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10 more of Britain’s best beaches for 2019

These 10 beaches in England, Wales and beyond might've narrowly missed a top ten spot on our previous list, but they're no less gorgeous. Book a cheap flight from Ireland and discover your new favourite seaside destination in the UK in summer 2019.
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10 more of the most beautiful beaches in Britain

1. Rhossili Bay, Wales

Rhossili Bay is considered by many the best beach in Wales

Rhossili, considered ‘the supermodel of British beaches’ by local newspaper The Independent, is a beaut! Three miles of golden sands, picturesque picnic areas, some awesome surf and water sports spots.

This stunning beach is just one of a number of glorious seashores along the Gower Peninsula in south Wales. To get there pull into the tiny town of Rhossili and head down the steps from the clifftop until you feel the sand between your toes. There are quite a lot of steps and unfortunately there is no wheelchair access.

Rhossili Bay, one of Wales most beautiful beaches

Grab ice cream, cake or coffee from one of the small cafés just 400m from the bay, or in the nearby village, and head for a walk in the soft sands. For seaside nibbles with a view head to The Bay Bistro (until 5 pm on Saturday-Sunday), offering both Welsh and Mediterranean flavours.

Sounds like heaven? Wait until you discover these 10 gorgeous coastal spots in Wales – in pictures.

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2. Margate, Kent

A family favourite in the 1960s, Margate has undergone a facelift in recent years, with new restaurants and hotels popping-up all over town. One of the most recent additions designed to draw the crowds to Britain’s original seaside is a £30m (nearly €35m) renovated Dreamland Pleasure Park.

Ride the vintage rollercoasters, chase your friends on the dodgems or make merry on the carousel, all whilst trying not to sick up the candy floss you’ve been scoffing. Instagram addicts will be beside themselves. Aside from retro rides, Margate’s seaside is a hive of creativity. It has famously inspired the likes of Tracey Emin, one of the artists whose work showing at the Turner Contemporary gallery (free admission, open Tuesday to Sunday).

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3. Whitby, Yorkshire

Picturesque Whitby in Yorkshire

Surrounded by the wilds of the North York Moors National Park, fringed by some of the UK’s most beautiful bays, Whitby is a charming place to explore. Once an important sea port, there are plenty of fine fishing villages in the area to discover. One of them is Robin Hood’s Bay, just a short 13-minute drive or a two-hour coastal walk from Whitby centre.

The Yorkshire countryside around Whitby

Join a chilling 75-minute ghost walk of Whitby town, departing at 7.30pm from the Whale Bone Arch on West Cliff, and go in search of Dracula. Bram Stoker found inspiration for his famous character after a stay on Whitby’s West Cliff. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you grab some grub in The Magpie Cafe, a local institution and famed for its fish and chips. The daily queues out the door prove just how popular this traditional seafood restaurant is.

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4. Gott Bay, Isle of Tiree, Scotland

Rocks on the beach at Gott Bay, Tiree, Scotland.

Stretching from the ferry terminal to Ruaig and Soa, Gott Bay is one of Scotland’s most stunning sandy spots, located on the east coast of Tiree up in Argyll and The Isles. Tiree is nicknamed the Hawaii of the north, and whilst we can’t promise the same sizzling temperatures as the American island state, it’s definitely got the waves.

Attracting international surfers, the white sands also bring people flocking for the Tiree Wave Classic windsurfing event every October (12-18 October 2019). Take a Caledonian Ferry across from Oban via the Isle of Coll (about €25 return for an adult) and stay the night at the Tiree Lodge Hotel, overlooking Gott Bay.

Oban, Scotland

You don’t have to travel all the way to Tiree to surf. Discover a new destination on your surfboard with our guide to the top 10 surf spots in Ireland for 2019.

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5. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Getting down to Barafundle Bay is a bit of a walk (it’s half a mile from the nearest car park at Stackpole Quay) and the steps from the clifftop make it unsuitable for wheelchairs or tiny tots in prams. But once you’re on the sand the spectacular views will banish any thoughts of the hike back to the top. Build sand castles on the dunes or bathe in the clear waters, so blue they give the Caribbean a run for their money! Be sure to bring a picnic though, unless you fancy trudging back to Stackpole for a bite, as there are no beach facilities.

Sun, sea, sand and plenty of activities to keep the kids (and the adults!) entertained. Skyscanner brings you ten super fun family holiday ideas for 2019 – from cycling in Italy to spotting wildlife in South Africa.

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6. Achmelvich Beach, Highlands, Scotland

Achmelvich Beach, Scotland.

Achmelvich flies the blue flag for Scottish beaches. The nearest town is Lochinver, three miles south of the coast, and the town is accessed by a single track dirt road that leads from the coastal B869 route. With a handful of camping and caravan parks in Achmelvich, there are few self-catered accommodation options for staying in the area.

