Although Australia is home to some of the world’s best beaches, you might be surprised to hear that we’ve found some of the best beaches in UK that literally could be in Australia.
I know when I took Steve to Cornwall and Devon, he said; we could be sat on Aus beaches on BOTH occasions. This is a BIG statement from someone who used to laugh at the beaches in England.
We’re going to share with you some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in UK that you’ll even be looking forward to visiting them from Australia!
All of the beaches in UK mentioned don’t only look like they could be in Australia but have an English twist with rolling hills, forts, castles, wild swimming holes and a whole lot more to discover.
We only mention 1 pebbled beach in UK in this post!
We love Durdle Door in Dorset!
We only mention the best sandy beaches in UK except for one pebbled beach, purely because both of us were gobsmacked at how amazing it was. Otherwise we’re trying to stay as closely as possible to what could be Aussie beaches in England to show you how you can have the best beach holidays in UK.
From sandy beaches near London, to Devon beaches, and the best beaches in South England, we mention some of the best seaside towns in UK in this post.
For those of you who have moved to England from Australia, this post is for you. Hopefully it might take away that homesickness if you’re craving a decent Aus beach.
And for those of you who usually dismiss British beaches and head for more European beaches, this post might make you think twice about wanting to go on holiday further afield (it certainly has done so for us!).
If you need to hire a car to get to some of the best beaches to visit in UK, get a great deal here >
21 Best Beaches in UK
Click on the area of UK you want to visit below.
Isle of Harris, Scotland
Image via Pandotrip
Starting off with THE beach in UK that just makes us look more than twice because it somehow reminds us of Queensland’s Whitsundays.
That’s right, Luskentyre Beach on Harris Island in Scotland reminds us of one of the best beaches in the world. This Scottish beach has water so bright that you’ll think you’re sailing on the Whitsundays, hanging out on Rottnest Island or dare we say it, even in lounging around on a Maldives holidays (?).
If you’re lucky, you might even spot some seals around on this beach and even deer wondering around.
To be honest, there are so many incredible beaches on this island and on nearby islands like Isle of Barra, that as long as you have a wetsuit with you (let’s be realistic here), you could go on a beach hopping tour.
Luskentyre Beach Accommodation
How to get to Luskentyre Beach
You’ll need to get to the Isle of Sky and get a ferry from there. Find out how to book a ferry here to Isle of Harris.
If you’re wondering how to get to the Isle of Sky first, you have two options by car.
- Either by Mallaig and catch the 30 minute ferry to Sky, then drive 90 minutes to the next ferry port at Uig to get over to Isle of Harris.
- Or drive north of Kyle of Lochlash and cross to Skye via the bridge
It’s then a 20 minute drive from Isle of Harris port called Tarbot to Luskentyre Beach.
2. Achmelvich Beach
This absolutely stunning Scottish beach is another reason why Scotland has the best beaches in United Kingdom. Can you believe sand this white and turquoise waters exist in the British Isles? I mean just look at this Instagrammer’s caption – he sums it up well 😉
The small village of Achmelvich is home to a caravan park, a hostel and not much else other than jaw dropping landscapes which are waiting to be explored. Welcome to your future holiday in paradise.
Achmelvich Beach Accommodation
Apart from the caravan site, there’s only one accommodation on the beach which is the Achmelvich Beach Hostel. Approx £50 a night. Book here >
Or you could stay at the beautiful Kirkraig Lodge (pictured) nearby: Approx £100 a night. Book here >
How to get to Achmelvich Beach
Achmelvich Beach is located in North West Scotland, a 2h20m drive from Inverness. You can drive right up to the beach so there’s not a lot of walking involved.
3. Sandwood Bay
Image via Walk Highlands
Known as one of the cleanest beaches in UK (and also one of the most remote) is the beautiful Sandwood Bay is located in Sutherland in the very North West Scotland region.
We reckon this beach could easily sit in one of Australia’s beautiful National Parks like The Royal National Park in Sydney and easily makes it onto the top ten beaches in UK list. I don’t think you’ll find quiet beaches in UK like Sandwood Bay. Welcome to paradise!
