With temperatures set to soar this weekend, there’s only one place to be – the beach.
Thankfully, the UK coastline is peppered with an array of gorgeous sandy beaches that are perfect for leisurely days of sandcastle-building and sun-worshipping.
Here’s our guide to 10 of the best, from a hidden gem in Wales to a Scottish beach that’s been compared to the sunkissed shores of the Maldives.
All that’s left to do is to pack your sunscreen and a towel.
1. TRAETH LLANDDWYN, ANGLESEY, WALES
Traeth Llanddwyn in Wales is said to be an ‘ideal picnic site during fine weather’
One beach to lay your towel on this summer is Traeth Llanddwyn, a Blue Flag Beach backed by Newborough National Nature Reserve on Wales’s Isle of Anglesey. It’s described by the tourist board as an ‘ideal picnic site during fine weather’ and offers views of Llanddwyn Island, a tidal island crowned by the Twr Mawr lighthouse.
Such is its charm that a video of the beach’s golden sands recently went viral on TikTok. Posted by user ‘Heykeyt’, it’s racked up more than 1.4million views to date.
In the comments below the clip, user Sophie James wrote: ‘The UK has incredible beaches.’ Another user, ‘Oliveee’, weighed in: ‘Wales is underrated.’
2. TRAIGH MHEILEIN BEACH ON THE ISLE OF HARRIS, SCOTLAND
Traigh Mheilein beach on the Isle of Harris has been declared the ‘equivalent of the Maldives in Scotland’
Hidden away from the crowds, this picture-perfect beach can be accessed via a roughly half-hour hike starting from Huisinis Beach on the Isle of Harris.
A video about the beach recently went viral on TikTok when a pair of bloggers declared it the ‘equivalent of the Maldives in Scotland’. They told MailOnline Travel: ‘The white sand and the crystal-clear water is not something you see very often in the UK. We have been fortunate enough to visit the Maldives twice, once for our honeymoon and then we returned two years later as we fell in love with it there. [Traigh Mheilein] beach reminded us of the gorgeous waters there.’
3. PEDN VOUNDER BEACH, NEAR LAND’S END IN CORNWALL
Above is the ‘lovely’ Pedn Vounder beach, set near Land’s End in Cornwall. It’s known as an ‘unofficial naturist beach’
Pedn Vounder Beach, framed by cliffs and accessible via a steep pathway, is described by local beach guide Cornall Beaches as one of Cornwall’s ‘loveliest beaches’.
It says to expect ‘crystal clear turquoise water’ and ‘beautiful white sand’ on your visit. Those who hate tan lines are in luck – the website notes that it’s an ‘unofficial naturist beach’.
4. GREEN PORTH ON TRESCO ISLAND, THE ISLES OF SCILLY
The beach of Green Porth, which lies on Tresco Island in the Isles of Scilly, is a sheltered spot for swimmers and sunbathers
Green Porth on the eastern coast of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly looks as pretty as a picture.
The Cornwall Beaches guide reveals: ‘The beach is bordered to one end by Old Grimsby Quay and overlooked by the old fort on Tommy’s Hill at the other.’ It adds that there are low dunes to the rear of the beach, which offer shelter to swimmers and sunbathers on windy days.
It’s one of many beaches that are worth checking out in the archipelago, as the local tourist board notes: ‘With their turquoise water and pale, fine sand, Scilly’s beaches are simply stunning – beautiful enough to rival any in the world.’
5 and 6. SALCOMBE NORTH SANDS & SOUTH SANDS BEACH – DEVON
Salcombe North Sands, pictured in the foreground, is a popular spot for families. South Sands Beach (background) lies nearby
Salcombe North Sands, an easy walk from Salcombe town, is just the ticket for those planning a family day out in the sunshine.
Visit South Devon describes it as a ‘large sandy beach perfect for families, with great swimming due to the safe bay, and rockpools nearby for exploring’.
If you fancy, you can spend the morning building sandcastles on Salcombe North Sands and then devote the afternoon to sunbathing on nearby South Sands Beach, described by the tourist board as ‘one of the most unspoilt beaches in South Devon’.
7. LUSKENTYRE BEACH, ISLE OF HARRIS, SCOTLAND
This shot shows beautiful Luskentyre Beach on the west coast of the Isle of Harris in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides
‘Forget the Caribbean and [the] Indian Ocean, this is the most beautiful wild ocean beach on earth.’
So says Tripadvisor reviewer ‘BK1958’ of Luskentyre Beach, which lies on the west coast of the Isle of Harris in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides.
Last year, this stretch of sand was named the UK’s best beach by Tripadvisor, ranking as the seventh best beach in all of Europe.
8. BROAD HAVEN SOUTH IN PEMBROKESHIRE, WALES
Above is Broad Haven South, set near the village of Bosherston in Pembrokeshire
‘Broad Haven South can be a good spot for swimming, surfing, fishing and a great place to get out the cricket set or frisbee.’
So says the Pembrokeshire Coast website of this pretty stretch of sand, which lies near the village of Bosherston.
The site adds: ‘There’s an intriguing limestone stack, known as Church Rock, just offshore.’
9. BAMBURGH BEACH, NORTHUMBERLAND
Bamburgh Beach’s ‘vast, unspoilt shoreline is uncrowded and backed by fabulous sand dunes’
Drink in views of the grand, Grade I-listed Bamburgh Castle as you sunbathe on this stunning stretch of the Northumberland coast.
The local tourist board says of Bamburgh Beach: ‘Its vast, unspoilt shoreline is uncrowded and backed by fabulous sand dunes… it also commands sea views across to Lindisfarne, Holy Island and Farne Islands.’
Making a trip to the beach all the more attractive, Bamburgh village was recently named the country’s best-loved coastal destination in a Which? survey, as we reported.
10. CRANTOCK BEACH NEAR NEWQUAY, CORNWALL
Pictured above is sunny Crantock Beach near Newquay, Cornwall. Try out surf and stand-up paddleboard lessons while you’re there
Set at the mouth of the River Gannel estuary, Crantock Beach is a National Trust-run expanse of sand that’s said to be ideal for sandcastles and surfing.
‘Big Green Surf School at Crantock offers surf and stand-up paddleboard lessons as well as hire,’ the National Trust reveals, adding that birds such as fulmars and jackdaws can be sighted around the beach.
After a recent visit, Tripadvisor reviewer Andrew D praised the ‘gorgeous’ sandy beach and its ‘crystal clear’ sea, writing: ‘It never disappoints. It felt like we were in another country.’