Top 10 UK Beachcombing Beaches

beachcombing beaches UK

We have selected what we’d consider the best beach-combing beaches around the UK. These beaches were selected using criteria for:

  • Beach cleanliness and provision of litter bins
  • Disabled, pram and pushchair access where reasonable
  • Safe pedestrian access to the beach
  • Safe and well maintained transport access points
  • Provision of well maintained toilets, including disabled toilets
  • Number of signed car parks
  • Enforcement of Dog Ban/Control Order
  • Use of beach zoning to meet differing needs of beach users
  • Full risk assessment & provision of public rescue equipment in peak season
  • Use of beach zoning to meet differing needs of beach users
  • Information points located at main beach access points

Our Top 10

1. Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

This wide, sandy bay was once a thriving fishing port, but in more recent times has become a popular tourist attraction. With its brightly painted cottages and impressive cliffs the beauty of this alluring bay is often recreated by inspired artists. At low tide exposed rocks are a fossil seekers’ paradise and the flat sands offer the perfect location for a leisurely stroll. The nearby picturesque village is a maze of narrow alleyways and cobbled streets. With its own sailing club and a number of pleasure and fishing boats Runswick Bay is a gem that must be visited.
This beach is a great place to enjoy nature and wildlife. It is a rural beach located close to other places of interest such as historical buildings.

Holiday cottages in North Yorkshire Coast

2. Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire

Newgale Sands is famous for its two-mile stretch of gloriously golden sand. With its ‘large surf’, it is considered by many one of the best places to take to the board. Bathers should take note of the flags, especially in high tide. The beach is backed by a natural ridge of pebbles which act as a flood defense at high tide. With easy access for wheelchairs and pushchairs, plus excellent facilities, seaside activities and walks, this really is a beach with something for everyone.

Holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire and the South

3. Westward Ho! Beach, Devon

More than two miles of golden sand backed by a unique pebble ridge linking to Northam Burrows Country Park, which is part of the UK’s only United Nations Biosphere Reserve. Access is fairly easy down a concrete ramp from the town of Westward Ho!, named after the famous novel by Charles Kingsley. Perfect for water sports and bathing the beach is adjacent to the South West Coast Path and is well located for visits to many other nearby attractions including the picturesque fishing village of Clovelly.
This beach offers great facilities to enjoy water sports and swimming related activities such as surfing and body boarding.

Holiday cottages in North Devon

4. Cowes, Isle of Wight

To the west of the prestigious Victorian town of Cowes is the welcoming shingle beach of West Cowes. Its surrounding grassed area and vibrant flower beds provide West Cowes with a certain rural charm and an ideal spot for picnics. Traditional Victorian-style shelters bedeck the promenade which is popular with visitors enjoying an unhurried stroll. For a tranquil setting in which to unwind West Cowes is the perfect choice.
This beach is a great place to enjoy nature and wildlife. It is a rural beach located close to other places of interest such as historical buildings.

5. Camber, East Sussex

This very popular foreshore contains the only sand dunes in East Sussex and provides and ideal family beach with a wide expanse of sand fronting the dunes. The beach is zoned and an eight knot speed restriction applies inshore. There are a number of bars, cafes and amusements serviced by large car parks. A large holiday camp and caravan site are nearby.
This beach offers great facilities to enjoy water sports and swimming related activities such as surfing and body boarding.

6. Frinton on Sea, Frinton Beach, Essex

A quiet family beach located on the Tendring sunshine coast that is perfect for picnics and beach games. Noted for its cleanliness and gentility, the area places special emphasis on relaxed, family fun at the seaside. Enjoy walks along the extensive greensward or take a short walk into the town centre where there is a full range of shopping amenities. Lively seafront activities are available in the neighbouring resort of Walton-on-the-Naze or ride along the cycleway beside Frinton Golf course towards Holland Haven Country Park nature reserve.
This beach is a great place for family based activities such as building sandcastles, flying kites and playing sports.

7. Herne Bay East, Kent

Herne Bay East is a quiet area of coastline ideal for walking and cycling between the Victorian seaside town of Herne Bay and the historic village of Reculver. To the east are the sandstone cliffs of Reculver Country Park and behind the beach are grassy slopes with a number of criss-crossing footpaths. On top of the slopes are amazing views of the Thames Estuary and Kentish Flats Wind Farm. The nearby town of Herne Bay is extremely popular with fishing enthusiasts and boasts many excellent seafood restaurants. With bands playing gently throughout the season this is the perfect spot to soak up the relaxed atmosphere of this charming town.
This beach is a great place to go for a long walk with local amenities and facilities close-by.

8. Barmston, East Yorkshire

With more than a mile of long, clear sands Barmston is the perfect beach for relaxing, playing and walking. Backed by low cliffs that host sand martins from April to September, the beach is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Stretching to nearby Bridlington with its pretty harbour and ample amenities, Barmston beach offers a great mix of rural charm with good local facilities. With a family friendly caravan park next to it, Barmston is the ideal spot for an extended holiday or simply a great day out.
This beach is a great place to enjoy nature and wildlife. It is a rural beach located close to other places of interest such as historical buildings.

9. Combe Martin Beach, Devon

Situated in the Heritage Coast and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this beach nestles amongst the dramatic North Devon coastline. A firm favourite of local families, the unspoilt beach is mainly shingle at the top with plenty of sand at low water. There are natural rock pools providing endless interest. The beach marks the edge of the Exmoor National Park. Convenient car parking and good facilities are nearby.
This beach is a great place for family based activities such as building sandcastles, flying kites and playing sports.

10. Cresswell Dunes & Foreshore, Northumberland

Cresswell Dunes and Foreshore is the southern portion of Druridge Bay, a wide expanse of golden sands stretching north from the tiny village of Cresswell to Amble, 7 miles away. The coast’s unspoilt beauty attracts a range of wildlife, particularly birds such as barn owls and terns and mammals such as seals and porpoise. The rockpools of Cresswell Carrs mark the bay’s southern tip, near steps leading up to the best ice-cream in Northumberland. The beach is a popular destination all year for wildlife watching and quiet relaxation by families and those wishing to get away from it all.
This beach is a great place to enjoy nature and wildlife. It is a rural beach located close to other places of interest such as historical buildings.

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