Summertime heatwaves often mean one thing: a cooling dip in the ocean.
Unfortunately, amidst a pandemic, where we are told to socially distance from others, collectively rushing to popular sandy beaches can be a risky move – as was seen when half a million people were seen crammed on Dorset beaches just the other day.
It has even prompted Health Secretary Matt Hancock to threaten to close beaches altogether, in an effort to avoid a second wave of coronavirus.
However, the issue isn’t that we go to the beach, but rather that we’re doing it in packs, to the same areas.
So, why not just avoid the popular spots, and the crowds in the process?
We have rounded up seven of the UK’s most secluded, gorgeous beaches where you can have a great day out, while still being responsible and safe.
Worbarrow Bay, Tyneham, Dorset
A mere 20 minute walk from Tyneham village, you’ll find Worbarrow Bay.
This stretch of beach is England’s only natural World Heritage Site, recognised by UNESCO – so, as you can imagine, it’s a sigh to behold.
Because of its accolade, it is protected – and is only open on weekends and school holidays. Be sure to check the tourism website before you head over.
The views of the bay and the vast ocean are unparallaled and the tranquility will soothe your soul.
Skrinkle Haven and Church Doors, Manorbier
If you’re looking for a beach worthy of the ‘Gram, this is it.
Well, it’s not actually the beach that is the appeal but the surrounding limestone and red sandstone cliffs and caves, including the so-called Church Doors, a rocky cove that resembles – you guessed it – a door.
There are actually two beaches, separated by the cliffside, but you can easily walk between them during low tide.
Important note: don’t visit at high tide, as you could be swept into the ocean.
Porthbeor beach, Cornwall
Nestled away on Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula, you’ll find Porthbeor beach.
It’s a gorgeous spot, but unfortunately it’s not very accessible as you need to walk down a steep path from the top of cliffs to get here – but that is also part of its appeal (as it means less visitors).
Once you reach the bottom, you’ll be treated to a hidden gem, with a golden beach and aqua blue waters.
If you come here at low tide, you’ll also see the many rock pools that are scattered across the coastline.
However, some bad news: at the moment, access to the beach is currently closed, due to risk of injury as the cliff face is slipping – but keep an eye on the official website for more news.
In the meantime, Towan beach is around the corner.
Coves Haven, Holy Island, Northumberland
On the far northern side of Holy Island, you will find Coves Haven.
It can get quite windy on the island, but this beach offers shelter from harsh weather thanks to the surrounding sand dunes.
If you’re going on an adventure with your pooch, we’ve got good news: they are allowed (but must be kept on a lead).
Bird lovers will also enjoy this remote beach, as it is a protected nature reserve with plenty of feathered friends.
Seacliff Beach, North Berwick
If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, once lockdown allows, swing by Seacliff Beach, five miles east of North Berwick.
It’s the very definition of picturesque, with plenty to explore beyond the beach itself, including the ruins of Tantallon Castle, as well as an old stately mansion.
There’s also the tiny harbour, believed to be the smallest in the UK.
Bring a surfboard, kayak and/or your dog.
Broad Sands, Combe Martin, Devon
If the lack of holidays abroad in 2020 makes you want to weep, dry your eyes.
Hidden away between Watermouth and Combe Martin, and surrounded by green cliffs, is Broad Sands – a beach that looks as if it could be located in an exotic country.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty, but beware: you’ll have to go down around 200 steps to get here.
It’ll be worth it.
Botany Bay, Broadstairs, Kent
If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of London, Botany Bay is a mere two hours away.
The serene, remote beach is the perfect place to relax and forget all about the pandemic and worries about the future, if even for a few hours.
Bring your camera and take shots of the striking white cliffs and chalks stacks, or go hunting for fossils.
Best time to visit is at low tide, as the end of the beach is cut off during high tide.
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