Do you live near one of the best beaches in Britain? Here’s the top 50 for 2021

·3 min read
Bournemouth was named as the best beach in the UK (Getty)
Bournemouth was named as the best beach in the UK (Getty)

While the UK isn’t often synonymous with being a summer hotspot, we do (quietly) house some of the best beaches in the world.

The most recent TripAdvisor rankings listed Luskentyre in the Outer Hebrides and Woolacombe in North Devon among the 20 top beaches in the world.

Read more: Tripadvisor names St Ives as one of its top emerging destinations for 2021

However, a new survey has named Bournemouth’s beach as the best in the UK, beating off Cornish competitors like St Ives, Bude and Newquay, which also featured in the top 10.

Watch: An insider’s guide to Margate

Blackpool, Whitby, Brighton, Tenby, Bognor Regis and North Yorkshire’s Filey beach completed the top 10 list.

The ranking of the UK’s top 50 beaches was determined by a survey of 2,000 adults, which listed the popular Dorset beach as number one.

The survey also saw seven Devon beaches feature among the most popular, including Woolacombe, Dawlish and Torquay.

Tenby beach in Wales made the top 10 (Getty)
Tenby beach in Wales made the top 10 (Getty)

The top 50 beaches in the UK for 2021

Bournemouth, Dorset

  1. St Ives, Cornwall

  2. Bude, Cornwall

  3. Blackpool Beach

  4. Whitby, Yorkshire

  5. Brighton, Sussex

  6. Newquay, Cornwall

  7. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

  8. Bognor Regis, West Sussex

  9. Filey, North Yorkshire

  10. Woolacombe, Devon

  11. Weymouth, Dorset

  12. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

  13. Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear

  14. Scarborough, North Yorkshire

  15. Barmouth, Gwynedd

  16. Llandudno, Conwy County Borough

  17. Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire

  18. Shanklin, the Isle of Wight

  19. Exmouth, Devon

  20. Aberystwyth, Ceredigion

  21. Broadstairs, Kent

  22. Dawlish, Devon

  23. Polzeath, Cornwall

  24. Watergate Bay, Cornwall

  25. Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire

  26. Crosby, Merseyside

  27. Sandbanks beach, Dorset

  28. Torquay, Devon

  29. Eastbourne, East Sussex

  30. Skegness, Lincolnshire

  31. Camber Sands, East Sussex

  32. Ilfracombe, Devon

  33. Paignton, Devon

  34. Southwold, Suffolk

  35. Southend on Sea, Essex

  36. Whitstable, Kent

  37. Lochinver, Scotland

  38. Margate, Kent

  39. Salcombe, Devon

  40. Pittenweem, Fife

  41. Porthmadog, Gwynedd

  42. Portree (Skye), Inner Hebrides

  43. Portmeirion, Gwynedd

  44. Hastings, East Sussex

  45. New Brighton, Merseyside

  46. Folkestone, Kent

  47. Plockton, Ross and Cromarty

  48. Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire

  49. Stromness, Orkney

The research, commissioned by WWF-UK in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, found that 75% of respondents consider the beach or sea to be an iconic part of the British landscape.

The study also found that half of those polled said the beach allows them to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, while 67% said they have a “strong emotional connection” to the seaside.

Lairg in Lochinver, Scotland (Getty)
Lairg in Lochinver, Scotland, featured as number 38 on the list of Britain's best beaches. (Getty)

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also revealed 45% of people feel trips to the seaside are an important part of British culture, and 87% would be upset if their visits were ruined by environmental factors.

As a result, two thirds are passionate about the care of the ocean and its wildlife and are concerned about climate change and the state of the UK oceans.

Read more: The UK destinations to book now for your summer holiday

Sarah Young, head of marine policy at WWF-UK, says: "Over the months ahead, Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF will be setting out the actions that we can take as individuals to become ocean heroes, while also encouraging stronger leadership from the UK Government to support vital ocean recovery that’s so urgently needed.

“The Ocean Hero campaign by Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF is designed to show people that they have the power to make an impact on ocean health and, in doing so, inspire them to advocate for bold action from our government.

"At this critical time for climate and nature, we hope that millions of people will join us to show they care about our oceans and help to turn the tide on ocean recovery.”

Read more: The UK seaside cottages to book for your summer staycation

To find out more about WWF’s partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue or to join the fight and become an Ocean Hero visit -

Additional reporting by SWNS.

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