The UK has an amazing coastline to explore! There are loads of little villages, gorgeous bays and dramatic cliffs that make for some of the best seaside holidays in the UK.
Sometimes, it’s easy to think that we Brits have a raw deal when it comes to seaside spots. It’s true, we don’t have the islands of the Maldives, warm Carribean waters or Arctic seas (though, it can feel like at times) – but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an amazing coastline that can rival most places across the world. In fact, I’d go as far as saying we have some amazing gems.
Now, a seaside holiday in the UK has lots of connotations with Victorian promenades, plenty of seagulls, some colourful deckchairs and plenty of ’99’ ice creams but there are so many more spots that don’t immediately spring to mind. That’s why I wanted to show you some little haunts for the best seaside holidays in the UK.
Take a look at 16 of the best seaside holidays in the UK, below. 🇬🇧
1.) Portrush, Northern Ireland
Perched in County Antrim, Portrush and Dunluce Castle is one of the prettiest seaside spots in Northern Ireland. Steeped in history and with a stunning (and rugged) coastline, it’s the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a gorgeous beach and a beautiful castle.
Rest assured, though, you’ll find the most amazing sandy beach at nearby Portrush on the way towards Dunluce Castle.
2.) Durdle Door, England
Nestled on the coastline of the Jurassic Coast, Durdle Door and the Man O’War Beach is a great place to visit for a relaxing day at the seaside. Make sure to walk the South West Coast Path, find some stunning coves (like Lulworth Cove) and walk west to Bat’s Head.
If you want to visit some pretty villages, pop into Chaldon Herring with its stunning cottages all nestled between the green hills surrounding this area. It’s sooooo pretty.
3.) Portmeirion, Wales
Now, don’t be fooled, this isn’t Italy! Portmeirion is a gorgeous Italian village that’s perched on the coastline of Wales and one of the best seaside holidays in the UK that I guarantee you’ll enjoy.
Once there, take a wander around the beautiful village, take in all that Italian heritage and even stay at the stunning Hotel Portmeirion that’s right on the waterfront.
If it’s a secluded beach you’re after, take a ramble slightly west from the town and you’ll come across the most unspoilt and little known about beaches in Wales (if you check on Google Maps, you’ll see the spot exactly).
4.) Watergate Bay, England
Another Cornish gem, Watergate Bay is a stone’s throw from the larger town of Newquay but a world away in terms of how intimate it feels. Head onto its gorgeous beach, stay at the Watergate Bay Hotel (which you’ll love) and gorge on all that seafood that’s served up fresh each day! It’s one of the best seaside spots around.
Plus, it’s a great spot for surfing too. 🏄♀️
5.) St Michael’s Mount island, England
I go on about St. Michael’s Mount a lot, I know – but it’s so amazing! If you’re in Cornwall and you’re looking for a little seaside break, you have to visit here. Perched on the south coast, St. Michael’s Mount is a stunning (tidal) island that’s so gorgeous.
Best yet, on a sunny day (or with a wetsuit) you can pop into the sea at Long Rock Beach. It’s a matter of minutes from St. Michael’s Mount and a great way to spend a lazy weekend.
Read our full post on seaside places in Cornwall, below
6.) Neist Point, Scotland
Perched on the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, Neist Point is a great place to visit on your trip around the Highlands. Pop over to the Isle of Skye, walk the many coastal paths and stop off at Walrus Rock if you’re walking a longer route.
Though you won’t find a beach right next to Neist Point, you will find lots of rugged coastlines that you can enjoy. If you’re still hankering for a little beach time, pop over to Varkasaig beach (with a picnic in hand).
7.) Robin Hood’s Bay, England
Nestled on the coastline of Yorkshire, Robin Hood’s Bay is a stunning little village that’s pretty close to the nearby Whitby (and its famous abbey). Now, the village itself might not strike you straight off as a seaside hot spot – but trust me when I say it is. The beach is gorgeous.
Plus, the village, with all it’s little fishing cottages, is so beautiful to explore and they have a substantial number of local watering holes to grab a shandy in! This whole area is known for its seafood too, so make sure you gorge on as much as you can. You’ll be spoilt for choice. 🐚
8.) Llanddwyn Island, Wales
Just off the west coast of Anglesey (and Island in Wales), Llanddwyn Island is a gorgeous spot to see. Technically, an island (Llanddwyn) just off an island (Anglesey) that’s just off an island (Great Britain) – it’s a spot that’s easily reached.
Once there, make sure to visit the lighthouse and enjoy the gorgeous sands of Llanddwyn Bay too. 🏴
9.) Seven Sisters, England
On the south coast of England, the Seven Sisters stand proudly in between Seaford and Eastbourne and are perfect to start one of your best seaside holidays in the UK. Head along the cliff walk, though, as always treat the cliffs with the respect they deserve and don’t get too close to the unstable edge.
Afterwards, pop over to Seaford to grab some fish and chip on the beach. Yum! 🐟
10.) Talland Bay, England
Just west of Looe in Cornwall, Talland Bay is a stunning seaside spot to explore. Within the bay itself, there are two small beaches that are just too charming to miss. Pack your swimming trunks and head for a dip.
If your tummy begins to rumble, hop in the car (for about 2 miles) and head to The Kitchen in Polperro – they serve one of the best lunches in the area.
11.) Llandudno, Wales
On the north coast of Wales is the historic seaside town of Llandudno. A perfect spot for a holiday in Wales. Once there, walk the length of the Promenade, explore the pier and take the Great Orme Tramway too. It really is a gorgeous place.
For a tasty bite to eat, pop into The Cottage Loaf that serves up a hearty lamb shank. If you’re visiting Wales, make sure to check out some of these spots, below:
12.) Cromer, England
Cromer and it’s famous pier have been drawing us seaside lovers to the town for decades. Nestled on the coastline of Norfolk, it’s a great seaside spot at any time of the year. In the summer months, you’ll want to take some time to relax an splash about on the beach. Whilst in the winter, you’ll want to enjoy some of the coastal paths that crisscross this region.
Oh, don’t forget to also check out the Crab & Lobster Festival too – it’s a fun day!
In the gorgeous Highlands of Scotland is a Sand Beach, aptly named due to the gorgeous sands it has. The beach itself is about 4-5 miles from Applecross (the closest village) and probably the best beach in the area.
On a sunny day, it’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy some of that seaside charm, all before heading to Applecross for a hearty meal in the local.
We went for Lobster and Cod – both were delicious!
14.) Blackpool, England
Yup, this is possibly one of the most famous seaside spots in the UK. Once a thriving seaside town, Blackpool lost a lot of visitors in recent decades but there’s still those die-hard fans of Blackpool that love it.
Once there, make sure to enjoy some seaside time at the beach, ride the rollercoasters at the Pleasure Beach and head to the top of the Blackpool Tower. From November, you can even see the town come alive with the Blackpool Illuminations.
Don’t forget a big stick or rock too. The aniseed and the mint rocks are my fav! 🍭
15.) Newburgh, Scotland
About 20 miles north of Aberdeen is Newburgh, a stunning coastline that’s perfect for a seaside getaway. As this is on the east coast of Scotland, it’s a great spot to also see the sunrise too.
16.) Gower Peninsular, Wales
The Gower Peninsular in South Wales is one amazing place for sandy beaches and some lovely waters. It’s also an epic spot for surfing too – if that’s your thing?
After enjoying some of the seaside air, pop over to nearby Mumbles for a little wander around and a bite to eat. It’s a lovely little town right on the seafront.