UK COAST GUIDE: WHERE WILL YOU EXPLORE?
With miles and miles of UK & Ireland coastline, thousands of islands to explore and seaside towns to choose from, where is it best to go?
Coast Radar is more than just a beach guide, we have done the hard work along with our community, here you’ll find photos, interactive coast maps, weather, tide times, beach water quality and search tools helping to provide you answers or just some helpful ideas.
The one place to find about all things on the coast. From beach to cliff, from headland to harbour wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do. Coast Radar helps you find the right spot.
It does not matter if you are planning a staycation or a family day out at the beach, Coast Radar is the guide that has the information to help and inspire you to visit and enjoy our beautiful and diverse UK & Ireland coastline.
Inspiring people to visit and enjoy the UK and Ireland coast and beaches
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Where are the best beaches?
Check out the best British beaches from popular seaside resorts with Blue Flags to the hidden beaches and coves to escape from the crowds.
Where can I stay?
Planning a holiday? From campsites to holiday parks, B&Bs to five-star hotels, you’ll find your dream beach and coastal retreat.
UK & Ireland Coast Search Bar
Where would you like to go? Use our search bar to search across all our listings:
Find your next adventure, there’s so much of the UK and Ireland coastline to discover – why not get started with some of our most popular destinations below?
Want some ideas on where to visit?
Every favourite location must be visited for the first time. Want some ideas, why not check out below which list some of our most popular coastal locations, including beaches, activities, things to see and do, places to stay and eat:
- Climping beach as with many along the Sussex coast has pebbles at high tide and is divided by wooden groynes. But at low tide, a huge expanse of dark, fine, hard-packed sand is exposed, making it an ideal spot for families and shallow swimming. Very popular with kitesurfers and windsurfers with car park grass areas for setting up.Climping Beach is a quieter area of coastline than its neighbour seaside towns of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis. If you head eastwards towards Littlehampton much of the area is now designated of scientific interest, and parts are a nature reserve, although many sections of the sand dunes are now fenced off to protect against erosion and help local species to thrive.The actual beach is exposed and struggles with coastal erosion and can change its appearance between visits.A great place to base a coastal walk, you can head in either direction; to the East, you have the dune eco-system and then Littlehampton. To the West, you are backed by countryside and then hit the many private beach estates (Elmer, Middleton-on-sea, Felpham) that line this stretch of Coast before Bognor Regis.Facilities at the beach include car parking (charges apply), cafe with outdoor seating, toilets and outside shower, field available for hire. You also have a pub half a mile back up the road from the beach. Out of hours the car park is closed but a few spaces available on the road by the beach.Climping Beach is often also referred to as Atherington Beach after the coastal hamlet it sits within rather than the nearby village of Climping.
- Moggs Eye Beach is an unspoilt, sandy beach with a wide sandy area that slopes down into the sea. This beach is surrounded by sand dunes with steps leading over the dunes to a picnic area and spacious car park with a toilet block. This is a good beach for swimming, surfing and fishing and has some great walks nearby with the nearest town being Mablethorpe. This dog-friendly beach is popular for dog walkers as it is never too busy and is a perfectly safe environment away from the roadside with no restrictions in place. Wildlife thrives on this natural and unspoilt Lincolnshire coastline and is a haven for birdwatchers, nature lovers and conservationists. Facilities at the beach include car parking, toilets and picnic area. It is worth noting that this same beach stretch can be accessed from the Huttoft beach car park.
- Elmer Sands beach is a typical West Sussex pebble beach with a high water steep pebble bank and wooden groynes. As the tide goes out the beach expands into flat compact sand. You have some very interesting rock islands which form part of the local sea defence that at low tide become accessible and are great to explore for shells, shrimps and crabs, although be careful about climbing them. Elmer along with its immediate neighbour Middleton-on-Sea are excellent family beaches for all ages, great for beach games, rock pools and when at low-tide the water is very shallow making ideal conditions for swimming and beginner water sports as you can stand-up. If you get bored of just sitting on the beach at mid to low tide you have a nice easterly walk away from the built-up area towards Climping Beach where you can have a cake and ice-cream before heading back. The beach is very hard to get access due to the private beach-side estates that are common on this stretch of coast but this is the greatest benefit as it limits the number of people on the beach even on very hot summer days to locals and those staying nearby. The beach has no facilities with the closest being some shops and pubs located on the main road just back from the beach. The Elmer Sands Sailing Club does have an outside shower and the Elmer Sands estate has a grass playing field with basketball hoop and a small children’s play area.
