In Brief

Four of the best beaches in England

Blow away the quarantine cobwebs with a visit to the coast

 
One of the UK’s last true wildernesses

“Strung with vast and often deserted beaches, the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of the county’s primary draws,” says Charlotte Wigram-Evans in National Geographic. “This dramatic, 175-square-mile stretch of rural England also features mudflats and salt marshes that teem with a rich variety of wildlife.”

The coastline can be explored on foot on the Norfolk Coast Path, or you can take a sailing boat into the maze of tiny waterways flanked by towering sandbanks, which “feel like one of the UK’s last true wildernesses”. Stay at the Victoria Inn, says Wigram-Evans. A stone’s throw from Holkham Beach (pictured top), it “brims with country charm” and is a perfect base for exploring the coast. 

See holkham.co.uk

Whale-spotting in Northumberland
Dunstanburgh beach

© Getty

The Northumberland coast is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a place of high drama, says The Telegraph, with sweeping sandy beaches and isolated islands. It’s a great place for walking, cycling, wildlife watching and water sports.

The coastline is “punctuated by castles, at Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh and Warkworth, and the town defences of Berwick”. The Northumberland Coast Path follows the coastline for 100 kilometres and there are trails for all abilities.

Hire a bike or take your own for miles of quiet lanes and traffic-free cycle routes. For the bird watchers, activity at the seabird colonies peaks in June and July, and whales and dolphins can be seen year round. Stay at the penthouse apartment in Craster Tower, a Grade-II listed country house with sea views, situated above a picturesque fishing village. 

See crastertower.co.uk

A hidden gem in south Devon
Gara Rock Beach

No Unauthorised Use

Gara Rock Beach is a hidden seaside adventure playground, says Chris Haslam in The Times, situated near Salcombe in south Devon. It could easily “become your family favourite”, although its “magnificence as a picnic spot is rivalled by competition at the top of the cliff”, where you’ll find an outlet selling pasties and ice cream, and the sea-view terrace of the restaurant at the Gara Rock hotel. The hotel is a good spot to stay, with “a hipster-chic” vibe, a sea-view spa and a cinema. Double rooms from at £257 per night. 

See gararock.com.

A taste of the Caribbean
Isles of Scilly beach

© Getty

The Isles of Scilly have the closest thing you can get to Caribbean beaches in the UK, says Roshina Jowaheer in Country Living. This “magical archipelago” sitsjust 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall and has the same sparkling turquoise water and laid-back island vibe of the Caribbean without the long-haul flight.

“The Isles of Scilly have been blessed with some of the most beautiful sands in the world… You can bathe or kayak the crystal-clear waters, take in the beauty of the coast by walking along a trail, or soak it all up from a beach bar or cafe.”

Stay at the Star Castle Hotel, a 38-bedroom family-run hotel that has an indoor pool, tennis courts and a golf course. Double rooms start at £179 per night. 

See visitislesofscilly.com. 

This article was originally published in MoneyWeek

Recommended

Six of the best beach toys
Family on a beach
The wish list

Six of the best beach toys

BodyHoliday review: gain without pain in Saint Lucia
Yoga overlooking the ocean
The big trip

BodyHoliday review: gain without pain in Saint Lucia

Hard Rock Hotel New York review
Hard Rock Hotel New York lobby
The big trip

Hard Rock Hotel New York review

Trip of the week: driving across the American desert
Grand Canyon
The big trip

Trip of the week: driving across the American desert

Popular articles

Are we heading for World War Three?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Are we heading for World War Three?

When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?
Paper banknotes
Business Briefing

When will paper £20 and £50 notes expire?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 27 June 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 27 June 2022

The Week Footer Banner