With holidays abroad off the cards for now, many of us will be swapping paella for pie and mash this summer with a UK “staycation”. This will be a welcome boost for the country’s seaside towns, many of which have suffered since the introduction of cheap foreign holidays.
There are so many beautiful locations to explore in our country and Tony Clish, UK Director for Park Holidays, is feeling positive about the summer ahead. He said: “It’s great to see the growing interest in domestic travel and that so many are making plans to visit more of the UK in to 2021. Hopefully, the increase in those making domestic holiday bookings over the coming months will enable people to explore new locations on home soil.”
But with so many people holidaying at home rather than abroad, it’s bound to put a strain on the country’s favourite beach resorts. Here’s where we can help. We’ve drawn up a list of some of the quieter seaside spots in the UK – the ones the crowds don’t know about…
Kingsgate Bay, Isle of Thanet, Kent
In-between trendy Margate and popular Broadstairs sits Kingsgate Bay in Thanet. The sandy beach offers perfect calm and seclusion – ideal for a quiet picnic or an afternoon paddle. You’ll need to walk 15 minutes to adjacent Joss Bay for public toilets, but it’s the small price you pay for this slice of heaven.
Oxwich, Gower Peninsula, Wales
On the Gower Peninsula, the sandy two-mile long bay at Oxwich is backed by a perfect mix of sand dunes, salt marshes and woodlands. The pretty village is also well worth a visit. It can get busy during the holidays, but head east to Tor Bay or Three Cliffs and you’re more likely to pass walkers and twitchers than a family of five building a sandcastle.
Bossington Beach, Porlock Bay, Somerset
Beautiful Bossington Beach is a huge shingle arc between the Bristol Channel and the Exmoor hills. Kick off your day in the pretty hamlet of Bossington and leave your car in the National Trust car park. Head for the South West Coast Path and clear your head with a serene walk along the bay.
Ross Back Sands, Bamburgh, Northumberland
This vast bay is the reward at the end of a 1.5 mile path through fields and farm buildings. With no vehicles allowed, Ross Back Sands is wonderfully still and silent. Enjoy miles of sand, with plenty of space to walk the dog, wander aimlessly and breathe in the salty sea air. Keep an eye out for lounging seals.
Steephill Cove, Isle of Wight
Admittedly, Steephill Cove can get busy during the holidays, but it can’t be accessed by vehicle, so it’s rarely mobbed. You’ll need to park at Ventnor’s Botanic Gardens and navigate a steep descent to reach the sandy bay – but it’s worth it. You’ll find beach huts, deck chair hire and pretty fishermen’s cottages, so it’s more developed than many on this list. But it still oozes charm.
White Park Bay, Northern Ireland
The rocky Giant’s Causeway attracts plenty of tourists a year, but not many of them will know about White Park Bay. A three-mile stretch of white sand on the North Antrim coast, its secluded spot keeps the crowds at bay. Packed with fossils and wildlife (keep your eyes peeled for dolphins), it’s the place to go to for some time out.
Porthledden Cove, Kenidjack valley, Cornwall
Cornwall is full to the brim with popular beaches, but most visitors won’t know about Porthledden Cove. Drive to Cape Cornwall and park your car before heading along the South West Coast Path. You’ll soon find this small but spectacular sheltered beach at the mouth of Kenidjack valley. Enjoy – but keep it to yourself.