We had headed north specifically to visit Liverpool as we had heard so much about it, and none of it bad.
We stayed on a handy site on The Wirral, Arrowe Brook Farm, which was close enough to public transport links for those without any transport, but we drove to a nearby train station, Hoylake, to park for free and pay a total of £4.90 to take the train into the city..
Alighting at James Street it was just a 5 minute walk to Albert Dock where there is so much going on! There has been a wonderful rejuvenation of this area, including areas in the dock for houseboats & barges and, of course, numerous eateries and bars arrayed around the dock itself. (Whilst waiting for our bus tour we had a quick drink and cake in Puffle Waffle in 1 of the old dock buildings).
That the UK has some stunning countryside is accepted by all, but our beaches? Many people aren’t aware of just how beautiful many of our beaches really are – a friend who has just visited Devon & Cornwall commented that you wouldn’t expect to see the beaches that they’d found in the UK! Read this to discover some of the must see beaches and resorts in the UK.
I think we all have a favourite beach, but that doesn’t, of course, mean that this is the best beach in the country! We can’t all visit them all can we? So this is my selection of our favourite beaches that we have visited in the UK – so far 🙂
Note, these are OUR favourites, and therefore I feel it’s only fair to fess up to the fact that I’m not a fan of pebbly beaches. So, even though some pebbly beaches are stunning they’re unlikely to feature in our favourites as I would aim for a sandy beach over a pebbly one any day of the week 🙂 Maybe I’ll do a separate list for pebbly beaches one day!!
My favourite features are beach huts (the quirkier the better), a good old fashioned pier, a nice promenade and beautiful clean sand and water. These are to be found in abundance all around the coast here in the UK. (Note: not having a blue flag designation does not mean a beach and it’s water aren’t clean…)
I have missed out so many beaches (there are numerous lovely examples in Norfolk – from Mundsley to California, Lincolnshire – from Cleethorpes to Skegness, Yorkshire – Saltburn to Robin Hoods Bay, Northumberland – Newbiggin to Spittal, Dorset – Bournemouth to Swanage, Cornwall – too many to mention! and not to forget Devon where my childhood memories are of Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth, and where I first swam without armbands in Bigbury Bay (where the beach scenes in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang were filmed). Or Wales where all the beaches I’ve ever visited are stunning (Tenby (see no. 10 below), Saundersfoot, Pendine, those on the Gower peninsula and North Wales too), and, of course, the Isle of Wight (right on our doorstep). I’m look forward to visiting Liverpool and the Wirral in a few weeks to see what they have to offer us on the North East Coast 🙂
Also I am able to say that we have actually visited all the beaches featured on the following pages – so again I am quite sure there are others that you might include – please feel free to share!
Before you look through my choices I have to say that a couple of other beaches deserve a special mention (I decided to stick with a Top 10 but can’t resist these):-
Filey, East Yorkshire – good old fashioned seaside resort with a surprising amount of history
Southwold, Suffolk – what a surprisingly lovely resort. A unique pier, no amusement arcades – just a lovely promenade along the seafront and a charming little town with a rather lovely fish and chip shop! The Little Fish & Chip Shop No wonder it topped a poll of the UK’s favourite seaside resorts!
Scarborough, East Yorkshire – Specifically the quieter North Bay, overlooked by the castle high up on the hill that divides the 2 bays.
Weymouth, Dorset – the sand may well be imported but this is a lovely south coast resort with a permanent sand art display on the beach.
And, finally, the main picture was taken, believe it or not, on the outskirts of Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire! We were NOT expecting this 🙂
Now, read on for images and comments on our top 10 favourite beaches 🙂
We spent less time travelling around the UK than originally expected, and didn’t get anywhere near as far around the country as we thought we would.
We set off at the beginning of April and the weather finally beat us at the end of October. We arrived home on 23rd October, a few weeks before we were hoping.
Instead of making our way around the whole of the UK and spending a couple of months in Scotland, we explored the east coast fully, and just made it into Scotland (the furthest north we got was Dunbar, just east of Edinburgh) before we started making our way home via the Lake District and Blackpool. In this time we also had a week in Ibiza for a family wedding (and what a wonderful week it was too!), and a couple of weeks, in total, staying near home to catch up with family and friends. Meaning that our actual time on the road in the UK was 25 weeks (including a diversion to Cornwall).
Obviously we already knew rather more about the UK than about France, Spain or Portugal, but we did learn new things on our way around the country 🙂
We’d made a couple of bookings to cover the half-term holidays. The 1st of these brought us to the village of Tolleshunt D’arcy, just to the east of Maldon, and the D’Arcy Equestrian Camping & Caravanning certificated site. (See my review here).
On Saturday afternoon (the day after we arrived) we headed back to Maldon just to have a little look around. We parked outside of town and walked in along the river. Once on the main street we found a little café down a side street – if we’d waited we would have found a far nicer (but busier) one a little further on down a quaint little lane. (Mrs ….. Famous Tea Rooms…. sorry, I should have taken more notice 😦 )
A little further along we came across ‘The Moot Hall’ a narrow building steeped in history, but originally built as a family home in the 15th century. We were a little too early for the tour, which started at 3.30pm, so we missed out on that one, but the leaflet we were given looked very interesting and the lady manning the hall gave us a fair bit of information.
Wednesday started as a quiet, do nothing kind of day. By the time we’d had our lunch though we were getting restless, so we decided to go for a cycle ride around Rye Harbour.
This was, sort of, a success… We lost each other when Calv went off ahead and I couldn’t see what way he’d gone! Never mind we found each other eventually and I still did 8 miles (and took the photo above – we spent the ride trying to stay ahead of the black raincloud!)
Before getting back in the car we popped into the bar of the Rye Harbour Holiday Park for a cuppa (coffee for Calv and hot chocolate for me), where we chatted with the bar manager who gave us some local snippets about Winchelsea Beach and Winchelsea itself. Winchelsea is often referred to as the smallest town in England, as it has a school, shop, church, town hall and mayor (although it seems this is purely a ceremonial post).