Find the nearest Beaches
Planning a trip to the UK and Ireland coast and looking for where the nearest beach is, our beach lists will help you discover the nearest beach to me. Then for each beach, we will answer questions around location, rural or town, sandy or pebble, rockpools, tide times, weather forecast, dog restrictions, bathing water quality, closest beach cafes and provide general information on the beach and its facilities.
When on a beach page use our tools to search nearby UK and Ireland seaside towns and the surrounding coast for things to see and do or places to stay and eat.
Finding the right beach in UK and Ireland is easy – simply explore the beach links below, to find the closest hit the jump to my location compass or use the search bar to plan where your next UK and Ireland beach visit should be.
- Balnakeil Bay, white sandy beach is wide and backed by a large area of tall sand dunes covered in marram grass. To the north is Faraid Head, home to military installations connected with the naval gunnery ranges towards Cape Wrath. The walk to the end of Faraid Head and back is a magnificent one. This is definitely a beach for those looking for unspoilt beauty at a cost of no facilities. As you return to Durness from Balnakeil Bay you have the old military buildings that have for many years housed the Balnakeil Craft Village. The village is home and workplace for a number of artists and craftspeople and has shops and food outlets.
- Minehead beach is also known as The Strand beach. The beach is a curving sandy beach, although becomes more pebbly as you approach the harbour. The beach has a large promenade that has a selection of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. At the top end of the bay you have North Hill which has some great views across the Bristol Channel to Wales and along the coast to Exmoor. The beach is popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers and it is best to launch at the west end of the beach. Conditions can vary but a great opportunity for flat water blasting. The beach is also the starting point for the South West Coast Path, which runs all the way to Poole in Dorset via both North and South Devon’s coasts and Cornwall. The beach has all the expected facilities of a large traditional seaside town.
- Dunster beach is a large private sand and shingle beach. Recognised as a nature reserve with woods, a large lake, lots of wild life and rare flowers. Access for day trippers by paying for parking with facilities include food, shops, toilets, picnic areas and putting green.
- Freathy beach is a sandy south facing sun trap just below the village of Freathy at the mid-point of Whitsand Bay. Lifeguards present daily during July, August and September and the beach has a small cafe. Car parking is available at Sharrow Point nearby and in lay-bys along the coast road.
- Porth Joke is a great north-west facing narrow cove with a sandy beach, rock pools and caves. Often less busy than other local beaches but partly due to no facilities. Porth Joke is a hidden gem, tucked away between Crantock and Holywell Bay on the North Cornish coast near the popular town of Newquay. It’s name is derived from the Cornish word ‘Pol Lejouack’ meaning Jackdaw Cove. Porth Joke is a National Trust beach and there are two car parks within walking distance. There are no facilities at Porth Joke, it’s as nature intended!
- Camber Sands beach is hidden behind dunes and is a popular family sandy beach, with picturesque dunes and interesting wildlife. Camber Sands is very popular as it offers golden sand and dunes rather than the more traditional Sussex pebble beach. The beach is divided into zoned areas (bathing, dog restricted, watersports), please check the beach signs. The dunes are formed from the sand that is blown inland which builds up around plants, debris and fences. A large section of the western end sit within the Camber Sands and Rye Saltings Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), while the rest is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Importance The marram grass that you see covering much of the dunes has a deep root system which helps to hold the sand in place. Traditional chestnut fences along the beach help sand to build up more quickly. The combination of plants and fences at Camber Sands prevent the dunes from moving and burying the village. Facilities at the beach include seasonal lifeguards, public telephone, toilets with disabled access, children’s play area, slipway, Coastal Control Office for lost children, first aid, cafe and deckchair hire. The village of Camber is very close to the beach and you have a selection of holiday parks to the east of the village. In Camber Village you have a selection of cafes, chip shops, general stores, a post office and a couple of pubs. There are three main car parks, Western car park on New Lydd Road, Central car park, and the car park on Old Lydd road. Both Western and Central also has large overflow car parks. Only Central has direct access to the beach. You have to tackle steep soft sandy paths over the dunes to reach the beach from the Western car park, making this unsuitable for those with prams, or wheelchairs.
- Llanddona beach is a good sized family sandy beach that shelves at a decent but not alarming rate. This north east facing beach is located on the eastern side of the Red Wharf Bay area, measures approximately 2.5 km in length, although the bay itself is more than 4 km wide. Llanddona village is located on high ground between Benllech and Beaumaris, it is popular as a holiday destination on Anglesey. The road down to the beach is for the confident driver as it is steep single track with passing lanes, so be prepared for hill starts. Once on the beach it is well worth the trip. Popular with windsurfers, sailers, kitesurfing and fishing. Parking by the beach, slipway, cafe and toilets. You do have a pub in Llanddona at the top of the hill although it has no shops.
- Middleton-on-Sea beach is a great family beach that has a high water pebble area and then sand at mid to low tide, when you can walk for miles in either direction to Bognor Regis or Littlehampton. The beach has a high pebble bank with some grass area, but the pebbles can be steep to go down. You have good rock pools at low tide around the rock coastal defence that sit off the beach towards Elmer and these sea defence rocks also provide some natural protection from any on-shore wind. It is very hard to park by Middleton-on-Sea beach as the area is backed by private estates with no vehicle access, although a few public footpaths lead from the main road to the beach with some parking in the village center. On a positive, due to parking difficulties, you will always have plenty of space to spread out. You have no facilities on the beach but close by in Middleton-on-Sea you have a couple of pubs, chippy, cafe and shops.