Britain’s best beaches, not in Cornwall
While Cornwall gets all the press for its, admittedly, spectacular coastline, here’s my other favourite British beaches, which are far less busy…
Ogmore-by-sea, South Wales
South Wales has the most spectacular beaches and they’re all way less busy than anywhere in southern England. The Gower Peninsula is beautiful, with its vast sandy beaches overlooked by dramatic cliffs, but I also love Ogmore-by-Sea and Southerndown, in The Vale of Glamorgan. You could be in Australia as opposed to near Cardiff. We stayed in a wonderful holiday cottage here and ambled down to the beach every day along a private bath – it was just bliss. Visit sladeholidaycottages.co.uk.
Everyone (and I mean everyone, it’s ridiculously busy,) flocks to Camber Sands because of its wide sandy beaches, but one of my favourite beaches on the Kent coast is Broadstairs. The quaint resort beloved by Charles Dickens, is built round Viking Bay, a pretty sandy beach flanked by beach huts, with neighbouring bays even more beautiful and less crowded, including Louisa Bay, Stone Bay, Joss Bay and Botany Bay.
Studland Bay, Dorset
Dorset is home to some stand-out sandy beaches – Bournemouth is famous for its huge beach and luxury Sandbanks. But Studland Bay, opposite Bournemouth, is stunning – the whole coastline is lovely, including traditional English seaside town Swanage, loved by Enid Blyton and me. Keep going along the coast and you’ll hit Lulworth Cove, the pretty little cove that will inspire your own Famous Five adventures.
Holkham Beach, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
When I was growing up, this was the local beach we’d head to every year. Now Wells has become chi-chi and the must-visit place for anyone holidaying in Norfolk. (If only we had known, we would have bought a fisherman’s cottage for 20p years ago). It’s no wonder though, because the vast sandy beach is beautiful – on a hot summer’s day, you could be anywhere in the world.
I have been past this beach, but never stopped, but like Uhtred of Bebbanburg (The Last Kingdom), I’m on a mission to return. The spectacular Northumberland coastline is some of the best in the country and the beach below Bamburgh Castle is magnificent. You can walk from Seahouses to Bamburgh, spotting the Farne Islands from the coast, with their seal population.
Nairn Beach, Scotland
Scotland is packed with fantastic beaches, but the one I have on my bucket-list is Nairn Beach, near Inverness. Ever since the first lockdown, I’ve had a longing to travel up to The Highlands and I’ve got my eye on Nairn’s white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and dolphin-spotting.
The British Travel List is the sister newsletter to The Royal List. It is a weekly guide to my favourite places to visit and stay around the country. I am an experienced travel and lifestyle journalist who writes for British and Australian newspapers and magazines and I am passionate about British travel. For more of my work, visit kerryparnell.com