a diverse range of beach destinations that are sure to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your shades, and get ready for a memorable beach holiday in the UK!

Keep reading to be wowed by these beach holidays in the UK…

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UK Beach Holiday FAQs
12 Best Beach Holidays in the UK

UK Beach Holiday FAQs

What to pack for a UK beach holiday?

We have found the basics you need to take with you on a beach holiday in the UK: Beach bag, suncream, water bottle, beach towel(s), beach mat, sun hat, sunglasses, swimming costume, beach shoes and a windproof umbrella.

How to save money on a UK beach holiday?

If you’re trying to save money during a beach holiday, we have a handy tip to keep in mind. Holiday closer to home by enjoying a seaside staycation; why not do it at one of the UK’s best value staycation spots, such as Blackpool or Whitby?

12 Best Beach Holidays in the UK

12. East Sussex

aerial view of hastings

Ranked 12th on our list of beach holidays in the UK is the southern county of East Sussex! This county is home to several coastal resorts that you should visit this summer.

The major beach resort here is Eastbourne, a bustling town enjoying traditional beachfront amusements and charming architecture. Make the most of Eastbourne Pier’s attractions, tour the Tower Eastbourne gallery, and, of course, soak up the rays on the beach.

Hastings is a hotspot for a beach outing here, where another exciting pier awaits. After checking out the pier and lengthy shingle beach, why not treat yourself to an alfresco lunch at Alexandra Park?

Top Coastal Sights in East Sussex

  • Camber Sands, one of the best beaches in the UK, is a shore you should have at the top of your beach itinerary here! Fabulous surfing conditions, scenic sand dunes and a nearby nature reserve make this a special spot.
  • The Seven Sisters Cliffs are another eye-catching sight during a UK beach holiday. These chalk cliffs are truly remarkable, featuring ample wildlife habitats and great photo opportunities!

11. Norfolk

Cromer, Norfolk Coast

Fancy a trip to the Norfolk coast this year? We couldn’t recommend it enough! With so many sights to enjoy along this stretch of the east coast, this beach holiday in the UK will be a memorable one.

If you’re after a relaxing beach day, head to Wells-next-the-Sea. Not only does this port town feature several independent shops and eateries but it houses a nature reserve with extensive sands. If you’re up for the walk, why not hike along Beach Road to the welcoming Wells-next-the-Sea Beach Café?

More coastal fun awaits in Cromer, where Cromer Pier provides plenty of entertainment. Expect lively shows and various eateries here. The pebbled delight of Cromer Beach is well worth a visit, especially during low tide; this is when a large expanse of sand appears! Cromer Beach is just one of the many stunning beaches in Norfolk!

Top Coastal Sights in Norfolk

  • Holkham‘s beach is a stunning spot for a beach day in Norfolk, boasting soft sands and charming beach huts. Why not explore the Holkham Meals nature reserve whilst you’re here?
  • The Brittania Pier in Great Yarmouth is an ideal attraction for all the family, featuring arcades, child-friendly rides and theatre shows. There are a handful of great food venues too, including the American Burger Bar.

10. North Yorkshire

whitby, yorkshire coast

North Yorkshire is full of varied landscapes; however, it is most renowned for its beautiful coast! Stretching for over 45 miles, you can easily enjoy a memorable UK beach holiday here.

One of the best resorts here must be Whitby. Not only does the town sport a family-friendly beach with amazing views but there is plenty to get up to here. Climb the 199 Steps to Whitby Abbey, and soak up the sights at the Whalebone Arch.

For even more fun during holidays on the beach in the UK, we recommend booking a stay at Scarborough. This seaside town is jam-packed with attractions you’ll adore, including Peasholm Park and SEA LIFE Scarborough, and of course, its beaches.

Looking for a more tranquil outing here? Filey is a great location, offering a charming beach and amazing walks along Filey Brigg.

