Britain’s coastline measures an incredible 11,073 miles (17,820 km) and boasts some of the most magnificent beaches in the world – there’s a reason millions of us visit them every year, from far and wide. Wherever you are in the country, you won’t be far from a glorious stretch of sand or a secret cove, and we’re on a quest to find the best. From Land’s End to John O’Groats, we’re looking for the most photo-worthy beach in Britain. It may be a popular holiday spot, or it could be a secret beach of the wild and unspoilt variety, where even at the height of summer you can find a secluded spot beneath the cliffs or among the dunes. There are so many to choose from!
Beaches evoke feelings of joy, happiness and freedom, so try to encapsulate some of those qualities in your photo. A sense of action, whether it’s your kids jumping from the dunes or waves crashing on the rocks, will bring your pictures to life.
Ever wondered why beautiful beaches can end up look a little underwhelming in your photos? Images of sand, sea and sky and not much else may seem a good idea at the time, but they can end up looking flat in the photo album. So before you snap, look for a point of interest to give a sense of scale and a place for your eye to rest. Perhaps a row of deck chairs, an old pier, or a pair of your child’s flipflops at the water’s edge…
Just because you’re at the beach, it doesn’t mean you’re limited to the beach itself! Snap the kids as they run along a path to the sand or approach a beach hut, for example. Being imaginative with the setting is more effective than just taking a landscape shot of sand and sky.
Interesting shells or pebbles, seaweed, driftwood or a cute little crab can all create interest and atmosphere, and will make wonderful feature shots to break up your family holiday photo book.
There are two reasons for timing your snaps for early morning or late in the day. Firstly, you get the best light when the sun is lower and nearer to the horizon. Secondly, the beaches are less crowded, so you’re less likely to have people walking in front of your camera or popping up behind your subjects.
With 11 miles of golden sands running from Hengistbury Head to Sandbanks, it’s no surprise Bournemouth beach was voted the best in Britain by a TripAdvisor poll in 2018. This lovely sunset photo was taken by @csiziistvan on pixabay.
Don’t miss: The fabulous Victorian cliff lifts, which run between April and October and offer wonderful views.
This picture of Croyde Beach was shared on our Facebook page by Tracie White. Croyde is known as one of the world’s best surfing beaches, but at low tide, the area around Baggy Point becomes a mesmerising landscape of rocks and pools, great for capturing reflections. Tracie says: “The weather was stunning – so hot we burnt our feet on the sand.”
Best photo opportunity: Reflections in the pools at low tide.
Newquay’s Fistral beach is known as the top surfers’ beach in the country. Backed by high cliffs and sand dunes, it’s a photographer’s dream.
Don’t miss: Watching the surfers at sunset.
Hunstanton is renowned for its unique, striped cliffs and magnificent sunsets, made special by its position as the only west-facing resort on the east coast.
Don’t miss: Taking the kids to see the old Sheraton ship wreck at St Edmund’s Point.
The beautiful Dwyryd and Glaslyn Estuaries unite to form one of the most unspoilt large estuaries in Cardigan Bay in Wales, and some of the views are spectacular.
Best photo opportunity: The crags at Tremadog, and the hills of southern Snowdonia beyond, make the perfect backdrop for a beach photo.
Scotland is renowned for its unspoilt beaches, but on a good day Luskentyre on Harris is breathtaking. Brilliant white sands seem to stretch endlessly, lapped by a turquoise green sea. In the distance, purple mountains provide a perfect back drop. And the best bit? You’ll probably be one of only a handful of people there!
Don’t miss: Watching the sun set behind Taransay. Snap away!
You may well find you’re the only one on the beach on this wild and beautiful island off the west coast of Scotland, even in summer. It’s all fresh air, sparkling, crystal-clear sea, and white, pristine sands.
Best photo opportunity: The views across the bay.
The beach surrounding this natural limestone arch on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth is one of the most photographed in the country, and you can see why.
Don’t miss: The little cove with its fresh water spring.
Embleton is just one example of the stunning beaches adorning Northumberland’s magnificent coastline. This whole 40-mile stretch is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, from Berwick-Upon-Tweed to the River Coquet.
Don’t miss: The castles. Northumberland has more of them than any other county in England.
Blackpool is the most popular seaside resort in the UK, so no list of top beaches could be complete without it!
Don’t miss: The piers. This is the only British beach resort to boast three of them, so a visit to at least one is a must!
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