Finding a beach that you have to yourself is a dream for many people, who long to walk across deserted sand, truly getting away from the maddening crowd. And, while it may be small, Britain has more than its fair share of beautiful beaches, many of them little known by anyone but locals or wildlife. Here are just a few of its best kept secrets.
Britain’s secret beaches
Traeth Mawr, Wales
While lots of beaches where you can find your very own section of bay are tiny secluded coves, Traeth Mawr translates as a big beach. And, while some of it will undoubtedly be busy, there is almost 2km of pristine sand here, so by walking along a little way, you’re sure to find your own beach towel space. Visit during winter and it is glorious. When the tide is out and the sun is low, the sand looks like a vast mirror.
Berry or Rockham beaches, Devon
Devon is packed with incredible sweeps of sand. For surfers, there are the waves at Croyde Bay; for cosmopolitan atmosphere, there are the bays along the English Riviera; and for those who enjoy a bit of spectacular isolation, there is Berry Beach, which you can get to from the coastal path at Hartland Quay. It’s very rocky, and incredibly atmospheric. If you’re there at low tide, there will be just a few strips of sand in front of the dramatic rocks. Or, you could opt for Rockham beach, which is usually quiet because it’s a 2km walk from the nearest car park and there are three flights of steps to get down there. But once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with a secluded bay and good rock pools to explore.
Polhawn Cove or Molunan Beach, Cornwall
Another one that’s not easy to get to, Polhawn Cove is one of Cornwall’s little known beaches. While the likes of Newquay and St Ives may get all the glory, Polhawn is a pretty secluded cove that’s worth the adventure of getting to. Sitting at the eastern end of Whitsand Bay, you can only reach it across the rocks at low tide. Once there, you only have about a three-hour window to enjoy it before you have to head back, or risk being cut off by the rising sea. Another stunning option is Molunan beach, which is divided into three sections by rocks and tides. The first part is easily accessed but the third section is truly a secret beach only revealing itself at low tide.
It’s no wonder locals are loath to tell you how to get to Durness beach. It’s an incredible cove where the rock formations look like they’ve been artfully placed there by talented sculptors. It is reached by walking along the Sutherland cliffs from Durness, then scrambling down a track that runs beside a stream flowing to the sea. On a windy day, you can shelter behind one of the rocks and watch the waves crash to shore.
Druridge Bay, Northumberland
The county of Northumberland itself is often described as Britain’s best kept secret. And there is no shortage of breathtaking strips of sand in this part of the world. Bamburgh beach is truly incredible, set in front of a medieval castle, but for solitude, nearby Druridge Bay is a better bet. It’s a striking 11km crescent of honey-hued sand backed by acres of sand dunes with paths meandering through them.
They’re all incredibly beautiful sweeps of sand that, visit on the right day, and they make you feel as if you’ve discovered a piece of wilderness that no one else has stepped on.
Which one would you add? Please, do let us know in the comments below. Thanks!