Though frolicking at the beach seems a little while off, the increasing temperatures (albeit only slightly in the UK) and arrival of Easter eggs in local supermarkets, are testament that we are edging ever closer to spring — and with it, the promise of longer days, more sunshine and, hopefully, our emergence from lockdown. So you wouldn't be alone if your mind has already started to drift off to daydreams of picnics on the sand, dipping your toes in the sea and big scoops of ice cream.
And though the white sands of the Caribbean and the azure waters of European islands might have to wait, when we are finally allowed to head off on a UK staycation again, we know just the beach to visit.
A new survey has named Bournemouth’s beach as the best in the UK, beating off Cornish competitors like St Ives, Bude and Newquay, which also featured in the top 10.
The research, carried out by WWF-UK in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, found the 10 miles of sandy beaches here to be the most popular amongst the 2,000 participants involved in the survey, and it's not hard to see why.
Backed by sandy clay cliffs, this stretch of coastline offers visitors an unbroken chain of great beaches from Sandbanks to Christchurch harbour, making it the longest beach in the UK.
There is ample opportunity for paddling, as well as space to spread out with the entire family on a patch of your own and enjoy the foodie delights of the seaside. Bracing walks are also on offer here, with cliff-top vistas stretching out for miles, and a myriad of little villages to explore en-route.
Blackpool, Whitby, Brighton, Tenby, Bognor Regis and North Yorkshire’s Filey beach completed the top 10 list.
The study also found that half of those polled said the beach allows them to escape the stresses and strains of everyday life, while 67% said they have a 'strong emotional connection' to the seaside.
You can find the full list of the UK's top beaches below:
The top 50 beaches in the UK for 2021
St Ives, Cornwall
Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Filey, North Yorkshire
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear
Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Llandudno, Conwy County Borough
Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire
Shanklin, the Isle of Wight
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Sandbanks beach, Dorset
Eastbourne, East Sussex
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Southend on Sea, Essex
Portree (Skye), Inner Hebrides
Hastings, East Sussex
New Brighton, Merseyside
Plockton, Ross and Cromarty
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