Great Britain is home to exemplary beaches. With the lockdown restrictions ending on July 19 and Britain finally enjoying a heat wave, now is the time to embrace life and rush out to sea.
To help you choose the best stretch of sand, we asked our experts to recommend their favorite beaches across the country. Some of the nominations are deservedly popular spots along Britain’s south and west coasts, while others are wild and unspoiled, where even in the height of summer you can find a secluded spot under the cliffs or among the dunes. If you’re looking for more suggestions for wild and secluded places, check out our guide to Britain’s best secret and secluded beaches.
1. Watergate Bay, Newquay
Two miles of golden sand backed by cliffs and caves, where the Atlantic swells produce reliable waves and peregrine falcons, gulls and fulmars fly above. Spot strawberry anemones and crabs among the rock pools, take a cliff walk or book a surf or kitesurf lesson with the excellent Extreme Academy on the beach. (extremeacademy.co.uk).
Eat: Both overlooking the beach, Watchful Mary is currently making pizza to go while The Beach Hut bistro serves delicious fresh seafood – the squid and mussels fries are a must. (watergatebay.co.uk).
Stay: The Watergate Bay Hotel has a spectacular indoor swimming pool with sea views, many beautiful public areas and their spa “not a spa” now offers treatments. Read the full review.
2. Porthcurno, near Land’s End
Located beneath the clifftop Minack Theater, it’s arguably the county’s most beautiful bay – a sand funnel caught between lichen-encrusted granite cliffs. Easily accessible, it has fine white sand and is popular with families. It’s best at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay (one of which is nudist) and sit on sandbars under the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas, surrounded by Greek blue water.