20 Best Beaches In England

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England has thousands of miles of gorgeous beaches. As the UK is an island, you are never more than 70 miles (112 kilometres) from the sea, making a day out at the beach accessible for all. From traditional seaside with colourful Victorian changing huts to pebble beaches and secret coves, England has many beautiful beaches.

The best beaches in England are scattered across the country and, despite the varying and changing weather, are still stunning even on drizzly cold days. Some of England’s beaches are off the beaten track or simply harder to access, making them a more tranquil seaside retreat. So visit some of the seaside towns and feast on fish and chips before exploring the splendour that English beaches have to offer. Here are our 20 best beaches in England to visit.

20 Beaches In England

Beaches in North England

1- Bamburgh Beach

beaches in england near me Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle is an eye-catching monument on Northumberland Beach.

For dramatic, windswept coastal views, look no further than Bamburgh Beach.

Bamburgh Castle, a Norman stronghold, overlooks Bamburgh Beach.

This northern beach has cold waters year-round however, the sands and dunes make for relaxing and beautiful strolls.

Be sure to look out for the myriad of rock pools in the area and Stag Rocks at the beach’s northern end is named after the white stag painted on the rocks.

Bamburgh Beach is at Bamburgh, NE69 7DF.

2- Whitby Beach

Whitby town and beach in north west england from the water
Whitby is one of the most charming beach towns in England and when you view it from the water, you’ll see why.

The small town of Whitby sits in a valley in the North Yorkshire Moors and has a stunning stretch of beach overlooking the North Sea.

The beach is at the base of Whitby’s West Cliff and features golden sands and pebbles.

Fossil enthusiasts are attracted to Whitby Beach to find fossils either independently or on a daily fossil walk.

Overlooking the sands are a row of colourful Victorian-style changing houses used as day huts for families on the beach or surfers changing after being out on the waves.

Whitby Beach is at 1 Pier Road, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3PT.

3- Blast Beach

One of the North East’s hidden yet incredible beaches is Blast Beach.

Blast Beach was once home to some of the worst coastline pollution globally, thanks to the coal mining along the Durham coastline.

However, the beach and the seas have been cleaned up in an effort between the National Trust and many local companies.

The beach is hidden away through a short coastal and forest walk and down some steep steps.

At the bottom, the pebble beach is dotted with sea glass, natural arches, and caves.

A blanket of lovely wildflowers covers the cliffs, making it an incredibly picturesque place to visit.

Blast Beach is at Hawthorn, Seaham, SR7 7PR.

4- Filey Beach

best beaches in south west england Filey on a stormy day
Filey is one of the most dramatic beaches in England. Pictured here is the beach on the Yorkshire coast on a stormy day.

In 2019, Filey Beach was voted in the six most beautiful beaches in the world in the Travellers Choice awards, and it is easy to see why.

This North Yorkshire beach is a quarter-mile (0.4 km) wide at low tide and stretches for seven miles (11.26 km), ending at Bempton’s chalk cliffs.

Dotted along the beach are wrecks of ships, rock pools and, of course, stunning golden sands.

Look out for local fishermen fishing from their traditional cable fishing boats.

Filey Beach is at 1 Flat Cliffs, Primrose Valley, Filey, YO14 9RD.

5- St Bees Beach

A model on a towel on one of the sandy beaches in England
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Sitting on the western coast of Cumbria at the end of a long valley is the coastal town of St Bees.

Lush green fields and the sea surround this picturesque town.

St Bees Beach is a long sandy beach that is popular with visitors.

A rock formation that sits at one end of the beach named St Bees Head marks one end of the famous ‘Coast to Coast Walk’, which stretches from the west coast to the east coast of England.

This beautiful beach is also home to an RSPB nature reserve, where Britain’s only colony of Black Guillemots nest.

St Bees Beach is at 23 Scalebarrow, St Bees, CA27 0ES.

For more beaches around the world read:

6- Whitburn Beach

Photo of sand castles found on the best sandy beaches in england
The beaches in England are perfect for building sandcastles.

To the north of the city of Sunderland lies Whitburn Beach, a wide expanse of golden sands bordered by grass and dunes.

The beach is popular in the summer months as residents from the nearby coastal city flock to its shores for sunbathing, sailing and water sports.

However, unlike other busy beaches in the area, Whitburn offers a peaceful summer day out.

The main promenade follows the beach and heads south towards Roker and its beaches and shops, or to the north towards the cliffs and Souter Lighthouse.

Whitburn Beach is at Whitburn, Sunderland, SR6 7SG.

