Beautiful beaches near you

There are craggy coastlines, rolling sand dunes, sweeping seascapes and rocky coves along the coast we care for. It's hard to choose a favourite from our 775 miles of coastline around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. But here’s a selection of some of the most beautiful.

View from Stackpole Head, Pembrokeshire, looking towards Barafundle Bay beach

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire 

You can get away from it all on this secluded beach set among grand limestone cliffs. Follow a cliff path walk along Stackpole Quay to reach this hidden gem. Enjoy views of the green-topped sand dunes and lush woodland. The blue waters of Barafundle are popular with families for swimming. People often set off by kayak from the beach to explore the many small coves and creeks.

The beach at Compton, Isle of Wight

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight 

Enjoy this beachside scenery surrounded by distinctive chalky white and golden cliffs. Walk along the Tennyson Trail which meanders around the bay and take in the views. Or explore the surrounding Compton Downs, a honey pot of diverse flora and fauna and one of the best places to see butterflies.

Family on beach at Embleton Sands in Northumberland

Embleton and Newton Links, Northumberland 

Embleton Bay is a magnificent stretch of sand and dunes. At one end is Low Newton and at the other the majestic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. You will also find a whole variety of wildflowers living among the dunes.

The sand dunes and beach at Formby, Liverpool, at low tide

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 heart's content. Stand on a sand dune and enjoy spectacular skyscapes at sunset with the beach stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Maritime heather in flower in August and view of Kynance Cove

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. You can often hear the call of the rare Cornish chough. At low tide you can descend the steps down to the sand. Have a 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

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 you’ll find that it is well worth the walk. Its sheltered waters are ideal for swimming and surfing.

Family flying a kite on the beach at Portstewart Strand

Portstewart Strand, County Londonderry 

A much-loved two-mile stretch of golden sand known locally as ‘The Strand’. There's lots of open space for family picnics and sandcastle building. The grass-topped sand dunes also offer nature lovers a wealth of opportunities for spotting wildlife.

Sandcastle on the beach of Rhossili Bay, Gower

Rhossili Bay, South Wales 

Don't miss this three mile-long beach with some of the most splendid views on the Welsh coast. If you stand on Rhossili Down, you can see the coast of West Wales and North Devon 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

Studland Beach, Dorset 

Studland’s four-mile stretch of golden sand marks the start of the South West coastal path. From here you can head off on a short sandy stroll or a day long hike. This barbecue-friendly beach is also great 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/

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 great sandcastles.