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The Best Beaches in the UK

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It’s been a summer unlike any other and many of us haven’t had our usual beach holiday. Although summer is pretty much over, you can still enjoy the last of the good weather by getting down to a great British beach. We’re lucky enough to service some great beaches on our network, so let’s explore some of our favourites.

1. Corbyn Beach – Torquay

One of the closest beaches to any of our stations, Corbyn Beach is a stone’s throw from Torquay Station. The English Riviera boasts 22 miles of coastline and this is one of our favourite places to go see the sea, whatever the weather.

How to get there? It’s just 5 minutes from Torquay train station; no need to even break a sweat.

Where to eat? Follow the water round to Torquay Marina where you’ll find plentiful choices overlooking the water.

2. Alnmouth Beach – Alnmouth

We really love the Northumberland Coast; in fact, it’s one of our favourite areas of outstanding natural beauty in the UK. It might not be the first place you think of for a seaside jaunt, but, if you’ve ever taken one of our services up to Scotland, you’ll know the views around this area are second to none.

How to get there? You can walk into town from Alnmouth train station and then wander down to the beach. In total, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour. Alternatively, there are lots of local buses.

Where to eat? Why not stop for afternoon tea in the quaint Village Tea Rooms in the centre of Alnmouth?

3. Aberdeen Beach – Aberdeen

Scotland has plenty of excellent beaches but Aberdeen Beach has the benefit of being near the granite city, making it perfect for a beach and city break. The Bay of Aberdeen is also full of wildlife, so you may catch a glimpse of porpoises and other friendly critters.

How to get there? From Aberdeen train station, take the number 15 bus to Beach Ballroom. It should take about 20 minutes, depending on traffic.

Where to eat? There are some fish and chip shops on the beach, but, for a full Aberdeen welcome, head inland to The Bobbin, for a pint and a traditional Aberdeen welcome.

4. Dunbar East Beach – Dunbar

Another Scottish favourite, this time in East Lothian. It’s one of our favourite places to go on a UK summer holiday, but is a great beach year round! It’s perfect for rock pooling with the family, so bring along a bucket and a net. 

How to get there? East Beach is just 6 minutes’ walk from Dunbar train station – you really can’t miss it.

Where to eat? Is it even a beach holiday without ice-cream? Head to The Sweetie Bank on the High Street for amazing ice-cream and waffles.

5. Kirkcaldy Beach – Kirkcaldy

Scotland really knows its way around a good beach, and this one is no exception. Kirkcaldy Beach is a lovely mix of stone and sand, perfect for walking and enjoying the brisk sea air. You may not want to sunbathe, but you will want to explore. Plus, if you’re into fishing, locals tell us this is the perfect place for flounders.

How to get there? Kirkcaldy Beach is less than half an hour walk along the waterfront from Kirkcaldy train station. Alternatively, you could ride the number 13 bus.

Where to eat? If you do decide to walk, you will come past a selection of waterside restaurants and pubs. Our pick is The Waterfront, which serves delicious local food and is a bit of a treat.

6. Long Sands Beach – Tynemouth

Better known for its football and nightlife, Newcastle is just a stone’s throw from some glorious beaches. With lots of sand for kids to play on, blue water to splash in, and even a decent bit of surf to enjoy, what’s not to like? If the weather doesn’t hold out, you can visit Tynemouth Aquarium, which is right by the beach.

How to get there? Take the Yellow line on the Metro from Newcastle Central train station to Cullercoats and then walk down to the sea.

Where to eat? There are several cafés right on the beach. You can’t really go wrong, but our favourite is the Surf Café – we recommend the caramel lattes.

7. Bournemouth Beach – Bournemouth

Bournemouth has been a favourite holiday destination for generations thanks to its fantastic beaches. Head down to the pier for the authentic British beach experience and enjoy the attractions as well as the sand.

How to get there? The easiest thing is to walk from Bournemouth train station. It shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes, but you can also get the 4 or 5 bus.

Where to eat? Make the most of the seafront and head to WestBeach, a beachfront restaurant with views over the sea, specialising in local seafood and steaks.

8. Weston-super-Mare Beach – Weston-super-Mare

The station in Weston-super-Mare is minutes from the waterfront, so you won’t have to wait long to drink in that fresh sea air. The main beach is an excellent choice for families because there’s always something going on. You can head to the Grand Pier if you get bored, but with acres of beautiful sand and a sparkling sea to enjoy, you probably won’t.

How to get there? From Weston-super-Mare train station you can take the number 20 bus, but it’s probably easier to walk down to the waterfront.

Where to eat? Grab some fish and chips from The Waterfront Fish Bar and wander onto the pier –just make sure your goodies don’t get snaffled by low-flying seagulls.

9. Fistral Beach – Newquay

The famous Fistral Beach gets a bit of a bad rep because it can be very busy, but there’s a reason people flock to it – it’s got excellent surf and a great community. However, if you’re looking for something quieter, you’re spoiled for choice in Newquay with Perranporth and Bedruthan Step Beaches offering great choices for pros and first-time surfers alike.

Of course, if you’re not a keen surfer, there are lots of beautiful beaches and other things to do in Newquay.

How to get there? Fistral Beach is a half hour stroll from Newquay train station, and you’ll come past lots of other tempting beaches on your way.

Where to eat? While you’re in Cornwall, you’ve simply got to get a Cornish Pasty. Our pick will always be The Cornish Bakery, a small local chain with award-winning sweet and savoury pasties. 

10. Long Beach – Penzance

You can’t get much closer to the beach than Penzance station. Long Beach is one of our favourites, and you’ll actually be able to see it from the window as you pull into the station.

There are lots of other things to see and do in Penzance if you can pull yourself away from the stunning beach.

How to get there? Leaving Penzance train station, join up with the SW Coast Path and walk along until you find a good spot – you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Where to eat? We recommend making the trip to Jubilee Pool during the summer season not only because it’s beautiful, but also because the onsite café offers sausage rolls to die for.

Whichever beach you decide to visit, make sure you book an advance ticket with CrossCountry to save.

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