Beautiful beaches near you

With over 775 miles of coastline around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we care for some of our most spectacular places: craggy coastlines, seaside footpaths and, of course, many of the most breathtaking beaches. From secluded coves to family-friendly, sandy bays or places that are just perfect for the dog – we look after them all. Here’s our pick of the very best beaches.

View from Stackpole Head, Pembrokeshire, looking towards Barafundle Bay beach
Stackpole Head, Pembrokeshire National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Set among grand limestone cliffs, this secluded beach is the perfect place to get away from it all. To reach this hidden gem, follow a cliff path walk along Stackpole Quay, where you can see the green-topped sand dunes and lush woodland scattered throughout the area. The blue waters are popular with families for swimming, and kayaking expeditions often launch from the beach to explore the many small coves and creeks.

The beach at Compton, Isle of Wight
The splendid beach and cliffs at Compton, Isle of Wight National Trust Images / John Millar

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

This spectacular spot along the Isle of Wight coastline showcases some of the best beachside scenery around, surrounded by distinctive chalky white and golden cliffs. To take in the views, walk along the Tennyson Trail which meanders around the bay, while the surrounding Compton Downs are a honey pot of diverse flora and fauna and one of the best places to see butterflies for miles around.

Family on beach at Embleton Sands in Northumberland
Embleton Sands provides great views of Dunstanburgh Castle across the bay National Trust Images / Matthew Antrobus

Embleton and Newton Links, Northumberland

Embleton Bay is a magnificent stretch of sand and dunes between Low Newton and the majestic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle, perfect for an easy wander. The 14th-century ruins dominate the horizon, but you will also find a whole variety of wildflowers living among the dunes.

The sand dunes and beach at Formby, Liverpool, at low tide
The impressive sand dunes at Formby during low tide National Trust Images / Jemma Street

Formby, Liverpool

The sweeping sands of Formby beach entice people from miles around to come and enjoy a day out on the coast. With plenty of space for everyone, families can run and play to their hearts content. Spectacular sky scapes can be glimpsed at sunset and if you stand atop a sand dune the beach stretches as far as the eye can see. A closer look reveals thickets of pine woodland, home to the red squirrels.

Maritime heather in flower in August and view of Kynance Cove
Kynance Cove is a stunning spot at any time of the year National Trust Images / Ross Hoddinott

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

This secluded cove is a situated on the Lizard peninsula. The area around the beach is renowned for its distinctive geology and rare wildlife, where the call of the rare Cornish chough can often be heard. At low tide you can descend the steps down to the sand and picnic on the shore surrounded by the multi-coloured rocks which rise up to the cliffs above.

View from the cliff above Marloes Beach at St Bride's Bay
The low sun bathes the spectacular cliff above Marloes Beach with an orange glow National Trust Images / Joe Cornish

Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire

Winding its way along the Marloes peninsula, the beach is renowned for its natural beauty. The geological scenery unfolds in jagged layers of sandstone rock and is overlooked by an Iron Age fort. The beach is off the beaten track, but once you immerse yourself in its spectacular scenery you’ll find that it is well worth the walk. The sheltered waters off the beach are ideal for swimming and surfing.

Family flying a kite on the beach at Portstewart Strand
The two mile stretch of sand at Portstewart Strand is a perfect spot to take the family and admire the views National Trust Images / John Millar

Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry

Showcasing a glorious two-mile stretch of golden sand known locally as ‘The Strand’, Portstewart is a much-loved regional treasure. There's lots of open space to take family picnics while you spend a day making sandcastles in the sunshine to your heart's content. The grass-topped sand dunes also offer curious minds a wealth of opportunities for spotting wildlife.

Sandcastle on the beach of Rhossili Bay, Gower
Visitors to Rhossili Bay can enjoy the views of Worms Head and Rhossili Down National Trust Images / John Millar

Rhossili Bay, South Wales

With some of the most splendid views on the Welsh coast, you won’t want to miss this magnificent three-mile-long beach. If you stand atop Rhossili Down, you can see not only the peninsula, but also the coast of West Wales and the North Devon coast visible on the horizon. At low tide, the beach has secrets of its own to reveal as the remains of the Helvetia, shipwrecked in 1887, can still be seen lying in the sand.

The heathland behind the beach at Studland is a haven for wildlife
Children rockpooling on Studland Beach National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

Studland Beach, Dorset

Studland’s scenic four-mile stretch of golden sand marks the start of the South West coastal path where there are plenty of opportunities to go walking, whether you prefer a short sandy stroll or fancy making a day of it. This barbecue-friendly beach is perfect for picnics and there are boats for hire in the summer. We welcome naturists and have marked out nearly 1km of beach with green-topped posts with blue signs, where clothing is optional.

Walking through Woolacombe Warren gives lovely views of Morte Point and Baggy Point/
Surfers walking on the beach at Woolacombe, North Devon National Trust Images / John Millar

Woolacombe beach, Devon

This beautiful three-mile stretch of coastline has plenty of things to see and do for all. Rolling hills provide a wonderful backdrop to a beach where many come to swim and surf on sunny days. In the summer holidays you’ll find our beach rangers on hand to show little ones how to go on rock pool safaris and build the best sand castles for miles around.