7- Holy Island Beach

Holy Island is a character beach only accessible at low tide and is off the Northumberland coast near Berwick-upon-Tweed.

At low tide, when more of the sandy banks of the island are exposed, Holy Island is bordered by four beautiful beaches to the north.

While the tide is out, the sands reveal old wooden posts from pillars and knotted driftwood.

On the grass-covered banks next to the beaches, look out for the upturned fishing boats that have been transformed into storage sheds.

Holy Island Beach is at Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 2SP.

Beaches in Southern England

8- Woolacombe Beach

one of the beaches in england with sand, blue sky and green trees
Salcombe beach in south Devon is another fine beach in England to visit in summer.

Woolacombe Beach is one of Devon’s finest beaches, with a stunning expanse of sand bordered by sloping hills leading into the countryside.

The beach is long and vast at three miles (4.8 km), meaning that even in the height of summer, it is possible to find a quiet place to sit and sleep.

Woolacombe is a dog-friendly beach all year round; however, some restrictions apply during busy periods.

The beach is on the Atlantic coast, and with its excellent year-round rolling breaks, it offers unrivalled surfing opportunities.

Woolacombe Beach is at Woolacombe, EX34 7BN.

9- Kynance Cove

Rocky cliffs in cornwall's beaches in england
Kynance Cove in Cornwall has dramatic cliffs that making it one of the most picturesque of England’s beaches.

Kynance Cove is protected and maintained by the National Trust, which describes it as a ‘tidal beach for the adventurous’.

The beach offers pristine, soft, white sands and glowing turquoise waters.

The shore is dotted with rocks that the sea has smoothed over.

Over the decades, the cove has been a popular location for artists, photographers and filmmakers alike who take advantage of its beauty.

Kynance comes from the Cornish word ‘kewnans’, which means ravine.

When the tide is low, many attractive hidden coves, caves and pools are revealed, each with equally beautiful names.

Take a dip in the Ladies Bathing Pool, or pay a visit to the Drawing Room.

Kynance Cove is at Helston, TR12 7PJ.

10- West Wittering Beach

West Wittering Beach is one of the lovely beaches England

West Wittering Beach is a stunning stretch of pristine sand with views of the South Downs.

During the 1950s, Butlins, a UK coastal holiday company, was interested in buying the land to turn it into a holiday camp.

Luckily, locals clubbed together and purchased the beach for themselves, allowing the area to become a conservation area.

The crystal-clear waters are particularly popular with water sports enthusiasts, with many courses offered by local professionals to train those interested.

The beach is also highly popular with walkers heading to the East Head Dunes or East Wittering beach, which is home to many popular independent shops and restaurants.

West Wittering Beach is at Pound Road, West Wittering, Chichester, PO20 8AJ.

11- Porthcurno Beach

Soaring cliffs and coves typical of the best beaches in north west england
The sandy beaches in Cornwall are some of the most picturesque beaches in England.

Porthcurno Beach is an award-winning beach in west Cornwall, and many locals consider it a paradise.

The beach has fine white sands next to an azure sea, bordered by high cliffs.

At the top of the cliffs overlooking the beach is the internationally renowned Minack Theatre built in the 1920s and still puts on shows to this day.

For TV fans, Porthcurno Beach was renamed Nampara Cove for the series Poldark.

Porthcurno Beach is at Porthcurno, Cornwall, TR19 6JX.

12- Brancaster Beach

English Beaches flat brown sand and water in the distance
Brancaster Beach is a vast beach you’ll have to walk quite a way to get to the water.

Another spectacular beach maintained by the National Trust is Brancaster Beach.

This east-coast gem offers soft golden sands with the occasional tuft of grass growing through.

The beach is a great expanse between the sandy dunes and the marshes and reed beds that reveal themselves during low tide.

The sands have proved popular with families setting out for a relaxing day while children build sandcastles, but they also hide many hidden gems.

Brancaster offers opportunities for beachcombing, with razor shells a particularly frequent find.

Brancaster Beach is at Brancaster, King’s Lynn, PE31 8AX.

13- Aldeburgh Beach

nicest beaches in england Aldeburgh coast on a misty day
The Aldeburgh coast in Suffolk has dramatic beaches perfect for photography under a moody sky.

Aldeburgh Beach is both a sand and shingle beach and is possibly the best known of all the beaches in Suffolk.

Bordering the beach is the pretty seaside town of Aldeburgh.

Running along the beachfront are numerous historical buildings.

Overlooking the sea is the 400-year-old Moot Hall, a converted windmill and a church dating back to the 11th century.

Aldeburgh Beach is at Crag Path, Aldeburgh, IP15 5BP.

