Weymouth Beach, Dorset, England
Weymouth is a charming family seaside resort located in the rural county of Dorset. The gently curving beach with its soft sand and clean cool water, attracts thousands of tourists every year whatever the weather.
The beach is often buzzing with donkey rides, fun fairs, and Punch and Judy shows. Everything you gaze upon is quintessentially British.
There is also ample opportunity for retail therapy, and there are plenty of charming cafés and restaurants to choose from without the threat of burning a hole in your pocket.
The best way to travel to Weymouth is to fly to Southampton Airport and then take a train direct to Weymouth.
Stay at the family-friendly Best Western Hotel Rembrandt. It has a spa, restaurants and a huge swimming pool and a good base to explore the Dorset coast.
Eat at the art deco styled Italian restaurant Al Molo which has a fantastic location on the pier. For something more family friendly head for Manbo’s bistro. They have children’s menu and fast service so the hungry kids don’t stay that way long.
Oxwich Bay, Gower Peninsula, South Wales
You have to look to Wales for what may be the most beautiful beach in Britain. Soft, sandy Oxwich Bay, framed by woodland and overlooked by Penrice Castle, could come straight from an Enid Blyton story. With its Arcadian beauty, in summer Oxwich is an ideal place for safe swimming, a walk on the sands or through the nature reserve with its 600 species of flowering plants. The Gower, lying west of Swansea, was Britain’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and this year is the 50th anniversary. A footpath leads from Oxwich to St Illtyd’s Church, reputedly haunted by a half-man, half-horse creature and further along, the coastline is dotted with castles and ancient monuments and many unspoilt bays.
Nearby Swansea is a city that has reinvented itself in the past 5 years with a thriving local food scene showcasing the region’s rich food heritage: laver bread, cockles, Welsh black beef, and sea bass jostle.
Stay behind Oxwich Beach in Penrice Castle’s cottages a series of 14 self-catering cottages that overlook the beach and the wonderful Gower Peninsula.
Eat at Munch of Mumbles and enjoy British fare and a fabulous seaview.
Barafundle, Pembrokeshire, Wales
The beautiful Barafundle Bay on National Trust land is perfect for couples looking for ‘us time’. The beach ensures discretion by virtue of its secluded location in a bay protected by a rocky landscape. Park in the National Trust car park (£5) then be prepared for a 15-minute robust ramble over clifftops and hillocks and steps down onto a duned beach. There may be of smattering of others there in the summer and out of season you may get to see a surfer or two. There are no facilities there so take your lunch and nibbles with you.
Stay at the Grove B&B, a refurbished manor house in Narberth with pretty gardens and lovely views.
Eat at the Stackpole Inn, a gastronomic pub with great food. But to get there pick up the car and make your way to the nearest village Stackpole.
Brighton Beach, Sussex
There is no white soft sand because Brighton beach is a pebble beach. Yet when there is a hit of sunshine, the long stretch of stoned seafront becomes crowded with deckchairs, sun umbrellas, and people. The promenade is gorgeous and the vibrant pier is a pull for those searching entertainment. You could not get a better city beach vibe anywhere else in England.
Stay at the quirky Pelirocco. This hotel may well be England’s most rock-n-roll hotel. Rooms are themed in pink, debauched Nookii Room (for sexy couples) and Pin Up Parlour dedicatd to Diana Dors and one dedicated to the Sex Pistols.
Eat at the tiny 64 Degrees. This is proving to be the hottest restaurant at the moment. It is located in the Lanes and features a series of small dishes for sharing. Grab a stool at the counter and for a close up view of the cooking or book one of the three tables.
South Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England
This is a traditional bucket and spade soft-sand beach with a marina, arcade, cafes and surprisingly beautiful architecture. The water is calm thanks to the shelter of the Castle Headland. Folklore depicts the sea here as the original spa. The story goes that 15th century bathers believed that the water had healing powers. Go exploring and you may come a across a secret cove to hide away for a while. For a break from the beach explore the ruins of the 11th century Scarborough Castle.
Stay on the seafront at the Ambassador Hotel. Steps away from the beach, this Victorian building has a free-to-use leisure club and fantastic pool.
Eat luscious icecream at Mr Moo’s cafe and icecream parlour or a enjoy a wholesome lunch. Perhaps take a very civilised tea at Francis Tea Rooms on South Street. Your table will have vintage crockery on embroidered table clothes. There are cakes and speciality teas as well as savoury items such as rarebit.