The best UK beach staycations out there

Like A Local Guide • 8 Mar, 2021

Oh, we do like to be beside the seaside here in the UK, but the British seaside holiday is long past its sell-by date, right?

Wrong. In recent years, and especially since the start of a certain pandemic, the domestic holiday, otherwise known as a staycation, has skyrocketed in popularity. With holiday makers seeking sustainability, value and vintage appeal in their trips, home getaways have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, not least British seaside spots.

Whether it’s to enjoy an easy holiday, take advantage of a cheap family trip opportunity or just to revisit the former glories of the British coastal locations that were so popular in their heyday of the 50s and 60s, 2021 is set to be a great year for our beaches. If you’re looking to be part of the visiting crowd, we’ve put together a short guide to the best of British seaside locations in the coming 12 months.

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The classics

Let’s start with the classics. These golden oldies of British holidaying that have retained their popularity throughout thanks to their quintessentially British charm, beauty and fun factor:

  • Ives, Cornwall: a summer holiday favourite, the bustling beaches and lively streets of St Ives are some of the best around. A super social spot with countless great cafes, bars and restaurants to enjoy whether you’re with family or friends.

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  • Weymouth, Dorset: a postcard picturesque harbour and shallow waters for safe paddling, peaceful Weymouth is a great spot to take the little ones but is hugely popular with older visitors, too.
  • Cromer, Norfolk: Cromer rose to popularity during the Victorian period, thus has plenty of legacy architecture and charm to it as you walk along the pier. Sprinkled with loads of independent shops, cafes and bars, it’s another place to get out and explore.

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Northern pride

When you think UK beach holiday, you naturally think the south of England as the best bet for a warm, sunny trip. That’s fair in some respects, but if you’re looking for breath-taking beauty on our coastline, the north of the UK has some absolute gems – many of which lie beyond the English border:

  • Whitby, North Yorkshire: a location that equally belongs on the classics list as it does among the northern wonders, Whitby is legendary for its delicious fish and chips as well as its rugged and rewarding coastal walks.

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  • Portrush, Northern Ireland: those looking for history in equal measure to coastal landscapes should make it to Portrush for a week. The ruins of Dunluce Castle top one of the prettiest seaside spots in the UK.
  • Portmeirion, Wales: a taste of Italy on the Welsh coastline? As bizarre as it sounds, Portmeirion’s Italian architecture offers up a memorable beach holiday, with some hidden gem, secluded beach spots only a short walk away.

Year-round spots

If you’re going on a British holiday, regardless of time of year or location, you need to be prepared for less-than-ideal weather. For those looking for a getaway that offers all-purpose fun whether the sun is out or not, the UK boasts some great, water- and cold-proof seaside spots:

  • Great Yarmouth, Norfolk: long, sandy, golden beaches stretch along the Norfolk coastline to make Great Yarmouth a super summer spot, but the area’s low rainfall and high number of sunshine hours give it year-round appeal, especially for those who love a caravan holiday.
  • Bournemouth, Dorset: 30 fish and chip shops, solid average temperatures (11.5 degrees in November) and lots of sunshine regardless of what month it is mean Bournemouth makes the autumn/winter/rainy list. If you’re looking for litter-free coastline, the area is highly regarded for its five-star clean beaches, and also boasts the “best beach in the country”.
  • Brighton, Sussex: as much of a party hotspot as it is an old charming seaside town. Brighton’s bright lights and lively atmosphere make it a fun place to be every day of the week, every day of the year, for allcomers – young and old

The great thing is, when you start to look into the possibility of a UK beach holiday, there are so many incredible choices. Indeed, this article only scratches the surface of what’s out there on our wonderful island’s most far-reaching points. Believe us, there are plenty more classics, northern lights and al-year hotspots that make up the UK’s coastline, and there’s never been a better time to start exploring them than 2021.

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Like A Local Guide
Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips.

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