The 20 best beaches to visit across the UK in the summer heatwave

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Britain is home to some exemplary beaches. And with the sun finally shining, it’s time to start planning a day at the beach. 

To help you pick the best stretch of sand to visit this summer, we asked our experts to recommend their favourite beaches around the country.

Some of the nominations are deservedly popular spots along the south and western coast of Britain, while others are of the wild and unspoilt variety, where even at the height of summer you can find a secluded spot beneath cliffs or among dunes.

If you are looking for more suggestions for wild, out of the way places, see our guide to Britain’s best secret and remote beaches. In the meantime, for those looking for their next staycation spot or a brilliant idea for a day out…

Best beaches in the UK to visit in summer 2022

North Cornwall

1. Watergate Bay, Newquay

Two miles of golden sand backed by cliffs and caves, where the Atlantic swells produce reliable surf and peregrine falcons, gulls and fulmars wheel overhead. Spot strawberry anemones and crabs among the rock pools, walk along the clifftop, or book a surfing or kitesurfing lesson with the excellent Extreme Academy on the beach. (extremeacademy.co.uk).

Eat: Both overlooking the beach, Emily Scott Food offers a stripped back and simple seafood and plant-based menu while The Beach Hut bistro serves up delicious fresh seafood – the squid and moules frite are a must (watergatebay.co.uk).

Stay: Watergate Bay Hotel has a spectacular indoor pool with sea views, plenty of beautiful public spaces and their ‘not a spa’ spa is now offering treatments. Read the full review.

South Cornwall

2. Porthcurno, near Land’s End

Set beneath the clifftop Minack Theatre, this is arguably the county’s most beautiful bay: a funnel of sand caught between lichen-encrusted granite cliffs. Easily accessible, it has fine white sand and is popular with families. It’s best at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay (one of which is nudist) and sit on sandbars beneath the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas, surrounded by Grecian-blue water.

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