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CF's Summer Guide

12 Of The UK's Best Beaches For Summer

The UK has much more to offer than we jet-setters sometimes can imagine. These are some of the UK’s best beaches for summer 2023.

Sandy white beaches, cheerful bird song, and trees swaying in the summer breeze. Grab your flip flops and sunhat and set off on a road trip to one of these beachside resorts and coastal towns this summer. These are the UK’s best beach destinations.

Isles Of Scilly, Cornwall

You don’t need to venture to the Caribbean for idyllic beaches. Cornwall is already renowned for its spectacular seascapes and the Isles of Scilly are just a short boat ride away. With over 140 islands – only five of which are inhabited – it’s the perfect place for chasing summer. On a summer day, venture across the vast archipelago and explore one of its many secluded bays.

Brancaster Beach, Norfolk

Norfolk’s impeccable natural scenery and royal attractions set the county apart from other British holiday destinations. Whether you wish to be a royal for the day by exploring the lush grounds of Sandringham Estate, voyage through the Norfolk countryside on one of the many train lines, or head to the beach for a day (or two), Norfolk proves to be a sweet retreat for both families and couples keen to escape their day-to-day grind. Follow the advice of Rose and Lucia Keene, founders of TROY London, and head to Brancaster Beach for ice cream. 

Salcombe, Devon

In not-so-hidden Devon, Salcombe is a popular destination for UK sailing fanatics. With breathtaking views and some of the most impressive villas in the country, this is the perfect place to sit back and soak up the sun – preferably on a yacht with prosecco chilling in a silver bucket nearby.

Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Vibrantly painted and lined by a pleasing harbour, this Pembrokeshire town’s four kilometres of sands are frequently featured as one of the UK’s best beaches, and attract visitors from all corners. For those keen to switch off, Tenby’s wholesome atmosphere makes it impossible not to sit back, relax and admire the liveliness of this Welsh town.

St Ives, Cornwall

Best known for spectacular surf beaches and a booming art scene (and, of course, the rich and creamy soaps and scrubs it is named after), St Ives in Cornwall nurtures the eyes and the soul. Its four main beaches, including Porthmeor overlooking the Atlantic, make for an unforgettable getaway. On top of this, visit St Ives’ very own Tate Gallery and the Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary for more entertainment. We also recommend a boat trip to admire the stunning Cornish surroundings.

Brighton and Hove, East Sussex

Ideal for the avid British holiday goer, Brighton and its neighbouring area Hove, are not only a stunning seaside retreat but also a cultural hub for anyone wishing to broaden their horizons this summer. The beach may be stony but, unlike the quieter and less populated seaside resorts in the UK, Brighton is more suited towards the active adventurer with surrounding national parks, nature trails and a vibrant nightlife. Brighton exudes originality and the Brighton Palace Pier, the Royal Pavilion and the largest marina in the UK are just some of the reasons it’s worth adding to your summer travels bucket list.

Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Aldeburgh’s colourful houses, fishing boats, and honey-hued beaches make for an elegant contrast to the quaint cottages of its Suffolk backcountry. Be sure to stroll around the local area’s umpteen small boutiques, natural food stores and locally-run restaurants that are scattered across town.

Padstow, Cornwall

A laidback fishing town on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast, few would expect Padstow to live up to the standards of a Filipino Eden. Yet, its charming harbour, green cliffs, and sunshine shores have made it a favourite amongst the creative set. The best part? It is also known as Cornwall’s foodie capital, so you may just spend your evenings chasing Michelin stars across town.

Portmeirion, North Wales

Portmeirion offers visitors a taste of la dolce vita. Constructed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in Northern Wales, this quaint, Italian-style village and resort, boasts everything from cosy hotels to sleek spas. While it does not fully replace strolling around an Umbrian village, it remains a lovely weekend getaway.

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Another Cornwall favourite, Kynance Cove’s impressive rock formations stand proudly along a stretch of the cerulean blue sea making it one of the UK’s best beaches. This pocket of sunshine is easily accessible by car and as a bonus – there’s no limit to the luggage you can take with you.

Jurassic Coast, Dorset and Devon

Picture-perfect, the Jurassic Coast ticks all the boxes for a beautifully British summer. Feast your eyes on 95 miles of expansive coastal views and explore the beauty of the much-adored Durdle Door. Not only is this coast visually enjoyable, but it is also rich in history; as its name hints, the Jurassic Coast is an iconic site featuring remains from the prehistoric era. Offering a unique fossil-hunting experience suitable for all ages, this really is a family adventure of dreams.

Bridport, Dorset

With towering syrup-hued cliffs and beautiful clear waters, Bridport-neighbouring West Bay in Dorset is a stretch lined with cliffs and dunes and an ideal seaside location for family holidays. Enjoy coastal walks and strolls around the harbour, stopping for ice cream or fish and chips along the way.

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