The UK's best seaside towns
We asked Which? members to rate the beach, attractions, seafront and scenery for more than 100 seaside towns and villages in the UK to find out which is best for a UK holiday, weekend beach break or just a day out.
More than 3,700 visitors told us about recent UK trips to seaside towns, villages and resorts, placing St Mawes in Cornwall at the top of the table.
A week away in the UK, with warm sun on your back and the splash of the sea at your feet, is just what we need right now to blow away the stuck-inside-for-too-long cobwebs.
Fortunately this survey, conducted before coronavirus struck, saw you telling us that your favourite seaside destinations were those with a bit of space and some peace and quiet away from the crowds.
Visitors named St Mawes, in Cornwall, the best place in the UK for a seaside break this year, handing it five stars for peace and quiet.
Smaller town, such as Southwold, and less touristy villages, like Tynemouth, were rated better than classic favourites such as St Ives or Salcombe.
It’s likely we’ll be holidaying in the UK this year, so check out our reviews of the best and worst UK seaside hotels.
St Mawes: The UK's best seaside town
This corner of Cornwall is a well-kept secret. There is no sand, but pebbly Summers Beach is good for rock pooling. There's no amusement arcade, either. Yet it's the lack of these things that make St Mawes special. It's a lived-in village rather than a tourist trap.
St Mawes is all about quiet pleasures: strolling along the seafront, pasty in hand, past whitewashed cottages to St Mawes Castle for sparkling views of the Fal estuary.
Take your time choosing fish from a van on the harbour or enjoy a pint of Cornish brewed Doom Bar while sitting a wooden benches outside the Victory Inn.
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 shopping.
|The best and worst UK seaside towns, as rated by you|
|Destination||Avg hotel rate||Beach||Attractions||Scenery||Peace and quiet||Value for money||Town score|
|St Mawes, Cornwall||-||85%|
|St Andrews, Fife||£128||81%|
|Saint Davids, Pembrokeshire||-||-||-||-||-||-||81%|
|Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear||-||81%|
|Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire||-||-||-||-||-||-||79%|
|St Ives, Cornwall||£164||79%|
|Whitby, North Yorkshire||£84||78%|
|Lyme Regis, Dorset||£135||77%|
|Rye, East Sussex||£125||-||77%|
|Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire||£104||77%|
|Lytham St Annes, Lancashire||£99||75%|
|North Berwick, East Lothian||£152||75%|
|Oban, Argyll and Bute||£106||n/a||74%|
|Filey, North Yorkshire||£81||73%|
|Eastbourne, East Sussex||£66||71%|
|Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear||£68||70%|
|Scarborough, North Yorkshire||£78||68%|
|Shanklin, Isle of Wight||£87||68%|
|Brighton, East Sussex||£122||66%|
|Ventnor, Isle of Wight||£119||65%|
|Ayr, South Ayrshire||£76||65%|
|Ullapool, Ross and Cromarty||£119||-||-||63%|
|Worthing, West Sussex||£82||63%|
|Barton on Sea, Hampshire||-||-||-||-||-||-||62%|
|Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire||£75||62%|
|Herne Bay, Kent||-||-||62%|
|Largs, North Ayrshire||£99||-||62%|
|Hastings, East Sussex||£88||61%|
|Colwyn Bay, Conwy||£86||59%|
|New Brighton, Merseyside||-||57%|
|Littlehampton, West Sussex||£150||54%|
|Bognor Regis, West Sussex||£105||49%|
|Great Yarmouth, Norfolk||£68||48%|
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.