Time to find Britain’s best beach

Posted on: 07 May 2010 by Mark O'haire

A nationwide poll is aiming to find the nation’s favourite beach to mark a week that celebrates another British summer staple, the humble ice-cream.

The fine, historic grains at Whitby maybe? The sprawling summertime playground that is Blackpool perhaps? Or instead the unblemished landscape at Bamburgh in Northumberland? A nationwide poll is aiming to find the nation's favourite beach to mark a week that celebrates another British summer staple, the humble ice-cream.

The Cadbury Flake 99 Great British Beach Awards as part of National Ice Cream Week will see the public being able to vote for their favourite seaside destination from Blackpool to Brighton from eight regions across the UK.

TV presenter Jeff Brazier will announce the winner, chosen from a shortlist compiled by a panel of experts including travel writer Frank Barrett, entertainer Lionel Blair and wildlife expert Bill Oddie.

Judging criteria include entertainment value, family friendliness, foodie credentials and British character.

Frank Barrett says, "We have some of the best beaches in the world right here on our doorstep. In the Mediterranean, for example, the beaches are almost wholly awful measly pebbly things often submerged in spilled oil and scattered plastic bags.

"Now that we seem to have abandoned our passion for suntans, we might look again at places like the Gower in South Wales or the great surfing beaches in Cornwall and rethink our travel plans...that is unless the volcano gods of Iceland do our rethinking for us this summer."

David Else, lead author at Lonely Planet says, "I’ve travelled the length and breadth of the country, and had the pleasure of visiting many lovely beaches.

"The final shortlist reflects the charm and variety of Britain’s coastline, and I hope people have as much fun voting for their favourites as I had selecting my nominations."

Britain's seaside resorts have experienced something of a renaissance since last year when the global downturn forced more of us to consider a 'staycation'.

In 2009, UK residents made 15% less trips abroad than the year before with many people choosing to take a main summer holiday closer to home. 

Voting has opened and closes on Wednesday, 26 May with the winner announced on Monday, 7 June. To vote, click here.

The shortlisted nominations are:

South East

  • Margate, Kent
  • Brighton, Sussex
  • Lepe beach, Hampshire

South West

  • Porthcurno, Cornwall
  • Bournemouth, Dorset
  • Tresco, The Isles of Scilly

East Coast

  • Southwold, Suffolk
  • Holkholm, Norfolk
  • Brancaster, North Norfolk

North West

  • Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Southport, Merseyside
  • Lytham, Lancashire


  • Luskentyre, Isle of Harris
  • Traigh Mhor, Barra
  • Camusdarach, nr Arisaig, Inverness

North East

  • Whitby, Yorkshire
  • Bamburgh, Northumberland
  • Beadnell Bay, Northumberland


  • Rhossili Beach, Swansea
  • Oxwich Bay, Gower
  • Barafundle Beach, Pembrokeshire

Northern Ireland

  • Portrush Whiterocks Beach, County Antrim
  • Benone Beach, Limavady, County Derry
  • Tyrella Beach, Downpatrick, County Down

Where's your favourite British beach?

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