England’s coast is a treasure trove of natural beauty, with cliffs and bays that stretch for miles and some stunning beaches.
These magnificent tracts of golden sand may be found all throughout the country, facing towns and cities, skirting estuaries, and tumbling down rural lanes.
These beaches, which are exceptionally varied in their environmental make-up, provide infinite vacation possibilities for families looking to spend time by the sea.
Hotels, restaurants, and first-rate leisure activities like an abundance of excellent watersports facilities can be found at most of these beaches.
Some are off the beaten path and make wonderful getaways for people seeking secluded oceanfront solitude. Others, on the other hand, are near historical monuments that help define their culture and sense of place.
With our list of the best English beaches, you’ll be able to discover a beautiful nook of sand for your next holiday.
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How Were They Chosen?
The beaches on our list were chosen by our awesome readers of Best UK Beaches. They consider them to be the top-rated beaches in England for all the right reasons (weather, location, tourist attractions, and facilities, etc).
West Wittering’s natural and untouched sandy beach, which has been a family day out for generations, is located on the beautiful southern coast of England near Chichester.
It is one of the country’s top Blue Flag beaches due to its excellent water quality and facilities and is one of the hottest tourist attractions.
West Wittering lies on the southern shore of Chichester Harbour, within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with a lovely golden sand beach.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near West Wittering Beach.
Bournemouth beach located near the city of the same name is a seaside resort with plenty to do.
The beach itself is one of the most popular and well-known in England boasting golden sands and attracting thousands of visitors every year during both summer and winter.
It is the ideal place to unwind and enjoy whatever the weather or time of year, whether it’s chilling with the sand between your toes, strolling along the pier, relaxing in with an ice cream, constructing sandcastles, sampling delicious food, or simply gazing at miles of breathtaking coastline.
Why not go for a different experience at one of Bournemouth’s top-rated beaches, from surfing to jet skiing?
There is something for everyone on the beach in Bournemouth. Every part of the coast has its own charm, so why not try out one of several excellent water sports or visit some popular family attractions at Pier Approach?
Bournemouth is a seaside resort known for its wide range of hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and self-catering possibilities located along our lovely beach.
There’s a little piece of sand with your name on it and that’s why it is considered one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Bournemouth Beach.
Camber Sands Beach is very popular with Londoners and day-trippers from Brighton during the summer.
The local council is improving facilities, such as changing rooms and parking, to make it easier for visitors to enjoy all that this beach has to offer.
Camber Sands Beach is approximately three miles long and stretches along the coastline at Rye Bay in East Sussex.
It faces southwards into the English Channel, offering spectacular views of France across the water on a clear day.
The best time to explore Camber Sands is late in the day or early in the morning, when it may be less crowded.
The ideal hours to visit Camber Sands are either early in the morning or later in the afternoon when it is quieter.
This gorgeous stretch of sandy beach is home to East Sussex’s only sand dune system.
With unspoiled vistas of sand and sea for miles, Camber Sands is a great place to get away from it all.
The long ridges of sand dunes leading down to miles of silky golden sands are what make this beach well-known.
Camber has been the site for many films, particularly if ‘desert shots’ are required.
The extensive shallows at low tide offer a very long walk before it is deep enough to swim, so check the local tide tables if you’re planning a day on the beach.
Power kites are a popular pastime in this large open space; as a result, they make for an incredibly vivid spectacle. It gets really crowded during the summer months.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Camber Sands Beach.
Brighton Beach is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK, which is home to some of England’s best beaches. Here you will discover miles of golden sands to enjoy.
Each year millions of people flock to Brighton beach; it is often ranked as one of Britain’s top 10 beaches. It offers visitors a great range of eateries and bars, for both families and couples.
There are plenty of opportunities for fun activities on this sandy English coast including climbing sand dunes, bird spotting excursions, kite surfing lessons – if it can be done on land then there’s a good chance that someone has tried it at Brighton!
This stretch of beach has everything from stunning views over the ocean to plenty to see and do along the seafront. The high street
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Brighton Beach.
The playground for hundreds of surfers who flock to the beach to get a fix of the big waves, Fistral Beach is one of the world’s top surfing locations, with high cliffs and sand dunes.
Located near the town of Newquay, this popular stretch of sand is one of the UK’s most famous and is home to some world-class surfing.
All of the major UK surfing competitions are held here, including the Famous Night Surf, Boardmasters Surf Championships, National Surf Championships, Grommets, and many more… So this is ideal for you if you’re a gung-ho pro or a just nervous beginner.
Fistral Beach is also well known as an excellent location for kite surfing and windsurfing – this part of Cornwall offers some breath-taking scenery as well as fantastic sports facilities such as Surf Snowdonia (North Wales’ first manmade wave).
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Fistral Beach.
Holkham Beach is located near Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk Coast of England.
Enjoy miles of sandy beaches, pine forests, and marshes on this beautiful part of England’s coastline.
Holkham beach is one of Norfolk’s most popular locations for sunbathing, walking dogs, surfing & bodyboarding – or simply for taking a stroll along the coastline to enjoy the amazing views and wildlife. It offers stunning open spaces and spectacular scenery in every direction.
