2023 England Blue Flag Beach Awards

It’s that time of the year when the Blue Flag beaches are announced. 2023 has seen 77 English beaches get the Blue Flag Award, three less than a year ago, and we then have 128 Seaside Awards beaches, of which 59 have both Blue Flag and seaside awards.

Blue Flag and Seaside Award winners stretch across much of the country, though the South West has the most with 37 blue flag beaches in Cornwall and Devon, which is one up on last year.

Just click on a title to go to our beach information pages.

England Blue Flag Awards

East Midlands Blue Flags

3 winners

East of England Blue Flags

14 Winners

North East Blue Flags

5 Winners

North West Blue Flags

No Winners

Yorkshire Blue Flags

4 Winners

South East Blue Flags

14 Winners

South West Blue Flags

37 Winners

Blue Flag is a mark of a quality beach

The Blue Flag beach award is widely recognised as an indication of a good quality beach and has moved on since it started in France in 1985. Most people think a Blue Flag indicates clean and safe water, but although it does, it measures a beach against a lot more criteria:

  • Environmental Education and Information. This includes displaying details on the Blue Flag award along with details on the water quality and a beach map, including locations of facilities.
  • Water Quality. This is about the water is safe to swim in, and water samples are taken at regular points during the bathing season, and the year gets an overall grade. Each of our beach pages gives a summary of the current water quality.
  • Environmental Management. This category is about managing the beach and keeping it clean, along with facilities like toilets being available to the public.
  • Safety and Services. This is a big one for families with children, as lifeguards should patrol the beach. Other criteria include the availability of drinking water and accessibility features.

Not having a Blue Flag does not mean a beach should be avoided, as the tough criteria described above are only really suited to large seaside resorts, and smaller villages and remote bays can’t offer the same management level. This means they don’t participate in the scheme, and local countries have their awards to recognise some of these other beaches.

The blue flag certification process is carried out every year by local quality organisations and for our beaches in the UK, the annual results are announced at the end of May or the beginning of June.

For more information and details of the assessment criteria, visit the Blue Flag Award website.

For a full list of Blue Flag beaches see our list at UK Blue Flag Beaches.