This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through an affiliate link, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.
When we think of beach escapes, the first thing that springs to mind is usually tropical destinations – idyllic islands surrounded by turquoise water and white sand topped with soothing swaying palms.
However, with the cost of living rising rapidly for UK residents, the dream of a long-haul holiday seems increasingly out of reach.
Luckily, people living in England do not have to go further afield for a fantastic coastal break: the country boasts beautiful beaches of its own, from the alluring shores of Newquay in Cornwall to the sweeping sandy bay of Whitby in North Yorkshire.
While these areas may not deliver the bold colors and warm temperatures of the tropics, there is still much to delight tourists exploring the English coastline. Find inspiration for your holiday with this guide to England’s best beach escapes.
The Best Beach Escapes in England
Known for its fantastic surfing opportunities, Newquay is undoubtedly one of the best beach escapes in the UK.
In the summer, this Cornish town in England’s southwest corner comes alive with visitors flocking to take advantage of the great waves and good weather, peaking in August with the annual Boardmasters music festival.
Newquay is a great choice for younger travelers seeking an exciting summer road trip or those who are still hippies at heart.
In the neighboring county of Devon is Woolacombe Bay, the ultimate UK beach destination for families with small children. Here the waves are typically gentle, ideal for paddling and bodyboarding.
A long, wide stretch of sand, this bay has plenty of room for everyone, and the shops at the top sell all of the toys and refreshments you could possibly need.
If you are seeking more than a simple beach holiday, Brighton is definitely one to consider. This beach escape is just an hour away from London by train which makes it a perfect weekend trip destination for those visiting England’s capital city.
As well as its beach, Brighton has an iconic pier in the traditional Victorian style with authentic amusements and eateries that will keep all ages entertained.
Head into the town and you will find quirky cafés, vintage shops, and characterful bars with comedy and live music. There is even a palace you can tour.
For those intent on exploring the north of the UK, the Yorkshire Coast is a must-visit. Much of this 45-mile stretch is part of a protected national park due to its spectacular natural beauty, and it is a joy to hike along the cliffs between the little fishing villages that are nestled in secluded coves.
One of the most popular parts of this region is Whitby, a seaside town made famous by Bram Stoker whose novel Dracula was inspired by Whitby Abbey. Thanks to the conservation work of English Heritage, this gothic structure is still standing and dominates the Whitby skyline.
Arcades and eateries abound, and the town also boasts a sprawling beach called Sandsend where children can dig castles and couples can take long romantic strolls