The tiny village of Bamburgh in Northumberland, with its sweeping sandy beach overlooked by an imposing clifftop castle, has retained the title of Britain’s best seaside destination.
The best beaches in the UK have been revealed in the annual survey from Which?, with the consumer watchdog surveying more than 4,300 visitors about recent trips to seaside towns, villages and resorts.
The survey asked visitors to rate almost 100 destinations on factors including the beach, attractions, scenery, peace and quiet, and value for money. Bamburgh, with a population a little over 400, topped the charts with an overall destination score of 87% and visitors describing it as “spectacular”.
Previously a winner in 2019 and 2021, Bamburgh was awarded the title for its three-mile stretch of golden sand, backed by a vast, tussock dune system and dominated by the epic Bamburgh castle.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “With a busy summer predicted on British beaches, the vast spread of sand in Bamburgh means there is always space for your towel. That’s helped by the wind, whipping in off the North Sea, which keeps the sand looking freshly groomed and free of litter.
“It’s a seaside visit at its most basic and best; with little to do but walk, run, or sip cups of tea from your flask from the comfort of your deckchair while watching North Sea waves roll by.” he added.
Wales secured three of the top six seaside towns, with budget-friendly Llandudno claiming second spot overall with a score of 86%. The town’s biggest draw is the Great Orme, a limestone headland popular with climbers, which rises to over 200 metres and boasts “incomparable” views. Active visitors enjoyed lacing up their walking boots and hiking to the summit, while others opted to take the tram or open-sided cable car.
Third place went to the Scottish seaside town of St Andrews with a score of 84%. Visitors praised the university town’s “youthful vibe”, quaint streets and historical sites, testament to its winning blend of sport, culture, sand and sea.
Joint fourth winners were Dartmouth in Devon, where visitors enjoy steam trains and delicious seafood, and the seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, with its parade of pastel-coloured Georgian houses and selection of five-star beaches, from the golden sweep of North beach, peppered with rock pools and windbreaks, to Castle beach tucked into a cove, to the smaller Harbour beach.
Propping up the table were the resorts of Skegness, Bognor Regis, Southend-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Burnham-on-Sea, all with destination scores below 51%.
However, despite its low ranking, holidaymakers did have highlights to share from their trips to Skegness. Many recommended the Natureland seal sanctuary, with one visitor calling it “the sort of thing you expect to see on a David Attenborough programme”. Meanwhile, nostalgic attractions and amusement rides for children made the Lincolnshire coastal town a “proper” British seaside resort in the eyes of some respondents.
Visitors to Bognor Regis found a “charming” town with the best climate on the south coast. Holidaymakers tipped the peaceful Pagham Harbour nature reserve and Hotham Park – a “little gem” – while the flat promenade was praised for being accommodating to visitors with limited mobility.
According to Which?, the UK’s top 10 seaside towns are:
Bamburgh, Northumberland Llandudno, Conwy St Andrews, Fife Dartmouth, Devon Tenby, Pembrokeshire St Davids, Pembrokeshire Aldeburgh, Suffolk Filey, North Yorkshire Conwy, Conwy Lyme Regis, Dorset
St Andrews, Fife
St Davids, Pembrokeshire
Filey, North Yorkshire
Lyme Regis, Dorset