The UK’s best hidden beaches



The UK has a whole host of secluded, untrodden beaches that are perfect for travellers who like to keep things low-key. Whether you want somewhere where the sand lies as fresh as newly fallen snow or a coast that’s surrounded by caves and grass dunes, if you know where to look you might be surprised at what you find.

Portheras Cove, Cornwall

Situated on the northern edge of West Cornwall, just off the beaten track between Morvah and Pendeen, Portheras Cove is described as a “local’s beach.” It’s not easy to find, and visitors will have to travel down a steep climb, but once there you’ll see the cascading waterfall and dramatic cliff views that make the toil worthwhile. If the tide is low, you’ll be able to see another beach at the base of a slipway at Boat Cove, and out to the west, a short walk along the coastal path will take you to Pendeen Lighthouse.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Hailed many times as one of the best beaches in the UK, Barafundle Bay boasts golden sand and crystal clear waters that are backed by sand dunes and pine trees. Completely isolated, you’ll have to travel over the cliffs approximately half a mile from the nearest car park to reach the bay, but once there you’ll see why it has been described as a “visual overdose of beauty.” This is an ideal spot to visit with family, as long as you remember to bring your own amenities. Pack a picnic and your best beach tent, and you’ll be well equipped to spend a fair few hours here.

Blue Pool Corner, Gower

Blue Pool Corner (also known as Blue Pool Bay) is situated at the far western end of the Gower peninsula. At the southern end, you’ll see the Three Chimneys, natural rock arches which are completely submerged at high tide or why not head straight for the main attraction – a large rockpool that’s deep enough to jump in from the cliffs above. During the summer, the cliff path usually has plenty of wildflowers such as harebell, rockrose and bloody cranesbill.

Birling Gap, Sussex

This sand and shingle beach can be found at the base of the chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters. It is situated between Eastbourne and Brighton, but despite the popularity of these resorts, Birling Gap remains one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline on the country’s south coast. Travel down the tower staircase that begins at the top of the cliffs, which themselves will be of interest to any budding geologist. As you head down, be aware that areas of the beach are sometimes used by nudists!

Speke’s Mill Mouth, North Devon

Only 20-minutes on foot from Hartland Quay in North Devon will bring you to Speke’s Mill Mouth. Here you’ll find a long curving empty bay that is sometimes referred to as “shipwreck coast” because of the sheer amount of driftwood and boat debris that have been found there.  The beautiful waterfall falls into the deep clear rock pools that have naturally formed between the smooth slabs of rock.

Thanks for reading!