If you don’t fancy sleeping under the stars then perhaps the best option is the Youth Hostel, which is just 300m from the beach. The former school and cottage is a great place to base you and your crew if you plan on walking through Quinag Mountain, or along Stac Pollaidh ridges.

So you’ve been to Edinburgh, where to next? Fuel your wanderlust with these spectacular Scottish views from around beautiful Caledonia.

7. St. Ives Bay, Cornwall

In St. Ives Bay you'll find one of the most beautiful beaches in Britain

Also known as Cammas an Tewyn in Cornish, which means ‘bay of sand dunes’, you can imagine the views that greet you as you pull off the B3301 coast road and on to the seafront at any point between Godrevy and Hayle. Explore the coast on foot by following the South West Coast Path which loops the bay, turning inland at Hayle Estuary.

Colourful boats in St. Ives Bay, Cornwall

Surfers set off for the east side of the bay, with its soft sands and Towan dunes, as this is the place to catch the best waves. Most board bums jump in at Gwithian. The west side is rockier and the beaches here are separated by headlands, but as a result you’re likely to find a private patch to spend the day on soaking up the south-west sunshine. In St. Ives itself art lovers should check out the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, whilst a burger from Blas Burgerworks should keep any grumbling tummies satisfied. Go the West Country way and try yours with a slab of Cornish Blue.

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8. Sandown Beach, Isle of Wight

Sandown Beach, people walking along the beach in front of green cliffs ©Ronald Saunders
Sandown Beach, people walking along the beach in front of green cliffs ©Ronald Saunders

Forget the festival. The Isle of Wight’s got much more to offer: from families looking for a great spot to start their own sand castle kingdom, to couples looking for a romantic getaway that won’t leave them out of pocket. Sandown Beach is the quintessential British seaside town, with its esplanade lined with chip shops and sweet stalls flogging sticks of rock sugary enough to rot at least three teeth during your trip.

Take a stroll along the pier and enjoy a game of crazy golf, or simply plonk yourself in a stripy deckchair on the seafront. Although you’ll come here looking for a true British seaside experience, please leave the knotted hanky hat at home! If the kids get bored on the beach then there’s Dinosaur Isle just a half a mile walk from the coast, where they can get up close to life-sized models of five dinosaurs known to have roamed the island millions of years ago.

Isle of Wight, United Kingdom

Ferries to the Isle of Wight run from Portsmouth, Southampton and Lymington. Once you’re there, get down to Sandown by hopping on the Island Line train, which runs from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin, and walk 15 minutes from the station to the sand.

Dreaming of warmer climes? Get inspiration from our guide to 20 beautiful Greek islands 2019.

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9. Chesil Beach, Weymouth, Dorset

Chesil Beach is one of the top beaches in England

Fun fact: this 18 mile stretch of beautiful British coast is made of over 180 billion pebbles. Hats off to the person who had to count them all! Much of it is separated from the mainland by a body of super salty water, known as Fleet Lagoon. It forms part of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the English Channel that contains evidence for 180 million years of geological history.

Weymouth by night

But the beach itself was the setting for Ian McEwan’s 2007 novel On Chesil Beach. It was also home to a number of defences built there during World War II – the ruins of some survive today. You can pick up lunch at taste* Café (open daily from 10am-5pm in the summer months), serving a delicious range of locally sourced food. If you’re travelling with the family, It’s also worth stepping through the gates of the Swannery, a 20-minute drive from the cafe, to see the world’s only managed colony of free-flying mute swans.

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10. Southend-on-Sea, Essex

If you ‘re visiting London and you’re after a quick seaside fix, then Southend is probably one of the most convenient options. The town is served by two railway stations, Southend Victoria and Southend Central, with trains running to and from London every 20 minutes – and if you really are jetting in then there’s even an airport two miles from the city centre.

OK, so you’ve arrived, but what is there to do? Well, your first stop has got to be the famous pier. It’s the longest in the world at 2158m, jutting out into the Thames Estuary. It’s been through the wars a bit and has suffered some damage over the years, but there’s still plenty to see and do here.

Spend the day fishing, enjoy afternoon tea in The Royal Pavilion, watch a traditional puppet show, or simply sit back on the sun-deck and take in the 360˚ views. Check the website for the pier’s opening times, as they vary with the seasons, but during the summer months it’s open until 8pm and it costs about €2.50 to walk both ways. Or you can take the train to the end and back for about €6.

There are plenty of fun destinations further afield, even if you’re travelling with the kids on a budget. Take a look at our list of 10 best family holidays on a budget for 2019.

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10 more of the best British beaches to visit in 2019

1. Rhossili Bay, Wales
2. Margate, Kent
3. Whitby, Yorkshire
4. Gott Bay, Isle of Tiree, Scotland
5. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
6. Achmelvich Beach, Highlands, Scotland
7. St. Ives Bay, Cornwall
8. Sandown Beach, Isle of Wight
9. Chesil Beach, Weymouth, Dorset
10. Southend-on-Sea, Essex

*Updated April 2019. Prices correct at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.

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