Dreaming of sunshine, wine & clear waters? No need to travel far. Here's our guide to the nicest, cleanest beaches in the UK.
We don't know about you but we've spent a LOT of time in lockdown fantasizing about our next holiday and where better than a staycation at some of the best beaches Britain has to offer? All of these locations have been awarded plastic-free-status by Surfers Against Sewage (SAS).
SAS began their grass roots movement in 1990 and have been fighting against polluted oceans ever since. In July 2017 they launched their 'Plastic Free Communities' initiative, tackling the problem of avoidable single-use plastics from the beach, right back to the brands and businesses who create it. Co-ordinator Rachel Yates says: “It isn’t about removing all plastic from our lives, but kicking our addiction to throwaway plastic and changing the system that produces it.”
Today, SAS have awarded 718 communities with their Plastic Free status. Here's a roundup of our favourite's and why they should definitely be top of your post-lockdown bucket list.
Hornsea, East Yorkshire
Do: Blue flag award-winning golden sands await you at Hornsea. This classic seaside resort has plenty to do. Stroll along the promenade, try your luck on the slot machines or hire a traditional row boat for something a bit different!
Stay: North Star Sanctum. A short drive from the beach, these stunning luxury lodges are the perfect place to relax, complete with your very own hot tub.
Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire
Do: The ideal location for a traditional sea side holiday. Broad Haven's huge sandy beach is a great base for exploring the Pembrokeshire coast line, take a paddle through the rock pools or hire watersports equipment from Haven Sports.
Stay: The YHA Broad Haven hostel is one of the area’s eight plastic-free champions, right next to the safe bathing beach and coast path. Choose from a shared dorm, private room or glamping tent!
Anstruther, East Fife
Do: Full of character, this lively coastal town is famous for it's fish and chips, enjoy them in the crisp seaside air while overlooking the harbour. Learn all about the history of Scottish fishing in the town museum or stroll along the cobbled streets and take in the charm of the place. During the summer months, you can also take a boat trip from Anstruther to the Isle of May to view the puffins!
Stay: The Spindrift Guest House, this imposing Victorian residence was built in 1870 for John Smith, a famous tea clipper captain. The hotel use local produce and avoid single-use plastics, making it a good choice for the eco-conscious!
Do: Penzance is the major tourist and commercial centre of West Cornwall. The first plastic free town in the UK, Penzance now has almost 100 local businesses signed up to the scheme. This year the default traffic announcement sign reads “Welcome to Plastic Free PZ. Reduce, Refill. Rethink.”
There's plenty to do and see in Penzance from tropical gardens to pirate themed pubs, there's something for all the family.
Stay: Chapel House. Perched above Penzance's working harbour, this historic townhouse hotel blends georgian style and architecture with contemporary comfort.
Do: The pretty village of Silecroft is a less frequented corner of the Lake District National Park, and a unique area where the mountains of the Lake District meet the sea. A popular spot for sea fishing, the long sand and pebble beach has rock pools at low tide and there's even a 9 hole golf course.
Stay: Lachra, The Beach Hut. Enjoy an escape by the sea in this unique rough-luxe beach shack. Rediscover the simple life at this private seaside beach cabin complete with your very own bubbly hot-tub.
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Do: Lyme Regis boasts breathtaking scenery and a number of historical landmarks and educational attractions. With a bustling harbour, gastronomic delights, an array of shops and plenty for the active. Whatever your age and whatever the time of year, you can be sure to find something to delight and entertain you.
Stay: The Woodsman's Treehouse. Looking for somewhere a bit different?This fabulous treehouse has a hot tub on the deck, a spiral staircase that leads onto the roof where the sauna is and a slide! Doesn't get much better than that.
We're proud to support Surfers Against Sewage. You can read more about their mission on their website.