The UK is full of incredible beaches and bays, so much so that it's often hard to know which to visit. There are the usual favourites which are excellent, but the downside is that they're often crowded and a visit to them ends up being not as peaceful as you might have hoped. But the great thing about our country is that there are lots of beaches and bays which are both very excellent to visit, and very underrated. We thought we'd round up the best and most underrated beaches and bays that you can find in the UK, let's get into it:
Freshwater West Beach
This is a sandy beach backed by an interesting structure of sand dunes and reed beds, within which you'll find some rare species of birds such as choughs. The beach is well-known for being used by smugglers to store their booty. It's a south-westerly facing beach and has some of the best waves in the area, making it a really popular location for surfers and one of the top surfing locations in Wales. You'll also find other water sports enthusiasts here, as well as local fishermen. And for fans of Harry Potter, there is one feature at this beach that you absolutely can't miss - Dobby’s grave, which is nestled in the sand dunes.
If you've had enough of the hustle and bustle of Glasgow then a trip to Lunderston Bay is an absolute must - it's the nearest sandy beach to the Scottish city and is only an hour by car. Located within the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park area, this beach is popular with families and has a really good children's play area. The views across the Firth of Clyde towards Arran and the isle of Bute are amazing, especially on a sunny day.
In terms of facilities, you'll find toilets here which are kept very clean but do tend to close quite early at around 4ish.
St Brelade's Bay & Portelet Bay
It's hard to pick a top beach in Jersey because they're all so good and very underrated. But we think it's a pretty safe bet to put St Brelade's Bay & Portelet Bay as the top 2 - not only are they 2 of the most visited beaches in Jersey, but they're also 2 of the prettiest.
It's worth mentioning that for swimming and water activities, the beaches in Jersey are among the best you'll find in the UK. The water is clean and clear, and there was a well-documented study in 2014 which showed that the bathing waters at the Island’s most popular beaches were cleaner than the UK average.
It might sound a bit dismissive to say that Cramond beach is only good because it is conveniently nearby to Edinburgh, but the beach is a great option if you want to stay really close to the city but still want to enjoy some stretches of sand and views of the sea. On a weekend it can get really busy here (too busy for our liking), so the best time to visit is midweek evenings, when the sun is setting and the tide is usually out so you can stroll across the sand. Keep an eye out for the remnants of war bunkers and all of the seabirds, including Cormorants.
This beach is about 5 miles west of the city centre and if you're heading from Princes Street then you'll want to get the 41 bus towards Drumbrae which should take about 40 minutes.