The UK’s Rugged Coastline has some of the most beautiful, accessible and unspoilt beaches in the world, but before we start we acknowledge that the sea water is cold and you can’t guarantee the sun.

The 13,000km of coastline has many seaside locations from the traditional Victorian seafronts to the small fishing villages. In this list, we avoid the Blue Flag beaches but show some of Britains beautiful beaches, often with no facilities and requiring a short coastal walk to reach.

Here we list five great options.

Porth Joke Beach, Newquay, Cornwall

Porth Joke beach, Newquay, Cornwall

Porth Joke Beach is a great north-west facing narrow cove with a sandy beach, rock pools and caves. A Natural Trust beach that sits to the south of the busy Newquay beaches in Cornwall, often less busy than other local beaches but partly due to no facilities.

Vatersay Bay and West Bay Beaches, Isle of Vatersay, Outer Hebrides

Vatersay Bay beach, Isle of Vatersay, Outer Hebrides

Vatersay Bay and West Bay Beaches are on the Isle of Vatersay in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. You actually get two great unspoilt white sandy beaches for the price of one backed by dunes and rolling hills. Each beach has different aspects so you can pick the best beach that suits the conditions.

Birling Gap Beach, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Birling Gap beach, Eastbourne, East Sussex
Birling Gap Beach is a beautiful pebble beach set below the dramatic backdrop of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs to the east of Eastbourne in East Sussex. The beach is the traditional Sussex pebble beach with compact sand as the tide goes out. The beach is managed by the National Trust and you also have large grass areas to explore along the cliff tops.

Birling Gap beach is good for hunting fossils in the chalk on the beach below the cliffs or for exploring the low tide rock pools.

Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland

Holy Island Lindisfarne beaches, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
Holy Island is also known by its Celtic name as Lindisfarne and is accessible only at low tide, twice daily, by a three-mile-long causeway. This small island has a selection of sandy beaches and dunes and is one of the top locations for bird watching in North East England. The sand dunes and saltmarsh are a National Nature Reserve, and an important winter home to thousands of seabirds, particularly waders.

Strathy Bay Beach, Thurso, The Scottish Highlands

Strathy Bay beach, Thurso, The Scottish Highlands
Strathy Bay Beach is located near the village of Strathy in the Scottish Highlands, a sandy beach backed by sand dunes and cliffs with sea caves.


This is just a taster of what you can see when you start to move away from the big well known seaside towns and popular beaches. Often it is a case of taking a short walk in the opposite direction to most tourists.

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