Beaches in the UK

The top beaches in the UK for summer and all year round!

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Here at Haven, we understand that no escape to the coast is complete without a top UK beach to match.

Nothing beats a good day out to the seaside, and the UK is full of options that will both entice and surprise you. This extra special shortlist covers every corner of the country, from stunning Sussex on the south coast to the wonderful west of Scotland. We’ve included some hidden gems alongside some real national institutions. It’s time to set the sun on your Spanish siesta and pack your bags for a Great British staycation!

West Wittering Beach, Sussex

West Wittering Beach, Sussex

This has to be in the list of top beaches in the UK. West Wittering is neatly positioned at the mouth of Chichester Harbour in Sussex. The coastline it sits on marries up nicely with a Site of Special Scientific Interest inland. Sandy and slopy, the beach is ideal for paddling and water sports. Its large space gives you the chance to stretch out and sunbathe, weather permitting of course! Shallow lagoons form when the tide is out, giving little ones an ideal space to play.

Facing the picture-perfect Solent, you’ll even catch a glimpse of the Isle of Wight in the distance.

Great Yarmouth South Beach, Norfolk

Great Yarmouth South Beach, Norfolk

The South Beach of this British seaside favourite gives visitors all the benefits of the Central Beach, minus the crowds. Neatly positioned on a large stretch of land between Wellington Pier and the River Ware’s mouth, it's still within walking distance of Great Yarmouth’s amusements. You’ll see the pier in the distance, with the pleasure beach’s rollercoaster also on the horizon as you traverse the sand.

Great for relaxation during the summer, the beach also plays host to a great wintery walk along the Norfolk coastline.

Woolacombe Beach, Devon

Woolacombe Beach, Devon

The rugged cliffs, surfing waves and expansive views made Woolacombe Beach in Devon a must on the list of top beaches in the UK. Overlooked by the South West Coast Path, the beach has incredible views out to Bristol Channel and the mysterious Lundy Island.

Seaside shops, cafés and restaurants make this one of the most kitted out beaches of its kind, with everything within reaching distance - meaning you can devote hour after hour to relaxing on the sand. The beach is also written into the history books, with it playing host to US Army amphibious landing training during the Second World War.

Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire

Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire

The aptly named Freshwater West on the exposed Irish Sea coast of Wales is another stretch of sand with a colourful history behind it. It once served as a smuggler’s paradise, thanks to its secluded location and the rugged terrain that surrounds it. Today, that forms part of the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

Popular with surfers, the beach may also look familiar if you’re a film buff. The beach was used to bury Dobby, Harry Potter’s house elf, in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’. There was once even a gravestone that attracted more than a few avid Potter pilgrims!

Ayr Beach, Scotland

 Ayr Beach, Scotland

Ayr Beach is a tale of two halves. Looking out towards the Firth of Clyde, it gives visitors a great view of the rural Isle of Arran, a real picture of beauty on the west coast of Scotland. Inland, its position at the heart of one of Scotland’s most vibrant seaside towns means it also offers a fantastic range of seaside favourites. The pier is one of the finest in the country.

It's the combination of scenery and centrality that gives Ayr Beach the edge over many others in the area. This sandy specimen doesn’t lack in history either, with the spectacular ruins of the 16th-century Greenan Castle marking a fitting end to the beach’s sand.