‘It’s just like the Caribbean’: readers on eight beautiful, tranquil British beaches

‘It’s just like the Caribbean’: readers on eight beautiful, tranquil British beaches

‘It’s just like the Caribbean’: readers on eight beautiful, tranquil British beaches

Birds, animals and the waves provide the soundtrack at readers’ favourite quiet, unhurried coastal spots

Traeth Bach, Ceredigion. 'If you're lucky, you can see dolphins.'

Last modified on Thu 15 Jul 2021 06.56 EDT

Traeth Bach, Ceredigion

This is a beautiful beach, about two miles south of Llangrannog on the Ceredigion coast. The walk from the car park at Traeth Penbryn, along the Ceredigion coastal path, is a glorious day out in itself, and once down on the beach you will rarely have company, so there is peace and quiet to enjoy the scene. Keep an eye out for birds, as the cliffs are home to many. The water is usually calm and perfect for swimming, and if you’re lucky you can see the dolphins further out. Ieuan, energy data analyst, Cardiff

Runkerry, Bushmills

Runkerry, Bushmills.

As a child, I lived minutes away from this beach so it holds many memories. I would spend hours roaming the sand dunes, avoiding dead sheep that had wandered off the cliff at night and been washed ashore. When I was nine, I cycled off the bridge by the beach mouth, landing in a clump of nettles. It was the location of many family barbecues, freezing swims and the last walk I did with my father before he died. This beach will always be incredibly special to me. Jenny Duarte, teacher and psychotherapist, Bushmills, Northern Ireland

Scarista beach, Isle of Harris

Scarista beach, Isle of Harris. 'In the right light, the sand has hues of pink.'

This has to be one of the most pristine, spectacular beaches in the UK. Luskentyre sands on Harris may get all the plaudits, but Scarista is the (relatively) lesser explored rival. My husband and I often holiday at Scarista House where you can glimpse the beach beyond the dunes from our room. The lack of parking and signage makes a trip there a wonderful, solitary experience. In the right light, the sand has hues of pink, lapped by aquamarine waves into green and inky blue. Sunsets are spectacular, too. David McMullan pharmacist, Bridge of Allan

Fairlight Glen beach, Hastings

Fairlight Glen Beach, Hastings. 'At low tide you can walk back to Hastings under the cliffs, spotting fossils.'

This is probably the most secluded beach in south-east England. It is more than half an hour from the nearest road, through some of the most stunning countryside in the region. The approach, whether through the waterfall, streams and fern-covered gullies of the glen or the sandstone cliffs of the Hastings country park, gives the beach an exotic character that feels a million miles away from the crowded beaches further west in Sussex. It is worth going at low tide when the beach has a wide stretch of sand and you can walk back into Hastings under the cliffs, spot fossils and feel like you are on a 1980s Doctor Who-style alien planet. Stefan Noble, researcher, Hastings

Carbis Bay, Cornwall

Carbis Bay, Cornwall. 'You feel like you're in an oasis.'

The middle of this beach, outside the hotel, gets really busy but the far right and left corners of the beach are always quiet. We visited at the end of June and were one of five small families spread out. It’s our favourite because it’s a white, sandy beach, the water is clear, the current isn’t too strong, the backdrop of the cliffs is stunning and you feel like you’re in an oasis. It doesn’t feel like you’re in England at all and to be able to compare it with beaches in Florida and South America is just mindblowing. Aj Ellahi, property developer, Nottinghamshire

Dornoch beach, Highlands

Dornoch beach, Highlands. 'The beautiful, sandy beach always feels special.'

Although there are many hidden and lesser known beaches in Cornwall, going back home to the beautiful sandy beach at Dornoch always feels special. The walk through the sand dunes opens on to a lovely, quiet spot which holds many fun childhood memories for me. Victoria Allan, strategic commissioning manager in adult social care, Cornwall

Winterton beach, Norfolk

Winterton beach, Norfolk.

The sea doesn’t go out too far here, so it’s great for swimming at low or high tide. There is soft, pale sand on a wide beach and deep dunes behind, and it’s never busy, so always peaceful for walks. There are also clean toilets, a large car park, and a nice Airstream cafe. It’s dog-friendly and great for wildlife, with a large year-round population of seals that pup on the beach in winter and terns that breed in spring. Sue Charles, life science communications consultant, Norwich

Porth Cwyfan, Aberffraw

Porth Cwyfan, Aberffraw. 'I love the Celtic feel of this place.'

Driving down the narrow winding lane from Aberffraw, on the west coast of Anglesey, you catch sight of Yr Eglwys yn y mor’ – the church in the sea – whitewashed and gleaming in the sunlight. St Cwyfan’s church originally stood on a peninsula but erosion has left it on an island, and with sturdy shoes, it is accessible at low tide. I love this place and the Celtic feel of it. My four-year-old grandson, Hamish, likes it too as he can build sandcastles and potter about in the rock pools. Dilwyn Griffiths, trade union officer, Llangefni, Ynys Mon, Anglesey

Sumburgh Head, Shetland

Sumburgh Head, Shetland. 'It was hard to believe we weren't in the Caribbean.'

We have just returned from Shetland. The weather, unlike the rest of the UK, was glorious. We happened upon this immaculate, white sand bay at Sumburgh Head on a clear, hot, sunny day when the sky was a brilliant, cloudless blue and the sea a deep shade of azure. It was hard to believe we weren’t in the Caribbean. Across the road lies Sumburgh airport and while the sound of helicopters and planes coming and going was hard to ignore, there was nothing else to disturb the tranquillity of the beach, which we had almost to ourselves. We walked up to the top of the head to the lighthouse and were treated to a wonderful show of puffins. Perfect! Jane Deans, writer and blogger, Christchurch, Dorset

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