We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.

News.

Updated: 30 Jun 2022

7 of the UK’s least crowded beach towns to visit this summer

Find beautiful beaches at quieter alternatives to seaside favourites in Yorkshire, Suffolk, Northumberland and beyond.

Keen to head to the coast this summer but put off by the idea of thronging beaches? We’ve rounded up seven quieter alternatives to popular coastal hotspots which won’t compromise your experience.

In some cases, a calmer version of your seaside favourite is within a couple of miles, why not try  Lytham St Annes instead of Blackpool or swap Scarborough for Filey. In these locations, you will get stunning views without having to share the sands with many other holidaymakers.

The below seaside locations were all highly rated for their beaches and level of peace and quiet in our recent beach towns survey. Each scored at least 70% overall and at least four stars for peace and quiet and their beaches.


Road trip? Here are the best service stations for each major motorway 


Bamburgh, Northumberland

Visitor score: 87%

Peace and quiet rating: 5*

Beach rating: 5*

Voted the best seaside town overall for a third year in a row, Bamburgh is the great British seaside at its low-key finest. The spacious beach spans three miles and is rarely crowded, meaning plenty of room to spread the picnic rug and let the dog run wild. 

Towering over this glorious stretch of golden sand is Bamburgh Castle, a grade I listed Celtic fortress. To celebrate the Jubilee, there are a couple of events taking place at the castle, including a fancy dress competition for the best regal costume and afternoon teas. 

Aldeburgh, Suffolk

Visitor score: 84%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 4*

Aldeburgh’s five-star seafront is lined by a pebble beach, fisherman’s huts and pastel coloured 19th century beach villas. 

If you’re visiting over the Jubilee weekend, you might like to catch some live music on the beach as the Aldeburgh Festival gets underway or head to one of its historic attractions, such as the 16th century Moot Hall and Aldeburgh Museum. After doing some sightseeing or simply whiling away the afternoon watching the waves roll in, there’s plenty of quality food on offer according to Which? readers, who rated the area four stars for food and drink. 

Filey, North Yorkshire

Visitor score: 81%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 5*

Experience one of the most scenic parts of the Yorkshire coastline in relative calm with a visit to Filey, which earned the full five stars for its beaches and scenery in our survey. Originally a fishing village, Filey is now a popular tourist destination, but it has remained quieter than its neighbouring towns of Scarborough and Bridlington.

Find plenty of space on the beach to build sand castles until your heart’s content or take a ramble along the Cleveland Way Trail. For rockpools and the chance to find some fossils, head to Filey Brigg. And if you are looking to join in with the Jubilee festivities, there’s a family fun day with music, dancing and other activities taking place just down the road in Scarborough on 5 June.

Lytham St Annes, Lancashire

Visitor score: 79%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 4*

Dodge the crush in Blackpool this Jubilee weekend by visiting its quieter neighbour just two miles away. With vast beaches, a Victorian pier and a golf course, Lytham St Annes has something for everyone to enjoy. 

You haven’t seen beach huts until you’ve visited the ones on St Annes Beach, which come complete with a mini kitchen and dining table and chairs. Elsewhere, there are parks, lakes, museums, cinemas and other attractions so there’s something to do whatever the weather. And when you’re looking for a bite to eat you won’t be disappointed, Which? readers gave the area the full five stars for food and drink

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

Visitor score: 79%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 4*

A hilly fishing village characterised by craggy cliffs and cobbled streets, Robin Hood’s Bay is steeped in old world charm. Scoring the full five stars for scenery and four stars for its seafront, you’ll be able to enjoy the sand and sea without having to fight your way through the crowds.

If you’re looking for something more active, Robin Hood’s Bay sits on the Coast to Coast and Cleveland Way walking trails as well as having various cycle routes. 


Check you’re not at risk of swimming in human waste at your favourite UK beach this summer


Southwold, Suffolk

Visitor score: 79%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 4*

Southwold has two pristine main beaches to choose from as well as a working lighthouse, beach huts, an award-winning pier and harbour.  

Southwold scored four stars for its food and drink, scenery and its seafront as well as peace and quiet and its beaches. Therefore, you can trust that you’ll get a better experience here than in some of the more popular Sufffolk seaside towns. Plus, there’s several events taking place to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee throughout the weekend, including a 1950’s themed picnic, live music, maypole dancing and arts and crafts on 5 June.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Visitor score: 75%

Peace and quiet rating: 4*

Beach rating: 5*

Saltburn has all of the essentials for a great British seaside experience with a five-star Blue Flag beach and top scores for its seafront and scenery. 

The town is characterised by its Victorian nostalgia, including its pier and its iconic cliff lift. And those looking for something more active might like to try surf lessons down on the beach. There are several events and activities taking place in Saltburn over the Jubilee weekend, including a celebration at the National Railway Museum on 5 June.