There’s nothing we love more than a day at the beach.
Salty lips, sun-kissed skin, surf and swims, friends and family. Cold beers, ice cream cones, sandy sandwiches, stand-up paddleboards. Buckets and spades, beach cricket, brilliant laughs.
Here’s our top ten for this August Bank Holiday Weekend:
Priory Bay, Isle of Wight - Looking out to Selsey Bill, this gorgeous, golden sandy bay is edged by Priory Woods and sheltered by towering cliffs. A sandbank called Gull Bank lies just offshore. Walk around Horestone Point and reach Seagrove Bay.
Mill Bay, East Portlemouth, Devon – Catch the little ferry across from Salcombe. Turquoise water that’s perfect for family swimming. In Regatta week, watch the yachties compete. Organic food and delicious coffee from the Venus café.
Anstey’s Cove, Devon – It’s a steep walk down to the tiny shingle beach but once you are there you can rent kayaks and paddleboards, deckchairs and sunbeds. The snorkelling is good too, and the bacon sandwiches.
Manorbier Beach, Pembrokeshire – When the tide is out the shingle is high and dry and there is a beautiful broad curve of soft sand. Gorgeous swimming but take care - no life guards.
Mudeford Sandbank, Dorset – A half mile spit of sand wrapped around Christchurch Harbour. With marshlands behind it and the Channel beyond it, it’s a gorgeous palette of soft smudgy colours.
Embleton Bay, Northumberland – Stride out for two miles to walk to Dunstanburgh Castle. Eat kippers at Craster. The swoop of the bay, and the merged blueness of sea and sky is heaven.
Holme-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk - You have to cross a golf course and the dunes to get to the beach, but when you get there there’s sand, more sand, and far away the North Sea. Perfect for when you want space and lungfuls of fresh air.
Fistral Beach, Cornwall – If you’re a surfer this is English heaven. The swells can be gentle or savage depending which end of the beach you are on. The main attraction is one called the Cribber which breaks off Towan Head. There’s a Rick Stein chippy as well – delicious for afterwards.
Osmington Mills, Dorset – Fossils in the rocks and a little waterfall on the beach. If you’re in the mood for a good walk, Lulworth Cove is six miles to the east.
Bigbury-On-Sea and Bantham, Devon. Surfing, rock pools and sandcastles. Burgh island is reachable by sea tractor. Fab gastrobus in Bantham car park. Great street food and yummy ice cream.