- St Ives Harbour is a working harbour but as the tide goes out you have a small beach protected by the harbour walls and within the heart of St Ives. A very busy area with restaurants and pubs but also you can hire boats and take seal trips from here. All the facilities of St Ives including car parks, boat hire, boat trips, amusements, shops, pubs and restaurants. Car parking is bad in St Ives and it is recommended to park and take the train.
- Seaham Beach is a long stretch of sand sitting beneath grassy cliffs and is part of the Durham Heritage Coast. The beach is also referred to as Seaham North beach as it runs north away from the town itself. Until 1921, Seaham was the location of the largest glass-bottle works in Britain. Founded by John Candlish in 1853, under the patronage of the 4th Marquess of Londonderry. During the works operation glass waste was dumped into sea, and now with every tide sand-polished glass stones can be gathered. You have parking at various positions along the seafront and facilities include toilets, picnic area and pub. As you move towards the harbour and Red Acre Beach you get the main part of the town with a selection of places to eat. The beach is often used for sea angling competitions along with the North pier of the harbour.
- Morfa Bychan beach near Pendine is a sandy beach with some pebbles, safe bathing and some rock pools to explore. The beach is surrounded by limestone cliffs and caves and looks out over Carmarthen Bay towards Tenby and Gower. There is some parking at the beach but the access road can be bad to access the beach so will need to walk. Options to walk are from Pendine beach at low tide, along with the coast path although this is a hilly walk. No facilities available at the beach but some available at nearby Pendine village. There is a beach called Black Rock Sands that is also known as Morfa Bychan in North Wales.
- Portreath beach is a gently shelving sandy beach on Cornwall’s north coast. The bay has high cliffs on either side along with a small working harbour. The name Portreath means “sandy cove” and Portreath harbour is steeped in history as it exported copper and imported coal to support the Cornish copper mines and also some shipbuilding. At low tide, this is a large flat sandy beach but when the tide comes in the beach is split into two with a small cove to the west and the main area in front of the car park. You will not see so many surfers as on some other beaches on this stretch of coast but you can get a powerful wave alongside the harbour wall. What it is is a great safe family beach very popular for bodyboarding and at low tide you can get some good rock pools to explore by harbour wall. Facilities at the beach include car parking, toilets, ramp access, seasonal lifeguards, beach cafe, pubs, shops including surf hire and the Portreath Surf Life Saving Club.
- Black Cliff beach is a sandy beach stretching between Hayle Towans and Mexico Towans. Hayle beach is a large beach backed by dunes and Black Cliff beach gives some protection from the wind by being sheltered by cliffs. The beach gets its name from the dark cliffs that line the back of the beach. You often get some large areas of shallow water near the cliffs when the tide is out that provide great safe play for small children. Facilities at the beach include a small beach cafe and toilets at the top of steps, and if the steps are too much then Hayle Towans beach has a sloped beach access and can be used to get onto this beach.
- Cattersty Sands and Skinningrove beach are split by a pier which was built by the Skinningrove Iron Company in the late 1880s for loading ore onto steamers bound for Middlesborough. You need to move away from the car park to the other side of the pier where you will find a long stretch of sand with some shingle backed by high grass-covered cliffs. The Cleveland Way runs through Skinningrove and along the cliff tops. Facilities at the beach include car parking, a cafe, pub, Post Office and small shop. Whilst you are in Skinningrove we would suggest you pay a visit to the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum which goes through the history of one of the biggest ironstone mines in Cleveland.
- Littlehampton West Beach is on the opposite side of the River Arun from Littlehampton town centre. The beach is much quieter in the summer than the main Littlehampton coastguards beach as it has limited facilities. To access this beach you can either walk across the bridge from the main Littlehampton family beach or use the small local car park. Littlehampton West beach is part of the Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and the Climping Beach Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which has national protection. It includes the sand flats, shingle, sand dunes and all animals that feed on them, just one of only 3 sand dune systems in West Sussex. Whilst visiting Littlehampton the West beach is well worth a visit along with Climping beach as they do offer a great contrast to the typical pebble West Sussex beach and offer some sand, although today much of the dunes are protected and fenced off. Facilities at the beach include pay and display car park, toilets and cafe, although more facilities also a short walk across the bridge to the East beach and Littlehampton town centre.