The long curve makes it perfect for dog walkers; there are no bins in place meaning that you should take your litter home with you to dispose of responsibly.
It’s also close to the Norfolk Coast AONB, a huge seaside conserved area with walking paths and wildlife in picturesque surrounds.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Wells / Holkham Beach.
Bigbury on Sea beach in South Devon is a great place for family vacations, located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The beach is safe and fun for groups, with gentle waves lapping smooth sand. Bigbury on Sea also has lots of rock pools to explore, ensuring that budding marine biologists will have plenty to keep them occupied.
At the end of a long stretch of sand, Bigbury on Sea Beach boasts a broad and varied choice of water activities for those who want their vacations to include a little rush of excitement.
Windsurfing and kite-surfing are popular here, with hire services located right on the beach if you want to try something different from bodyboarding or surfing.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Bigbury-on-Sea.
Woolacombe Beach is one of the greatest beaches in the West Country, and it’s easy to see why it has won so many accolades.
It is a favourite with families as well as surfers, who visit the beach and Woolacombe village every summer to thousands of people.
The three-mile-long stretch of golden sand is pounded by unbroken Atlantic breakers that come from miles away.
Even at peak summer, it’s possible to discover quieter sections in the surf because of the sheer length of the beach.
Although Woolacombe beach has easy access and three substantial car parks with a capacity for 2000 vehicles, it also has tremendous natural beauty, excellent facilities, and a wide range of activities for all ages.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Woolacombe Beach.
Weymouth Beach, which overlooks a beautiful Georgian seafront at the centre of the Jurassic Coast, is one of the best sandy beaches in England.
Originally popularized by King George III’s frequent visits in the late 1700s to benefit from the health benefits of bathing in its seaside waters, Weymouth quickly became a popular destination for everyone and has remained one of England’s top traditional seaside resorts.
Swimmers, bathers, and water sports enthusiasts will enjoy beautiful and safe circumstances at Weymouth’s sheltered bay, sloping seabed, and lovely seas.
The internationally known beach is a frequent site of festivals, sporting competitions, and a variety of activities for all ages to enjoy.
With activities such as Punch and Judy, donkeys, kid rides & pedalos available – there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Weymouth Beach.
The Pelistry Bay beach on the eastern side of St Mary’s is a beautiful sandy beach with interesting rocks.
You may visit Toll’s island at low tide via a sandbar where you can see the ruins of Pellow’s Redoubt, which date to the English Civil War.
The island is quiet and has excellent views of the Eastern Isles and an outstanding cafe less than five minutes away.
The tiny beach, which features a fluffy white sand surface, is the ideal spot to unwind after a day exploring St Ives.
It’s peaceful and restful in contrast to the hordes of visitors that flood Cornwall during the summer months.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Pelistry Bay Beach
The west coast of Cornwall’s Kynance Cove is perhaps the most photographed and painted spot in the area, with the contrast between the white sand beach and dark red and green serpentine rock creating a stunning view.
The walk down to the cove from the parking lot at the top of the cliff is 15 minutes long, but there are uneven and slippery rocks to traverse at the bottom.
You can visit the towering stacks and caverns with names like The Parlour and The Drawing Room at low tide.
An eco-friendly café selling Cornish pasties, fresh sandwiches, baguettes, homemade cakes, and cream teas as well as beach items is located just above the beach.
A beautiful 2-mile walk along the coast from Kynance will take you to Lizard Point, mainland UK’s most southerly point.
The National Trust owns and looks after Kynance Cove, which allows them to preserve and care for places like this due to the help of members, volunteers, and contributors.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Kynance Cove.
Compton Bay Beach is one of the Isle of Wight’s best-kept secrets. Compton Beach lies in West Wight and has a two-mile length of golden and dark sands, rolling seas, tumbling multi-coloured sandstone cliffs, and the white chalk cliffs at Freshwater in the distance.
Bring all you’ll need, including windbreaks (if needed), body and surfboards, food and drink, as well as a few beach toys.
The beach, which is part of the National Trust’s car park, is a two-minute walk west along the coastal road (AT) and has tiered steep steps down to it.
From Hanover Point/Shippard’s Chine, which has large National Trust (NT) parking, toilets, and freshwater tap, or drive further west to Compton Chine/Farm for a smaller NT parking lot on the other side of the coastal route with tiered steep steps down to the beach.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Compton Bay Beach.
The beach at Bamburgh Castle Beach is the ideal spot to go for a stroll after seeing the village of Bamburgh.
The beach curves past the magnificent walls of Bamburgh Castle, one of the most renowned castles in England, and provides views of the Farne Islands to the east.
The sand dunes adjacent to Bamburgh Castle may be accessed by a short stroll across the sand dunes from the parking space at Bamburgh Castle itself, or from a smaller (and quieter) car park on the road towards Seahouses.
This beach is also frequented by surfers and horse riders, making it an ideal location to rest for a while and watch the world go by.
You can start at the north end of Beadnell, walk along the headland to Bamburgh Castle Golf Course, and then go on to Budle Bay.
