As it starts to get warmer, thoughts quickly turn to summer fun. From stretches of golden sands to secluded bays surrounded by limestone rocks, the UK is home to hundreds of beautiful beaches.

Each one offers something completely different, whether you are looking for the perfect swimming spot; somewhere that allows dogs or just a beach with stunning coastal views.

Wherever you’re headed on holiday this summer, here’s our pick of the 8 best UK beaches to visit in 2020: 

1. Watergate Bay, Newquay, Cornwall

Located just a short distance from Newquay on the North Cornwall coast, Watergate Bay beach boasts two miles of beautiful golden sands. The bay is large and open with huge waves coming in straight from the Atlantic, providing the perfect spot to surf, kayak or kitesurf. 

During the summer, the beach is perfectly positioned for soaking up the sun or taking a refreshing dip in the sea.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous, why not explore the many rock pools or walk along the cliff tops and look for the local wildlife as you wander.

This beach is best for: surfing and trying out new water sports

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Newquay, Cornwall  

2. Oxwich, Gower Peninsula, Wales

In the summertime, good beaches in the UK can become jam-packed as families flock to the sunny coastline.

However, Oxwich beach on the beautiful Gower Peninsula in the south of Wales is the perfect spot to get away from it all.

Surrounded by gentle rolling hills and shallow waters, Oxwich is one of the UK’s hidden gems — and the crowds are often nowhere to be seen.

As well as a two-mile sandy stretch, discover a mixture of sand dunes, salt marshes and woodland, that each gives Oxwich its unique look. 

There’s so much to explore too, so whether you’re chilling out with a picnic on the beach with the kids or planning a day steeped in adventure, be sure to give this wonderful location a visit. 

This beach is best for: escaping the crowds

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Wales

3. Man O’War Beach, Dorset

With limestone-carved arches, rugged coastline and crystal clear waters, Man O’War Beach on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset provides the perfect location for swimming, paddling and gentle water sports.

The beach is situated on the Purbeck Heritage Coast. Before descending the steep cliffs down to the shingle beach below, take a moment to enjoy the far-reaching views of the spectacular scenery on offer.

There really isn’t another beach in the UK like Man O’War Beach. And with the picturesque Lulworth Cove within walking distance, you can extend your trip and make an entire day of exploring the wonders of Dorset.

This beach is best for: awe-inspiring coastal views 

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Dorset

4. Steephill Cove, Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a wonderful holiday spot for families to enjoy, and the unspoilt fishing cove of Steephill Cove is like stepping back in time. It’s located just south of the seaside town Ventor, and features a safe, sandy beach nestled between rocky cliffs and smugglers' coves.

It’s only accessible by foot, making it the perfect place to relax and take some time out from the busy summer crowds. Head on over to the brightly coloured beach huts to take some holiday snaps, before exploring the rock pools for crabs and other water-dwellers.

This beach is best for: families after a safe day out

Find out more: Holiday cottages in the Isle of Wight

5. Brancaster, Norfolk

With its vast stretch of unspoilt golden sands, Brancaster beach extends for a seemingly-endless four miles, right up to Holkam, and then on to Wells.

It’s a wonderful place to visit all year round, but when the tide is out there is so much opportunity to explore the wide expanse. Brancaster is dog friendly too, so you can bring your pets along for a well-earned day out. 

When the tide does roll out, look out to the sea to spot the remains of the old shipwreck.

To the east is Titchwell Marsh nature reserve, famous for its wealth of migrating birds.

And if you’re into kitesurfing or kite buggying, Brancaster is the perfect spot to try out new tricks. 

This beach is best for: spotting local wildlife and kitsurfing

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Brancaster, Norfolk

6. Covehithe, Suffolk

If you are someone who prefers exploring over sunbathing, then Covehithe beach, a little north of Southwold and just south of Kessingland, really is one of Suffolk’s best kept secrets.

It is home to the crumbling ruins of the magnificent St Andrew’s church, which was built in 1672. Today, the beach sits at the edge of a cliff beneath what’s left of the church.

While the coast has been eroding fast, it remains a lovely beach with organic tree structures that give Covehithe its rugged look.

Quiet, secluded and serene, this is one to put on your bucket list before the church disappears into the sea. Oh, and it’s pet friendly too. 

This beach is best for: history buffs

Find out more: Holiday cottage in Suffolk

7. Camber Sands, East Sussex

Camber Sands along the Sussex Coast is understandably one of the most popular beaches in the UK.

Covered in fine, golden sands and the only sand dunes in East Sussex, it is the perfect place for holiday fun.

Discover wild landscapes, local wildlife and rugged greenery in between taking a cool dip in the water.

Thanks to its beautiful stretch, the beach has appeared in many much loved films, including The Theory of Everything and The Invisible Woman.

It’s also home to one of the best beachcombing locations in the UK, so don’t forget to look out for some hidden treasures while you’re there!

This beach is best for: chilling out and building sandcastles with the kids

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Camber Sands

8. Aberdour Silver Sands, Fife

Known as the most popular resort on the Fife coast, Aberdour Silver Sands is a Blue Flag Beach and just perfect for families.

Whether building sandcastles or splashing about in the sea, kids will love spending an entire day of adventure on these soft sands. 

There’s also a bouncy castle and kids’ putting green in the summer. And for adults looking for some time out, enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the countryside setting while taking in the wonderful views of the Inchmickery and Inchcolm islands in the distance.

There are also lots of lovely walks surrounding the beach if you need to stretch your legs. 

At high tide, the sea is shallow. Lifeguards are also on patrol in the summer, making it a safe swimming spot for children and weak swimmers. 

This beach is best for: swimming

Find out more: Holiday cottages in Scotland

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