beaches of the northern uk
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Best Northern United Kingdom Beaches

INDEX OF THIS PAGE

SCOTLAND

  • LUNAN BAY
  • BROUGHTY FERRY BEACH
  • WEST SANDS, ST ANDREWS
  • BAMBURGH CASTLE BEACH
  • ALNMOUTH

ENGLAND

  • WHITBY
  • ROKER BEACH
  • ROBIN HOOD’S BAY
  • SCARBOROUGH
  • BRIDLINGTON SOUTH BEACH

WALES

  • LLANFAELOG – PORTH NOBLA
  • CEMAES BAY (TRAETH MAWR)

BACK TO ENGLAND

  • FORMBY
  • CROSBY
  • BLACKPOOL MAIN BEACH
  • GRANGE OVER SANDS
  • SILECROFT

SCOTLAND

Starting on our virtual coastal trip of the northern half of the United Kingdom, at the most northerly point – Scotland – Beach Baby has decided to commence on the East Coast, on a mini tour of Angus, Dundee and Fife.

angus scotland beach

This is because, comparatively speaking, it is not as far flung as some of the (extremely beautiful) beaches even further north.  They are all less than a hundred miles from the Scottish capital, and so a doable day trip for anyone already visiting Scotland.

Depending on how brave you are feeling, the North Sea extends its icy welcome to you, and if pneumonia isn’t quite your thing, then maybe dusting off your hiking boots will be.

The first place we go to is Lunan Bay.  Only a mile away from Montrose, this is one of the East Coast’s best beaches with 4 km of pristine sands, and a great walking terrain complete with cliffs, a sea cave, sand dunes and even a ruined castle!

montrose beach, scotland

Next, a bit further down, is Broughty Ferry.  Once a fishing village, this is now a suburb of Dundee, and has quite a significant sandy beach and promenade as well as a castle.  Sand dunes abound and offer some great vistas over the Tay Estuary.

Lastly, our sojourn in Scotland finishes with West Sands, St Andrews. Here you are advised to dig out your binoculars, because this area is blessed with a wealth of seabird life.

LUNAN BAY

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  FISHING, BATHING, SWIMMING, KAYAKING
BATHING:  YES FIVE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  UNKNOWN!
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  MONTROSE
POSTCODE:  DD11 5ST

BROUGHTY FERRY BEACH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  RESTRICTED
GOOD FOR:  SAILING, SURFING AND CANOEING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  TAGPORT
POSTCODE:  DD5 2EA

WEST SANDS, ST ANDREWS

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  RESTRICTED
GOOD FOR:  WIND SURFING, SAILING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  ST ANDREWS
POSTCODE:  KY16 9XL
TALKING POINT: CHARIOTS OF FIRE WAS FILMED HERE!

NORTHUMBERLAND AND TYNE AND WEAR

northumbria on a map

Over the border in England we get cracking on Bamburgh Castle.  As the name implies, there is indeed a castle on this beach.

Once the home of the kings of Northumbria, you cannot come here without visiting it. The castle itself is relatively new, but the site goes back centuries and archaeological digs are still ongoing.

Getting back to the beach, there is a good view of Lindisfarne, as well as the Farne Islands.

A little further down the coast we approach Alnmouth, which is a nice sandy bay standing on the mouth of the river Aln.  Once again, this is another excellent destination for birders.

Both places are great destinations for walkers and anyone who needs their spirits lifted on a gloomy day!

Slightly further to the south is the city beach of Roker.  This is the main, but not the only, beach that serves the city of Sunderland, and the powers that be have worked hard to raise the standard of the place over the last few years.

It definitely deserves your attention if you are in the vicinity.

BAMBURGH CASTLE BEACH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE: SANDY
DOGS: YES
GOOD FOR: SURFING, FISHING, BATHING
BATHING: YES FIVE STARS
CIVILIZATION: YES
LIFEGUARD: NO
TOWN: ALNWICK
POSTCODE: NE69 7DF
TALKING POINT:  THE CASTLE!

ALNMOUTH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  NO
GOOD FOR:  FISHING
BATHING:  NOT KNOWN
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  AMBLE
POSTCODE:  NE66 2RW

YORKSHIRE

If you are coming to God’s Own County for the first time, you are in for  a treat, as there is not one, but four, seaside towns to delight you!

Discover Whitby’s gothic heritage, explore the Abbey and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and shop for some distinctive Whitby jet.  The beach at Whitby is clean and sandy, and your only problem will be getting frostbite there, if you’re not careful!

Actually, Whitby is not the only place to sell the jet, the charming town on Robin Hood’s Bay lies sandwiched between the resorts of Whitby and Scarborough, and also worth a look.  It’s extremely hilly, and more for rock pooling than the sandier terrains of the rest of the coast, though.

yorkshire beaches northern uk

A bit further down is the spa town of Scarborough.  If this is your virgin voyage to a British seaside resort, you will not be disappointed.  From the Victorian architecture of the town and notable hotels (the Grand) to the castle and the cliffs, this is a distinctive little town, with tons to offer beside the two beaches.

Lastly, we get to Bridlington, a pleasant and unpretentious seaside town that does what it says on the tin.  If you get the weather, this is as good a place as any to take in the North Sea.

