Britain has an unfortunate reputation for dour weather. Indeed, its maritime positioning sets it up for copious amounts of rain much of the year and much cooler temperatures during that time. However, much of the summer tends to be quite pleasant and sunny through the United Kingdom. When the sun makes its appearance, the British waste no time in getting to some marvelous strips of sand throughout the country, and making the most of the incredible weather while it is still present.
If you are in the country when this happens, do as the Britons do, and get to the coast. Check out the best coastal retreats that this nation has to offer below, and you’ll have a delightful day on your British vacation that will rank among the highlights of your trip.
You may be wondering where you’ll stay after your day at the beach though. Be sure to book well in advance of a trip to the coast, as every other person in the country will be thinking the same thing you are when the clouds and rain roll away. Find very affordable rooms and warm hospitality at the Stoke Lodge Hotel, where low standard room rates starting at £50 await you, as well as delicious home-cooked meals in the on-site restaurant.
Those looking for a more classy après beach experience will find the Saunton Sands Hotel in North Devon more to their liking, as it offers luxurious award-winning dining, poolside lounging, or a round of golf to balance out your weekend on the coast. If other options are what you search, there are countless hotels near UK towns and aggregate websites such as hotels by StarStay are always another great alternative.
Let’s start proceedings with a delightful private beach by the name of Blackpool Sands on the south coast of England near Dartmouth. With sparkling white sand, aromatic pine trees backing the beach, and a beach club that offers abundant food options and activities for the kids, it is an outstanding first stop on your tour of the United Kingdom’s amazing coast. Just don’t drift offshore on the inflatable rafts that they rent in a state of bliss.
Next, head to North Devon, where watersports enthusiasts flock en masse to Saunton Sands Beach. Backed by a long line of high, grassy coastal promontories, the atmosphere here is laid back, making for a relaxing day by the water spent watching surfers, kayakers, and paddle boarders display their athletic talents on the breakers offshore.
In Wales, the well-regarded Pembrokeshire Coast hides many secluded beaches just waiting to be discovered. One such hidden paradise that stands out is Barafundle Bay, where sand, waves, surfers, and tall limestone cliffs combine to create a spellbinding day at the beach. You will have an excellent day combing the shore for interesting rocks and shells, while the rocky coves and creeks emptying into the sea will provide ample fuel for the explorers in your group.
Scotland may be perceived as cold, but when the weather heats up, locals in the know head to Huisinis on the Isle of Harris. This is not a place for the luxury hotel set, as no pesky deckchairs are around to spoil the view, nor any roaming vendors to ruin your state of Zen. Here, you are alone with the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, the craggy mountains, a few hovering gulls, and yourself. Welcome to heaven!
Finally, Northern Ireland doesn’t make the press for its beaches, but perhaps it should. Portstewart Strand on the Causeway Coast is hauntingly beautiful, backed by the emerald green hills that this country is famous for, and possessing deep blue waters that are among the cleanest in Europe. Explore the sand dunes nearby, or try your hand at surfing, as the ocean is very active here for much of the year.
While beaches tend to be romanticized in the tropics or at least in the Mediterranean, the temperate isles of the United Kingdom hold plenty of surprises for those willing to stay put in the summer and wait for the hot weather to arrive. With tonnes of attractive white sand beaches at your beck and call, it is hard to go wrong.