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.

Britain's best seaside towns

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Britain's best seaside towns

We asked Which? members to rate the beach, attractions, seafront and scenery for nearly 100 seaside towns and villages in the UK, to find out which is best for a beach break or a day out.

Nearly 3,000 visitors told us about recent UK trips to seaside towns, villages and resorts, rating Bamburgh in Northumberland top of the table.

Wales did well overall, with four seaside towns in the top 20, from the Italian Riviera-inspired Portmeirion and reassuring seaside tradition of Llandudno to beaches in Pembrokeshire that rival anywhere in the world.

Worried about the Welsh weather? Then head to East Anglia. The wrap of wild sandy becahes that surround its coastline means both Suffolk and Norfolk have two places each in the top 20.

Thinking about a UK seaside stay? Check out our reviews of the Best and Worst UK Seaside Hotels

Bamburgh: Britain's best seaside town

You only need look at the picture above to see why: what a beach. It's wild and unspoilt with views to the Farne Islands in one direction and imposing Bamburgh Castle dominating the other.

If you're the kind of person who thinks a good walk by the sea blows away all manner of cobwebs, then this is the perfect spot for you to wrap up and stride forth, with its long, dramatic sweep of sand.

There's been a castle here in one form or another since the 6th century. The current one dates mostly from the end of the 1800s when it was rebuilt by Lord Armstrong, whose descendents own it today. Don't miss the impressive armoury and medieval kitchen.

UK's best and worst seaside towns: the full list

Find out how your favourite coastal town fared in our table below. Click on the link at the bottom to see even more ratings, including food and drink, seafront, attractions and entertainment.

The best and worst British seaside towns, as rated by you
Destination Avg hotel rate Beach Accommodation Attractions Scenery Peace and quiet Value for money Town score
Bamburgh, Northumberland £95 89%
Portmeirion, Gwynedd £102 88%
Dartmouth, Devon £125 83%
North Berwick, East Lothian £143 83%
St Mawes, Cornwall £105 83%
Beer, Devon £95 82%
St Andrews, Fife £129 82%
Aldeburgh, Suffolk £121 81%
Southwold, Suffolk £160 81%
Tenby, Pembrokeshire £99 81%
Blakeney, Norfolk £115 80%
Llandudno, Conwy £89 78%
Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire £101 78%
Sheringham, Norfolk £112 78%
Saint Davids, Pembrokeshire £96 78%
Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk £109 78%
Rye, East Sussex £120 77%
St Ives, Cornwall £160 77%
Bude, Cornwall £87 76%
Criccieth, Gwynedd £97 76%
Looe, Cornwall £87 76%
Sidmouth, Devon £140 76%
Swanage, Dorset £109 76%
Whitby, North Yorkshire £101 76%
Conwy, Conwy £100 75%
Lyme Regis, Dorset £121 75%
Lymington, Hampshire £139 na 75%
Padstow, Cornwall £119 75%
Porthmadog, Gwynedd £102 75%
Salcombe, Devon £210 75%
Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire £94 75%
Swansea, Swansea £87 75%
Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear £64 75%
Whitstable, Kent £121 75%
Appledore, Devon £85 74%
Beaumaris, Anglesey £100 74%
Lynmouth, Devon £87 74%
Bournemouth, Dorset £99 73%
Deal, Kent £67 73%
Dungeness, Kent £76 73%
Mevagissey, Cornwall £100 73%
Lytham St Annes, Lancashire £99 73%
Plymouth, Devon £76 73%
Southsea, Hampshire £88 73%
Filey, North Yorkshire £73 72%
Fowey, Cornwall £130 72%
Oban, Argyll and Bute £109 na 72%
Scarborough, North Yorkshire £75 72%
Broadstairs, Kent £110 71%
Cromer, Norfolk £86 71%
Teignmouth, Devon £93 71%
Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland £87 70%
Falmouth, Cornwall £125 70%
Brighton, East Sussex £116 69%
Grange-over-sands, Cumbria £102 na 69%
Eastbourne, East Sussex £64 68%
Seahouses, Northumberland £85 68%
Weymouth, Dorset £95 68%
Exmouth, Devon £84 67%
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion £83 66%
Brixham, Devon £85 66%
Dawlish, Devon £94 66%
Poole, Dorset £116 66%
Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear £61 66%
Felixstowe, Suffolk £59 64%
Shanklin, Isle of Wight £76 64%
Southport, Merseyside £79 64%
Ayr, South Ayrshire £76 63%
New Brighton, Merseyside £83 63%
Porthcawl, Bridgend £68 63%
Torquay, Devon £79 63%
Ventnor, Isle of Wight £107 63%
Hastings, East Sussex £87 62%
Hunstanton, Norfolk £87 62%
Folkestone, Kent £55 62%
Lowestoft, Suffolk £75 62%
Newquay, Cornwall £119 61%
Barmouth, Gwynedd £95 60%
Ilfracombe, Devon £86 60%
Penzance, Cornwall £115 60%
Worthing, West Sussex £81 60%
Herne Bay, Kent £121 58%
Blackpool, Lancashire £70 57%
Littlehampton, West Sussex £138 57%
Ramsgate, Kent £90 57%
Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire £65 56%
Minehead, Somerset £82 56%
Morecambe, Lancashire £60 55%
Margate, Kent £104 54%
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk £69 53%
Weston-super-Mare, Somerset £74 53%
Fleetwood, Lancashire £65 51%
Skegness, Lincolnshire £65 50%
Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset £77 49%
Bognor Regis, West Sussex £96 47%
Clacton-on-Sea, Essex £116 47%

Click here for the full survey results table

Using the table: Star ratings range from one to five. A dash (–) indicates we didn’t receive enough responses to provide a rating. 

Town score Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the city as a holiday destination.

SHARE THIS PAGE