Chloe Allen

Chloe Allen

Our Digital Marketing Executive Chloe is in charge of our e-newsletter. There's no one better placed to inform and delight you every month, so keep your eyes peeled for her newsletter hitting an email inbox near you soon.

Read time of 4 minutes.

The UK is full of wonderful places to explore. 

If you’re struggling to decide where to go this summer, our guide to some of the best and lesser-known beachside locations is here to help you make the most of the sunshine. 

Hop in your lease car and enjoy some of these beautiful places the UK has to offer.

1. Kingsand and Cawsand, Cornwall 

As the home of Carparison HQ, we had to start with the South West!

Kingsand and Cawsand are twinned villages seated on opposing sides of what was once the Devon and Cornwall border. Today they are in such close proximity that you can cross from one to the other without even realising it. 

Both villages come with their own small stretches of sand and shingle beach, but only Kingsand has accessibility steps and a small slope.

Cawsand's beach has a single slipway and an active dog ban from the 1st July to the 31st August between the hours of 10am and 6pm; that’s something to consider if you’re taking the pooch on your day out.

The general area is rich in local history, particularly smuggling and fishing. You can even see the remains of 16th century pilchard cellars on the shoreline just past Kingsand, so keep an eye out for them if you decide to go boating on your day at the beach. 

Both Kingsand and Cawsand are popular spots for swimming and when the weather is fine, it can feel more like the Mediterranean than the Cornish coast.

However, there is limited parking available, so get there early – and try to be conscious of the locals who also want to access their beaches.

2. Saltburn by the Sea, Yorkshire

When you think Yorkshire, it’s usually the moors that come to mind first.

But the county has some absolutely beautiful spots to visit on the coast. Our favourite by far is Saltburn by the Sea, a holiday hotspot made popular in the Victorian era.

And there’s a lot to love about it.

The Saltburn cliff lift harkens back to a time before cheap jet holidays and there is a nostalgic joy in riding it that will probably make the grandparents smile.

If you’re looking for entertainment, the miniature railway is something kids and adults will both adore. 

Of course, if your wish is for aquatic amusement, the expanse of flat sandy beach makes it a great surfing spot.

And if you feel like making a day trip of it, Whitby is just a little further along the coast. 

3. Blackpool Sands, Devon

No, not that Blackpool.

Located near Dartmouth, Blackpool Sands is named after a nearby Devon village. It is justifiably considered to be an area of outstanding natural beauty, with a turquoise sea perfect for swimming, kayaking and water sports.

The shingle beach means a sharp drop on the seabed, so you don’t have to go far out to swim – perfect for keeping a close and watchful eye on the kids when they’re in the water.

Facilities include toilets, a café and a beach shop. There’s also parking close by at £9 for a full-day ticket, but please be aware that overnight parking and camping are not permitted.

Blackpool Sands is a Blue Flag beach, which means an active dog ban between 1st April and 30th September, so leave the pup at home if you plan on making the trip in the summer season.

While it’s a stunning area to visit, drone use is strictly prohibited; so if you want reel footage for your socials, just stick to using your phone.

4. Barafundle Bay, Wales

This isolated beach on the south coast of Pembrokeshire is stunning and we can see why it’s been listed on occasion as one of the best beaches in the world.

Located between Broad Haven and Freshwater East, Barafundle Bay is a stretch of sandy beach that can only be accessed on foot via the coastal path. The nearest parking is at Stackpole Quay (0.5 miles away), or Broad Haven South (1.3 miles away) – so it’s a bit of a trek from the car to get there!

You can only enter the beach via steps on the northern approach and there are no facilities at all – so whatever supplies you need, you’ll need to bring with you.

It seems like a bit of a mission, doesn’t it?

While not the most accessible option for a beach day, it’s worth the trek just for views of the totally unspoiled coastline and its rugged terrain.

The beach is backed by sand dunes and high cliffs on either side and as an east facing bay, this provides natural shelter from the elements.

It’s an ideal spot for a picnic in peace – if you can face the walk to get there. However, beware of the water if you opt to swim, as there’s no lifeguard to pull you out if you get into difficulty.

5. East Beach, Lossiemouth, Moray Speyside, Scotland

This Scottish beach is a haven for surfers.

After several years of limited access, a new bridge has recently made East Beach accessible once again. The new bridge is just off the Esplanade at Lossiemouth and crosses the mouth of the River Lossie. 

If you walk in a westward direction the pebbles will give way to a sandy shoreline and impressive dunes – but keep your eyes peeled. Not only is East Beach home to a host of different bird species, if you’re lucky you may see some aquatic visitors.

The Moray coast is a popular location for spotting whales and other marine wildlife, and East Beach has reportedly had sightings of bottlenose dolphins over many years.

With clear blue waters, it’s a popular location for swimmers, surfers and anyone interested in water sports.

But if that’s not your thing the beach is very close to the Moray Coast Trail. You’ll be glad to hear East Beach has no dog bans, so it’s a good one for the whole family to get out and enjoy a walk with nature.

If you do duck in for a swim, consider wearing a wet suit – the sea off Scotland can be a little on the chilly side.

6. Holkham Beach, Norfolk

And last, but definitely not least, is this beautiful unspoilt beach on the Nofolk coast.

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Holkham beach was the setting for All Saints famous Pure Shores music video. If you’re as old as this writer, you no doubt saw said video everywhere in the early 2000s.

A haven for wildlife (seals are often spotted on the Norfolk coast), this sandy beach is a good destination for those who love the sun. However, it’s also a good area for walks and hiking because of the perfect view across the North Sea.

Just a 25-minute drive from the A148, Holkham is remote but easily accessible. While it’s a popular spot, the vast stretch of beach means there's plenty of room for visitors - and even on the busiest of summer days, you should still be able to park yourself a fair distance away from other people if you don't want to be packed in like sardines. 

Just pay attention to where you set your towel down; the west end of Holkham has been popular with naturists for a number of years. 

Basic beach safety

As a Devon-based company we’re lucky enough to be within 30 minutes of our closest beach, but we recognise not everyone is so fortunate – or so familiar with dangerous water.

We would therefore encourage you always to be aware of what the tide is doing and stay safe when visiting the beach:

  • Make sure you’re familiar with and understand any signs or flags on display.
  • Stick close to the shore if you’re using inflatables.
  • If swimming, be realistic about your ability – the sea is a much harsher environment than your local swimming pool.
  • Don’t enter the water under any circumstances between solid red flags.
  • Keep an eye on any children in your group and make sure they know where the lifeguard station is if they get lost.
  • Watch out for riptides – and if you get caught in one, don’t panic but try and swim parallel to the shore until you get free and can exit the water.
  • If you get in distress, wave and shout for help.
  • If you see someone in distress, alert the lifeguard and/or call 999.

Looking for the perfect car for your road trip?