Heading to the beach this summer? We love a day at the seaside and we know you do too, with train travel to some of our favourite beach destinations on the rise already this year.

But which one to go to? With so many beautiful beaches across the UK, it can be hard to choose. That's why our travel experts have been doing the hard work so you don't have to. We've handpicked each beach based on a number of factors we feel are important for a great day out at the beach. From Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, facilities and activities available nearby, and how easily you can travel there by train, all topped off with our expert knowledge. 

So what are you waiting for, check out our list of the 100 best beaches in the UK to visit this summer. 

Scoring criteria

  1. All about the beach
    1. What type of beach is it?
    2. Has it won any awards?
  2. Amenities
    1. Do lifeguards patrol there?
    2. Are there toilets nearby?
    3. Is there a cafe/pub/restaurant nearby?
  3. Things to do
    1. Can you do watersports there?
    2. Is there a pier or promenade?
    3. Are other activities available?
  4. How to get there
    1. Distance from the nearest train station
    2. Train travel discounts available

Our top 10 beaches in the UK...

1. Margate Main Sands Beach

Margate | Kent | England

Our top spot goes to Margate Main Sands. We think Margate is the kind of British seaside resort all the others are probably a bit jealous of.

As well as holding a Blue Flag Award for many years, this pristine sandy beach has plenty of space for all (even when the tide is in), its own tidal pool, and an array of cafes, restaurants, pubs, and seafood stands nearby for when you get hungry. And let's not forget Dreamland - the vintage theme park with amusements, rides, and events for all ages.

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Margate

The nearest station to Margate Beach

2. Cleethorpes Beach

Cleethorpes | Lincolnshire | England

In second place, it's Cleethorpes beach. This vast sandy beach has won both Blue Flag and Seaside Awards, there's a traditional pier where you can enjoy fish and chips with a view and it's also the perfect spot for watersports if you fancy having a go at kite surfing or paddleboarding. 

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Just across the road - you couldn't be closer! 

Trains to Cleethorpes Beach

3. Saltburn Beach

Saltburn-by-the-Sea | North Yorkshire | England

In third place, it's Saltburn Beach. We love the Victorian charm of Saltburn-by-the-Sea and we think you will too. This sand and shingle beach stretches for eight miles, with a pier and promenade with a range of coffee shops to grab and drink and snack when you're feeling peckish. It's a popular spot for surfers and swimmers too, and you can't visit without a trip on the Cliff Lift - a funicular railway that travels up and down the steep 120ft cliff overlooking the beach. 

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Saltburn Beach

4. Teignmouth Beach

Teignmouth | Devon | England

This long, sandy beach has us dreaming of balmy days by the seaside with family. Perfect for a spot of surfing or swimming, there's plenty of space on this beach for sunbathers and sandcastle builders alike. The Victorian Pier is home to a lovely cafe, and all the traditional amusements you could ask for - so get your 2ps ready! There's also crazy golf and a playpark nearby if you fancy doing something a little more active. 

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Teignmouth Beach

5. Paignton Sands Beach

Paignton | Devon | England

If you're looking for a classic day out or weekend away at the seaside, Paignton Sands doesn't disappoint. From the mile of beautiful soft red sand to the pier full of amusement and arcade games, and not forgetting nearby crazy golf, food kiosks, and funfair in the summer, this beach has it all. Plus the shallow sea here is perfect for a paddle! 

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Paignton Sands Beach

6. Troon Beach

Troon | South Ayrshire | Scotland

The sandy bay of Troon Beach is one of the best in Scotland. Popular with holidaymakers and watersports enthusiasts alike, the esplanade has a buzz about it and is the perfect place to enjoy fish and chips or an ice-cream whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the Isle of Arran across the way, and the waves and wind bring windsurfers here from all over.   

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes across the town.

Trains to Troon Beach

7. Blackpool Beach

Blackpool | Lancashire | England

Probably one of the most famous seaside resorts in the UK, Blackpool has been a favourite summer day out for Brits for years. It's sandy beaches boast not one, not two, not three piers full of activities and cafes, and we think this is the perfect spot for a bracing dip in the sea. And of course, you'll never run of things to do here, from the Pleasure Beach to the Blackpool Tower to the SEAlife centre, Blackpool has it all.

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Blackpool Beach

8. Dawlish Warren Beach

Dawlish Warren | Devon | England

Tucked away on the south coast of Devon, Dawlish Warren Beach has boasted the Blue Flag award for 23 consecutive years. This vast sandy beach offer great surfing, sheltered sand dunes, cafes, amusements, rides, and go-karts to name just a few activities. If you fancy setting up camp, beach huts are available to hire daily or weekly too. 

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 5 minutes.

Trains to Dawlish Warren Beach

9. Whitby beach

Whitby | Yorkshire | England

This famous northern seaside resort is always a favourite with our travel experts. Whitby's sandy beach stretches for miles and is great for a round of beach cricket or rounders, and there are plenty of rockpools to explore as well. You'll want to get a snap of the colourful beach huts lining the promenade, and if you fancy a go at surfing, Whitby Surf School offer lessons or paddleboard hire.

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 10 minutes.

Trains to Whitby

The nearest station to Whitby Beach

10. Dovercourt Beach

Dovercourt | Essex | England

A stroll along the promenade at Dovercourt will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. This sand and shingle beach in the east of Essex is relatively quiet, which makes it perfect for those who prefer their beaches less crowded. There's a cafe nearby, and of course the iconic Dovercourt Range Lights - two cast-iron lighthouses that line up on the beach and off-shore.

Walking time from the train station to the beach: Around 10/15 minutes across the town.

Trains to Dovercourt Beach

Which other beaches made the top 100?