Top Coastal Sights in North Yorkshire

  • Want to enjoy a piece of history and superb sea views? Head to Scarborough Castle, a set of ruins that date back 3,000 years. Not only is it open daily but it allows dogs. Which is perfect if you’re on a seaside holiday in the UK with your pooch.
  • If you love hiking, we recommend embarking on a walk along the Cleveland Way. It’s a very long path at 109 miles, but it’s definitely worth tackling parts of it as the views along the coast are unrivalled!

9. Anglesey

llandwyn island, anglesey

Anglesey was guaranteed to make our guide to seaside holidays in the UK; this island is packed with coastal sights and beach resorts for you to discover. There are 17 beaches on the Isle of Anglesey – how many will you visit during a getaway?

One of the most popular UK beach holiday spots on the island is Rhosneigr. The village rests by Traeth Crigyl and Traeth Llydan; both beaches are wonderful for outings, offering great watersports conditions and access to Rhosneigr’s eateries.

Another coastal holiday in the UK you should try is a Benllech getaway. Boasting a wide shore, Traeth Benllech, many memorable beach days await here. The beach not only enjoys great facilities but boasts rock pools and fantastic shells; the kids will love it!

Another must-visit location here is Trearddur Bay. Traeth Trearddur is a magnificent beach; perfect for sunbathers and watersports enthusiasts alike. The beach also enjoys access to the Isle of Anglesey Coast Path, which is bound to delight hikers and cyclists.

Top Coastal Sights in Anglesey

  • If you want to be immersed in wildlife, head to Maes Parcio Bryn Aber. An abundance of birds has made this shingle beach their home, including the sandwich tern.
  • The iconic Traeth Llanddwyn, one of the best beaches in Wales, should be at the top of your UK beach holiday itinerary. Shallow waters, golden sand and magnificent views over to the neighbouring Ynys Llanddwyn await.

8. Isle of Skye

claigan coral beach, isle of skye

If a secluded beach holiday in the UK sounds up your street, be sure to book a trip to the Isle of Skye! This beautiful, Scottish island is full of splendid coastal sights and beaches for you to add to unveil.

The village of Uig rests on the west coast of Skye, featuring an attractive harbour and a small beach for you to explore. If you want to venture to some stunning wild places near Uig, why not take a break from the coast and go for a dip in The Fairy Glen, one of Scotland’s wild swimming spots?

Another coastal location you should visit is Staffin, where the scenic Isle of Skye beach of An Corran awaits! Here, you’ll not only enjoy views of Staffin Island but will get to see Jurassic dinosaur footprints up close.

Top Coastal Sights on the Isle of Skye

  • One of the most stunning beaches in Scotland, Claigan Coral Beach is a remote set of sand offering astounding views of sea birds and seals. At low tide, you can even walk to the adjacent island!
  • Camas Daraich, also known as Sound of Sleat Beach, sits on the southern tip of Skye. A true coastal gem, you can look forward to white sands and stunning hikes to the Point of Sleat here.

7. North Wales

Barmouth beach, Snowdonia, Gwynedd

It’s no secret that North Wales is a superb location for a beach holiday in the UK, thanks to its 250 miles worth of coastline and 30+ beaches. Shingle delights, stunning resorts and Irish Sea views await you on a break near North Wales beaches.

If you’re enjoying a UK coastal holiday with the family, why not head to Colwyn Bay? The sandy shores of Colwyn Bay Beach are perfect for paddling and sunbathing, whilst the town itself offers up the must-visit delights of the Welsh Mountain Zoo and Eirias Park.

Looking for another traditional seaside outing? Venture to Barmouth, where the stunning Traeth Abermaw Beach can be found. Whilst you’re here you can embark on the Panorama Walk, go crabbing at the harbour or get the boat to Fairbourne.

The Llŷn Peninsula is an ideal staycation choice, offering up a handful of delightful beaches, including Aberdaron Beach and Llanbedrog Beach. You can explore these and more during a hike along the peninsula’s coastal path.

