Top 5 Seaside Destinations in the UK

Dreaming of long days by the coast? Idyllic evenings watching the sun set over the sea? Building sandcastles in the sun with your little ones? For families of all sizes and friend groups of all ages, a seaside getaway in the UK is the ultimate way to enjoy some much-needed quality time with your loved ones.

And there’s nowhere better to immerse yourself in coastal life than at these top five seaside destinations in the UK…

1. Cornwall

A long-standing favourite for many, Cornwall has been named the UK’s favourite holiday destination nine times! The picturesque coastal villages and lively seaside towns are hotspots for holiday makers, with the perfect combination of stunning beaches and modern entertainment for all ages.

Surf the waves in Newquay, with seven miles of golden sandy beaches nestled below the dramatic cliffs. Sample some fresh seafood, caught and cooked within a day, with a view in Padstow. Or immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of St Ives, with the Tate art gallery, Barbara Hepworth Museum and plenty of glorious beaches amongst the most loved hot spots.

Whether you’re recreating your favourite childhood memories or heading to the south-west coast for the first time, it’s certainly no surprise that Cornwall is a firm favourite for many Brits. From family getaways to wild weekends with your closest friends, Cornwall has a little something for everyone.

2. Isle of Wight

Sunrise the needles isle of wight

As soon as you step off the ferry onto the Isle of Wight, you’ll feel transported to a new world. One of horseback rides along the sand, smooth jazz festivals by the sea and dramatic coastlines everywhere you look. Just 45 minutes from the UK mainland, the Isle of Wight could be a million miles from everyday life. 

Gaze at the stars from the impressive ‘Pepperpot’ monument. St Catherine’s Oratory stands tall cutting a dramatic figure in the islands landscape. The medieval octagonal tower was originally built in 1328 and is now a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. 

One of the biggest attractions for this beautiful island is, of course, its impressive coastline. Wherever you find yourself on the island, you’re never more than 30 minutes from the coast by car – a unique seaside offering that comes with an island getaway. The golden sandy beaches are perfect for a quiet stroll whatever the weather, while the views from atop the chalky cliffs are amongst the most breathtaking in the country.

3. Dorset

Durdle Door panorama, Dorset.

Home to two of the best seaside towns in the UK, Dorset is a firm favourite for many Brits. Bournemouth and Weymouth were voted the top 2 seaside spots in the country, both found in this stunning county on the southern coast. And it’s easy to see why. The lively coastal resorts are the perfect combination of vibrant colours and exciting days out and beautiful beaches and stunning views.

But Dorset doesn’t just offer exciting seaside towns on its long stretch of coast. It’s dramatic coastline, breath-taking views and more peaceful locations are certainly worth a visit. The Jurassic Coast, stretching from Dorset to Devon, is the country’s only natural World Heritage Site. Assigned by UNESCO in 2001, this mighty coast of rocks, fossils and landforms is perfect for fossil hunting, incredible walks and fascinating museum visits.

4. Wales

With over 150 beaches across more than 1,500 miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that Wales is home to some of the best beaches in the UK. That includes a total of 40 with Blue Flag status – more than any other part of the UK.

From idyllic, quiet days out on the sand to lively nights out on the pier, this small country truly has something for everyone. It also has the most beautiful landscapes, with the mountainous Snowdonia and golden stretches of sand just a stone’s throw from each other.

Experience the magic of Portmeirion in North Wales – a touch of the Italian Riviera in Wales with the colourful architecture, coastal cafes and gelateria to boot. Walk along the sands, enjoying the unique views, browse the quaint boutiques and learn about the rich history of the tourist hot spot.

From the beauty of Portmeirion, to the excitement of Llandudno. Try your luck on the tombola on the pier, enjoy some fresh sugared doughnuts or discover new hobbies with some water sports in the crystal-clear waters. Families and friend groups alike can create unforgettable memories with a seaside retreat to Wales.

5. Northumberland

Think all of England’s top coastal spots are in the south? Think again. Northumberland offers a truly inimitable coastline in the north-east of England. At around 30 miles from Berwick-upon-Tweed down to Blyth, it’s certainly about quality rather than quantity. But when you arrive in the castle-clad shores of Northumberland, you’ll certainly see what that quality is all about.

Head to Bamburgh, where you’ll find the majestic castle overlooking the beach. Continue down that beach and you’ll arrive in Seahouses – the perfect place for a boat tour of the Farne Islands to see all the wildlife that calls it home. From puffins and guillemots to eider ducks and razorbills, the islands are home to over 20 species of birds!

For something a little different, head north to Lindisfarne and drive across a beach-straddled causeway to get to Holy Island – home of Lindisfarne castle. Just make sure you check the tide times before travelling! The Holy Island causeway is only accessible at low tide, with the road completely submerged by water when the tide is high.

Book your seaside holiday today

Whether you’re planning a half-term escape with the little ones or a big group getaway by the sea, the kate & tom’s team are here to help. Our hand-picked selection of luxury coastal holiday cottages are perfect for any occasion. Complete with hot tubs, tennis courts and even private pools, our holiday homes are the ultimate backdrop for party weekends and quiet family retreats alike.

Looking for some holiday-planning assistance? Get in touch with our team on [email protected] to take the first step towards your dream seaside getaway.