If you’d like to go a little farther, follow the coast south for approx 3 miles along the Northumberland Coast Path to Seahouses (local buses connect Bamburgh and Seahouses).
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Bamburgh Castle Beach.
Porthcurno Beach is a slice of paradise situated in one of Europe’s most cherished seaside resorts. The untouched beach, sheltered by the surrounding cliffs, has beautiful silky white sand and crystal blue waters that must be seen to be believed. For anyone visiting Cornwall, it’s a must-see.
It’s difficult not to pull out your camera after you walk down the final sandy steps and for the first time see Porthcurno beach.
Despite its remote location in West Cornwall, Porthcurno Beach was once a crucial telegraph communications hub, when in 1870 undersea telegraph cables were linked from sleepy Cornish town to Bombay, India.
A museum near the parking lot recounts Cornwall’s significant role in the invention of modern communication.
Around the corner, carved into the granite cliffs overlooking the sea is the world-famous open-air Minack Theatre – one of the most distinctive and magnificent settings in the globe to attend a performance.
From 1st July to 31st August, dogs are not allowed on Porthcurno beach between 10 am and 6 pm.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Porthcurno Beach.
Brancaster Beach located near the town of Burnham on Crouch near the North Norfolk Coast is a large, wide stretch of beach.
It’s popular with surfers and kite-flyers but if you’re not into water activities then it’s still worth visiting for the long expanse of sand, dunes, and salt marshes that are perfect to enjoy two things essential to English beaches – fresh air and sunshine.
There is easy parking and it’s only a short walk to the beach. Without being on top of each other, there is plenty of room for dogs and children to play.
There is plenty of space to socialise while still maintaining a distance from the masses.
There is a store where you may purchase food and beverages, as well as basic shovels and spades if you forgot anything.
There are some substantial sea barriers on either side of the entry and surrounding the club, but they’re quickly replaced by grassy dunes backed by the golf course to the east and salt marshes to the west, which is fronted by a broad, soft, sandy beach that stretches for almost 2 miles.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Brancaster Beach.
Aldeburgh Beach is located near the town of Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Coast, in the county of Suffolk.
It’s a dog-friendly beach but be sure to keep them under control at all times and pick up after them because there are no bins along this stretch of sand so you’ll have to take it home with you.
Aldeburgh Beach is also good for fishing, particularly off the pier which can be accessed by walking down one flight of stairs or across the road.
There are wooden benches here where you may sit while enjoying your picnic lunch or just taking in the gorgeous views out over Sizewell towards Thorpeness (home to Peggotty’s house from Little Emily) and Dunwich (famed for its ruined abbey).
Although it’s a good view at any time of year, the best time to come and admire it all is during low tide.
That way, you can walk out onto the sandbanks and discover pools and rock pools, and other treasures below the sea.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Aldeburgh Beach.
The quiet, enclosed pebble beach at Birling Gap is located beneath the dramatic Seven Sisters cliffs.
The short trip to the beach offers sweeping views of Sussex’s rolling downland terrain as you drive through East Dean, a lovely Sussex village.
There is plenty of parking, and after exploring the beach or taking a spectacular walk along the cliffs, refreshments are available from the beautiful National Trust Visitor Centre cafe.
It’s a fantastic location, and it’s well worth a trip, especially if you enjoy trekking. There are several paths that you may walk along, offering amazing views.
In many areas of the South Downs, you walk on top of the cliff, but here you may descend to the base of the cliff to capture photos and discover crabs among the stones. There is a lovely, easy climb leading up to Belle Tout Lighthouse.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Birling Gap Beach.
Tankerton Beach is located near the town of Whitstable on Kent’s North Coast, in the county of Kent.
It is a 10-minute walk from Tankerton train station along Cliff Road with its great restaurants and cafes serving locally-caught seafood.
The beach is mostly pebbles, however. when the tide goes out some sand does appear, making this a good beach for families with small children, and those that like walking their dogs.
It is popular with walkers and cyclists and generally gets very busy in the peak summer season.
You’ll find beach huts for hire here at reasonable prices during the summer months.
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Tankerton Beach.
Best Beaches Near London
The West Dunes in Camber Sands, Whitstable Beach in Kent, the Birling Gap in East Sussex, and the Isle of Grain Beach also in Kent are what our readers considered to be the Best Beaches in the South East.
Best Sandy Beaches in England
The Saunton Sands in Devon, Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland, St Brelade’s Beach in Jersey, Botany Bay in Kent, and Rhossili Bay in Wales have been voted as the Best Sandy Beaches in England by our readers.
Best English Beaches To Go on Holiday
Camber Sands, Brighton, Bournemouth, Newquay, and Blackpool have been voted as the Best Places to go on Holiday in England by our readers. This is because they are beaches that have the most amenities, things to do, and are vibrant holiday destinations.
Best English Beaches To Go For a Weekend Break
Camber Sands, Durdle Door, Watergate Bay, St Michael’s Mount island, and Robin Hood’s Bay are some of the Best and top-rated English Beaches for a weekend break or a romantic getaway, according to our readers. Not only are there plenty of amenities close by, but they have a laid-back, chilled vibe depending on the time of year.