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Cars & travel.

Updated: 29 Apr 2022

These are the UK’s best seaside towns

We asked Which? members to rate the beach, attractions, scenery, value for money – and more – for nearly 100 seaside towns and villages across the UK
Lauren Bell
Laura Sanders

Despite international travel becoming easier this summer, many British holidaymakers are still seeking seaside getaways closer to home. But which part of the UK’s miles of idyllic coastline should you choose for a staycation or day out?

More than 4,303 Which? Connect members told us about their recent UK trips to seaside towns, villages and resorts. Destinations were rated on their beaches, seafronts, attractions, value for money, peace and quiet, and scenery, among other categories. 

15 of the nearly 100 British destinations were awarded four or five stars for peace and quiet. This will be especially valuable given that uncertainty over foreign trips in the past few years has seen a booking boom in domestic breaks. Perhaps this is one reason lesser-known spots such as Aldeburgh in Suffolk and Filey in North Yorkshire have risen up our rankings, replacing old but overrun favourites in Cornwall.  

Top of the pile, however, was Bamburgh in Northumberland. It won visitors over with its stunning scenery, beach and peaceful surroundings. 

If you're planning a UK break by the seaside this year, we’ve found eight holiday rentals with direct beach access – all with highly rated or Which? recommended providers.

Bamburgh: The UK's best seaside town 

The former 2019 and 2021 winner is awarded the title of the UK’s best seaside town once again thanks to its five-star beach. This glorious stretch of golden sand runs for three miles, backed by a vast, tussock dune system and dominated by the epic Bamburgh castle. The beach is big enough that it’s rarely crowded, meaning it’s easier to find a peaceful spot on the sand. The bracing wind off the North Sea also helps to keep mass tourism at bay, and the beach pristine and free of litter.  

This is the British seaside at its low-key best: nothing to do here except walk, run, let the dog off the lead, or sit behind a windbreak with a Thermos and watch the waves roll in. 

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

Find out how your favourite coastal town fared in our table below.

Destination scoreHotel PriceBeachesSeafront/pierFood and drinkTourist attractionsSceneryShoppingPeace and quietValue for money
Bamburgh Northumberland87%£127★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆★★★★ ☆★★★★★★☆☆☆☆★★★★★★★★★★
Llandudno Conwy (W)86%£95★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆★★★★★
St Andrews Fife (S)84%£225★★★★★-★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆★★★☆☆
Dartmouth Devon83%£136n/a★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★☆★★★☆☆★★★☆☆
Tenby Pembrokeshire (W)83%£111★★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆★★★☆☆★★★☆☆
St Davids Pembrokeshire (W)82%---★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★★★★★☆☆★★★☆☆★★★☆☆
Aldeburgh Suffolk81%£195★★★★☆★★★★★★★★★☆★★★☆☆★★★★☆★★★★☆★★★★☆★★★☆☆

Using the table: Star ratings range from one to five. A dash (–) indicates we didn’t receive enough responses to provide a rating. N/a indicates there is no beach close enough to the city, town or village centre to rate. Sample size was too small to include any Northern Irish locations. Customer score: Based on a combination of overall satisfaction and how likely people are to recommend the city as a holiday destination. Avg hotel rate: Kayak.co.uk. 

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