Beaches in England

Best beaches in England

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Ah, England. One of the world’s most famous countries with bags of history, arts, culture and sport tied to its name. Beaches might not be the first thing that springs to mind, but we’re out to change that with our handpicked list of the best beaches in England.

Dotted across the country, there are representatives from north, east, south and west. Some of these have been named amongst Europe and even the world’s best beaches. A great mixture of classic seaside character with stunning scenery helped win these special beaches a place on this list. Traditional seaside towns couple with remote beauty to bring you everything needed in a potential beach holiday. And with many of our Haven parks a stone’s throw away from this selection, you won’t be far from a great place to stay overnight and lengthen your seaside staycation. 

Bamburgh Castle Beach

Whiterocks Beach

Bamburgh Castle Beach combines spectacular coastline with incredible history to entice its visitors and win it a place on our list of the best beaches in England. The beach is huge and overlooks the wild North Sea. The untouched Farne Islands join it on the horizon, with the number of them in view depending on the level of the tide. As you walk along this windy but wondrous coastline, you’ll often spot surfers taking advantage of some of the best conditions in England’s North East.

We couldn’t leave Bamburgh without mentioning its castle in more detail. A physical snapshot of this centuries-old structure lives long in the memory. Known to have stood in some shape or form for nearly 1,400 years, the grounds at present span nine acres and stand tall at a level of 150 feet above the coast. Although the present day-peace stands in stark contrast to the castle’s original purpose, it's easy to imagine the strategic importance of this structure that dominates the local coastline. Not just one for medieval history, the beach always played home to the world’s original lifeboat.

Robin Hood’s Bay Beach

Robin Hood's Bay Beach

Robin Hood’s Bay is up there with the very best. Situated within an area of outstanding scenery, this isn’t just one of the best beaches in Yorkshire but undoubtedly one of the best beaches in England. The sand is a magnet for photographers, with panoramic views and rugged cliffs also playing host to walkers. The bay isn’t a million miles away from Whitby, a busier and more famous neighbour.

The beach is at its best when low tide reveals exposed rock pools and small puddles of water that are ideal for little ones to paddle in. You’re also a stone’s throw away from the North York Moors Park, lush greenery that practically extends to the North Sea coastline. This area is also known as the Dinosaur Coast for the footprints it contains from the Jurassic Period. In the 18th-century, Robin Hood’s Bay was a smuggler’s paradise. Tunnels lead from the sand up to the village, a reminder that vast coast and narrow street’s charm used to attractive for a different reason! There is a route from the beach that you can follow today

Scarborough Beach

Scarborough Beach

A beach in a brilliant British coastal town that is home to over 60,000 people had to make the list of the best beaches in England. The array of amenities on hand for visitors to this North East wonder is spectacular, with the promenade playing host to attractions that are a great day out in themselves, regardless of whether you set foot on the sand. Restaurants, pubs, ice cream stands and even the all-important fish and chips are top-notch. This is the one of the go-to places in Yorkshire for seafood too.

The beach itself is divided into two long stretches of sand that run in line with Scarborough’s seafront. You’ll be just steps from the most vibrant part of the town. Fittingly, the town’s medieval fortress stands tall over the coastline. The English Heritage-run site is a magnet for tourists. Its grounds offer eye-catching views of the North Sea. The sea itself is calm and ideal for a paddle. A beach that welcomes all with open arms, it charms everyone from pensioners right the way down to toddlers.

Ainsdale Beach

Ainsdale Beach

Ainsdale is generally regarded as the best beach in Lancashire, so it’s more than worthy of a place on the list of best beaches in England. This haven of sand extends for miles along the Irish Sea coastline. It’s another one of our quieter batch of beaches, nestled in between the large towns of Southport and Formby, with vibrant Liverpool also not too far away. Its prestige doesn’t go unnoticed, with the beach being the only one in North West England to have a Blue Flag title to its name.

For an area surrounded by relatively built-up settlements, Ainsdale Beach impressively plays host to one of the largest areas of unspoilt dune land left in the whole country. In this respect, it’s a special area of beauty with wildlife unspoilt by the beach’s popularity with humans. Amongst our species, kite flying is particularly popular here with all ages, with a handy area for kite buggies set aside. It has something for all ages, attracting visitors near and far.

Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe Beach

Woolacombe is right at the top of the tree when it comes to the best beaches in England. It’s fair to say that if there was an English representative at a beach world championships, Woolacombe would be one of the front runners for selection. Situated of the scenic north coast of Devon, the beach is a surfer’s paradise. It’s mix of handy facilities means it’s great for families too, giving people the quintessential seaside experience they crave.

The views from this beach are stunning, putting into perspective why the stretch of sand is located within one of England’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Stroll from Woolacombe along the South West Coastal Path for a great view of Lundy Island. A remote outpost, it stuns in the sunset and is home to seals and puffins. Another beach that’s played its part in history, Woolacombe was used as a replica for Normandy and trained the US Army’s amphibious landings before the famous battle in 1944.

Durdle Door Beach

Durdle Door Beach

A beach that plays host to one of English tourism’s most iconic backdrops simply had to be on the list of best beaches in England. The wondrous archway created by millions of years of waves is one of the most photographed places in the whole country. It stands at the bottom of a challenging path that can be navigated by some wooden steps. As you head down to the beach, be sure to get your camera out.

The sandy stretch itself acts as a great setting to absorb the salty sea air. It’s one of the best beaches we can think of for an evening feast, especially as the sun disappears behind the famous arch. The water is crystal clear and is popular with experienced swimmers and snorkelers who investigate the coast’s rocky depths. When you’re done on the beach, go for a stroll to Man’o’War Bay and top off one of the best experiences the South West of England has up its sleeve.

Aldeburgh Beach

Aldeburgh Beach

Aldeburgh has a truly unique character trait when it comes to the seaside. Suffolk’s jewel in the crown combines stunning maritime scenery out at sea and inland, with the coastal marina filled with yachts, canoes and kayaks. This grows in prominence as you get closer to where the River Alde merges with the sea, just a five-minute walk from the quaint heart of the town. You can continue stretching your legs along the narrow strip of land down to Slaughden, appropriately home to sailing and yacht clubs.

The beach itself backs directly onto the town, with the shingle playing host to a number of boutique seafood stands and fishmongers. The fish and chips come highly recommended- grab some and look out to the North Sea. Eccentric buildings add character to the coastline and represent the rich history of the area in spectacular fashion. The headline is the 17th-century Moot Hall, with Martello Tower and converted windmill along the shoreline. For a mixture of culture and scenery, Aldeburgh wins its place on the list of best beaches in England with ease.

West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach

You couldn’t ask for a better location that West Wittering’s. South of Chichester Harbour, the beach overlooks the English Channel to the south and the pretty Hayling Island to the west. A flat coastal area with idyllic surroundings, the beach is a Site of Special Scientific Interest south of a lush Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. West Wittering really does hold all the titles! The generous space the beach gives visitors is ideal for a sunbathe in this, one of England’s warmest areas. Paddling comes to life when the tide goes out, with shallow lagoons giving kids a great place to explore.

Sprinkled with facilities, West Wittering is comfortable for any visitor. Colourful huts are joined by food stands to give beachgoers a place to sit back and relax. Lifeguards, deck chairs and ample parking are on hand during peak season to make this sandy stretch a genuine option for a whole day at the seaside. You’ll see an abundance of wildlife around the place, with the area a haven for birds. West Wittering has all the ingredients needed to make it one of the best beaches in England.