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UK in Summer: Five of the Best Beaches

Although we may not get a lot of sun in the UK, when it does decide to show its face over the summer, our beaches really do shine. Contrary to the stereotype of white sands, calm oceans and lofty palm trees, beaches in the UK are distinctly rugged, weathered and utterly natural. Unlike anywhere else in the world, this is what makes them so beautiful. Lush, green fields creep all the way to the edge of the sand or a jutting cliff, while sandy shores stretch on for endless miles, lapped by waves – this is the beach scene of the UK.

Come summer, there’s no better way to enjoy a weekend break than to spend it by the natural beauty of the UK’s sandy shores. The following is a list of the top five UK beaches based on their pure, unadulterated beauty.

Rhossili Bay, Swansea

Who would have thought that Wales had better beaches than Greece? Rhossili Bay has been named the third best beach in Europe by a tourist poll, and when you see it, you’ll understand why. The three-mile stretch of relatively untouched sandy coastline is bordered by limestone cliffs and is known for its bare landscape. However, if you’re there at low tide, you’ll catch a glimpse of the remains of the Norwegian ship Helvetia, which found itself beached here in 1887. While the bay is popular, its long expanse means it never feels busy. However, the quietest spot is definitely along the northern stretch of sand.

Blackpool Sands, South Devon

This privately owned beach is a surprising find in South Devon. Following a drive through Amalfi-esque pine trees, you’ll be greeted by a sweeping arc of golden sand and a deep blue ocean calling you in. During summer a pontoon floats off shore, which is the ideal spot to lounge on a scorching day. The green hills in the background add to the stunning scenery.

Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

The waters of Luskentyre beach shine with the same azure-green hue that the Caribbean is known for – unusual for the Scottish seaside. And adding to the magic of this sweeping beach is the wild backdrop of craggy hills dotted with cottages, the sense of isolation it evokes, and the occasional wild pony spotted grazing on the edge of the dunes. Rock pools scattered along the shore make great entertainment for children and avid birdwatchers will appreciate the range of fauna which inhabit the area.

Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth

This beautiful part of the South England coast was a declared a nature reserve in 1990. Since then the area’s attractiveness has only grown with the care provided by the Bournemouth Borough Council. The pebbly beach remains largely unspoilt with its imposing clay and ironstone cliffs looming on the skyline. Despite being positioned between popular Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay, Hengistbury Head Beach remains relatively quiet.

Porthcurno, South Cornwall

This idyllic piece of British seaside is tucked into a horseshoe cove with rocky headlands stretching out on either side, largely enclosing the picturesque bay. A sandy trail winds its way down to the turquoise water and white sand. The rugged cliffs on either side of the bay offer excellent walking trails and during summer, the Minack open air theatre puts on theatrical performances overlooking the ocean. If you take a walk east from the beach, you’ll find the Tater Du Lighthouse and Lamorna Cove, where you can explore the unused granite quarries, and Bucks Reef, a popular haunt with divers.

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