Skip to main contentSkip to footer

10 British beaches to discover this summer

5 Crosby Beach.jpg
Share this:

With summer officially upon us and Britain's beautiful coastline at your fingertips, you needn't jump on a plane to enjoy sea views and feel the sand between your toes. Travel search engine Skyscanner has picked 10 beaches in Britain that will make the perfect setting for your next holiday. From Saunton Sands in Devon  – the location of Robbie Williams' Angels music video – to Polzeath Beach in Cornwall where dolphins have been spotted, read on to find your next British beach holiday destination...

Portbradden beach

Portbradden, County Antrim, Northern Ireland is situated near the Giant's Causeway

1. Saunton Sands, Devon

Many famous faces have been spotted along these shores, including Robbie Williams and Olly Murs, both heartthrobs having chosen Saunton Sands as a music video location. The quaint English seaside town in North Devon is also popular with surfers, so grab a board and hit the waves, or go at a slower pace and enjoy a slice of village life.

1 Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands has been home to music videos from the likes of Robbie Williams and Olly Murs

2. Birling Gap, East Sussex

This seaside stop lies on Sussex's South Downs, not far from Beachy Head, and shares the same stretch of famous white cliffs, which have featured in many films, books and TV shows; Beachy Head hosted Harry Potter's 1994 Quidditch World Cup. With not much in the way of nightlife – there's a café, a shop and a visitor centre, all run by the National Trust – this is the perfect place for a bracing walk and a rummage in the rock pools.

3. Polzeath, Cornwall

The long sloping beach, which means "dry creek" in Cornish, makes it ideal for families wanting to splash about in the sunshine. And you needn't fly to Florida to swim with dolphins – they've been spotted off the coast right here in Cornwall...

3 Polzeath

Polzeath actually means 'dry creek' in Cornish

4. Portbradden, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

"Gone fishing". That's the most common Facebook status for residents in this ancient salmon fishing station - that is if they can get internet reception. This remote hamlet is the prime place for fishing, and bird watching, but for a bit more action, Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and the world famous Giant's Causeway aren't far away.

5. Crosby Beach, Merseyside, Liverpool

Escape from the chaos of one of Britain's leading industrial cities, Liverpool, and head to Crosby beach, spanning the three miles from the Port of Liverpool to the River Alt. Here you'll find British sculptor Sir Anthony Gormley's sculptures, a collection titled Another Place, dotted along the shoreline, inspiring you to contemplate our relationship with nature as the tide reveals these life-size iron casts of the artist's own body.

5 Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach, home of Anthony Gormley's famous scultures

6. Hunstanton, Norfolk

A popular spot for Victorian holidaymakers, Hunstanton has everything you'd expect from a traditional British seaside town. Colourful beach huts? Check. Fairground? Check. Fresh fish and chips? Of course! We recommend Fishers of Hunstanton, which has been serving up vinegar-drenched chips in newspaper cones for over 40 years.

6 Hunstanton

Hunstanton beach is known for its colourful beach huts and famous fish and chips

7. Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales

There's a lot of history in this tiny seaside town. From the 13th century walls that surround it, to the Tudor Merchant's House, learn a little about local history and visit some of the 200 listed buildings in Tenby. The beach is usually strewn with stripy deck chairs during summer, as it's a popular day-trip destination, with plenty of seafront pubs and cafés nearby. If the sands get a little too crowded, set sail to Caldey Island on a boat tour, many of which are on offer departing from the harbour.

8. Blackpool, Lancashire

Arguably Britain's most iconic beach resort, Blackpool is home to bright lights, soft sands and of course, Pleasure Beach. Whilst many enthusiastic thrill-seekers head down to the Lancashire coast during the summer months to ride the "Big One", you should also check out The Big Switch On, the opening ceremony of the annual Blackpool Illuminations which begins each September and runs until early November.

8 Blackpool

Blackpool is iconic for its Pleasure beach full of rides, attractions and the famous 'Big One'

9. Chesil Beach, Dorset

This 18-mile stretch of beautiful British coast is made of over 180 billion pebbles. Much of it is separated from the mainland by a body of salty water, known as Fleet Lagoon, and it forms part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the English Channel that contains evidence for 180 million years of geological history. But the beach itself was the setting for Ian McEwan’s 2007 novel On Chesil Beach and was home to a number of defences built there during World War II – the ruins of some survive today.

10. Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Looking for a spot to sit on a shingle beach and tuck into a pot of mussels or vinegary cockles? You won’t get much better than Aldeburgh, whose stony beach has been awarded a Blue Flag for being environmentally friendly. Check out The Scallop, a four-metre tall sculpture of a scallop shell dedicated to one of Suffolk and Norfolk's most famous residents, composer Benjamin Britten.

For more help with holiday planning and price comparisons, visit

More Travel

See more