Who needs St Tropez anyway? We’re happy with the beaches a little closer to home, thanks very much. These are 10 of the best beaches in the UK…
1. Croyde Bay, North Devon
Well-known as a surfer’s hangout, the beach is as relaxed as the cool, laid-back Devon town it lies beneath. Can be packed in summer, so head here in May and September when it’s a little more tranquil.
2. West Wittering, Chichester
Ever-popular for its coloured beach huts and quirky charm, West Wittering is beautiful whatever the weather. Perfect for walking the dogs and enjoying an ice cream.
3. Nairn Beach, Scotland
The home of the Moray Firth dolphins, Nairn’s lovely stretch of sandy beach and dunes is made that much more interesting with the wildlife. Seals, dolphins and flying fish abound in this little pocket of Scotland. It’s not far from Inverness either.
4. Porthcurno, Cornwall
Cornwall is full of beautiful beaches, but many are perilously overcrowded. Try Porthcurno, which sits below the majestic Minack Theatre, a stone theatre carved into the rock face and built by an old aristocratic lady. It overlooks the turquoise water – a rarity in the UK.
5. Pentle Bay, Tresco, The Isles of Scilly
The clear, bright blue waters of Tresco are pretty special. For quiet, untouched beaches, this place is unbeatable. On a fine day, you really could believe you’re on a Pacific island.
6. Putsborough, North Devon
With two and a half miles of golden sands, and sweeping views, Putsborough is a glorious spot of coast. Don’t be tempted to head to Woolacombe Sands (at the other end of the bay), believe me, Putsborough is where you want to set up camp.
7. Studland Bay, Dorset
The famous Old Harry Rocks make Studland Bay a place to behold. This National Trust beach was a popular summer residence of the aristocratic Banks family, who owned Corfe Castle and the residence that is now the Pig on the Beach hotel.
8. Three Cliffs Bay, Wales
Getting to Three Cliffs Bay can be tricky, whether you decide to take the hike, or arrive on horseback. But the views are worth it – and it’s very quiet. Keep your eyes open for the rare peregrine falcon too.
9. Botany Bay, Kent
Who doesn’t love white cliffs? Botany Bay has some rather impressive ones at the end of its sandy beach.
10. Durdle Door, Dorset
Found along the Jurassic Coast on the Lulworth estate, Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch and lovely sand beach. As impressive as it looks.