Sandwood Bay Accommodation
It’s hard to find accommodation in this remote part of Scotland but here’s a lovely home you can hire for your family:
4 bed holiday home at Transvaal House: Approx £320 a night. Book here >
How to get to Sandwood Bay
If you’re wondering how get to get to to Sandwood Bay, it requires a bit of effort as there’s no roads leading to the beach. You’ll need to hike 8 miles (13km) which will take around 4-5 hours. But, as you can see, it’s worth it.
Check out more of Scotland’s amazing beaches below!
If you’re looking for more awesome adventures in Scotland, check out the below book!
Bamburgh has all the features of an authentic Aussie beach but with a bit of English history thrown in. Make sure you go and visit Bamburgh Castle which offers up the best views of the beach.
This beautiful beach stretches so far that on a clear day you might be able to see the Farne Islands.
Where to stay near Bamburgh Beach
Marketcross Guesthouse (pictured): Approx £75 a night. Book here >
How to find Bamburgh Beach
Bamburgh Beach is almost half way in between Edinburgh and Newcastle being about one hour between the two cities on the Northumberland coast.
Five miles north of Whitby lies the beautiful Runswick Bay, a gorgeous stretch of beach that could easily looks like it’s come from an Aussie National Park. If you look the other way from the beach, you’ll soon realise you’re in England as the fishing village is absolutely quintessentially English.
Runswick Bay Accommodation
Our top pick for Runswick Accommodation is the Cliffemount Hotel which is situated on the cliff overlooking the beautiful beach. It costs approximately £80 a night for a double room. Book Cliffemount Hotel here >
How to get to Runswick Bay
Runswick Bay is a 15 minute drive from the famous Whitby Beach in Yorkshire and 1h45m drive from the city of Leeds.
6. Whitby Beach
Whitby Beach is probably the most famous beach in the Yorkshire area and is actually known as being the place which inspired Bram Stroker to write his famous novel, Dracula.
We love the wide expansive views of the long beach which are easily comparable to most Aussie beaches.
Where to stay in Whitby Beach
How to get to Whitby Beach
Whitby is located 1h30m from Leeds and 30m from Scarborough.
Image via sea pictures gallery
Holkham Beach has a beautiful long stretch of sand that looks like it could be in an Australian National Park.
You may have seen this beach before as it’s featured in the backdrop to many movies and music videos. Remember All Saints’ Pure Shores? Yep, that’s right, Holkham Beach featured in it. Don’t get that confused with the movie it’s taken from, The Beach starring Leonardo Di Caprio was filmed at Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand obvs!
Where to stay in Halkham Beach
How to get to Halkham Beach
Halkham Beach is a great British beach near London to visit which takes just 1 hour from the city of Norwich.
We have so many sea caves to discover all along the coast from Sydney, but did you know the UK does too? The popular Botany Bay between Margate and Broadstairs not only offers up plenty of caves to explore but a beautiful sandy beach to relax on.
If you’re looking for the seaside near London, or even one of the best beaches near London, make sure you visit Botany Bay. It’s also one of the best sandy beaches in Kent.
Where to stay in Botany Bay
We recommend staying at the popular Botany Bay Hotel which is right on the water with fantastic views and an awesome pub. Double rooms cost approximately £120 a night. Find an amazing deal to stay at Botany Bay Hotel here >
How to get to Botany Bay
Botany Bay is just a 2 hour train journey from London, a 25 minute journey from Margate and a 20 minute drive from Broadstairs.
Check out the below book for more inspiration for awesome adventures around UK!
If you’re looking for beaches near London to visit, or even one of the best South Coast beaches, head over to Camber Sands, which also has expansive sand dunes. Squint and you could be in Anna Bay near Port Stephens, at the lower scale obvs.
But Camber Sands is a great UK surfing beach and is also one of the best beaches in South East England to visit. Put this on your list!
