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The countdown to summer is officially on, with clear nights and sunny days already here – and rumors of even warmer temperatures just around the corner.
Although the weather in the UK is notoriously unpredictable, Brits love nothing more than a day at the beach. Whether you live in the city or the countryside, there’s a blissful escapism in feeling the sand between your toes and diving into beautiful, invigorating waters.
The summer months are the most attractive time to visit the British coast, but also the busiest. With that in mind, we’ve found some UK beaches a little further up the coast path. If you fancy venturing to a hidden beach on your next seaside trip, we’ve rounded up the best secret spots to visit. From a cove in Dorset and a secluded beach in Cornwall to sandy shores dominated by castle ruins in Northumberland, look no further for some coastal travel inspiration.
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This picturesque Dorset cove is located on the Jurassic Coast, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Visitors can access the hidden beach by descending a flight of 150 steps into the hillside and following a steep path — which is 15 minutes from the nearest parking lot. The beach at Man O’War features sand and pebbles2, while the icing on the cake is its stunning clear waters for a dip.
A secluded spot situated five miles north of the popular resort town of Whitby, Runswick Bay is a picturesque village tucked away behind a peak of a hill. Its round coastline is dotted with whitewashed holiday homes and houses, with immediate access to a sandy beach. Plus, there are water sports to enjoy, as well as nearby caves to explore. Keep an eye on the tide schedule, as the beach can disappear with the arrival of the sea.
Northumberland is famous for its fantastic sweeping coastline, and the village of Embleton is a lesser known spot located between Craster and Low Newton by the Sea. The beach is dominated by the magnificent ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle and can be accessed by walking along the Dunstanburgh Castle Golf Course. The white sands of Embleton Beach meet a crystal clear turquoise sea and is an ideal spot for dog walking.
This hidden Pembrokeshire beach is framed by dramatic port cliffs. You’ll see a combination of sand and rock as you walk down the steep steps to Church Doors Cove, and the fact that access is only possible at low tide adds to its intrigue. It’s a five-minute walk from the car park, while the popular seaside town of Tenby is a 15-minute drive away.
If you’re looking for a secluded spot on the Cornish coast, Lantic Bay is a shingle beach at the end of a steep path. Come prepared for a bumpy walk through farmland, down a few steps and down a slope – safe in the knowledge that the trek is well worth the secret beach you’ll reach. You’ll find this gem on the South West Coast Path, located between Lansallos and Polruan.
Head to Sutherland on Scotland’s southwest coast for this remote sandy beach. You can sink your toes into almost two miles of golden sand and enjoy views of cliffs, dunes and an impressive sea stack. It’s a four mile walk from the nearest car park in Blairmore, taking you across a moor with wonderful views of the lake.
Cuckmere Haven Beach is a tranquil coastal spot set against the backdrop of the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters in East Sussex. There is a stretch of golden sand to enjoy and glorious turquoise waters. To get to the beach, park nearby at South Hill Barn in Seaford and enjoy the stunning views during the 40-minute walk.
Aberlady Bay, East Lothian
This horseshoe shaped beach is found within a nature reserve and located between Gullane and Aberlady in East Lothian, Scotland. There are miles of beach to walk along, while the reserve is a perfect spot for bird watching. You can even see the wreckage of two submarines at low tide.
White Park Bay is an arch-shaped sandy beach on the North Antrim coast in Northern Ireland. There is a National Trust-owned car park nearby, and you’ll follow steep steps to reach this secluded beach. It’s part of the Causeway Coastal Route, in case you want to plan a longer walk while you’re there.