Where to eat on the beach in Britain - from Scotland to Swansea
The UK coast is dotted with beach shack restaurants and seaside cafés, serving locally caught fish and seafood. Here are some of the best
The Hidden Hut
Nestling on the remote Roseland peninsula, this “tiny shed with an outdoor stove” serves grilled fish from the day boats as well as “rainbow-bright salads” and pasties and cakes, says Daisy Allsup in Condé Nast Traveller. It is currently open for lunchtime takeaways – with evening feasts set to resume once large outdoor gatherings are permitted.
The Seafood Shack
It may be little more than an “unassuming catering trailer”, but this shack overlooking Loch Broom is “one of the best places to sample Scottish seafood”, says The Times. The blackboard menu is created from each day’s catch, and might include fried hand-dived scallops with herb butter, Cullen skink, and Ullapool smoked trout with salad. Open every day from 12-6pm.
King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth
Riley’s Fish Shack
The husband-and-wife team behind this popular seafood bar couldn’t be more “passionate about sourcing”, says Daisy Allsup. Which makes it just the place for “an exceptional seafood lunch”. It’s open from Thursday to Monday, and customers sit on deckchairs on the sand, which must be reserved in advance. Fish is supplied by local boats, and the daily-changing menu might include harissa-marinated skate wing or fresh grilled lobster.
Dungeness Snack Shack
On the striking windswept headland of Dungeness – an eerie landscape dominated by a nuclear power station that has been inactive since 2018 – is this tiny fish shack fashioned from a shipping container. It doesn’t look like much, but the food is fabulous, says Kate Young in The Guardian. “I’ve thought about the fish baps (on soft rolls, with fresh salad, served with rough chunky chips) at least once a week since I visited.”
South Milton Sands, Devon
For a seaside location, this café is “hard to match”, says Oliver Berry in Waitrose & Partners Food. Overlooking the stunning South Milton Sands, it’s open from breakfast to sunset and serves a daily-changing menu that includes grilled sea bass, steaming mussels and seafood platters to share. Tables inside can be booked in advance, while the outside picnic tables are available on a first-come first-served basis. “Be warned”: competition for seats is “daunting”.
The Mumbles, Swansea
Gower Seafood Hut
Specialising in “little bits” of deep fried fish, this shack on the Mumbles headland near Swansea is a favoured haunt of Stephen Terry, chef-proprietor of the acclaimed Hardwick Restaurant in Abergavenny. “It really is just a hut!” he told The Observer. But it is the place to find “shellfish at its seasonal best, cooked with passion, respect and understanding”. Menu staples include crispy chilli prawns and calamari, as well as cold options such as cockles and dressed crab.