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Best Beaches in the UK

Monday 31 July 2023

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In the heights of Summer heat or the chilly days of midwinter, there's nothing quite like going to the beach. Paddling in the sea, building sandcastles, family picnics, and even Winter strolls in hats & scarves; there's so much to enjoy at the beach, and thankfully the UK is home to countless beautiful beaches! 

Whether you're hitting the beach to soak up the sun or to enjoy the picturesque beauty of the British coastline, make sure to check out CrossCountry's picks for the most beautiful beaches in the UK.

Corbyn Beach, Torquay

Perfect for visiting by train, Corbyn Beach is a stone’s throw from Torquay train station. The English Riviera boasts 22 miles of coastline and this is one of our favourite places to go see the sea, whatever the weather.

Visiting Torquay

Getting to Torquay beach is easy. It’s just a 10-minute walk from Torquay train station, which you can get to directly from a wide range of CrossCountry stations. Make sure to visit Torquay Marina for a bite to eat.

Alnmouth Beach, Alnmouth

We really love the Northumberland Coast; in fact, it’s one of our favourite areas of outstanding natural beauty in the UK. It might not be the first place you think of for a seaside jaunt, but, if you’ve ever taken one of our services up to Scotland, you’ll know the views around this area are second to none.

Visiting Alnmouth

You can walk into town from Alnmouth train station, followed by a stroll down to the beach. In total, this takes around half an hour. Alternatively, plenty of local buses operate between the station, town centre, and coast. While you're in town, make sure to stop for afternoon tea in the quaint Village Tea Rooms.

Aberdeen Beach, Aberdeen

Scotland has a generous stock of stunning beaches, but Aberdeen beach has the benefit of being near the granite city, making it perfect for a combined beach and city break. The Bay of Aberdeen is also full of wildlife, so if you're lucky you may catch a glimpse of porpoises and other friendly sea creatures.

Visiting Aberdeen Beach

From Aberdeen train station, take the number 15 bus to Beach Ballroom. The journey should take about 20 minutes. When you arrive at the beach, we recommend enjoying some classic seafront fish 'n' chips.

Long Sands Beach, Tynemouth

Better known for its football and nightlife, you might not realise that Newcastle is local to some of Britain's most beautiful beaches. Just a stone’s throw from the 'toon', at Long Sands Beach, you'll find golden sand for kids to play on, blue water to splash in, and even a decent bit of surf to enjoy. If the weather looks a little grey, you can visit Tynemouth Aquarium, which is right by the beach.

Visiting Long Sands Beach

To get to Long Sands Beach from Newcastle station, take the Yellow line on the Metro to Cullercoats, and then walk down to the sea. There are several cafés right on the beach to find refreshments. Our favourite is the Surf Café – we recommend the caramel lattes.

Bournemouth Beach, Bournemouth

Bournemouth has been a favourite holiday destination for generations thanks to its fantastic beaches. Head down to the pier for the authentic British beach experience and enjoy the attractions as well as the sand. If you have access requirements, there are plenty of accessible beaches in Bournemouth, so we can all enjoy a beach day together!

Visiting Bournemouth Beach

The easiest way to get to the beach from Bournemouth train station is a 20-minute walk. While visiting, make the most of the seaside vibes and enjoy some of the best fish 'n' chips - it's a classic for a reason.

Dunbar East Beach, Dunbar

Another Scottish favourite, this time in East Lothian. Dunbar beach is one of our favourite places to go on a UK summer holiday, but is a great beach all year round! It’s perfect for rock pooling with the family, so bring along a bucket and a net. 

Visiting Dunbar

East Beach is just 6-minute walk from Dunbar train station – you really can’t miss it. While you're visiting, head to the Sweetie Bank on the High Street for amazing ice-cream and waffles - it's a must on a beach day!

Kirkcaldy Beach, Kirkcaldy

Scotland really knows its way around a good beach, and this one is no exception. Kirkcaldy Beach is a lovely mix of stone and sand, perfect for walking and enjoying the brisk sea air. You may not want to sunbathe, but you will want to explore. Plus, if you’re into fishing, locals tell us this is the perfect place for flounders.

Visiting Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy Beach is less than half an hour walk along the waterfront from Kirkcaldy train station. Whilst walking to the beach, you will notice a selection of waterside restaurants and pubs to stop for lunch. Our pick is The Waterfront, which serves delicious local food and is a real treat.

Weston-super-Mare Beach, Somerset

The station in Weston-super-Mare is minutes from the waterfront, so you won’t have to wait long to drink in that fresh sea air. The main beach is an excellent choice for families because there’s always something going on. You can head to the Grand Pier for classic seaside indoor entertainment, but with acres of beautiful sand and a sparkling sea to enjoy, you'll probably stay outside all day long.

Visiting Weston-super-Mare

From Weston-super-Mare train station you can take the number 20 bus to the seafront, but it may be easier to walk. Grab some fish and chips from The Waterfront Fish Bar and wander onto the pier –just make sure your goodies don’t get snaffled by low-flying seagulls.

Fistral Beach, Newquay

The famous Fistral Beach may be known primarily for being very busy during the Summer months, but there’s a reason people flock to it. It has excellent surf and a great community, so it's one of the best beach towns in the UK. However, if you’re looking for something quieter, you’re spoiled for choice in Newquay with Perranporth and Bedruthan Step Beaches offering great choices for pros and first-time surfers alike.

Visiting Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach is a half hour stroll from Newquay train station, and you’ll come past lots of other tempting beaches on your way. While you’re in Cornwall, you’ve simply got to get a Cornish Pasty. Our pick will always be The Cornish Bakery, a small local chain with award-winning sweet and savoury pasties. 

Long Beach, Penzance

Long Beach is one of our favourite beaches in the UK, simply because it is so stunningly beautiful. When you're travelling by CrossCountry train, you’ll even be able to see it from the window as you pull into the Penzance station. There are lots of things to see and do in Penzance, so why not turn your trip into a minibreak?

Visiting Long Beach

From the station, you can join up with the SW Coast Path and walk along until you find a good spot – you’ll be spoiled for choice. We recommend making the trip to Jubilee Pool during the summer season not only because it’s beautiful, but also because the onsite café offers sausage rolls to die for.

If you’re planning a trip to the UK's most beautiful beaches, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or the CrossCountry app. If you need more information, you can contact us here.

The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UKthe best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.

Written by Julia

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