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The Best British Beach Holidays

Whilst the images of kiss-me-quick hats, donkey rides on the beach, amusement arcades and tacky end of the pier shows may now be a little dated, the British seaside resort is seeing something of a resurgence. Public and private money is being poured into regenerating some of the old resorts, and the British seaside holiday is once again gaining in popularity.The resort you visit will depend on your interests, your location and whether you have children, but here are some suggestions that you may not have considered.

The Scilly Isles

Off the west coast of Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly are a tranquil, natural haven for wildlife, residents and tourists. Without the overkill of amusement arcades etc that can be distracting on a beach holiday, they are a great choice for people who love the outdoors, birds and seals. Some of the islands are uninhabited, and boat trips to different islands are a must. You can find beautiful beaches and many places of interest on the island, but most of all they are relaxing. They may seem a little boring to teenagers.


Newquay is getting a party reputation and has a busy and lively nightlife but there are great beaches nearby and it is becoming a centre for surfers. Great for groups of friends, couples, and families with kids of all ages.


Another pleasure-seeker’s Mecca, Brighton has something for most people. The beaches are pebbly so may not suit those with young children who like to dig in the sand, but older kids love the variety of activities available.

Thanet, Kent

The trio of resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate boasts a number of excellent sandy beaches along the coast. Ramsgate has a wonderful marina and harbour with some excellent restaurants, Margate Old Town provides quirky shopping opportunities and the wonderful Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, and Broadstairs has excellent beaches, ice cream parlours and connections to Charles Dickens. Whether you want amusement arcades, culture, good food, or sandy beaches you will find something here.


Wales has some beautiful beaches and the Tenby area has some of the best. A huge variety of accommodation options here means that it is always easy to find somewhere to stay, whether you want a hotel, a caravan or a campsite. The town is pretty, the beaches are safe and clean, and everyone who goes there falls in love with the place.

Other recommendations

The Bamburgh area in the North East of England is great, although often very windswept, as is East Anglia. Some of the best UK beaches are on the Scottish Islands, although weather can be extremely unpredictable there and indoor activities are more limited so for a traditional beach holiday with children it may not be the best choice. South coast resorts such as Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Littlehampton and Bexhill-on-Sea have all seen a lot of investment and boast many activities, wonderful restaurants, theatres and arts facilities. Weston-super-Mare in Somerset has a fantastic beach, as well as a pier and donkey rides. A great destination if you have children who need to be amused.The UK has some wonderful beaches and some wonderful resorts that are waiting for people to start flocking back to them.

Alex is a journalist and writer who writes about eco holidays and all things green. He also maintains a green blog covering the UK and Europe. Image by whyohwhyohwhyoh