Nine of the best British seaside towns to explore
Dreaming of a holiday by the sea? You needn’t look any further than our island’s spectacular coastline. In fact, the UK is home to some of the world’s best beaches – who’d have thought? And we know all the best places to explore. From cool, artisan towns to traditional Victorian resorts, these are nine of the best British seaside towns.
With a thriving harbour and Blue Flag beaches, this town in Cornwall makes for a great seaside stay. Thanks to its university, the town is abuzz with a cool, cosmopolitan culture, independent shops and an eclectic food and drink scene.
If you do one thing: Explore Pendennis Castle – a Tudor fortress built by Henry VIII to defend against attacks.
Place to stay: Falmouth Retreat is nestled in the heart of the town, closeby to all the best restaurants, bars and shops. And of course – the beach!
Location: Isle of Wight
This traditional Victorian seaside town on the Isle of Wight is best-loved for its unique micro-climate. It’s sheltered from the wind by the incredible Undercliff and is a great sun-trap. Making the shingle and sandy beach great for sunbathing and digging out buckets and spades.
If you do one thing: Wander around the magnificent Meditteranean gardens at Ventnor Botanic Gardens.
Place to stay: Enjoy the incredible sea views from the balcony of Ivy Cottage.
Location: North Tyneside
In Tynemouth, quirky artisan cool meets charming coastal town. It’s what makes it one of the most popular seaside villages in North Tyneside. The centre is brimming with vintage shops, street food vendors and traditional pubs. And there’s a working lighthouse at the end of a breathtaking walk along the 900-metre pier.
If you do one thing: Drop by Tynemouth Markets and find everything from vintage collectables to handmade crafts.
Place to stay: At The Tynemouth Cottage, you’ll have the beach and the high street right on your doorstep.
Far from your traditional British seaside town, Whitby is a fishing town in Yorkshire that exudes drama. Not only is it home to the landmark that inspired Dracula, but its coastline and cobbled streets boast a charming Gothic splendour. Grab a top-notch portion of fish and chips and explore it for yourself.
If you do one thing: Take the short drive to explore the landscapes of the North York Moors National Park.
Place to stay: Seacrest Cottage is a holiday cottage just steps away from Whitby Beach.
Salcombe is a water sports haven, with secluded beaches and surrounded by rolling hills. It’s the perfect combination of coastal and countryside – making it one of the best British seaside towns. Brimming with boutiques, upmarket restaurants and chic bars, come to this corner of Devon if you’re seeking a little bit of luxury for your next getaway.
If you do one thing: Visit the subtropic National Trust gardens at Overbeck’s Garden.
Place to stay: Stonehanger 2 is a light and airy ground-floor apartment just a short walk from the town centre.
Crowned the best seaside spot in Wales, Aberaeron is an enchanting little town where you can relax and mooch to your heart’s content. This jewel on Ceredigion’s coast has everything you’d expect a coastal picture-postcard city to have – a picturesque harbour, brilliant seafood restaurants and unspoilt scenery.
If you do one thing: Go dolphin spotting in Cardigan Bay.
Place to eat and drink: You have to try the famous honey ice cream at The Hive. Plus their mouth-watering squid and crab dishes.
Place to stay: Look out onto the harbour at Angorfa Aberaeron Apartment.
Although smaller and quieter than its beloved Kent neighbour, Margate, Deal isn’t one to be overlooked. It has a vibrant community and a huge sandy stretch of beach. Restaurants, bars and shops are dotted all around and its charming charisma can be felt around every corner.
If you do one thing: Deal Castle is one of the most well-preserved Tudor artillery castles. Add it to your itinerary list, ASAP.
Place to stay: The White House is a chic home located right on the seafront.
Location: East Sussex
Hastings is one of the best seaside towns in the UK. Fringing the coastline in East Sussex, it has a three-mile seafront that’s overlooked by the majestic Hastings Castle ruins. Of course, the historic town is steeped in history and its association with the famous 1066 battle. But it’s also home to family-friendly amusements, a stunning pier and a cliff-backed beach.
If you do one thing: Recently reconstructed, Hastings Pier is bursting with food vendors, arcades and unrivalled sea views.
Place to stay: Moray Hastings View is a third-floor apartment that sleeps up to six people.
Location: Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands aren’t always an obvious choice for a summer holiday, but Lochinver is the perfect destination if you love the sight of majestic mountains, white-sand shores and diverse wildlife. This charming fishing port forms part of the famous North Coast 500 route, and it’s a great base for exploring the surrounding scenery.
If you do one thing: Visit the smallest castle in Europe – Hermit’s Castle.
Place to stay: Enjoy uninterrupted views of Lochinver Harbour at this House in the Highlands.