Dreaming of fresh sea air and sand between your toes? There’s nothing quite like a coastal getaway, and you don’t have to travel far to get some much-needed Vitamin Sea either, as the UK is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
So whether you prefer to picnic on the beach or brave the British waters, get ready to pack your beach bag as we reveal the best staycations near the coast. Or, if you wanted to visit multiple coastal towns, check out our staycation cruises.
The best staycations near the coast
- Gower Peninsula
- Isles of Scilly
- West Lulworth
This beautiful town is located on the edge of the River Dart, making it one of the most scenic towns in Devon. This popular coastal staycation is full of history and heritage, and there’s plenty to do and see here. Explore the town, get involved in watersports on the river, or head out for the afternoon and take in the panoramic Devonshire countryside.
Best beach: Just a short drive from Dartmouth is Blackpool Sands, one of the UK’s top beaches. A Blue Flag award-winner, you can expect pristine blue waters and stunning evergreen views for miles around.
Best walk: Walk high above the beach along country lanes and through wooded cliffs on this short coastal walk, which offers some amazing views from the top.
The thing to do: A great day out for all the family, a trip to Dartmouth Castle is not to be missed. Make a day of it with a boat trip from the town quay to the castle’s grand entrance.
As the first place in Britain to be named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Gower Peninsula is lined with miles of beautiful beaches. This little Welsh haven has become a surfing hotspot, but its golden sands make it perfect for lazing around on a hot summer’s day too. And if you fancy something without the sand between your toes, try horse riding, mountain biking or even rock climbing.
Best beach: For the last eight years, Rhossili Bay has been hailed as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. It’s completely dog-friendly too you can bring your four-legged friends with you.
Best walk: Take in the stunning views from the top of Rhossili Bay on the Rhossili Headland Walk.
The thing to do: When the tide is low, walk out to the famous Worm’s Head – just make sure to tell the coastguard first.
Looking for a traditional seaside holiday? Cromer is the perfect staycation near the coast. The town is bustling with a whole host of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Find for fun all the family by the sea along the long stretches of sandy beaches, with rock pools to explore, crabbing to try and sandcastles to make!
Best beach: Lined with colourful beach huts, Cromer Beach has kept its traditional Victorian seaside charm. Walk along the promenade and watch the fishermen catching the famous Cromer crab!
Best walk: This easy circular walk takes you through woodland, heathland and along the top of the cliff for fantastic views and to see the Cromer Lighthouse.
The thing to do: See a show at the Pavilion Theatre – it’s the UK’s only remaining traditional end of pier theatre.
Location: East Sussex
Visit Brighton and enjoy the vibrancy of the city or the relaxing vibes of the iconic coastline. Bursting with museums, pubs, restaurants, shops and a beach, Brighton is popular with families and couples looking for their perfect coastal getaway. You can even explore the beauty of the South Downs National Park which is just an hour’s drive away.
Best beach: The postcard-perfect Brighton Beach has a buzzing promenade and a pier with fair rides that can be enjoyed by all.
Best walk: Tour the city’s quirky independent shops and cafes on a self-guided walking tour through the city centre.
The thing to do: Hop aboard the Volks Electric Railway for stunning views of the Brighton coastline. It’s the oldest operating electric railway in the world!
Isles of Scilly
These secluded islands just off the coast of Cornwall are almost Caribbean-like, with their white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Take a short flight or ferry across the Celtic Sea and discover the tranquillity these enchanting islands has to offer.
Best beach: Pentle Bay is tucked away on the beautiful island of Tresco and is famed for its white sand and blue waters. But despite being one of the finest beaches in the world, there’s a chance you’ll have the beach all to yourself, even in the summer.
Best walk: Explore the island of Tresco on this easy circular walk, stop off along the way to check out the Valhalla Museum, Gallery Tresco or Tresco Abbey Garden.
The thing to do: Make the most of your trip and go island-hopping on a tripper boat.
Scotland and seaside holiday might not spring to mind at first, but take a trip to this northernmost country and be rewarded with some of the world’s best beaches. Balmedie is a little hidden gem just north of Aberdeen, and although it may be on the smaller side, a visit to Balmedie is sure to be the perfect relaxing beach holiday.
Best beach: Balmedie Beach is Scotland’s longest beach, stretching for 14 miles, so you’ll always find a quiet spot for a picnic.
Best walk: Take a walk along the sandy beach and through Balmedie Country Park. If you’re in the mood for a stroll, you can explore the other paths in the dunes too.
The thing to do: Nestled between the mountains and the sea, wander the streets of the picturesque Aberdeen and soak up its cosmopolitan atmosphere.
Stay in the traditional fishing village of West Lulworth and be just a stone’s throw away from the impressive geological history of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Tourists travel here from all over the world to this pretty village to marvel at some of the UK’s most impressive landscapes.
Best beach: Lulworth Cove is a gorgeous pebble beach with blue waters. Pick up a portion of fish and chips, sit along the shore and take in the breathtaking views of the Jurassic Coast.
Best walk: This moderate circular walk takes you through the Fossil Forest and to visit Stair Hole – a small limestone cove formed by sea erosion.
The thing to do: Durdle Door is easily recognised by its iconic arch, visit early in the morning to beat the crowds and capture the best photograph.
If you want a traditional seaside staycation, then nothing beats a trip to Felixstowe. Stay in a cottage by the sea and enjoy everything this charming seaside town has to offer. From amusement arcades and stunning architecture to a bustling town centre full of independent shops & cafes, families of all ages will enjoy a coastal break to Felixstowe.
Best beach: Felixstowe South is a popular Blue Flag beach lined with traditional seafront refreshments and amusements.
Best walk: Walk the famous Martello Coast Path from the Felixstowe Ferry to Landguard Peninsula.
The thing to do: A seaside visit isn’t complete without a game of crazy golf!
With its quirky narrow streets and dramatic ruins, Whitby isn’t your typical seaside town, but this picturesque fishing port offers a truly unique staycation near the coast. Nestled on the edge of the North York Moors, explore coast and countryside from the door of your seaside cottage.
Best beach: Whitby Beach is a sandy beach lined with pretty beach huts. The views out to sea are wonderful and on the east side, four-legged friends are allowed all year round.
Best walk: The 3-mile Ravenscar circular walk takes you along the famous Cleveland Way for amazing sea iews.
The thing to do: Visit Whitby Abbey, these ethereal ruins were the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”.
Location: Isle of Wight
Whether you’re looking for a family staycation, a romantic getaway or you’re travelling solo, Shanklin is the perfect destination for a seaside break, hitting the charts for its number of sunshine hours. With its mixture of beaches, towns, gardens and green spaces, you’ll be spoilt for choice in this charming seaside town.
Best beach: Shanklin Beach is a traditional golden-sand beach but with a dramatic cliff backdrop. Enjoy the amusements, crazy golf, watersports and go-karting, as well as seafront shops and restaurants.
Best walk: Learn about the town’s rich history on a self-guided walking tour through the town’s centre.
The thing to do: Treat yourself to a cream tea at the award-winning Old Thatch Teashop.