Lake Windemere

Best beaches near the Lake District

  • Share on Facebook

The Lake District, largest of the United Kingdom’s national parks, famously boasts 16 lakes (and many smaller tarns) and more than 150 high peaks. However, did you know that the surrounding area is also home to 30 listed beaches? You may not have heard of them, but there are some hidden gems to be found on Cumbria’s extensive coast.

Cumbria offers its visitors dozens of kilometres of coast and many of the best beaches near the Lake District are made up of a mixture of pebbles, mud and sand. While you may not be assured of resort-quality golden sands or even fantastic weather, what you can be certain of in the Lake District is the magnificence of the surrounding scenery. So, if you get sick of hills and mountains during your break in the Lakes, check out our list of the best beaches near the Lake District for some inspiration and get yourself to the coast.

1. Grange-over-Sands Beach, Grange-over-Sands

1. Grange-over-Sands Beach, Grange-over-Sands
Grange-over-Sands: whatever it is, it's worth exploring

11 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

Grange-over-Sands is, contrary to its name, not so much a beach but a wide expanse of saltmarsh. We do not recommend that you walk out onto the saltmarsh due to the dangerous quicksand, however strolling the long promenade that runs alongside it is an excellent way to spend an afternoon. The car-free promenade is bordered with beautiful flower beds and the way is flat and even, making it easy-going for prams or wheelchairs.

At Grange-over-Sands you will find plenty of spots to sit and look out over the scenic Morecombe Bay. There is also plenty to do here without an amusement arcade in sight, just quaint local cafes, a playground for kids, mini golf, tennis, and a football sport centre. The Grade II listed lido is now disused but there are plans to restore it.

2. Bardsea Beach, Bardsea

30 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

This beach is a wide expanse of shingle and sand positioned within the Sandscale Haws Nature Reserve. Strong currents make the sea unsuitable for swimming in, but the sand dunes and coastal scenery are stunning and well worth the trip out. Go hunting for driftwood and seashells amongst the shingle, enjoy a picnic or make the walk to the ancient stone circle at Birkrigg.

The coastal road runs alongside part of the beach where you will find plenty of free parking spots. There is also a chance of catching a van selling ice-creams, coffee and tea during the peak months. The journey by car from our Lakeland Holiday Park clocks in at under half an hour, so Bardsea Beach is one of our top recommendations for beaches near the Lake District for those looking for tranquillity and top-notch views.

3. Aldingham Beach, Aldingham

3. Aldingham Beach, Aldingham
Aldingham: an oasis of calm

35 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

Aldingham is home to a pebbled beach with rocks of many sizes and colours. Low tide also reveals a wide expanse of sand, but please avoid walking on the mudflats as the area can be dangerous due to quicksand and fast-incoming tides. Thanks to its excellent location on the eastern side of the Furness peninsula, Aldingham Beach offers scenic views over Morecambe Bay.

The area is famous for St Cuthbert’s church at the side of the bay which is reputedly the resting place of the saint himself. Access to the beach is via a narrow path that leads from the car park and through a wooded area.

4. Arnside Beach, Arnside

4. Arnside Beach, Arnside
Arnside: an alternative side of the Lake District

38 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

This beach is located next to the pretty village of Arnside which is a relatively short drive from our Lakeland Leisure Park. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the sunsets here are staggering with views out over Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland fells behind.

Due to its location on the estuary, visitors should beware that Arnside Beach is subject to fast, dangerous tides. The beach is not suitable for swimming, and you should only venture out on the sands on an organised walk or in the company of a personal guide. The lovely Victorian promenade is more suited to casual strolling, and it leads to a coastal path that is popular with dog walkers. We recommend making a call at the Arnside award-winning chippy for a snack or otherwise trying one of the fantastic local pubs. There are also art galleries and other quirky boutiques to while away the afternoon.

5. Earnse Bay, Walney Island

5. Earnse Bay, Walney Island
Earnse Bay at Walney Island: excellent come rain or shine

50 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

Walney is a lush, green, elongated island, swathed in beautiful white sands and clear blue waters that make for some of the best beaches near the Lake District. For this reason, thousands of holidaymakers cross over the Jubilee Bridge from Barrow-in-Furness on the south coast of the Lake District to Walney Island each year.

Earnse Bay is part of a glorious 11-mile stretch of sand dunes on the north side of Walney Island. The beach is a venue for national kitesurfing championships and is also popular with windsurfers. There are wonderful views of Black Combe and the Isle of Man, though this is obscured a little by wind turbines. There is a large free car park and public toilets available.

Discover breaks in Lake District

Lakeland self catering holidays

Lakeland, Lake District

4 nights from £69

6. Haverigg Beach, Millom

6. Haverigg Beach, Millom
Haverigg: a place to get away from it all

54 minutes from Lakeland Leisure Park

For a beach with a difference Haverigg is the place to go. This award-winning beach at the mouth of the Duddon Estuary is made up of a mix of sand, stones and dune-like areas which are perfect for walking and relaxing. You can also enjoy kite flying, watching the boats in the little lake, playing in the golden sands, or the kid’s play park, or even taking to the saddle to enjoy the majestic views on horseback.

The car park looks out over sea only about 10 feet above beach, but access is down a narrow, twisty, sandy slope that is not suitable for anyone that might have severe mobility issues. Please also note that the tide comes in very quickly here so please beware, so you do not get caught out, especially as the beach has a fair amount of quicksand further out. Make sure you don’t leave Haverigg Beach without having a hot drink and a slab of cake at the charming beach café that is run by locals. The nearby pretty fishing village of Millom with its newly refurbished lighthouse is also worth checking out before you head back to your caravan.