- Porthleven beach is next to the harbour and near the village centre. Porthleven beach is separated from the harbour by the granite pier which lies in front of the Porthleven institute and clock tower. When the tide is out it is possible to walk in an easterly direction along Porthleven beach for approximately three miles, past Loe Bar and Penrose Estate. Alternatively, you can walk along the coast path the coast path out of the village with the Porthleven beach below you. At high tide, the beach all but disappears. Excellent surfing location for intermediate to advanced surfers with a natural reef break. Best months is between September and December but you will always get a strong surfing community and on big days news will travel and may get packed. On a calm day a good location for SUP with choices of the protected harbour and the beach front. The beach is a short walk along the harbour to the village centre where you have parking, shops and a selection of cafe and pubs.
- Robin Hoods Bay beach is a large beach in a small fishing hamlet situated on the Yorkshire Heritage Coast just south of Whitby, the bay is located on a steep hill and marks one end of the coast to coast walk. This beach is a great family location with the beach being shingle with many rock pools and is also large enough to cope with the summer crowds. The Coastal walk between Whitby and Robin Hoods Bay is one of the best parts of the Cleveland Way National Trail and you can imagine why in the 18th Century the bay was reported to be one of the busiest smuggling communities on the Yorkshire coast. Facilities include toilets, pubs, car park (although at the top of a steep hill), restaurants, shops, slipway and the Old Coastguard Station is one of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park Centres, exhibition and tourist information all at one location.
What’s On Around the Coast
Here we list some of our upcoming events.
- 30th May 2020-12th June 2020The Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed to the public. The first Isle of Man TT race was held on Tuesday 28 May 1907 and has since been held most years. The schedule will see a week of practices starting on Saturday 30th May to the Friday 5th of June. The first race day will be Saturday 6th June and sees the first three-lap sidecar race and the Superbike TT race. This “Superbike Saturday” is followed by the traditional “Mad Sunday” for fans to have their own ride around the Course. Races resume on Monday, Wednesday and the big day is Friday for the second sidecar race and the concluding Senior race. * Please note that race dates are subject to change or cancellation by event organisers at short notice.
- 20th June 2020-21st June 2020Alnmouth Art Festival featuring local artists displaying and selling their work at venues in the beautiful coastal village of Alnmouth. Venues include private homes, businesses and public buildings and you also have street food and children’s workshops.
- 27th June 2020-28th June 2020The Weston Air Festival is a free event of the 27th/28th weekend in June, with a mix of spectacular aerobatic displays and armed forces celebrations. Air displays plan to start at 1pm and run through until 5pm but are subject to change depending on weather conditions and operational commitments. Plenty to do for the whole family around the Weston seafront, over the weekend there will be exhibitions, bars, food, display teams and a fairground. … and all this located in the beautiful Weston-super-Mare Somerset seaside resort.
- 4th July 2020-5th July 2020The Wales Airshow is a free event held along the 8 km (5 mile) seafront between Mumbles and Swansea City. With a backdrop of the beautiful Swansea Bay you will see a wide range of vintage planes and formal displays along with plenty of entertainment on the seafront.
- 9th July 2020-12th July 2020The Goodwood Festival of Speed is located in the beautiful parkland surrounding Goodwood House, near Chichester in West Sussex. The Festival of Speed is motorsport’s weekend summer garden party, more than just the famous hill climb this is a celebration of world motorsport.
- 17th July 2020-19th July 2020The Bristol Harbour Festival is an annual festival that spans the city and harbour areas. Throughout the 3 days a wide selection of tall ships, live music, street performances, food markets, water display teams, circus acts and family activities. This event does not have camping but there are a number of hotels, hostels and guest houses in the Bristol area. Image provided by Sberriman
- 26th July 2020-31st July 2020Ramsgate Week is the Royal Temple Yacht Club annual regatta. During the week we have challenging day’s sailing between the North and South Forelands and then in the evening you can relax and enjoy our hospitality with live music every night. A;although this is a sailing event the town of Ramsgate jumps into life and plenty of things to do for those not competing.
- 5th August 2020-9th August 2020The Boadmasters Festival is held in Newquay, Cornwall and split over two locations in the town:Watergate Bay for the camping and the music stages Fistral Beach for the surfing competitions, skate/BMX, Beach Sessions and surf village