Where to stay in Camber Sands
We really love Claverton House which is located near to Camber Sands in the famous town of Battle. It costs approximately £80 a night to stay here. Find the best deal to stay at Claverton House here >
Tips – make sure you check out the nearby historic town of Rye. This beautiful town has some of the best fish&chips and afternoon tea in the South East.
How to get to Camber Sands
Camber Sands is a great sandy beach near London which just takes about 1h30m to get to from Central London.
Known for having some of the most luxurious homes in the country, Sandbanks is known for having one of the best beaches in England.
Kick back on one of the nicest beaches in England and if you squint, you might think you’re in Palm Beach near Sydney with water either side of the peninsula to choose from.
Tips – Get the ferry over to Studland and hike over to our next top pick, Old Harry’s Rocks.
Where to stay in Sandbanks
It doesn’t get much better than staying at Haven Hotel & Spa located right next to Sandbanks in Poole.
Complete with a pool, you’ll definitely have a British Summer holiday you’ve been waiting a long time for.
Double rooms cost approximately £107 a night. Find the best deal to stay at Haven Hotel & Spa right here >
If you’re looking for something else, find the best deal to stay in Poole here >
How to get to Sandbanks
Sandbanks is located in Poole near to Bournemouth and only a 2 hour drive from London.
11. Old Harry’s Rocks
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"After landing in London, I rented a car and drove on the left side of the road all the way to the southern coast. Being from the US, this was a huge culture shock for me. I ended up at the chalky cliffs of Dorset and spent the evening wandering the grassy meadows. I stopped at the Old Harry Rocks for sunset and put up my drone to get a sense of scale. While looking at these massive cliffs from above, I felt almost like I was in a dream. It felt like a place in a science-fiction movie. It was absolutely unreal. After landing, I spent the rest of the night hanging out in seaside pubs and really immersing myself in English culture. It didn't take me long to decide that the Jurassic Coast is easily my favorite area of the UK." 📷@davidmrule 📍Old Harry Rocks, England 🇬🇧 #passionpassport
OK so Old Harry’s Rocks technically isn’t a beach but when we visited, we couldn’t believe the uncanny similarities with Victoria’s 12 Apostles. Make sure you make the effort to go and visit Old Harry’s Rocks because it’s an amazing site which will make you feel like you’re on the edge of the world.
Tip – there’s a great pub at the car park to have lunch at.
The nearest place to stay near Old Harry’s Rocks is Knoll House which is a great Bournemouth accommodation option with tennis courts, an outdoor pool, hot tub and sea views from your room. There are loads of walking paths nearby too! It costs approximately £90 for a double room.
If you’re looking for something else, find the best deal to stay in Bournemouth here >
How to get to Old Harry’s Rocks
If you’re driving, Old Harry’s Rocks takes about 45m from Sandbanks, or you could catch the ferry over and hike.
12. Man O’War Beach
We’re featuring the best UK pebble beach in this post because when we went to visit Durdle Door next door (which is as equally impressive), this was one of those moments Stevo gasped and couldn’t believe how Man O’War was so beautiful and has therefore made it onto our top beaches in UK list.
Seeing as Man O’War is one of the Jurassic Coast best beaches, this 300 million year old coastline is mind baffling in itself, and whilst we can’t say we can actually compare it to any Aussie beach, the water was certainly turquoise at the time of visiting and completely clear like an Aussie beach. It was just way more busy.
Expect Man O’War and Durdle Door to be very busy (as you can see in our photo above) as they are known as being some of the best British beaches and bring in huge tourism.It is a fantastic area to go hiking along the coast as well and onto Lulworth Cove which is worth visiting as well.
Tips – Go check out Kimmeridge Bay which is further on from Man O’War beach and Lulworth Cove, both are stunning beaches with less crowds.
Where to stay near Man O’War Beach
The beautiful Lulworth Lodge is the type of place you’ll want to stay for longer than a weekend away from London. With gorgeous views over looking Lulworth Cove, it doesn’t get much better. Double rooms cost approximately £120 a night.