WHITBY

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  NO
GOOD FOR:  SWIMMING SURFING SAILING
BATHING:  YES FIVE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES ABSOLUTELY
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  WHITBY
POSTCODE:  YO21 3EN
TALKING POINT:  DRACULA LIVES HERE !

ROKER BEACH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  RESTRICTED
GOOD FOR:  SAILING, WINDSURFING, CANOEING
BATHING:  YES FOUR STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  SUNDERLAND
POSTCODE:  SR6 9NA

ROBIN HOOD’S BAY

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY AND ROCKY
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  DOG WALKING, FAMILIES, PADDLING, SURFING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  ROBIN HOOD’S BAY
POSTCODE:  YO22 4SJ
TALKING POINT:  WHITBY JET JEWELLERY

SCARBOROUGH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  NO (SOUTH BAY) YES BUT RESTRICTED (NORTH BAY)
GOOD FOR:  FAMILIES, BATHING, SURFING
BATHING:  YES 3 STAR (SOUTH BAY) 5 STAR (NORTH BAY)
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  SCARBOROUGH
POSTCODE:  YO11 1NT (SOUTH BAY) YO12 7TP (NORTH BAY)

BRIDLINGTON SOUTH BEACH

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  BANNED BUT SMALL DESIGNATED AREA
GOOD FOR:  FAMILIES, BATHING, SURFING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  BRIDLINGTON
POSTCODE:  YO15 3JH

WALES

It is at this point that Beach Baby does an about turn and jets across the country to the West Coast, and descends upon Wales.

best beaches in wales

There are of course, far more than just two places in Anglesey to visit, and certainly a lot more in the whole of North Wales. However, if you haven’t got long, we think Llanfaelog is worth the detour.

With a burial chamber, cliffs and some rocky terrain, as well as the clear sandy beach, this is a peaceful part of the world you will want to linger over.

Similarly, Cemaes Bay offers rock pooling, and a promenade for your day out at the beach, and the reassurance of civilization being close at hand, should you require it!

Listen out for the bell, which chimes at high tide!

ANGLESEY

LLANFAELOG – PORTH NOBLA

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  SURFING, SAILING, BATHING, KAYAKING, FISHING, DIVING
BATHING:  YES FIVE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  JUST ABOUT!
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  HOLYHEAD
POSTCODE:  LL63 5TE

CEMAES BAY (TRAETH MAWR)

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY AND ROCKY
DOGS:  RESTRICTED. NOT ALLOWED IN SUMMER
GOOD FOR:  ROCK POOLS, SURFING, SAILING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  AMLWCH
POSTCODE:  LL67 0ND

MERSEYSIDE AND LANCASHIRE

Back on English terrain once more, we skip through the county of Merseyside to discover two charming local beaches; Formby, with its idyllic sand dunes, so beloved of sun bathers and bird watchers alike, and Crosby, now famous for the Anthony Gormley statues.

Both of these beaches are superbly sandy, and both Formby and Crosby are served by local rail stations.  Do make sure to bring everything with you to Formby though, as it’s a long walk from the nearest shop or toilet.

best uk beach formby

Further up the coast we absolutely have to mention Blackpool.  Another monolith of the British seaside towns, this is perhaps the most famous resort.

More a place to have fun than contemplate solitude, even out of season this offers up something to do, with the Blackpool Illuminations being one of the most notable.

Finally, we cross over into Cumbria.  More famous for its lakes, Cumbria also has a stretch of coastline with many interesting beaches.

Can’t take the pace in Blackpool?  Then Grange Over Sands offers a more peaceful environment.  This fishing village became a sort of smaller resort, for more sedate seaside sojourns in the Victorian era.

Lastly we come to Silecroft, which is popular with dog walkers, and is a beautiful shingle and sand beach on the Irish Sea.

Want to walk a bit further, then you could venture up to Black Combe, a hill which may take a couple of hours to conquer, but on a clear day can offer up views of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  There aren’t too many places that can boast that!

FORMBY

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  YES BUT RESTRICTED
GOOD FOR:  WALKING, BIRD WATCHING, BATHING
BATHING:  YES THREE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  NOT REALLY
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  FORMBY
POSTCODE:  L37 2EJ

CROSBY

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  SURFING, SAILING
BATHING:  NOT ADVISED
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  CROSBY
POSTCODE:  L23 6XW
TALKING POINT:  THE ANTHONY GORMLEY SCULPTURES

BLACKPOOL MAIN BEACH

BEACH BABY:  MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY
DOGS:  NO
GOOD FOR:  FAMILY ACTIVITIES OF ALL TYPES
BATHING:  YES TWO STARS
CIVILIZATION:  OF COURSE
LIFEGUARD:  YES
TOWN:  BLACKPOOL
POSTCODE:  FY1 6BL
TALKING POINT:  THE ILLUMINATIONS

CUMBRIA

GRANGE OVER SANDS

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE: SANDY
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  FISHING
BATHING:  UNKNOWN
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  GRANGE OVER SANDS
POSTCODE:  LA11 7SY

SILECROFT

BEACH BABY MINI FACTS
BEACH TYPE:  SANDY AND SHINGLE
DOGS:  YES
GOOD FOR:  GENERAL BEACH ACTIVITIES
BATHING:  YES FIVE STARS
CIVILIZATION:  YES
LIFEGUARD:  NO
TOWN:  MILLOM
POSTCODE:  LA18 4NY

THANKS FOR READING!

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