As temperatures hit record highs for the year, there is no better time to pack a picnic, dig out your bucket and spade and head to the seaside.
Beaches might not be the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Britain, but our coastline is worth exploring.
You don't have to venture far from home to find long stretches of sandy beach. Mainland Britain's coast is over 11,000 miles long and as we Brits are never more than 70 miles from the sea, a beach is never far away.
Whether you're looking for somewhere for a family day out or a romantic beachside stroll in a secluded spot, HELLO! Online has got it covered. From picture-perfect white dunes in Northumberland to unspoilt Jurassic Coast gems, there's a beach to suit everyone's needs.
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Bamburgh is a three-mile stretch of white sand, surrounded by glossy, grassy dunes and is overlooked by the ancient Bamburgh Castle, which peers over the beach on a basalt outcrop. What the Bamburgh beach lacks in sunbathing opportunities and warm inviting waters, it makes up for with its spectacular setting and abundant surrounding nature – birdwatchers, photographers, kite-flyers and fishermen alike will not be disappointed. Views from the beach extend to The Farne Islands on the North Sea and inland to the dramatic Northumberland moors.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
Surrounded by a nature reserve, Barafundle Bay might be the closest you'll get an exotic paradise in the UK. Its golden sands and clear waters can only be accessed by a cliff path which winds down to the beach through grassy dunes and picturesque pine trees. This award winning, pristine beach suits those with a sense of adventure - once you're there, you won't find any facilities which means it stays relatively quiet, even during the summer. Granny in tow? Visit one of the Pembrokeshire coast’s many charming seaside towns instead such as medieval, walled Tenby.
Botany Bay, Kent
For a traditional bucket and spade experience, head to Botany Bay. The south-east of England boasts more blue flag beaches than any other region in the UK - and this is one of them. With chalk cliffs, stacks and rock pools to explore, Botany Bay is a family-friendly beach. It's only a short drive from the quaint seaside resort of Broadstairs, a firm favourite of the legendary author Charles Dickens. In the town you'll find Victorian architecture, dozens of independent eateries and shops, donkey rides and a host of fun events during the warmer months.
Durdle Door, Dorset
Durdle Door is the name given to the dramatic limestone arch that connects the delightful Dorset beaches St Oswald’s Bay and Man O’War Cove. To reach the beach, prepare yourself for something of an adventure. You have to climb down several hundred steps in the cliff before you reach the sand and fine pebble beach but it’s worth every step. It’s a stunning and sheltered spot, the sea is a brilliant shade of blue and if you’re feeling a brave, a chilly swim out to the arch is great fun. If you’ve overloaded the picnic basket and don’t fancy the steep climb, try neighbouring Lulworth Cove for another Jurassic Coast gem.
Sennen Cove, Cornwall
A small Cornish hamlet, Sennen Cove sits discreetly on the Atlantic Coast just a mile from Land’s End. The cove was originally a pilchard fishing station and fishermen and women can still be seen in action around the town. Sennen has plenty to offer both outdoorsy and indoorsy types. Its crystal clear waters, combined with the Atlantic swell, provide fantastic surf all year round. The brisk cliff top walk to Land’s End shouldn’t be missed – you’ll be at Britain’s most westerly point in just half an hour. If the wind gets up, discover the village and browse the galleries or settle in to some of Cornwall’s best restaurants and cafes.
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