What Are Some of the Best Places to Visit on the English Coast?

Updated on August 28, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella is from the UK and has written many articles concerning areas she is familiar with—mostly Devon, Cornwall, Yorkshire, and London.

Beach lovers are never far from the coast wherever they live in the UK.
Beach lovers are never far from the coast wherever they live in the UK. | Source

The Lure of the Seaside

In times past, even those who couldn't afford the time or the money to spend a whole week or so at the English coast could still manage a day trip once in a while. English families of all social classes could all enjoy the positive effects of a day by the sea. This is why the traditional English seaside holiday has been ever popular for many generations. The Victorians popularised this type of holiday even more with their avid construction of piers, proms, and beach huts which soon became expected features in almost every seaside town. Nowadays, even when many people are affluent enough to jet off to warmer climes for their main vacation, the traditional English seaside holiday has not lost any of its appeal.

Scarborough, North Yorkshire Boasts Two Beautiful Sandy Bays

Scarborough is the largest resort on the Yorkshire coast.
Scarborough is the largest resort on the Yorkshire coast. | Source

Coastal Towns Are the Places to Be in England During the Summer

The English coastline offers many excellent resorts in which to enjoy a traditional seaside holiday. The sea is never more than two hours drive away wherever you live in the UK so a day trip to the coast is at the top of everyone’s list whenever the sun shines. Fun fairs, fish and chip restaurants, ice cream parlours and souvenir shops line every seaside promenade, and on the beach itself are donkey rides and ‘Punch and Judy’ shows to keep the kids entertained. From the desolate beaches of Northern Cornwall which are a surfer's delight, to the more bustling resorts such as Bridlington, you'll find the ideal UK beach to spend a great day out. Many resorts such as Brighton, Blackpool and Weston-Super-Mare have piers which are filled with all manner of attractions and amusements to keep all the family entertained.

An Ever Popular Traditional Seaside Song

Popular English Seaside Resorts

Most English resorts offer a competitive range of activities and leisure pursuits. A holiday to places such as Brighton (popular with Londoners) Bournemouth in the south, or Blackpool and Scarborough in the north, will provide enough fun and entertainment for all the family even if the sun fails to oblige.

For a day trip from the London, the beaches of West Sussex and Kent are ideal. Further North, England’s largest county of Yorkshire also has its fair share of beaches and fine coastal scenery. From fun filled Scarborough with its prominent castle on the headland to the quieter Filey, there is plenty to do throughout the summer months. Whitby with its rich historical past and associations with Captain Cook and Dracula also boasts a beautiful sandy beach.

A Sandcastle can be as Small as You Like!

A Trip to a Sandy Beach is Incomplete Without the Construction of a Traditional Sandcastle However Small!
A Trip to a Sandy Beach is Incomplete Without the Construction of a Traditional Sandcastle However Small! | Source

Accommodation Options

Whether you decide to stay in a traditional holiday camp, caravan and camping park or seaside hotel or guest house there will be something to suit in your chosen destination. The traditional seaside boarding house is ideal for those wanting a seafront location with all the amenities of the town nearby but families with several young children will be catered for better in holiday camps that have indoor pools and a wealth of other activities for kids of all ages, whatever the weather.

Whichever type of accommodation you choose, remember to dispose of your rubbish responsibly and respect the coastal environment so such places can be enjoyed by others and the balance of nature be preserved for future generations. Be on your guard all the time when your children are in or near the water and remember to bathe only in designated areas. Tides can change suddenly so be wary of the time so that you don't get cut off.

The More Adventurous Have Built a Bigger Castle!

