Find the nearest Blue Flag
Blue Flag beaches , the Blue Flag award is a prestigious, international award scheme that aims to provide an assurance to tourists that a beach has met a minimum standard. To collect a Blue Flag any UK and Ireland beach must achieve the highest quality of water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management.
Below we list the current beaches holding the Blue Flag award.
- Shoebury East beach is approximately quarter of a mile long gently sloping sandy/shingle beach backed by a large grassy area perfect for picnics. Can get very crowded on hot summer days and bank holidays. East Beach is a popular beach for watersports, especially windsurfing and kitesurfing, due to its position on the estuary. The beach has a designated zone, but beware of tides, at low tide you may have more than 1 mile to walk out or back. Typically you are looking at about 90 minutes either side of high tide. The beach is next to a MOD firing range. Facilities include parking (some areas are seasonal), toilets, slipway, outside shower and beach zones help keep water users segregated.
- Portrush Whiterocks Beach is backed by long white limestone cliffs that have been carved into arches and caves that fascinate visitors. We have listed one beach, but this 3 miles of glorious beach stretches from Portrush to Dunluce Castle, the area close to Portrush is Portrush East beach and has a Seaside Award where the eastern end is Whiterocks beach that has a Blue Flag award. A lot of the arches have been named like the Wishing Arch and the Lion’s Paw and you can sit here on the grassy patches all along the beach and enjoy fantastic ocean views and great spots for the ultimate beach picnics. Watersports are popular here and you’ll spot surfers and surf hire shops as well as the odd cafe. On the main coast road, you will find pull-in areas and a large car park where you can take in the incredible views of the headlands to the Giant’s Causeway and back to Portrush and Donegal. Facilities include parking, toilets and cafe.
- The beach is at the sea-front of Lahinch town and is one of the best beaches in the west of Ireland. Sand is firm with no hidden dangers in the water. For surfers this beach is excellent for the beginner. A choice of waves, the easiest is the main beach break. There are left and rights to surf and when it is breaking it is usually pretty mellow. Also an excellent kitesurfing beach. This area is also good for coastal walks.
- Barmouth beach is a large family sandy beach and perfect for sunbathing, games and surfing. The beach is located on the north bank of the river Mawddach on the west coast of Wales, just within the south west corner of Snowdonia National Park. The Mawddach Estuary is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and offers visitors a range of walks, and it is popular for bird spotters and those wishing to get away from it all. Barmouth old town is well worth a visit with its slate-roofed cottages on the side of a mountain, whilst it’s harbour is beautiful and you can walk across the spectacular Barmouth Bridge spanning the river. Barmouth beach is a town beach and so has easy access to a range of facilities including car parks, shops, pubs, accommodation and amusement arcades.
- Newgale Sands is nearly 3 km long, backed with a high tide pebble bank. At high water most of the beach is completely submerged but at other times a glorious wide sandy beach, popular with dog walkers, surfers, kitesurfers and windsurfers etc. Due to its size and excellent sand conditions makes a good kite buggy and kite boarding beach. Facilities include toilets, telephones and emergency phones, shops, cafes, garage and pub, car parking and there are two campsites located nearby. Lifeguards patrol the beach in the summer.
- Rest Bay beach is approximately 2.5 kilometres at low tide, and faces south west towards the Bristol Channel. The beach is a mix of sand with rock slabs and pebbles at the high tide line. Porthcawl town sits in the south-east end of the bay, while the north-west end has the Royal Porthcawl Golf Course. Popular with surfers, windsurfing and kitesurfing in designated zones.
- West Wittering beach overlooks the Solent and Chichester Harbour and has the South Downs as a beautiful backdrop. This is an excellent family destination with a sandy beach and large grassy area for parking and sunbathing. There are tidal pools which are ideal for children to explore and go crabbing in. Although it is mostly a sandy beach there are patches of shingle and some sand dunes. Back in the 1950s this area of beach and grassland was purchased by locals to protect it from developers. At low tide the ocean runs out giving you about a quarter of a mile of sand backed by some amazing dunes and grassland. This beach is popular with windsurfers and kite surfers, while shallow lagoons are left on extensive sandy flats at low tide. The whole area is internationally recognised for its wildlife, birds and unique beauty. Facilities include toilets, cafe, restaurant, beach huts, deckchair hire, surfboard hire, pay parking and lifeguards in summer months.
- Cromer beach is sand and shingle sitting within a traditional seaside resort, the beach stretches out either side of the pier. You still have fishing boats launching from the beach in season and these oiffer some excellent fresh crabs. Facilities at the beach include toilets, cafes/restaurants, beach chalet hire and the RNLI Museum.