We may not boast the best beach weather in the world but the UK and Ireland has a unique and stunningly beautiful coastline that we should all be proud of. While it’s important to travel the world and experience different cultures, it’s equally important to spend time exploring our shores and understanding all the idiosyncrasies that make our coast line and its inhabitants so special.We’ve listed just a few of our favourite spots and we’d love to hear about yours too…
Connemara – Ireland
If we were asked to describe this area in one word, it would be ‘heavenly’. This breath-taking part of the Irish coastline is a marriage of crisp white sand and lush green hills. If you’re a lover of horses and horse riding, Ireland is an obvious choice, but riding along the beaches of Dogs Bay in Connemara will make you feel like you’ve just entered the set of a fictional film set. Take a look at Lisara Guest Houses for places to stay in the Galway area.
Pembrokeshire – Wales
You expect good things from a stretch of coastline that’s cared for by the wonderful National Trust and Pembrokeshire certainly doesn’t disappoint. There are lots of little areas to drive or cycle through, including some beautiful beaches that have been the filming spots for Harry Potter and Robin Hood among others. We fell in love with Broadhaven beach in Bosherston, walking through the lilly ponds and down to a secluded beach, is a treat for the soul. We’d recommend staying in beautifully restored School Room Cottage, via Sawdays.
Camber Sands & Dungeness – Sussex
Camber Sands are nationally renowned for it’s beautiful sandy dunes, but there’s much to see in and around its golden shores to keep you entertained or simply help you relax. We’d recommend pitching up at The Gallivant or at least popping in for some food, its a beautiful spot and is also a stone’s throw from the historic towns of Rye and Winchelsea. If you’re a creative soul, take some time to venture away from the seductive sands and head over to nearby Dungeness. It’s a curious place, dominated by the osteer power station but surrounded by quirky buildings, unusual wildlife and some amazing art installations.
Wells Next to the Sea & Holkham – Norfolk
Holkham and Wells are a sublime mix of white sandy beaches and a backdrop of well-established pine tree woodland. Wells Next to the Sea has a fabulously well run café right on the beach, that caters brilliantly for kids, including lunch deals presented in a sandcastle bucket!
Visit the Golden Fleece in Wells for a decent fish, chips and pint or head over to the Victoria in Holkham for a deliciously British meal before browsing the stunning Holkam estate.
Alnwick – The Northumberland Coast
The filming of Harry Potter in and around Alnwick Castle had drawn the attention to Alnwick in recent years, but it has always been a place of captivating beauty and well worthy of a visit. There are around 20 miles of sandy beaches in the Alnwick region, surrounded by some stunning countryside, rich in history. This area is fabulous if you want a combination of seaside relaxation and cultural interest.
Oban – Scotland’s West Coast
Heading to Oban and then travelling around the western coastline of Scotland is such an adventure. If you’re living down South and you want to add to the excitement, get the sleeper train from Euston to Oban or Fort William and wake up to a journey through the stunning Scottish countryside. We recommend taking a Seafari boat trip out to see the fascinating Corryvreckan whirlpool. On route you’ll witness some of the incredible wildlife that the shores of Scotland have to offer including seals and dolphins that swim alongside the boat. Make sure you sample the large and very local langoustine at Lord of the Isles in Craobh Haven.
Salcombe – Devon
Dubbed the English Riviera, Salcome is certainly breath-taking enough to warrant the accolade. The winding roads hug the coastline taking you up steep hillsides and down into picturesque coves filled with turquoisey blue water. If the weather is predictably unpredictable you can take shelter on a stormy day inside the Winking Prawn Café and warm up with a steaming hot chocolate.
Lyme Regis & The Jurassic Coast– Dorset
If you or your children are captivated by dinosaurs, you need to take a visit to our Jurassic Coastline. As well as all the museums and fossil hunting to keep you entertained, there are beautiful beaches to stroll or laze around on if you’re lucky enough to have some decent weather!
Brighton – Sussex
From the sublime to the ridiculously fun; Brighton is a whirlwind of popular and alternative culture, centred around a bustling beach, pier and lanes full of boutiques. It’s a busy hub and a true attack on the senses from the moment you get off the train or out of your car. If you want some quieter time while you’re there, simply head East along the coastal road and you’ll be in the heart of the Seven Sisters Country park in less than 30 minutes.
Share some of your favourite places with us and Cotswold Co community, we’d love to find even more beautiful seaside spots to visit!