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Best UK beach resortsThere’s nothing like dreaming of golden sands to cheer yourself up in the dreary winter months. The UK might not be the first place you’ll think of when booking your beach holiday but it’s actually home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, you just have to know where to find them. We asked fellow traveller and Anglophile Petal Mashraki to pick her 10 of her favourite British beach resorts…

Tenby, South Wales

The picturesque harbour town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales can be found perched on a hilltop overlooking beautiful beaches. Surrounded by the remains of the original medieval walls and filled with cobbled streets lined with independent restaurants, historic buildings, traditional pubs and shops, Tenby is easily one of the best beach resorts in the UK. The beautiful coastline has made Tenby the place to visit since the early 19th century and exploring the surrounding landscapes is a de rigueur visitor pastime. From here you can follow the famous Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, relax in the sidewalk cafes or even take a cruise from the harbour out to Caldey Island. Activities in Tenby include kite-surfing, riding on the beach, visiting the local water park and exploring the 2, 000 year old Carew Castle.

Falmouth, South Cornwall

Cornwall is where to head to find some the UK’s most beautiful and cleanest beaches and the thriving university town of Falmouth is a good place to start. It’s been a famous port since the 17th century and it enjoys a strategic location at the entrance to the world’s largest harbour. Luckily it doesn’t feel overdeveloped feel but still offers a great selection of wine bars, restaurants and bistros. It’s surrounding blue flag awarded beaches are great for swimming and family fun and nearby Helford and Fal Rivers and Roseland Peninsula Falmouth has been awarded Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

Brighton, East Sussex

Brighton is the large seaside city with a small town feel. As far back as the 18th century, day-trippers from London have enjoyed the chance to bath in the waters which wash up on Brighton’s pebble beaches. The lively British resort has a seafront lined with restaurants and cafes, an historic pier with attractions and eateries and a broad promenade above the beaches. The city is geared towards visitors of all tastes with a range of accommodation options, restaurants and attractions. There is a thriving nightlife scene, several great museums and regular festivals and special events. Make sure you wander the narrow lanes (The North and South Laines) to discover an eclectic mix of cool alternative shops, up-market boutiques and typically British tearooms.

West Pier, Brighton © 2009Abersoch, North Wales

This village seaside resort on the Llyn Peninsula of North Wales is known for its fine sailing waters, water sports and excellent calendar of events including the Abersoch Jazz Festival, Wakestock wakeboard competition, July music festival and the annual West Coast Surfing Open Contest. There are several beaches including the Abersoch Main Beach (which faces the Tudwal Islands), the Aberdaron Beach which is popular with with families and Porth Oer or “Whistling Sands” where the sand particles have a unique shape causing them to “whistle” when you move your feet.

Bournemouth, Dorset

This is a perennially popular beach-side town. It’s a lively and fun place located on the south coast of England not to far from the famous World Heritage site, the Jurassic Coast. The cosmopolitan university town has excellent facilities, restaurants, an up-tempo nightlife and a huge range of great Bournemouth hotels to choose from. It’s award winning beach is obviously a part of the big attraction and the city is home to 7 miles of golden sand and sparkling turquoise sea. Other attractions along what is affectionately known as the English Rivera include water-sports, pretty gardens, museums and plenty of traditional seaside fun. Just be warned the summer months can get extremely crowded.

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