If like millions of others you’re looking at a staycation this year, where in the UK are you going to go? The UK has so many lovely towns, villages and attractions to visit, it’s usually the weather that lets us down. But recently we have experienced a prolonged spell of sunshine, so dust off those beach brolly’s and let’s look at our cleanest beaches that have been awarded Blue Flag status for 2018 - 65 altogether! And another 125 have received a Seaside Award.
The Blue Flag status is an international award recognised for quality beaches including water quality standards, cleanliness and safety.
Overall, as you may have guessed, the South West region have the most Blue Flag awards with 26 in the area that includes Devon and Cornwall. Dorset winning with a resounding eight prestigious beaches.
Here we look at a few of the best beaches to visit by area:
Blackpool Sands, Devon: A shingle beach 3 miles west of Dartmouth and is named after the nearby village of Blackpool. Kayaks and paddle boards can be hired, there’s a beach shop and a range of hot and cold food to choose from along with disabled facilities and showers.
Poole – Canford Cliffs, Dorset: Fine golden sandy beach with plenty to do for the whole family. There’s a promenade, shops, cafes and restaurants.
Polzeath, Cornwall: A well known surfing seaside resort in North Cornwall with golden sand. You will find a small supermarket, cafes and bars here.
Hove Lawns, Sussex: Mostly shingle beach that stretches next to the centre of the town. Lots to do here with a cycle lane, cafes, bowls, tennis, leisure centre, crazy golf and an amusement arcade. Keeping all ages happy are also a skate park, children’s play area, large lagoon with a yachting club and outdoor swimming pool. Plenty of water sports available such as sailing and surfing.
Minster Leas, Kent: A long shingle beach with an excellent promenade running alongside the beach with plenty of parking nearby.
Hayling Island Beachlands, Hampshire: 8km of pebble beach and West Beach is the most popular being sheltered so perfect for swimmers. Lots to do here with a fairground and amusement arcades.
Whitby: Two beaches at Whitby, one on each side of the River Esk. Tate Hill on the East is a smaller sheltered sandy beach allowing dogs year round. West Cliff is on the West Pier that offers a larger sandy beach, donkey rides, a children’s paddling pool and you can hire out deckchairs and windbreaks here – save you bringing your own.
Blackpool South: A traditional seaside resort with lots of action packed fun! There are three piers with the famous South Pier situated at the end of the Golden Mile. The South Beach is a sandy, quieter stretch but still not too far from all the lights and action of the Pleasure Beach, dominating the skyline behind South Beach.
Whitley Bay, Northumberland: A sandy beach stretching for two miles from St Mary’s Island to Cullercoats. Popular for surfing and also offer mini golf, shops and restaurants.
Tynemouth Longsands, Tyne And Wear: One mile of stunning golden sands offering a national reputation as a fantastic surf destination having staged national championships here. A great beach with amazing views, walks and great for building sandcastles.
East of England
Cromer, Norfolk: A traditional Victorian seaside resort popular for surfing and swimming. It is a sand and shingle beach with a pier that houses a theatre and gardens.
Thorpe Bay, Essex: Southend-on-Sea is a popular resort offering a safe family beach at Thorpe Bay. Many of the beach huts here are privately owned but you may be lucky enough to hire one out. There are plenty cafes and restaurants nearby, some with decking overlooking the beach offering a picturesque dining view.
Southwold Pier, Suffolk: Backed by the promenade which runs along the front of the town offering a short walk to the town centre and harbour area. The pier is home to a restaurant, amusements, a pavilion and the famous water clock.
Central Beach Mabelthorpe, Lincolnshire: Soft golden sands backed by grassy sand dunes with its own lifeboat station. Offers safe swimming and has easy access to the town amenities.
Central Beach Skegness, Lincolnshire: A long sandy beach with plenty activities for the kids such as donkey rides and the Fairy Dell paddling pool. There is a café/restaurant there and lots of other activities on offer including kayaking, crazy golf, sailing and surfing.
Source(s): See Britain;Independent;The Beach Guide