With plenty of beautiful beaches just a train-ride away, there’s no need to travel abroad for a seaside holiday this summer. We’ve picked some of our favourite UK beach retreats from across the network for the whole family to enjoy – just don’t forget to pack your shades!
Weymouth’s glorious golden sandy beach is three miles long with gorgeous views that stretch far across the horizon, showing off the Jurassic coastline in all its glory. During the summer months the beach is a lively place, drawing crowds of holidaymakers, families and groups of friends keen to soak up some sun.
Donkey rides and Punch and Judy shows will keep little ones entertained, while the grownups can sit back and relax on one of the many deck chairs for hire.
Where to eat: Head to Marlboro Restaurant on Thomas Street for some of the best fish and chips in Weymouth. For those who fancy eating a seaside classic with a twist, the mackerel fillet in a bap is a must.
Brighton beach may not have the mounds of soft golden sand you’ve been dreaming of this summer, but its pebble coastline and seabed are nothing if not quintessentially British.
Those looking for a peaceful day out at the seaside can admire the waves from the comfort of a deck chair. Adventurous-types can try one of the many sports on offer including kayaking and paddle-boarding.
And for everyone else? If you’re not rushing to the pier to make your fortune on the coin-pushing machines, then shame on you.
Where to eat: Head to The Lanes; a collection of narrow alleys filled with fantastic independent eateries and shops. We like Italian restaurant Donatello – it’s affordable and has something to suit all tastes.
Slightly off the beaten track, Uphill Beach sits at the ‘quiet’ end of Weston-super-Mare in Uphill, a village on Weston’s outskirts. Perfect for long walks with the family, this sandy beach is often crowd-free and popular with those who enjoy wind-sports.
If you love the usual chaos and hubbub that Weston-super-Mare offers, you can walk from Uphill beach to Weston’s main beach where there’s plenty of fun to be had by the seafront and in the many arcades.
Where to eat: It’s all about the ice cream at PJ’s Ice Cream Parlour. Order yourself a cone of the good stuff and choose from many delicious flavours available, including salted caramel, bubblegum, blueberry and black cherry.
Surfs up at Sennen Cove. This long, sandy beach boasts an emerald-green and turquoise shoreline with top-notch waves, making Sennen one of Cornwall’s best surfing hotspots.
Along the seafront, you’ll find a range of cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops to boot. Families will be able to while away a sunny afternoon here, exploring rock pools, building sand castles and stretching their legs.
Where to eat: The Old Success Inn offers a charming bed and breakfast service with incredible views of Sennen Cove and beyond. Their laid-back restaurant serves up a delicious menu of coastal classics such as lobster and crab rarebit, crab and prawn linguine, Cornish dressed crab and lots more including traditional pub classics and salad dishes.
Set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wembury Beach is the perfect seaside setting to enjoy a paddle and a spot of sunbathing. Little ones will love exploring the huge number of rock pools and dipping their toes in the award-winning clean waters.
Where to eat: Tuck into some delicious homemade cakes, pasties and soups at The Old Mill Café at Wembury Beach. The café itself is small but it makes for a perfect pit stop prior to a walk on the beach or the coastal path.
This year marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower setting sail from Plymouth to America. Discover the true story behind the pilgrims’ epic voyage and explore some of the top events commemorating the journey.