Top 10 beaches in the UK
Looking for the top 10 beaches in the UK? Then you’re in the right place! Here at Trainline, we love a good trip to the coast, so we’re throwing in our two-cents on the best beaches our glorious isles have to offer. If you’re just here to look at some pretty photos, then go ahead, but if you’re after some travel info about how to get to your beach of choice, then don’t worry because we’ve got you covered too!
- Fistral Beach, Cornwall
- Brighton Beach
- Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
- Rhossili Bay, Wales
- Bournemouth Beach
- Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth
- Weymouth Beach, Dorset
- Barafundle Bay, Wales
- Crosby Beach, Liverpool
- St. Brelade's Bay, Jersey
1. Fistral Beach, Cornwall
Ah, Cornwall. The sun’s out, the ice cream is flowing, and feel-good vibes are in the air. There’s nothing quite like it in the height of summer. As a region, Cornwall could have its own list of 10 best beaches (and it does!), but we’ll keep it to just one pick. So if you’re heading down to the south-east coast, make sure you visit Fistral Beach in Newquay. Famed for its fantastic surfing opportunities, this stretch of coast offers you a chance to test your wits against the waves!
Getting there: Newquay train station is well-connected to many UK cities, including London, Bristol, and Birmingham. Newquay station is very close to Tolcarne Beach, and a short walk through town to Fistral Beach.
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2. Brighton Beach
A favourite for many Londoners as well as beach-goers across the UK, Brighton beach is so popular largely thanks to how easy it is to reach. In the height of summer, you’ll often see sun-seekers arriving in their droves at the train station early in the morning – but there’s also a certain charm to Brighton out of season. You can wander up and down the empty shingle beach, visit the arcade or enjoy some quality fish and chips without all the hustle and bustle of thousands of people around!
Getting there: Frequent train services connect London to Brighton in 1h 21m, Bristol to Brighton in 3h 33m, and Bedford to Brighton in 2h 36m.
3. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
Yep, that’s really a place in Scotland. This one’s a little more difficult to reach if you live in the south since Luskentyre beach is located on the Isle of Harris, so you’ll either need to take a connecting flight from Glasgow, Inverness or Edinburgh or hop on a ferry from Uig. Even so, make sure you put this beach on your bucket (and spade) list, the bright blue waters and golden sands are reminiscent of something you’d find in the Mediterranean, it’s maybe just the temperature that’ll feel a bit different!
4. Rhossili Bay, Wales
Voted as Wales’ best beach in 2018, and located within the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Rhossili Bay is a sight to behold. Just a short journey away from Swansea, this idyllic stretch of coast is thankfully a little easier to reach than the Isle of Harris! Make sure to try out the walking routes marked along the coast nearby, as it’s not just the sand that looks lovely around here.
Getting there: Take the train to Swansea, then hop on one of the local buses to reach the beach.
5. Bournemouth Beach
Imagine Brighton with a sandy beach, and you’ll probably be getting an idea of what Bournemouth has to offer. Both destinations mix old seaside charm with a cosmopolitan, bustling city centre scene – if your plans get rained out, at least there’s plenty of opportunities to go shopping nearby!
Getting there: Take the train to Bournemouth, then have a nice stroll from the city centre to the beach.
6. Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth
Set just a short drive to the south of Torquay, this family-friendly beach is perfect for catching some of that holiday atmosphere without hopping on a plane. A relatively short stretch of shingle, be ready to share the space with other beach-goers in peak season!
Getting there: If you want to get to Blackpool Sands by train, the nearest station would be Paignton.
7. Weymouth Beach, Dorset
Offering three whole miles of glorious sand, this award-winning beach in Weymouth certainly won’t have you feeling bored at any point! With classic seaside attractions including Punch and Judy shows, donkey rides and fish and chips, there’s always something going on if you’re visiting with family.
Getting there: Simply take the train to Weymouth and you'll find Weymouth Beach only a 9-minute walk away.
8. Barafundle Bay, Wales
You can’t spell Barafundle without ‘fun’! (sorry, we had to do it). Nonetheless, this little gem near Pembroke in Wales is well worth a visit. A classic hidden cove, there are no facilities for at least a half-mile walk, so if you like your sandy beaches without all the fuss and distractions, this is the place for you.
Getting there: The nearest train station is Pembroke, from which you'll need to take a taxi.
9. Crosby Beach, Liverpool
Offering something a little different, Crosby Beach in Liverpool is the homeplace to Artist Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’ – a collection of eery human sculptures looking out onto the horizon. As the tide pulls in, you’ll see these sculptures disappear below the waves, which makes for some fantastic photo opportunities.
Getting there: Crosby Beach is easily reachable by train, the nearest station is Hall Road.
10. St. Brelade's Bay, Jersey
Often voted as one of the top three beaches in the UK, this sandy haven on the Island of Jersey is a favourite amongst families. Stroll along the coast past the palm trees before taking a dip in the clear blue sea, or, try out watersports if that’s more your thing!
Getting there: To reach Jersey, you can either fly or take a ferry.
So there you have it, folks. What are you waiting for? Get out there and check out these awesome beaches for yourselves! Travelling from London? Check out our guide to the best beaches near London to reach by train.
With some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, Norfolk is another great destination for your summer holiday. Read our guide to the top 5 Norfolk beaches by train for more inspiration. You can also discover top destinations, travel tips, money-saving ideas and much more in our summer train travel guide.