"Porth Chapel, a hidden cove not far from Porthcurno, Cornwall, southwest England."


Going to the beach doesn’t have to be all about far-flung destinations and private islands. We live on our own island, after all, and that means no shortage of rugged coastlines to explore. We know that the tourist-favourite beaches can quickly get overrun, so we've taken a look at some of the best spots for sand and sea, without the crowds.


Porth Ceiriad Beach, Abersoch

At the end of a fair walk from the nearest parking and a steep set of steps awaits the clear blue sea at Porth Ceiriad, often touted as one of the loveliest beaches in the area. This one is a watersports paradise, often packed with watercraft in the summer – but winter is the time to come here and experience the best surf on the Llŷn Peninsula. 

Musselwick Sands, Pembrokeshire

Getting to Musselwick Sands calls for a 10-minute walk across fields and a steep descent of some steps in the cliffside – which, happily for us, seems enough to deter most people. Combine that with the fact that this beach only really exists between mid- and low-tide and you’ve got a pretty good chance of having the place to yourself – just keep an eye on those tides.

Benone Beach, Northern Ireland

With seven miles of golden sandy beaches, stunning mountain backdrops and views across to Donegal, you’d think Benone beach would be a tourist hotspot. But, with The Giant’s Causeway just 40 minutes down the road, it remains peacefully quiet even in the height of summer. Pack your wetsuit, as this beach is perfcet for all kinds of watersports.


Covehithe Beach, Beccles, Suffolk

Sitting on a practically-forgotten stretch of the Suffolk coast, Covehithe Beach serves as a reminder of nature’s power and beauty all at once. The peaceful stretch of sand waits at the end of a lane which continues into the sea if you look at a map, and in front of crumbling golden cliffs, interrupted only by the stumps of trees which used to stand in the North Sea’s way. Well worth the trek.

Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex

If you’re seeking seclusion in the hopes of spotting some wildlife, then Cuckmere Haven is the beach for you. Sitting at the mouth of the River Cuckmere and at the foot of the Seven Sisters white cliffs, the area is home to crab, lobster, Blue Mussels, Native Oyster and the rare Short-Snouted Seahorse, as well as a variety of birds. 

Scolt Head, Norfolk

Only accessible at low tide or by boat, Scolt Head Island is an offshore barrier island with expansive sandy beaches which (fortunately for us) are often completely deserted. Owned by the National Trust, the site is a haven for wildlife and is internationally recognised for its importance as a breeding site for terns. But it’s also a great place to take the plunge; you can attempt the crossing at slack tide or, for a more relaxing swim, take a dip in the Norton Creek tidal pools. But just be wary as this area is known for fast-moving tides and currents, so only swim if safe to do so. 


Steephill Cove, Isle of Wight

Up for an adventure? Then hop onto the ferry and head across to the Isle of Wight. Just a 25 minute crossing on the high-speed service from Southampton, it’s easy to go there and back in a day. Steephill Cove is close to the popular resort of Ventor, but with no road access, it's a bit of a hidden gem. Although quiet, the area is not without facilities and in our opinion the Boathouse Seafood Restaurant is a must-visit spot for lunch.

Sunny Cove, Salcombe, Devon

Salcombe might be a staycation favourite – but not all of its beaches are on the tourist trail. Take a ferry from the town across Salcombe Harbour and find your way across the rugged cliff paths to reach this secluded gem. Pro tip: take everything you’ll need for the day with you, including some shelter if that’s your thing.

Broad Sands, North Devon

We wouldn’t recommend choosing this beach from its name – it’s neither broad, nor sandy! What it is, is a little-known cove between Watermouth and Combe Martin, offering all the caves, nooks and crannies you could want to explore and some of the best swimming in the area. Just be careful because when we say there’s nothing here, we mean nothing – and that includes lifeguards.

Pedn Vounder Beach, Cornwall

That’s right, a secluded beach in Cornwall! We all know that Cornish beaches are pretty epic, but that's also why they can get so busy. But, if you’re willing to put a bit of legwork in, there are quieter beaches to be found. Pedn Vounder, with its crystal-clear waters and beautiful sandy beach, is one of our favourites. With limited access via a steep cliff path during high tide and a 20-minute walk from Porthcurno beach at low tide in Spring, this beach often gets overlooked. 


Ross Back Sands, Northumberland

Three miles of unspoiled beach and dunes sound like your thing? Head to the (perhaps unexpected) Northumberland coast and take on the mile walk from the nearest parking to get to Ross Back Sands. No people, plenty of local wildlife and a distant view of Bamburgh Castle, away from all the tourists at Lindisfarne – to us, this is the real Northumberland.

Spurn Point, East Yorkshire

More of a walker than a beach bum? Then Spurn Point is probably the beach for you. With incredibly strong currents in the estuary, swimming is a no go, but don't let that put you off, as it's a great place to soak up the unique and dramatic atmosphere of our coastline. Sitting at the mouth of the River Humber near Hull, it is a three-mile stretch of beach that reaches into the estuary, making it one of the most secluded beaches in Britain.

Haverigg Beach, Cumbria

With the Lake District dominating the area, beaches in Cumbria often get overlooked. Good news is, this makes them the perfect place to head if you’re looking to escape the crowds. At the mouth of the Duddon Estuary, Haverigg is a huge sandy beach that offers you plenty of space to find a spot away from anyone else and incredible views of the not so distant Lakeland fells. Who says you can't have the best of both worlds.


Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris

Fancy Island hopping? Head to the Outer Hebridean Island of Harris to experience Caribbean-esque white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. A paradise on home turf, Seilebost Beach boasts spectacular mountains scenery as well as some of the best sunsets in the country.

Sandwood Bay, Highlands

A rugged yet picturesque strip of sand backed by dunes and a freshwater loch, Sandwood Bay is possibly one of the quietest beaches in the UK. The spectacular pink sands and the famous Am Buachaille sea stack create a sense of drama to the otherwise tranquil bay. You have to work for the views though, as the bay is only accessible by a four-mile walk. Swimming at Sandwood is not recommended due to the strong undertow. 


Surfs up! Fancy swimming, paddleboarding, or surfing beaches instead? Why not check out our fantastic selection of wetsuits, swimming gear, and more in our incredible Snow+Rock watersports collection? All you need to adventure in style:

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