7. Ravenglass Beach, Ravenglass

7. Ravenglass Beach, Ravenglass
Ravenglass: stunning 360 degree surroundings

Lying the meeting point of three rivers, the village of Ravenglass in the Lake District is home to a picturesque beach that is famous for the former fishermen’s cottages that run along the seafront. Being on an estuary, the beach is a mixture of mud, shingle and sand.

Ravenglass’ proximity to the highlands of the Lake District means that your beach photos will come with a stunning mountain backdrop. It also means that walkers can choose from The Cumbria Coastal Way or heading up towards the peaks of the Lake District when selecting a walking route from Ravenglass. There is also a lovely circular family walk which takes in a Roman Bath House. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the ever-popular Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, one of the oldest and longest narrow-gauge railways in England. This is a large car park in the centre of the village, close to the shore and next to the mainline railway which has public toilets at its entrance.

8. Whitehaven Beach, Whitehaven

8. Whitehaven Beach, Whitehaven
Whitehaven: a town you must tick off your list

Whitehaven's beach is a small but scenic pebble and sand beach to the North of the Whitehaven, perfect for those looking for an atmospheric coastal walk away from the crowds. The area was once a bustling hub of mining and shipping and the historic harbour dating back to 1633 is testament to this. The harbour walls still provide good shelter from the wind for beachgoers and anglers alike.

Once you’ve had your fill of fresh sea air at one of the best beaches in the Lake District, why not explore the small Georgian town of Whitehaven? Not only does it have lovely architecture and convenient car parking but also some interesting museums and plenty of cafes, restaurants, and shops to browse.

9. Allonby Beach, Allonby

9. Allonby Beach, Allonby
Allonby: fashionable throughout the years

Allonby Beach is one of the best beaches near the Lake District - a mixture of shingle and sand with stunning views across the water to Scotland and miles of lovely scenery. The five-mile-wide stretch of beach leaves plenty of space for sunbathing and allows space for a quiet family trip. The waters of the bay are quite shallow and calm, so anglers and water-sport enthusiasts often frequent this spot along with the day-trippers.

The nearby village of Allonby was once a fashionable bathing resort and still retains some of the original buildings such as a former bathing house from the 18th-century which is well-worth visiting. The Cumbrian Coastal Path also passes through the village. If you choose to drive rather than walk however, there is free parking with easy access to the beach but unfortunately, the public toilets are currently close.

Start planning your Great British break

Important information

Brand new holiday homes from £34,995

Holiday home price is for a new 3-bedroom ABI New Horizon holiday home and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale. Subject to status and availability.   

As at 9 July 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Church Farm, Cala Gran, Cleethorpes Beach, Craig Tara, Far Grange, Golden Sands, Haggerston Castle, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Orchards, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Seashore, Seaview, Skegness and Thornwick Bay. 

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.  

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Pre-owned holiday homes from £19,995

Holiday home price is based on a Bronze Grade pre-owned holiday home 6 years or older and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale.  Subject to status and availability.   

As at 9 June 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Cala Gran, Church Farm, Cardigan View, Cleethorpes Beach, Craig Tara, Far Grange, Golden Sands, Haggerston Castle, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Orchards, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Riviere Sands, Seaview, Skegness and Thornwick Bay.   

Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times. Park cannot be used as a permanent residence.  

Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL.  We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Let2offset - make no site fee payments until 2031

Let2offset is a contractual lettings product that offers eligible owners a guaranteed letting income at a preferential rate (calculated each year) in exchange for a stipulated number of letting breaks. It also allows eligible owners to pay their site fees and receive their letting income in 12 equal monthly instalments; the monthly site fee amount charged by Haven will be after deduction of the letting income.

‘Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031’ is available at 33 Haven parks excluding Burnham, Cardigan View, Far Grange, Garreg Wen, Lydstep Beach, Riviere Sands and Seaview.  The letting income received will vary by make, model and location. The monthly site fee payment does not include running costs e.g. utilities, rates & insurance.

“Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” is applicable to new and existing customer purchases of new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed or equivalent or superior grade holiday home purchases made through Haven where customers have also signed up to Haven’s Let2offset contract. It is not applicable to private sales and cannot be used in conjunction with our free Site Fee promotion.  It is available across 40% of eligible Parks and applies when letting a new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home (or equivalent or superior grade for 15 weeks.

An example of how “Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” operates under Let2offset is the purchase of an Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home at Primrose Valley with a monthly site fee of £585.00 (includes purchasing discount of £45) and monthly letting income of £803.67. The monthly difference equates to £218.67, which will be credited to the owner's account. Both letting income and site fees are subject to yearly pricing reviews and the monthly site fee costs and letting income shown in the example are based on 2024 figures.

Modelled assumptions on expected annual site fee and letting income charges over the 7-year lettable life of the Atlas Sahara 3 Bed indicate that under Let2offset it is anticipated that these customers will continue to receive a monthly credit during this period, however, this is not guaranteed. The modelled assumptions are based on the historical performance of Haven over the past 5 years of trading.

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven). Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office: One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.

Get the latest Haven exclusives!

Receive Haven news and offers to your inbox

By providing your email address, you are consenting to being updated on all things Haven! Manage preferences via your account or by clicking the update preferences link in our emails. Privacy policy