It’s easy to understand why we scour deals from travel agents when the summer holidays roll around, in desperate search of a getaway for pure escapism.
Yet in our rush to find the perfect trip, we often forget about the paradise on our doorstep.
We’re talking beach dreams right here in the UK, so you can enjoy a Piña Colada or three without having to fork out expensive flights, travel insurance or sort visas.
If you’re thinking all of our offerings are like Brighton beach, in that (amazing as it is) the shoreline is full of pebbles and rocks, think again, we’ve got sun, sand and sea galore.
To help you plan the best break for you and your friends or family, we’ve whipped up some of the top coastal holidays this country has so you can say sayonara to the daily grind.
Mudeford Sandbank, Dorset
Pronounced ‘Muddy-ford’, this beautiful spot is a picture-perfect vision of a quintessential UK beach. Think golden sands lined with colourful beach huts, surrounded by cliffs and woodlands, which are home to many of the nation’s rare species of reptiles, birds and insects.
Here, you can grab an ice-cream and watch the world go by, or be more hands-on at their popular crabbing and fishing spot to get up-close-and-personal with marine life.
You’ll also be a stone’s throw away from Monkey World, home to over 250 rescued and endangered monkeys and apes; Laserguys Laser Tag, a mixture of paintball and laser quest; and Splashdown Poole, a water park with some of the country’s best water flumes.
You might be in Dorset, but you’ll feel like you’re abroad.
Camber Sands, Sussex
You may recognise the name Camber Sands as being home to many festivals, including All Tomorrow’s Parties and Boogaloo, although it is also a five-mile long stretch of pure beauty.
Whether you’re a sun enthusiast, water sports thrill-seeker, fancy a family picnic, or simply want to admire the fabulous scenery, there really is something for everyone here.
As the only sand dune system in east Sussex, teaming with wildlife and quaint cobbled streets nearby, it also makes for some killer Instagrammable moments.
If you love the beach, but find sunbathing as exciting as watching paint dry, then Boscombe is for you. With climbing boulders, slacklining, table tennis and volleyball available to hire, you can challenge the family to a tournament with one of the many activities on offer.
You’ll also discover exciting options on the pier too, including an eco-friendly mini golf course that boasts the first ever biodegradable ball to contain fish food in its core.
This means, at the last hole, the ball you hit goes into the sea and feeds the fish!
Woolacombe Sands, Devon
For anyone who likes a taste of luxury, Woolacombe Sands is calling your name. After all, it doesn’t get much better than a sea-view cabin with a hot tub overlooking the landscape.
Better yet, you’ll be supporting small businesses as this beauty hotspot is a family-owned destination currently in its third generation.
With stunning golden sands to create your sandcastle masterpiece, rock pools for kids to explore, and also great waves for surfing, this Devon gem is a must-go on the bucket list.
If someone asked you to name a beach in Kent, you would likely say Margate, fast-tracking its way up the hip scale to be known as Shoreditch-by-sea.
Yet there is a lesser-known tourist attraction in the south east.
A charming slice of heaven, Tankerton’s green slopes are the ultimate location to walk or picnic on, while admiring the view from its incredible vantage point.
However, this oasis of calm is pebbly, so maybe bring the jelly shoes! We guarantee it is cleaner and bigger than the main neighbouring Whistable beachfront, as well as being less crowded, so definitely worth the venture to admire the serenity and litter-free coastline.
Luskentyre Beach, Scotland
Hailed as ‘one of the most magical beaches in the world’, Luskentyre needs little selling.
Popular for its white sand, clear water and mountain views, you may never want to leave this secluded and expansive beach which is the best kept secret in the Isle of Harris.
Here, you really will feel like you’re on the edge of the world, and with scenery so breathtaking it’s no surprise the spot was used as the setting of BBC show Castaway.