14- Birling Gap

best beaches in england sheer chalk cliffs
Sheer chalk cliffs are a stunning feature and several beaches in England.

Birling Gap is a paradise nestled between the Seven Sisters section of sheer chalk cliffs and Beachy Head.

The beach is an enclosed pebble beach that has created a tranquil atmosphere against the drama of the cliffs it sits beneath.

The only way to get to this beach is by walking down a steep set of steps from the clifftops, allowing it to remain quiet and peaceful.

You can walk along the clifftops to take in a more dramatic view of the gap and the English Chanel, however, cliff-falls are frequent, with much of the edges closed to public access.

Birling Gap is at Eastborne, BN20 0AB.

15- Studland Beach

One of the unique features on England Beaches are WWII remnants
Tank traps from WWII are an unusual feature at Studland Beach in England.

Studland Beach lies in Dorset and is a vast expanse of sandy beaches and heathland.

Studland is made up of three beaches in total. South Beach is the smallest of the three and is popular with locals. Knoll Beach is bordered by wild dunes, trees and open spaces, and Middle Beach offers visitors some shelter from the winds thanks to its low cliffs.

The beach stretches from the Jurassic Coast at Old Harry Rocks up to Shell Bay in the north.

On clear days, one of the cool things about this beach is that it is possible to see the Isle of Wight.

Studland Beach is at Ferry Road, Swanage, BH19 3BA.

16- Cromer Beach

Photo of colourful beach huts on one of the most beautiful beaches in england
Colourful beach huts on Cromer Beach, which some say is one of the most beautiful beaches in England.

Britain is famous for traditional Victorian seaside towns and coastal areas, and Cromer Beach is just that.

This traditional Victorian resort features a combination of shingles and sand, with designated areas for swimming and surfing.

The town began as a fishing community specialising in catches of crab and lobster.

Today, this fishing tradition can still be seen from its local fishermen to children ‘crabbing’ by the pier.

When the tide is low, Cromer Beach is dotted with rock pools that temporarily trap small sea creatures, much to the fascination of the local children.

Cromer Beach is at The Warren, Cromer, NR27 0AR.

17- Man O’War Beach

beaches in england Man O'War Cove aerial view with green water and plunging cliffs
Man O’War Cove near Durdle Door is a stunning English beach to visit on the Jurassic Coastline in Dorset.

Located along the famous Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site is Man O’War Cove.

Man O’War Cove is a submerged reef only visible during low tide or through snorkelling or diving.

The beach itself is a crescent shape and leads to deep blue waters.

Man O’War combines pebbles and sand and, as it sits at the bottom of a cliff, is a retreat from some of the busier beaches along the Jurassic Coast.

This tranquil beach is also a safe swimming location as its waters are shallow.

Man O’War Cove is at West Lulworth, Wareham.

18- Walberswick Beach

Walberswick Beach sits on the south side of the mouth of the River Blyth and features long, grassy dunes that reach to golden sands towards the shore.

The beach is quieter and more secluded than others in the area and yet is still close enough to local amenities to be perfect for a day trip.

Walberswick Beach is at Southwold, IP18 6ND.

19- Old Hunstanton Beach

beaches in south england sunset over mossy rocks
Hunstanton beach in England’s Norfolk is stunning at sunset.

If nothing else draws you to the beautiful beach of Old Hunstanton, dotted with seaweed-covered rocks and beautiful shells to collect, then the awe-inspiring cliffs should do the trick.

Old Hunstanton Beach is bordered by red and white streaked cliffs, a naturally occurring geological feature of the Norfolk coastline.

Visiting at sunset makes for a breathtaking scene.

The beach is the only west-facing beach on the east coast, allowing it to remain a couple of degrees warmer than other beaches in cooler months, making it more pleasant for a wintery stroll.

Old Hunstanton Beach is at Hunstanton PE36 6JJ.

20- Formby Beach

Photo of Formby, one of the nice beaches in england at dusk
One of the nicest beaches in England is Formby beach, especially at sunset.

Formby Beach features a quick-changing shoreline of glorious golden sands.

The beach is surrounded by an extensive network of sand dunes that are moving at a rate of 4m (13ft) per year.

The shifts in sands have revealed preserved prehistoric footprints.

Bordering the sands are woodlands that act as a protected site for the red squirrel population.

Formby Beach is at Victoria Road, Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ.

21- Saltburn By The Sea

beautiful beaches in england A view of the tram lift in Saltburn with the beach and sea in the background
Saltburn by the Sea Cliff is a beach in England with a historic tram.

For more ideas around England read:

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.