The other 90 are fantastic places to go too; you can be sure of good rail links, a very clean and attractive beach, and usually very good facilities too. Rather than describe them all here, here's the list - do click through to individual beach pages to see live train times at the nearest station, a map for walking routes, and all the kind of accessibility and facility info for that railway station you'll need.

Remember, you can book a cheap train ticket to the station from anywhere in Britain with Trainline - we're not tied to one specific train operator.

11 to 25

11. Barmouth Beach | Gwynedd | Wales
12. Chalkwell Beach | Essex | England
13. Torre Abbey Sands Beach | Devon | England
14. Prestwick Beach | South Ayrshire | Scotland
15. Filey Beach | North Yorkshire | England
16. Weymouth Beach | Dorset | England
17. Viking Beach | Kent | England
18. Clacton Beach | Essex | England
19. Walton-on-the-Naze Beach | Essex | England
20. Lytham St Anne's Beach | Lancashire | England
21. Broughty Ferry Beach | Dundee | Scotland
22. Carbis Bay Beach | Cornwall | England
23. Cromer Beach | Norfolk | England
24. Gyllyngvase Beach | Cornwall | England
25. Morecambe Beach | Lancashire | England

26 to 40

26. Redcar Beach | North Yorkshire | England
27. North Berwick Beach | East Lothian | Scotland
28. Aberdeen Beach | Aberdeen City | Scotland
29. St Ives Porthminster Beach | Cornwall | England
30. Minnis Bay Beach | Kent | England
31. North Bay Beach | North Yorkshire | England
32. Tywyn Beach | Gwynedd | Wales
33. Lowestoft South Beach | Norfolk | England
34. Bognor Regis Beach | West Sussex | England
35. Aberystwyth Beach | Ceredigion | Wales
36. Sheringham Beach | Norfolk | England
37. Preston Sands Beach | Devon | England
38. Boscombe Beach | Bournemouth | England
39. West Runton Beach | Norfolk | England
40. Girvan Beach | West Scotland | Scotland

41 to 55

41. Llandudno North Shore Beach | North Wales | Wales
42. Seaton Carew Beach | North East | England
43. Wallasey Beach | North West | England
44. St Leonards Beach | East Sussex | England
45. St Ives Porthmeor Beach | Cornwall | England
46. Bridlington South Beach | Yorkshire | England
47. Skegness Beach | Skegness | England
48. St Mildred's Bay Beach | Kent | England
49. Dawlish Town Beach | Devon | England
50. Kinghorn Beach | Kinghorn | Scotland
51. Worthing Beach | South East | England
52. Herne Bay Beach | Kent | England
53. Shoebury East Beach | Essex | England
54. Burntisland Beach | Burntisland | Scotland
55. Monifieth Beach | Monifieth | Scotland

56 to 70

56. Prestatyn Beach | North Wales | Wales
57. Tenby Castle Beach | South Wales | Wales
58. Silver Sands Beach | Aberdour | Scotland
59. Arbroath Beach | Arbroath | Scotland
60. Nairn Beach | Highlands | Scotland
61. Weston-super-Mare Beach | Weston-super-Mare | England
62. Carnoustie Beach | Carnoustie | Scotland
63. Ardrossan South Beach | Ardrossan | Scotland
64. Littlehampton East Beach | South East | England
65. Southend Beach | Southend | England
66. Ramsgate Main Beach | Kent | England
67. Tankerton Beach | Kent | England
68. Brighton Beach | South East | England
69. Barry Island Beach | South Wales | Wales
70. Towan Beach | Cornwall | England

71 to 85

71. Great Western Beach | Cornwall | England
72. Colwyn Bay Beach | North Wales | Wales
73. Exmouth Beach | Devon | England
74. Tolcarne Beach | Cornwall | England
75. Bell Wharf Beach | Essex | England
76. Stonehaven Beach | North East | Scotland
77. Sheerness Beach | Kent | England
78. Seascale Beach | Cumbria | England
79. Southport Beach | North West | England
80. Brora Beach | Highlands | Scotland
81. Thorpe Bay Beach | Essex | England
82. Bridlington North Beach | East Riding of Yorkshire | England
83. West Kirby Beach | Wirral Peninsula | England
84. South Bay Beach | North Yorkshire | England
85. Bexhill Beach | East Sussex | England

86 to 100

86. Westcliff Beach | Essex | England
87. Fistral Beach | Cornwall | England
88. Ayr Beach | South Ayrshire | Scotland
89. Hastings Beach | East Sussex | England
90. Seaford Beach | East Sussex | England
91. Rhyl Beach | Denbighshire | Wales
92. Aberavon Beach | Neath Port Talbot | Wales
93. Criccieth Beach | Gwynedd | Wales
94. Montrose Beach | Angus | Scotland
95. Frinton Beach | Essex | England
96. Felixstowe Beach | Suffolk | England
97. Bulverhythe Beach | East Sussex | England
98. Barassie Beach | South Ayrshire | Scotland
99. Livermead Sands Beach | Devon | England
100. Thurso Beach | Highlands | Scotland

Top tips for booking cheap train tickets to the beach

Travel Off-Peak

Find out more about Off-Peak train times.

Use a Railcard

Buy your digital Railcard online today.

Book in Advance

Learn more about Advance train tickets.

Split your tickets

Find out more about split train tickets.

Check for offers

View the latest train deals and discounts.

Discover inspirational travel guides

Find out more about train travel in the UK

So now you know where to head on your next trip to the beach, why not see what else the UK has to offer by train? Our detailed guides to travel around the UK, ticket types, and where to go this summer have all the info you need to plan your next getaway by train.

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