A relaxing day in winter need not confine you to the armchair in front of the fireplace.
Even in the freezing temperatures, a UK beach has been named the best in the world from December to February, leaving no need to fly across the world and back for a beach day to savour in those months.
The British coastal gem fought off stiff competition for Lonely Planet writer Christina Webb’s top spot, with spectacular offerings in Iceland, New Zealand and South Korea all in the mix.
None of them could match up to Charmouth Beach, on England’s famous Jurassic Coast, where you are presented with stunning views in all directions paired with the chance to unleash your inner archeologist and go fossil hunting in a place as prolific as most when it comes to prehistoric finds.
And the Dorset seafront can cater to all tastes with the rocky stretch complimented by a sandy expanse immediately next-door – on the other side of the River Char as it meets the Channel.
Charmouth Beach, in Dorset, has been recognised as the world’s best beach to visit over winter by Lonely Planet
Both stony and sandy expanses make it applicable to all, with the former making it a hotspot for fossil hunting
Charmouth finds itself on England’s famous Jurassic Coast – hence the concentration of prehistoric finds
Wherever you find yourself, you will have majestic cliff faces looming over you giving the beach a sense of isolation and privacy if you catch it on a quiet day – all the more likely over winter.
The closest rival to Charmouth Beach for the number one spot was Reynisfjara Beach near Vik, Iceland.
This is another coastline which differs from the white sandy beaches that you might idolise over summer.
Black rocks under foot give the area a unique atmosphere as you stare out to giant rock formations which legend has it are the result of trolls being caught in the daylight.
If you are still after a sandy beach over winter but do not want to stray too far from the UK, Plage de la Conche des Baleines – found on Ile de Ré just off France’s west coast is a gorgeous option.
Pictured: Rock formations in the distance from Reynisfjara Beach in Iceland
Lonely Planet’s recommended spots also featured Kvalvika Beach on Norway’s Lofoten Islands (above)
This is a beautiful option all year round but the freedom from crowds of tourists in summer could make the drop in temperature worth conceding as you can still enjoy both the shore and the island’s breathtaking towns with their terracotta architecture archetypal for the region.
Another relatively nearby option for Brits is on Ireland’s south coast, in the form of Inchydoney Beach which looks out over the Atlantic from a vast sandy plain.
The list also featured more faraway options with New Zealand’s Hot Water Beach, Cannon Beach in the U.S., Cox Bay Beach in Canada and Haeundae Beach in South Korea.
A top-nine was completed by Kvalvika Beach on Norway’s Lofoten Islands.