Ainsdale is a real Lancashire gem. South of Southport, the beach attracts visitors from far and wide. They come for the extensive sand oasis that extends for miles along the Irish Sea coastline. If you fancy a stroll, the beach at Formby is its neighbour, and is another one of Lancashire’s most desirable locations. Ainsdale’s credentials don’t go unnoticed. It’s the sole recipient of a Blue Flag Award in North West England and has a Quality Coast stamp to its name. Top-notch facilities tie in with superior water quality to ensure Ainsdale maintains this title. And the beach doesn’t just attract humans. The nearby nature reserve covers over 900 acres of sand dunes and is home to numerous plants and animals.
Beaches in England
England is home to over 55 million people and over 30,000km of coastline. Historic towns, metropolitan hubs and rural masterpieces cover the coastal area, each having a beach to tie in with the feel of the place. In this guide of beaches in England, there are representatives from the north, east, south and west, each representing all that’s great about the English seaside. Whether you’re planning a week away or a day out, there is something on this list for you and the family. Vibrant hubs, rural hideaways and quaint villages are all covered in this special list of modern-day English beaches. And with our Haven parks spread across the country, you’re never far from a great overnight stay just a short distance from one of these suitable stretches of sand.
Bamburgh Castle Beach
Bamburgh Castle Beach is dominated by you guessed it, the imposing castle that keeps watch over this part of the Northumberland coast. Sandy and backed by grass, the beach is humongous and sits alongside one of the North Sea’s choppiest areas. You’ll spot the serene Farne Islands being battered by waves in the distance, with their number relying on the height of the tide. The best views come from the castle grounds themselves though, and it’s incredible to think that the structure has existed in some capacity for well over 1,000 years. The impressive remnants of the structure stand 150 feet above sea level, giving you an idea of how it’s protected the British coast for centuries. Bamburgh isn’t just a historic beach in England for medieval times either. It was also where the world’s first lifeboat set sail in 1786.
Coves Haven Beach, Holy Island
It just so happens that Coves Haven follows Bamburgh alphabetically on this list of beaches in England and it’s also a stone’s throw away out from the Northumbrian mainland’s coast. The beach is one of the most unique in the whole country, sitting on the secluded Lindisfarne Island that sits less than aa 1km away from the mainland. The journey here is stunning, with the island accessible at low tide by a scenic road that runs through the exposed mudflats. Backed by cliffs, the beach is largely sheltered from the high winds that batter what is also known as Holy Island. With a population of under 200 people, the area never gets busy, giving all the family plenty of space to roam. Dogs are also welcome all year round.
Durdle Door Beach
There are few prettier sights than Durdle Door basking in all its glory with a sunny backdrop. In fact, the sun isn’t really needed to make this natural phenomenon memorable to all those that set eyes on it. The natural wonder was created by millions of years’ worth of erosion, and waves continue crashing up against it to this day. The sand is a perfect place to park yourself and admire the Door and its surroundings. Summer evenings here are amazing, especially at the sun disappears behind the robust rocky structure. This geography also attracts snorkelers and experienced swimmers keen on investigating the rocky depths. This South West wonder gives you one of the most picture-perfect experiences of any beach in England.
Dymchurch attracts many thousands of visitors all year round but avoids the over commercialised feeling of many other beach towns on the south coast. Its proximity to London makes it a viable day trip for those residing in the capital and the home counties and is one of the closest points in the UK to France. On a clear day you’ll see the outline of the country’s north coast in the distance as you traverse along the modern sea wall. This is a great walking route between Hythe and St. Mary’s Bay, with high tide encompassing most of the beach for an hour or two. When it goes out, the contrast couldn’t be greater. There are tons of space for relaxing and several pools of water to paddle in. When you’re done, grab some fish and chips from the town or one of the stands dotted along the cute promenade.
