You don’t have to go abroad to find clear seas and white sand – the English coast is lined with hidden coves, dramatic bays and beautiful beaches just waiting to be discovered. Keep away from the bustling tourist resorts and instead seek out one of the below beaches for uninterrupted sunbathing, windy walks or even a swim if the weather permits.
Backed by sand dunes and accessed via a short walk through a pine forest, the vastness of Holkham beach makes it popular with dog walkers. Don’t be deterred if you aren’t a dog owner, the huge expanse of sand at low tide means that you’re certain to find your own private spot without having to fight for space. Nature lovers can choose to wander onto the neighbouring reserves to spot large colonies of seabirds and even a couple of seals if you’re lucky.
If you’re after crystal clear water, white sand and unspoilt surroundings, you can’t do better than this secluded Cornish bay. Accessed by boat or a short stroll from aforementioned Porthcurno at low tide, Pedn Vounder is popular with nudists thanks to its natural privacy. Ensure that you check the time of the tides to avoid being cut off – the only other way out is a steep climb up the towering cliffs that surround the bay.
Lancashire may be known more for its traditional seaside resorts, but if you’re looking for something a little more unspoilt, head down the coast to Formby. Here, you can take a stroll through the pine forest to spot red squirrels, before venturing over the dramatic sand dunes to explore the vast stretch of sand below. Although the beach is incredibly popular with families and dog walkers on hot summer’s days, it never feels too full thanks to its size.