Let’s face it, the Great British seaside doesn’t have the same pull as the Mediterranean. We can’t guarantee the warmer weather, sometimes it’s stony rather than sandy and well, quite frankly, the sea can often look anything but blue. 

But it’s not always like that. The UK boasts some beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters you’ll actually want to swim in. From Dorset’s Iconic Durdle Door to Cornwall’s blue sea pulls, here’s where to head.

Durdle Door, Dorset 

The one you see on postcards, tourist brochures and your Nan’s kitchen calendar, Durdle Door is Dorset’s most sought after natural landmark. 

Located on the Jurassic Coast, near Lulworth, Durdle Door is home to a beautiful beach that looks out to the iconic natural limestone arch. Venture down to the pebble beach by foot via the path and steps that lead down the car park. It’s a steep downhill path but the result is breathtaking. Dip your toes in the crystal clear waters and watch the world go by. 

There are no lifeguards so do take care if you’re looking to swim.

Bantham Beach, Devon 

So you’ve got your Devon cottage booked, your bucket and spade at the ready but you’re yet to find that one dreamy beach that ticks all of the right boxes. Introducing Bantham Beach, the South Devon haven that’s perfect for whiling away your summer days on, Pimm’s in hand. 

It has the seal of approval from Blue Glad and the Marine Conservation Society, and it’s also the perfect spot for catching a wave on your surf or bodyboard.

Porthcurno, Cornwall

Waters so clear you’ll be able to pretend you’re in the Caribbean… Cornwall’s Porthcurno is breathtaking; slotted beneath the cliffs and grassy areas, the beach is small, quaint and quiet. 

This little seaside haven is incredibly popular with families as the waters aren’t super rough or choppy, making it perfect for kids to splash about, while stronger swimmers can enjoy swimming a little further out. 

Expect white sand to be running through your toes and seas as turquoise as they get. 

King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth

For a sandy, enclosed beach hideout, head to King Edward’s Bay in Tynemouth. The bay is surrounded by grassy banks and cliffs, and is perfect for whiling away an afternoon under the sun and swimming along the shore. 

It’s also located at the bottom of the Tynemouth Priory and Castle, a perfect retreat for history and beach lovers alike.

Achmelvich, Scotland

Venturing on a Scottish road trip this summer? Make sure to add Achmelvich Bay, near Lochinver, to your bucket list. 

A favourite amongst water skiers, windsurfers and kayakers alike, the crystal clear waters make the perfect backdrop for any Instagram snap. Throw down your picnic blanket and people watch the day away, staring out at the fishers and those partaking in water sports.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

Barafundle Bay looks like it’s been plucked from a brochure for the Medterannean. It’s in fact located in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. 

The bay area is surrounded by dunes and pine trees, and is accessible via a half mile walk from the nearest car park. Make sure you pack a bucket and spade because you’ll find white sands waiting for you when you arrive. Not to mention the jet blue seas.

Fistral Beach, Cornwall 

A popular location with surfers, Fistral Beach in Cornwall is famed for its hearty waves, blue sea and sandy beach. Thousands of eager surfers flock here every year to try to ride the waves, so it’s a great day out for people watching, as well as dipping your toes in the water. 

Above on the cliffs, you’ll spot Headland Hotel, famed for being the filming location of the 1990 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. 


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