Top Coastal Sights in North Wales

  • When it comes to one of the prettiest beaches in North Wales, Harlech Beach takes the cake! This four-mile stretch of sand welcomes dogs throughout the year and has access to the towering Harlech Castle.
  • Portmeirion is one of the best seaside spts in the UK. This Italianate village is full of vibrant architecture and is within reach of the sandy Afon Dwyryd estuary. A walk through the woodland here is a must, where you’ll come across Portmeirion Lighthouse and The Dancing Tree.

6. Suffolk

Southwold, Suffolk

When it comes to a quintessentially British beach holiday, Suffolk has you covered. With 50 miles of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and heritage coastline, this scenic county offers plenty of options.

One of the most popular UK coastal holiday destinations in Suffolk is Southwold. Characterised by its pier, it’s a brilliant location for a traditional outing on the coast. You can enjoy pier amusements, beachfront walks, and putting at Southwold Golf Club.

Thorpeness is a delightful place for a beach holiday in the UK. Embark on a walk from Aldeburgh along the coast and come across Thorpeness’ shingle beach before exploring the village’s Dutch-style buildings. Be sure to keep an eye out for the House in the Clouds, too!

Top Coastal Sights in Suffolk

  • If a calm day out on the shore is something you love, you should check out Dunwich Beach. This shingle gem stretches for miles; perfect for walks.
  • Orford Ness is a National Trust site, comprising wetland, sand, three walking trails and ample wildlife. Come here to escape the hustle and bustle whilst uncovering historic buildings, such as the quirky Orfordness Beacon.

5. Northumberland

bamburgh beach with the castle in the distance

Northumberland is a highly sought-after beach holiday in the UK, and it’s easy to see why. A wealth of dog-friendly beaches, enchanting bays and abundant wildlife make this part of the country so special.

Bamburgh is a favourite when it comes to coastal breaks in Northumberland. Whilst the village is known for its castle, Bamburgh Beach makes for an exceptional outing here, too. If you fancy a walk, we recommend venturing along the sands and up to the clifftop museum of Bamburgh Lighthouse.

The sands of Bamburgh stretch along the coast to Seahouses, another beachfront gem. The former fishing village backs onto the shores of the Annstead Dunes Nature Reserve, a coastal hiking area. It’s also possible to embark on a boat tour from the harbour and around Inner Farne Lighthouse – ideal if you love sailing!

Another scenic outing awaits at Warkworth, home to an impressive castle, alongside a lengthy beach with access to Warkworth Golf Club. Here, you can tee off over views of the North Sea.

Top Coastal Sights in Northumberland

  • When it comes to sandy shores and amazing sights, Budle Bay is the place to go. The bay is one mile wide, making it a favoured spot by local birds, anglers and sailing enthusiasts.
  • If you want to view local art and savour sea views at the same time, head to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea‘s beach, where you’ll spot The Couple Statue. If you come during high tide, it looks like the couple is standing on the waves!

4. Isle of Wight

Shanklin Beach on the Isle of Wight

Being the largest island in England, I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise that the Isle of Wight boasts a wealth of beaches. With welcoming resorts and 20 sets of sand, it’s a wonderful location for a seaside holiday in the UK.

One of the best Isle of Wight beaches is in Sandown. Providing all you need for a traditional beach day, Sandown has a gorgeous sandy beach complemented by a vibrant pier and a wealth of amusements, including the Dinosaur Museum.

Ryde is another location to add to your Isle of Wight beach getaway. The thriving town enjoys a mixture of sandy beaches and Victorian architecture. When you can tear yourself away from Ryde’s coast, why not tour the fascinating Isle of Wight Bus and Coach Museum?

Another highlight of the Isle of Wight is its rail system; it makes visiting seaside resorts during a UK coastal holiday here incredibly easy!

Top Coastal Sights on the Isle of Wight

  • A gem of a shore, Shanklin Beach should be the first spot you visit during your coastal getaway here. Boat rentals, cabanas and a bustling esplanade are just a few reasons why it’s special.
  • The Needles Landmark Attraction is the perfect place for a family outing along the island’s coast. Here, you can treat the little ones to a day of crazy golf, cable car rides and 20-minute cruises.

