Britain’s coastline is almost 18,000km long dotted with thousands of beaches – and not all littered with amusement arcades, funfairs and fast-food cafes. The country is blessed with a wealth of rugged, wild, secluded or simply tranquil beaches up and down the country – perfect spots for swimmers, walkers, wildlife lovers or those just looking to escape the crowds.
So whether you’re looking for campsites or hotels by the sea, here are just a small selection of Britain’s best ‘wild’ beaches (this is just a few to start you off – if you’ve got a favourite wild/quiet/secluded beach, share it with us!).
Holkham Bay, Norfolk
When the tide is out, this beach looks like it goes on for miles. Surrounding by pine forest and shaped by sand dunes, this expansive beach is the perfect place to take a picnic, lie back in the sea breeze and get lost in the huge Norfolk skies. As a National Trust protected area, you really are in a secluded spot free from tourist traps (the nearest place for a cup of tea will be the small van in the car park, or the fancy Victoria Hotel outside the entrance – which is a long walk from the beach itself!).
Beer Beach, Devon
A bit busier than Holkham, this pebble beach in the little fishing village of Beer has popular beach cafes, deckchairs and walkways. If you’re up for a walk, take the South West Coast Path west to Branscombe beach and enjoy the beautiful views from Beer Head.
The village of Sandsend is quieter than its neighbour Whitby, and arguably prettier. Attracting walkers for its clifftop rambles along an old railway track (part of the Cleveland Way), you can drink in the views of the village and out across to St Mary’s Church in Whitby. Down on the mainly sandy beach, you can while away the time exploring the rock pools before getting a cream tea in one of the beach front cafes.
Achmelvich Bay, Highland
Achmelvich is really a cluster of remote and rugged beaches three miles long stretching from Loch Inver on the west coast of Scotland. It has been awarded a blue flag for 13 consecutive years, as well as being recommended by the Marine Conservation Society and winner of a Green Coast Award.
Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire
This National Trust managed Welsh beach is full of stunning geology (sandstone cliffs, volcanic rock and fossils), evidence of ancient people (and Iron Age fort overlooks the beach), and wildlife (this birdwatchers’ paradise also attracts seals). Lots of sand, space and safe swimming make this an attractive location to spend an afternoon as you gaze out to sea at the outlying islands and beyond.
Do you have a favourite wild, remote, secluded or quiet beach in Britain? Let us know in the comments below…