In the UK we are blessed with some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. If choosing to holiday in the UK, or even just have a fun day out, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to seaside towns to visit. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to narrow down which ones you hope to visit. We have taken the guesswork out of it for you and broken down out 10 favourite seaside towns in the UK.
Portmeirion is a village in Gwyness, North Wales. The Village was finished in 1976 by architect Clough Williams-Ellis who took inspiration from quaint Italian villages. The site is now owned by a charitable trust and is visited by thousands of people a year. Even though Portmeirion is located by the sea, it isn’t just for summer days out, it can be visited all year round. The village is packed full of unique shops, cafes and activities, with plenty to do for the whole family.
Whitby is a picturesque seaside town located in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire. Home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, the town draws in tourists partly due to its proximity to the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Whitby’s sandy beach is located to the west of the town’s harbour and is approximately one kilometre in length. The town is packed full of traditional cafes and restaurants, specialising in fish-based cuisine due to its seaside location. With sweet shops and arcades for the kids and beautiful restaurants and bars for the adults, there is something for everyone in this stunning seaside town.
Tobermory is best known for its connection to the CBeebies tv show ‘Balamory’. The beautiful Scottish town was the inspiration for the 2000s tv show, with the famous colourful buildings on the seafront even featuring in the opening credits for the show. Tobermory is the capital of the Isle of Mull, located in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. A short ferry can be taken from Oban to Craignure, then it’s a half-hour drive along the coast to reach the Seaside Town. Tobermory is steeped in fascinating history, with legend having it that a gold-laden Spanish Armada ship sank in Tobermory Bay in 1588, where it remains today.
There have been several well-documented attempts to locate the ship, but none have been successful thus far. There are lots of things to do in Tobermory, from visiting the Tobermory whisky distillery to the Mull Museum. If it is within the budget, we would recommend a boat trip out of the bay to view incredible wildlife, including Dolphins, seals, and Puffins. The tours can also take you on a guide to Staffa Island where you can see the incredible Fingal’s cave, formed entirely from hexagonally jointed basalt columns, a similar structure to Giants Causeway. Tobermory is definitely one for the bucket list!
Portrush is a small seaside resort town on the north coast of Northern Ireland, set on a mile-long peninsula sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean. The Town is best known for its stunning sandy beaches and crystal-clear blue water. There are three blue flag beaches in total, the West Strand, East Strand and White Rocks. You won’t be lost with things to do in Portrush, with activities such as food tours, escape rooms, kayaking and more!
Blakeney is a beautiful seaside town on the coast of Norfolk. An area of outstanding natural beauty, Blakeney is the perfect place to explore on your own or with your family. The town is best known for Blakeney Point, a four-mile shingle ridge and dune, backed by salt marsh and mudflats. Obviously, this is spectacular, but what makes it truly incredible is the fact that it is home to England’s largest seal colony with over 4000 pups born each winter. Blakeney is well worth a visit, but make sure to follow local rules to keep yourself and the wildlife safe.
St Ives is a seaside town in Cornwall, best known for its surf beaches and art scene. The town was named the best family holiday destination by Coast magazine and one of TripAdvisor’s top 10 European beaches. In peak season the town can be difficult to get to by car due to minimal parking. However, you can easily work around this due to the St Ives Bay Line that was opened in 1877, allowing you to travel into the town via train. Cobbled streets and picturesque one-off shops make this town without a doubt one of the most beautiful seaside towns in the UK, maybe even the world.
Named ‘’One of the nation’s Favourite Seaside Towns’’ in the prestigious Which Holiday Survey, Newquay is another stunning Cornish seaside town. Also named the “Best Family Holiday Destination” by readers of COAST magazine and winning Gold for “Best Seaside Towns for Families” by Days Out with the Kids, Newquay is one of those incredible places where you will never be stuck on what to do, there’s something for everyone. Newquay is known as the surfing capital of the UK, with Fistral beach being the basis for the Boardmasters Surf Championships, making it the perfect place to surf. On sunny days you can build sandcastles on one of the incredible sandy beaches or swim in the crystal-clear water.
Portobello is a quaint coastal town located just 3 miles east of Edinburgh city centre. The town’s promenade overlooks the charming Portobello Beach. The two-mile-long stretch of sand is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. With everything from Ice cream parlours to arcades and beach-side cafes, as well as bars and restaurants dotted along the promenade, it is the perfect place to spend a sunny (or even rainy) afternoon. The beachfront is home to several popular events each year, such as the annual Big Beach Busk, international volleyball competitions and triathlon events.
Tenby is a Seaside town located in the most westerly part of Wales, Pembrokeshire. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches, Tenby is one of the most picturesque beach towns in the UK. You can enjoy a swim in the sea or lounge on the sand, but we’d recommend a walk along the stunning Pembrokeshire Coast Path, with several routes to choose from there’s an option for all abilities.
Margate is a timeless seaside town located on the north coast of Kent in the south-east of England. Margate is especially popular due to its Dreamland Amusement Park, situated in the centre of Margate. The theme park closed in 2006 but was reopened in 2015 after campaigners fought for its survival. The park is open for indoor activities throughout Autumn and Winter, with rides, amusements and the Roller Disco opening up for the Spring and Summer months. Margate’s main beach ‘Main Sands’ is approximately 200 meters of golden sand, perfect for a family day out.