10 of the best UK beaches to relax on this summer

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You don’t have to go abroad to find beautiful scenery. If you want to relax on a beach, heading to Spain or further afield is likely to come to mind first, but the UK is home to some incredible beaches that are perfect for a summer trip.

Travel abroad for a holiday is now allowed and the government’s “green list” sets out destinations you can visit without quarantining when you return home. However, Covid-19 uncertainty remains and the cost of holidays to green list destinations has soared. So, it’s no surprise that more Brits than ever are planning a staycation. If you still want some time at the beach, these ten spots are ideal.

1. Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Cornwall is a staycation hotspot thanks to its stunning coast. Kynance Cove is just one of the local beaches you’ll want to enjoy thanks to its white sand and turquoise water. It’s a busy spot but well worth getting up early for, the dramatic rock formation will make you feel miles away, especially on a sunny day. There are plenty of coves and caves if you’re feeling more adventurous, but make sure you keep an eye on the time and tide.

2. Achmelvich Bay, Scotland

Achmelvich Bay boasts beautiful white sands to relax on that come to life in the summer months. There are plenty of paths to hike along and it is a popular destination for water sports, from water skiing to kayaking, and fishing. If you’re lucky enough, you could also spot porpoise off the coast in the warmer months, as well as other wildlife. If you’re planning a longer trip to explore Scotland, Achmelvich is on the North Coast 500, a road trip route that takes you across Scotland.

3. Holkham Beach, Norfolk

If you’re looking for long, sandy stretches to enjoy, Holkham Beach in Norfolk is perfect. As the tide rises, a spectacular shallow lagoon emerges too. Pinewoods and wildflowers back the beach, offering a beautiful backdrop for walks. It’s also where the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love were shot, as well as many other films, making it a great place to visit for film buffs.

4. Formby Beach, Liverpool

Formby Beach is one of the gems in Merseyside and is now managed by the National Trust. It boasts extensive sand dunes and sweeping coastal pinewoods. While it’s a great place to relax, it’s also the perfect place to head for a stunning coastal walk. Erosion even means you can find evidence of prehistoric animals and humans here. If you look closely enough at low tide, you can spot footprints dating back to 6000 BC.

5. Blackpool Sands, Devon

From a distance, and despite the name, Blackpool Sands looks like it’s a shady shore, but it is made from smooth pebbles. While sunbathing on the sand may be off the cards here, it means the water is incredibly clear, perfect for taking a dip or getting out on the water on a pontoon or kayak. It’s an award-winning spot that can help you feel like you’ve jetted off on holiday without needing to leave the country.

6. Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula

The Gower Peninsula is one of the most picturesque spots in the UK, with plenty of golden sands and small coves. Rhossili Bay is just one of the spots worth visiting, with perfect white sand and limestone cliffs. Despite how beautiful it is, the beach is still unspoilt. At low tide, you can also see the remains of the Helvetia, shipwrecked in 1887, just poking out of the sands.

7. Camber Sands, Sussex

The sandy shores of Camber Sands stretch for nearly five miles, so if you’re looking for space to relax and explore it’s a great place to head. It’s one of the best places to beach comb, so keep your eyes peeled as you stroll across the sand. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try your hand at some water sports, including kite surfing. This is another beach where blockbuster films have been shot, including Dunkirk and The Theory of Everything.

8. Berneray Sands, Outer Hebrides

Found on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides, Berneray Sands offers incredible views of the mountains of Harris that offer a great backdrop for a day out. While the Outer Hebrides may not boast exotic weather, a Berneray Sands photograph was once mistaken for a Thai resort, showing just why it’s worth a trip.

9. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

When exploring south-west Wales, Barafundle Bay should be one of the places you visit. You’ll need to walk across the clifftops to reach it, but that means it stays relatively quiet, even during the summer months. If you want to get off the beaten track, you can enjoy turquoise waters that are great for a dip. Be sure to come prepared with food and drinks to make a day of it as there are no facilities on site.

10. Whitby Sands, North Yorkshire

Just a short walk from the town of Whitby, a trip here is perfect for a British seaside experience. With blue waters and sand for miles, it looks like a scene from a postcard; it even has bright beach huts to add to the holiday feeling, especially if you pick up some fish and chips for a walk along the coast.

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