How to get to Man O’War Beach
Man O’War and Durdle Door take just under three hours to get to from London. If you’re coming from Bournemouth, it takes around 45m.
The Gower, Swansea, Wales
One of Britain’s best beaches sits in Swansea at Rhossili beach. This beautiful stretch of coast is home to plenty of surfers, hikers and paragliders. You’ll also be able to find Helvetia, a ship wreck on the beach as well which has been sat there since 1887.
Tip – Make sure you go and visit Mewslade & Fall Bay which is under a 10 minute drive away which has some awesome sea caves to explore.
Where to stay in Rhossili Beach
We love the King’s Head Inn which is a beautiful place to stay right near Rhossili Beach. A king size room costs approximately £125 a night.
How to get to Rhossili Beach
Rhossili Beach is just a 45m drive from Swansea in Wales.
14. Barafundle Bay
One of the most beautiful beaches in UK is Barafundle Bay, in Wales. It’s a gorgeous beach that will have you in disbelief that the Irish Sea can turn shades of turquoise that you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported to Australia.
You’ll see the remains of the fort that sits above the beach, reminding you you’re sat on a part of historical England.
It’s a 30 minute hike (half a mile) to get here meaning that it’s not ever as busy as you might think it would be. It’s a popular beach for surfing too and often makes the cut as one of the top 10 beaches in UK.
There’s no toilets at this remote beach which is backed by sand dunes and pine trees.
Tips – make sure you visit the nearby beach of Marloes Sands Beach, which is another equally beautiful Aussie looking beach and also where Snow White and the Huntsman was filmed.
Where to stay near Barafundle Bay
Wagtail Cottage is a beautiful two bedroom holiday home you can stay in for approximately £430 a night. If you have a group of four of you, it works out really cost effective to stay in this gorgeous cottage.
How to find Barafundle Bay
If you’re looking for a beach near Bristol, Barafundle Bay is a 2h30m drive away in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
15. Broad Haven Beach
Squint and you could be looking at a deserted Bondi Beach right? We reckon Broad Haven Beach is one of the nicest beaches in UK.
Broad Haven beach is not only one of the most beautiful beaches in UK but it’s also an amazing place to explore. Expect some of the best UK sea caves and two secret coves called Little Horn and Trevallen which both connect to a sea cave.
If you’re into British wild swimming, make sure you check out the mind blowing blue crater for a swim during mid tide. Just be super careful as always and never put yourself in danger, ever.
We love the YHA Broad Haven Beach which has a combination of dorms and double rooms to choose from. Best of all, you’ll have a cracking view of the beach! Dorms cost on average £15 a night and doubles from £50 a night.
How to get to Broad Haven Beach
Broad Haven Beach is located in Pembrokeshire and takes around two hours to get to from Cardiff.
For more swimming spots in Wales, check out the below!
Home to the UK’s premier surfing beach, Fistral Beach & Watergate Beach in Newquay are both the UK’s equivalent to Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
If surfing’s your thing, make sure you visit in August, in time for the five day Boardmasters Festival where surfers come together to battle it out amongst the waves. This time of year will really see Newquay come alive both on the beach and at the thriving nightlife. Newquay is often known as one of the best seaside resorts in UK and it’s no wonder when it brings in many hen and stag do’s on the weekends.
Where to stay in Fistral Beach
The Headland Hotel and Spa sits directly opposite Fistral Beach and is the ultimate luxury Newquay accommodation. Double rooms cost approximately £130 a night.
How to get to Fistral Beach
Fistral Beach is just a 7 minute drive from Newquay in Cornwall, South West England.
17. Porthminster Beach
St Ives, Cornwall
OK so this is one of the beaches I mentioned earlier that I took Steve to in Cornwall that he was absolutely dumb founded we were still in UK. This could be Aussie beach is a proper winner if you’re looking for a beautiful English beach to visit and one of the best UK beach holidays as St Ives is often known as being one of the best coastal towns in UK.
Porthminster Beach is even home to some of the UK’s only palm trees that you’ll wonder if you’ve been transported over to Australia. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best sandy beaches in England.
