If you’re fed up of visiting the same old beaches time after time, you may enjoy seeking out somewhere new, somewhere that offers you something that’s just a little bit different. Here we’ve found five UK beaches that are just waiting for you to come and enjoy them.
Use the interactive map to quickly locate our featured destinations A – E.
A – Ladram Bay
Location: Budleigh Salterton, East Devon EX9 7HT
Ladram Bay has often been cited as the best holiday park in Devon thanks in large part to its unique location on the Jurassic Coast. The Jurassic Coast, covering 95 miles of coastline between East Devon and Dorset, has been designated England’s first UNESCO natural World Heritage Site because the coastline exhibits 185 million years of the history of the Earth. It in a geological ‘walk through time’ that spans the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
Much more recently Ladram Bay was also linked to smuggling, particularly with the infamous Devonian Jack Rattenbury who worked in conjunction with Ladram family, the Mutters. The Mutters (who sold wood and turf in the towns and villages of East Devon) used their legitimate business to distribute contraband that was landed on the beaches of East Devon.
Nowadays smuggling is not a problem. Instead you can choose to stay at Ladram Bay in a wide range of accommodation. Ladram Bay Holiday Park offers luxury lodges for hire, including some with hot tubs, or you can choose to camp – bring your caravan or tent or touring van – and enjoy a full range of facilities and activities. Why not choose a location directly overlooking Ladram Bay and the beach and ponder the daredevil doings of ne’er-do-well Jack Rattenbury and the Mutter family?
How to get there: Ladram Bay is approximately 20 minutes from the M5. Exit the M5 at Junction 30 and take the A3052 signposted to Sidmouth and take the B3178 towards Budleigh Salterton.
B – Sea Palling Beach
Location: North Walsham, Norfolk, NR12 0UH
If you’re looking for a sandy beach with excellent facilities that the whole family can enjoy you will be spoilt for choice in Norfolk. However, Sea Palling, which is located between Cromer and Great Yarmouth near North Walsham is an excellent choice. The beach has been formed as a result of nine offshore reefs that were created as part of Norfolk’s flood defence scheme. Highlights at Sea Palling include the swimming, the availability of boat-launching facilities, canoeing and kayaking, the numerous pubs, cafes, shops, an amusement arcade and a stall that sells locally-caught fish. You won’t find fresher than that!
The water quality at the beach is excellent and there are lifeguards on duty for part of the year. Dogs are restricted on the beach during the summer however, so do check that out before you travel.
How to get there: Sea Palling is approximately 15 miles north of Great Yarmouth and is easily accessed from the A11.
C – Walmer Beach
Location: Nr Dover, South East Kent
You may never have considered Kent as a destination for a beach holiday, but think again. Walmer Beach, is a hidden gem, tucked away as it is on the south-east Kent coast. This part of Kent boasts a beautiful unspoilt coastline, so Walmer beach, together with its neighbour Deal, and the idyllic resort of Kingsdown offer you and your family a fabulous nine miles of impressive coastline.
If it is golden sands you’re after then you need to head elsewhere, perhaps nearby Thanet, but for something altogether wilder and more refreshing, Walmer beach is a real treat. Walmer offers you shingles and wild flowers, colourful fishing boats bobbing in the sea and a cheerful memorial bandstand – all set within sight of numerous colourful Regency villas with the famous White Cliffs in the distance.
The beauty of Walmer beach is that even on the sunniest and hottest days of the year, you and your family will have plenty of space to spread yourselves around.
How to get there: Walmer beach is just five miles from Dover (on the A256). A train from St Pancras goes direct to Walmer every day and there are frequent trains from Ashford.
D – Fox Cove
Location: North Cornwall
If you’re looking for total seclusion then Fox Cove in North Cornwall is worth considering but it is not for the faint hearted. Fox Cove is the largest of the three coves between Treyarnon Bay and Porthcothan but access is limited from the South West Coast Footpath so may not be ideal for the elderly or very young and there is no disabled access. The final part of the descent to Fox Cove can be treacherous so wear sensible walking shoes and watch your footing. Although there are no restrictions on dogs on the beach, bear in mind that there are also no facilities and no lifeguards stationed there either but what you do get is beautifully clean water, great swimming and a gorgeous sandy beach.
How to get there: Take the B3276 south from St Merryn and, when you arrive in Porthcothan, park in the council car park. You’ll then need to navigate the South West Coast Footpath.
Location: Liverpool, Lancashire
On a clear day you can see for miles! Standing atop the monumental dunes at Formby beach will afford you a view of both the Blackpool tower and the Cumbrian mountains. Formby beach has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to the dunes, the sea, and the sweeping pinewoods with a red squirrel reserve, so this a great location to spend time with your family. The beach is expansive and when the tide is out it is possible to find prehistoric human and animal footprints so keep your eyes peeled. There are plenty of facilities for families, including picnic areas, well signed footpaths and a large car park but as there is no lifeguard cover you are advised to take careful note of beach safety flags and signage.
How to get there: Formby beach is 14 miles north of Liverpool, 2 miles west of Formby and 7 miles south of Southport off the A565. Formby Station is 1 mile and there is a local bus service.