With an increasing number of British beaches achieving Blue Flag status, our seaside spots are becoming cleaner, safer and more family-friendly than ever.
Blue Flag beaches are re-evaluated each year, and must fulfil a range of criteria, including environmental education and information, water quality, environmental management, and safety and services.
Here’s our pick of this year’s Blue Flag-awarded beaches.
This beautiful stretch of red sandy beach slopes gently into clean, safe shallow waters that are ideal for paddling. There’s a long promenade, with colourful beach huts – an ideal starting point for scenic coastal walks.
Westward Ho! has the distinction of being the only place name in the British Isles with an exclamation mark – and it boasts a fabulous beach, too. The two-mile stretch of golden sand is perfect for water sports and bathing – and it also sits on the South West Coast Path.
This popular beach is renowned for its long sandy stretches, offering safe bathing and a wealth of activities. The amenities and the town nearby make Sandown a resort to visit for all ages.
This quiet sandy bay, sheltered by chalk cliffs, is an ideal family beach – with safe bathing, and plenty for children to explore. It gets its name from the more famous Botany Bay in Australia – where locally captured smugglers were sent in days gone by.
This thriving resort on Essex’s ‘Sunshine Coast’ boasts beautiful golden beaches, a fun-packed pier, beautifully maintained themed seafront gardens, pleasure flights and a range of sporting activities on land and water.
Backed by sand dunes, this half-mile stretch of fine golden sands is ideal for bathing, surfing, playing beach sports, or simply relaxing. The nearby Blue Reef aquarium and toy museum offer plenty of entertainment for young children.
North Bay’s flat sandy beach is popular with recreational water sports enthusiasts. Its rocky outcrops to the north provide rock pool areas at low tide.
Situated on the east coast of Anglesey in a crescent-shaped bay, Benllech’s pleasant beach of fine golden sand and clear blue waters offers ideal, safe conditions for bathing and paddling. At low tide the sand stretches for miles, giving young children plenty of space in which to play, and providing a flat expanse of land that is ideal for a gentle stroll.
Located on the Gower Peninsula, Port Eynon beach boasts a glorious wide expanse of sand and is an ideal location for a family holiday. During low tide, an interesting array of rock pools offers amusement for inquisitive young children.
Combining the scenic charm of the coast with the peace and tranquillity of the countryside, Aberdour Silver Sands is one of the most popular and attractive sandy beaches on the Fife coast. The Fife coastal path passes by this beach, and the section from here is well worth walking.
AA members receive discounts on a range of travel products and more, including:
(18 July 2014)