Where to stay near Porthminster Beach
Want to stay somewhere with sea views overlooking the amazing Porthminster Beach? We love 27 The Terrace, a beautiful St Ives accommodation option that costs approximately £155 a night but is oh so worth it!
How to get to Porthminster Beach
Porthminster Beach is located on the other side of Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall.
18. Porthmeor Beach
St Ives, Cornwall
I remember sitting on Porthmeor Beach years ago thinking how much it reminded me of an Aussie beach. The soft sand and beautiful water at St Ives most popular beach is somewhere you have to see for yourself. It’s also popular amongst surfers and swimmers.
St Ives is up there with having some of the best South England beaches which is no surprise when you have one of the best UK seaside towns to stay in.
Make sure you head over to Tate St Ives just up from the beach, it’s an awesome art gallery, part of the Tate we all know in London. And not forgetting, make sure you visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum in St Ives as well.
Where to stay in Porthmeor Beach
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a castle, now is your chance. Hotel Tregenna Castle Resort is situated in St Ives and has 72 acres worth of gold courses, indoor swimming pools and more to keep you entertained. Double rooms cost approximately £150 a night.
How to get to Porthmeor Beach
Porthmeor Beach is right in the middle of St Ives, in Cornwall, South West England.
19. Porthcurno Beach
Cornwall, South West England
I’ll always remember the first time I visited Porthcurno Beach near Land’s End in Cornwall. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked that a beach like this could actually exist in England. At low tide you can walk to other beaches next door, and if you’re a nudist, you’re in luck!
This slice of paradise has Aussie blue waters, beautiful soft sand and tall cliffs to protect you from the winds, so if you’re looking for a decent Plymouth beach to visit, make sure you come to Porthcurno Beach!
Tips – A massive draw card is the Minack Theatre, an open theatre perched on the top of the cliff over looking the beach. With Shakespeare performances, this is the kind of place you want to put on your England bucket list. If you miss a performance, stop by the cafe for a classic Cornish cream tea.
Where to stay near Porthcurno Beach
Porthcurno accommodation isn’t cheap but we’ve found this gorgeous holiday home complete with two bedrooms with a sea view. It costs approximately £465 a night to stay at Longships in Porthcurno.
How to get to Porthcurno Beach
Porthcurno is a 15 minute drive East of Land’s End which sits on the most Western tip of England.
20. Nanjizal Beach
Land’s End, Cornwall
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Who would have thought paradise could be found just a stones throw away from the hoards of tourists at Land’s End? Words can’t even describe how beautiful Nanjizal Beach really is, it’s the kind of place you want to put at the top of our bucket list.
There’s also a stunning turquoise pool to swim through into the ocean (be very careful!). This certainly reminds us of plenty of wild swimming spots in Australia, most notably Fairy Pools in Noosa, but we think this one is way more impressive 😉
We love The Loft’s three bedroom holiday home located in Penzance, just 28km from St Ives. To hire out the whole property costs approximately £515 a night.
How to get to Nanjizal Beach
Nanjizal Beach is located near to Land’s End in Cornwall, South West England.
21. Pentle Bay Beach
Tresco Island, Isles of Scilly (Cornwall)
When you find a beach in the Isles of Scilly that actually looks like you could be in Jervis Bay, it makes you want to know more which has most beautiful white sand beach in UK.
St Mary’s Hall Hotel is our favourite Isles of Scilly accommodation option as it’s well located, has a cracking restaurant and you’ll want to stay for longer than you prepared. Double rooms cost approximately £162 a night.
How to get to Tresco Island
It’s not as difficult as you’d imagine getting to Scilly Islands. Originally I thought it would be a proper mission but turns out it’s not at all.
So there we have it, our best beaches in UK that might make you think twice about fleeing to another European destination. Where’s your favourite British beach? Let us know in the comments below!
Books for your UK swimming adventures!
We recommend checking out this book and the book below for some inspiration in finding the best swimming spots in United Kingdom!
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21 Best Beaches in UK that could be in Australia
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