This desirable seaside residence can be yours if you take the appropriate bucket!
This desirable seaside residence can be yours if you take the appropriate bucket! | Source

Cornwall Has Many Delightful Coves and Fishing Villages

Cawsand in Southern Cornwall
Cawsand in Southern Cornwall | Source

England's West Country : Where Sandy Bays Beckon

Beach lovers who aren't bothered about the attractions and those in search of natural coastal landscape will perhaps be better catered for in The South West which boasts the widest selection of unspoilt beaches in England. Most of these beaches can be found in Cornwall particularly between Newquay and Padstow on the Atlantic seaboard. Cornwall is a peninsula and has a 258-mile long coast with many delightful coves and picturesque harbours facing the English Channel and the Atlantic. The Ocean side in the north is famed for its magnificent surf and becomes busy each summer when surfers travel here from all over the UK.

The wild and windswept sands of Cornwall offer some of the best seaside locations in England although accessibility is often a problem especially at the height of the surfing season; this has however helped to preserve their near natural state. The West Country is also blessed with more sunshine hours and enjoys a more temperate climate than the rest of England due to the Gulf Stream.

Cornwall has no motorways and no international airport; all traffic must arrive via Plymouth over the recently widened Tamar suspension bridge or on the Torpoint Ferry or further north beyond the source of the river Tamar. Trains trundle into Cornwall at a snail’s pace across the unique Victorian railway bridge built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Leaving the cityscape far behind, tourists can look forward to a memorable Cornish adventure in England’s westernmost county—a place quite apart from the rest of England with its rich Celtic past and mythological connections.

By arriving at Newquay airport the visitor can easily discover a region that boasts more than twelve glorious beaches offering golden sands worthy of any picture postcard. Rock pools and caves are a feature of Cornwall’s rugged coastline and provide an ideal environment for kids to play and explore.

Beaches are mainly sandy and have their own individual character. Constantine Bay sweeps round in a magnificent curve and has a backdrop of sand dunes to provide a natural windbreak against salty sea breezes whereas the beach at Bedruthan Steps is lined by sheer cliffs of granite and rocky outcrops said to have been the stepping stones of giants This beach is a must for photographers but dangerous for bathing due to strong currents.

Every discerning tourist will require safe bathing and clean beaches in order to enjoy their holiday. Cornwall currently has 6 ‘Blue flag’ beaches which mean these locations meet with stringent requirements in order to be granted this coveted award.

The county of Devon is blessed with Torbay, an area known as the English Riviera. Here there is every possible attraction for a fun filled seaside holiday as well as great beaches.

The North East Coast of England

England's Northern Coastline
England's Northern Coastline | Source

Seaside Food is Fun

Apart from traditional 'fish 'n chips' and Ice cream that everyone associates with the seaside, there are plenty of other foods available that can serve to make your day enjoyable. Who can say no to such tasty morsels as Cornish pasties, crab sandwiches,and freshly caught seafood when the brisk sea air whets your appetite? Not to mention sweet treats like rock ,clotted cream fudge, candy floss and toffee apples. Don't worry too much about the calories—a long walk along the prom or the cliff-tops will soon burn them off!

Some of England's Best Beaches are in the West Country

Putsborough Sands, Near Woolacombe, North Devon. England
Putsborough Sands, Near Woolacombe, North Devon. England | Source

Yorkshire Coast Near Bridlington

Beach Scene Near Bridlington
Beach Scene Near Bridlington | Source


© 2016 Stella Kaye


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    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      These all sound like beautiful places!

    • profile image

      Jamie Edwards 

      4 weeks ago

      We went to Cornwall a few years back. Truly a throwback in time! We loved it. Thank you for the article!

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      How are the next few months looking in England?

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      If I had to choose, the Northumberland Coast is my favourite. We trekked around Bamburgh Castle than went for a picnic on the beach just below. Travellers don’t think of England for it’s beaches, but there are so many gorgeous spots.

    • profile image


      4 weeks ago

      Who doesn't love a seaside vacation? These spots sound like ideal vacation destinations for families!

    • profile image

      Debbie Green 

      4 years ago

      The English coast is rugged and beautiful but the water is so cold. I would love to return to Cornwall


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