3. Dorset

chesil beach, isle of portland

For the top three regions for beach holidays in the UK, we’re taking you to the South West. Dorset‘s in third place, and rightly so! This glorious county is abundant with beaches, geological gems and coastal hikes.

If you’re looking for a slice of paradise, venture to the Isle of Portland. This craggy isle off the south coast features a handful of villages enjoying panoramic coastal views. Chiswell on Portland is a must-visit location, within easy reach of Chesil Beach and the historic gem of Portland Castle.

Fancy a bit of fossil hunting during your beach holiday? Venture to Lyme Regis, a seaside town housing the fossil hot spots of Lyme Regis Beach and The Dinosaurland & Fossil Museum.

For a fun-filled outing in Dorset, Bournemouth should be at the top of your list. This resort is packed with beaches, from Sandbanks Beach to Hengistbury Head Beach. When it comes to beachfront amusements, the piers of Bournemouth and Boscombe are well worth visiting, along with the Bournemouth Parks.

Top Coastal Sights in Dorset

  • Durdle Door is one of the most iconic limestone formations and should be the first thing you see on a UK beach holiday in Dorset. This gem is a great photo opportunity and pit stop along the South West Coast Path.
  • Lulworth Cove is another distinctive sight on the Dorset coast. The horseshoe harbour is perfect for wild swimming, complete with a pebbled beach for you to unwind on after a dip.

2. Devon

summerleaze beach, devon

Taking silver is Devon! This seaside holiday destination was bound to be a hit with all the family, thanks to its wealth of Devon beaches at your disposal.

A gorgeous location for a beach holiday in Devon must be Croyde. The village rests on the west coast of the county, boasting access to the charming Putsborough Beach and the birdwatching hotspot of Baggy Point.

Sitting slightly further along the coast is Woolacombe, a seaside resort you won’t want to miss! Woolacombe Beach and Barricane Beach promise wonderful seaside outings here and long walks along the coast to Morte Point can also be enjoyed.

If attraction-filled outings are on the agenda, make your way to Paignton and Torquay. Both towns feature so much to do, from Paignton Zoo to Babbacombe Model Village.

Top Coastal Sights in Devon

  • Coleton Fishacre rests moments from the coast. A must-see National Trust gem, it dates back to the 1920s and boasts amazing interiors as well as eye-catching gardens.
  • Saunton Sands is the perfect place for watersports and relaxation. Why not enjoy a spot of surfing here before stopping at the Beachside Grill for a bite to eat?

1. Cornwall

st ives, cornwall uk

The top spot for beach holidays in the UK is Cornwall! A truly outstanding location for a seaside getaway, there are over 300 beaches in Cornwall for you to uncover.

Want to enjoy the great culture and multiple beaches in one location? Check out St Ives. Here, you’ll find several beaches including Bamaluz Beach and Porthminster Beach alongside a range of galleries, from the Tate to the Barbara Hepworth Museum & Sculpture Garden.

Bude is another coastal town to visit here, offering access to the sandy delight of Summerleaze Beach. Bude Sea Pool and The Castle Bude are a couple of attractions you can enjoy after savouring the sun and sand.

Love surfing? Newquay is the UK beach holiday destination for you. Newquay Beach and Fistral Beach enjoy great surf conditions, so catching the waves will be a breeze. Afterwards, why not embark on a walk to the hidden cove of Little Fistral Beach?

Top Coastal Sights in Cornwall

  • If an attraction on the tip of Cornwall’s coast is something you’re interested in, we recommend going to Land’s End. A farm park, animal centre, exhibitions and film shows are just a few of the attractions here.
  • Carbis Bay Beach is amongst the most stunning sets of sand in the county. This sheltered bay not only offers lengthy, white sands but is moments away from a spa and watersports centre!

If you’re inspired by these beach holidays in the UK, why not enjoy one yourself by booking a stay at one of these beach cottages in the UK? Plan even more seaside escapes using our UK Beach Holidays guide. If the weather isn’t on your side, check out our rainy day guide to seaside towns.

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