One of the advantages of being a set of islands is that the UK has miles and miles of stunning coastline. At BCH Camping, whether our customers venture to the shores for the day, or for a camping holiday or to stay in their caravan or motorhome, we often hear the same complaint; it was really crowded.
Given that the UK has over 12,000 miles of coastline, we’re confident that there should be enough room for everyone that wants to visit a beach! To this end we have put together a guide to some of the incredibly beautiful, lesser known beaches around the UK so that our customers can enjoy some exclusivity.
Lansallos coves, Polperro, South Cornwall
Located between Polruan and Polperro on the south coast of Cornwall, Lansallos beach is also known as West Combe beach. An 18 mile drive from St Austell, Lansallos is a south west facing, small sandy beach with some fine shingle.
To access the beach, park by the church and take the shaded path down into the woods, passing the small waterfall known as Reed Water. Upon reaching the cove you’ll find a deep passage, cut out of the rocks where smugglers received their contraband of brandy and French lace.
Lansallos is an all year-round dog friendly beach. You can swim here, although seaweed collects in the narrow passage so it’s not always the best experience, and there is no lifeguard cover. You may therefore decide – as if an excuse were needed - to partake in the organic cream tea served at the farm in the small village instead!
Speke’s Mill Mouth, Hartland, North Devon
This is the beach for the wild at heart. It defies convention with its finger-like extensions of sand stretching out to the sea, under which rock pools can be found.
A jewel within the “shipwreck coast”, a 50 meter waterfall cascades down onto the vast beach, while crashing waves bring to the shore driftwood, shells and the remains of boats that sank many years ago in treacherous conditions.
The Wrecker’s Retreat bar and museum is popular with visitors wanting to refuel and learn more about the shipwreck coast. To gain access to this wild, intriguing beach, park at Hartland Quay and head south for a mile along the coastal path.
Birling Gap, Eastbourne, Sussex
You will no doubt have heard of, or seen, the iconic Seven Sisters white cliffs, but few people know about the beach that lies beneath. Follow the signs from Friston on the A529 and use the metal stairway that leads down to this, the wildest beach in Sussex.
Birling Gap has so much to offer; chalk rock pools, marine life, shingle and sand that stretches out to the sea. During low tide there is the opportunity to explore and walk as far as Beachy Head or Cuckmere Haven, but you must pay very careful attention to the tides!
If seclusion is what you’re after, this could be the beach for you. Widely believed to be one of Suffolk’s best kept secrets, Covehithe beach can only be accessed on foot or cycle. Visitors should park near the roofless church and follow the clearly marked footpath which will lead you through fields to the dunes. A short scramble then brings you to the beach.
Covehithe beach is backed by a shallow lagoon, and full of bird life. You may find its crumbling cliffs and expanse of sand quite eerie, but that’s part of its unique appeal. It’s popular with dog walkers and can be accessed by taking the A12 and coming off at Wrentham, then following the signs for Covehithe.
Embleton Bay, Northumberland
Despite being the most spectacular beach on the Northumberland coast, Embleton Bay is often deserted. The beach curves and sweeps beneath the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle.
To reach the beach, from Embleton turn towards the sea opposite the church and take the first right to park near the beach. This area offers oodles of charm; the isolated Ship Inn with its low beams, anchors and seafaring memorabilia and the white fishermen’s cottages which could find their way onto any picture postcard.
A great spot for rock pooling and wind surfing, this beach really does come up with the activity goods, despite its quiet appeal. There is even a microbrewery!
Drigg and Eskdale, Lake District
Whilst the Lake District is renowned for its lakes and fells, it is also home to some stunning coastline. The Drigg and Eskdale beaches are no exception. Here there are 1000 acres of empty dunes and nature reserve stretching for miles along the Irish Sea, making the area a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also a breeding site for the rare Natterjack Toad.
There are walks to explore the wild Cumbrian coast and the ancient Roman port of Ravenglass with its tidal harbour and terminus of a small railway that takes you to Eskdale.
To get to the dunes, from the B5344 to Drigg take the turn off signed Station and Shore.
Fidden, Isle of Mull, Scottish Highlands
At Fidden beach you will find some of the clearest waters in Britain with pink granite outcrops and a large sandy bay. There is an abundance of wildlife and paths that lead to the lost village of Tireragan.
Known for its stunning sunsets with views over the Iona Archipelago, you might think this is a place of fiction. And it is! At low tide you can reach Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”, Erraid.
To reach this unique expanse of natural beauty turn left in Fionnphort by the Keel Row pub and find the farm two miles further on, which has roadside parking.
Uig Bay, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Perhaps best known as the site where the Lewis Chessmen were found, Uig Bay is one Scotland’s most magnificent beaches. The Chessmen, believed to date back to the late 1100s, were unearthed from a stone chamber beneath the dunes and then put on display at the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1831. There is now a large structure in place beside the road leading to the beach to commemorate their discovery.
At Carnais there is a whisky micro-distillery, from where the walk to the dunes takes you through wild flower meadows. The beach itself has golden sands, grasslands and rugged cliffs to offer visitors.
Church Doors and Skrinkle Haven, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, Wales
A beautiful south-facing sandy beach hidden behind an old army camp awaits the discerning explorer. There is a large archway of contorted rock strata and a rock tunnel leading through to Skrinkle Haven. Here you will find a sea cave that is over 50ft tall along with acres of more sand.
A favourite for sea kayaking and swimming, it is incredible to think that you would be likely to have the beach to yourself! Just don’t get caught out by the tide.
To reach the area, turn off the B4585 east of Manorbier signed to the Army camp and youth hostel. Park beyond the hostel and take the metal stairway.
Traeth Llyfn, Abereiddi, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Fancy skinny dipping? Traeth Llyfn was once used to break the World Skinny Dipping Record. These sweeping sands, located on the Pembrokeshire National Park coastline, are a 15 minute walk from the incredible Blue Lagoon; a flooded quarry ideal for jumping and swimming.
The ruins of Porthgain are found further north soon after you have passed more secret coves. At Porthgain you can stop off at the Sloop Inn which is located on the harbour front.
To gain access to the beach follow signs to Abereiddi off the A487 between Fishguard and St David’s, and park at the beach.
Tell us about it!
So, as we head in to high summer, if this blog has inspired you to visit any of the beaches mentioned, please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to hear from you.
In the meantime, if you have any requirements for camping equipment or walking gear, we’re here to help. Just give us a call or drop us an email.