One of Cornwall and the country’s finest, Perranporth Beach stretches for miles along Cornwall’s north coast. Such is the amount of space, in quieter periods you’ll feel like you have the sand to yourself, a relatively uncommon feeling in many other parts of England. Its proximity to the wild Atlantic becomes abundantly clear before you set foot on the sand, with crashing waves attracting surfers from far and wide. When the tide is out, head down to Ligger Point. For a spot of food or a cheeky drink, head into the cute village and sample some authentic Cornish delights. The fantastic Watering Hole pub is another great option, sitting prestigiously on the beach itself.
Robin Hood’s Bay Beach
Robin Hood’s Bay is a magnet for photographers. Magnificent waves crash against rugged cliffs creating incredible opportunities to capture the natural landscape. It’s unsurprising that beach is just one component of a vast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Low tide reveals even more, with cute rock pools and small pools of water that are ideal for dipping your toes in.
You’re at the coastal edge of the North York Moors Park here, and you’ll see lush greenery extending as far as the land will take it. Charming Whitby is also only down the road, an ideal host for some world-famous fish and chips. Before you get to Whitby, you'll navigate through incredibly narrow streets that take you back up the windy hills. The present-day charm of these masks the area’s history as a haven for smugglers. The only clue comes in the form of tunnels that secretly connected the beach with the town. You’ll see these from the sand today.
Scarborough is one of England’s most famous seaside towns and has a beach to match. 60,000 people call this place home, with the population swelling in the summer months, when it becomes one of Yorkshire’s hubs for a peak-season staycation. The beach is formed by two parts, each running parallel to Scarborough’s promenade. Either way, you’ll be just a short walk from the heart of this vibrant town, with all the restaurants, bakeries and boutique eateries that dot the streets. You’ll spot Scarborough’s medieval fortress sitting on the horizon, with the English Heritage landmark another attraction for tourists. This appropriately divides Scarborough’s north and south bays.
West Wittering is a consistent name when it comes to beaches in England, and the curious geography of the area goes some way to explaining why. The beach sits within a prestigious position at the bottom of Chichester Harbour, overlooking the vast English Channel. Hampshire’s Hayling Island is to the west across a picturesque bay. Another on this list with prestige, West Wittering is the centrepiece in a lush Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its climate is one of the best in England, on the higher than average where the sun is out, there is plenty of space to stretch out and bask in the rays. An abundance of facilities add to your comfort, in this, Sussex’s extreme western corner.
Woolacombe Beach, Devon, England
Woolacombe is never far from the top when it comes to beaches in England. This Devon masterpiece would be one of the frontrunners in showcasing the country as a beach destination. Its position on the county’s north coast makes it another haven for surfers. It’s dotted with handy facilities, giving young and old from far and wide the seaside experience we all crave from time to time. Another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a stroll along the South West Coastal Path allows you to experience it in all its glory. You’ll see the lovely Lundy Island in the distance, and memorials hark back to the beach’s role in training US troops during the Second World War.
Aldeburgh perfectly complements the charming town it’s named after. The quaint coastal wonder is home to historic buildings, tasty seafood and an impressive marina. The 17th-century Moot Hall backs directly onto the beach, where you’ll also find some of the freshest produce from any fishmongers. A further stroll along this primarily-shingle beach brings you to a converted windmill, and you’ll see the scenic area where the River Alde meets the North Sea. This area is a haven for water sports, with sailboats making this part of the water home. Continue along this stretch and you’ll end up in Slaughden, a narrow peninsula appropriately home to some very fancy yachts.
West Kirby Beach
West Kirby is one of the Wirral’s many selling points. It’s a lovely seaside town with an equally beautiful stretch of sand. Just a short drive from Liverpool, it’s great for a day out or weekend away. Vast dunes stretch out far into the Irish Sea, with the north coast closer than it seems in the distance. You’ll also see the Hilbre Islands, accessible by land for every seven in 12 hours when the tide is low enough. The beach isn’t the widest at 300 metres long, but rarely gets too busy. Ask any local and they’ll you they’re grateful to have this lovely facility on their doorstep. There is an abundance of parking for visitors, and dogs and handily allowed at all times of the year.