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18 Glorious White Sand Beaches in England You Need to See

Are you looking for white sand beaches in England to bury your toes in the sand, build a sandcastle and paddle in the sea? Here’s what you need to know…

white sand beaches in england

England definitely has its share of beautiful white sand beaches. For some people there’s nothing better than a swimming cossie, a rucksack full of yummy picnic and a day of fun on one of England’s white sand beaches. Whether you’re looking for a white sand beach to catch some waves or a place to get the perfect tan – we’ve got your back!

Here is the list of England’s most incredible white sand beaches.

England’s best white sand beaches

Sure, shingle beaches are great when you don’t want shoes full of sand, but a white sand beach is what you need to really feel like you’re on holiday. Lucky for us, there are some stunning white sand beaches in England to enjoy.

1. Kynance Cove, Cornwall

One of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches is surrounded by spectacular serpentine rocks, as well as crystal clear water, rocky islands and an incredible selection of fauna and flora. Due to its magical setting and fascinating wildlife, it has become a local’s and tourist favourite.

white sand beaches england

If you decide to visit Kynance Cove, remember – at high tide, the sandy beach usually is covered with water. Those who prefer being more active may indulge in some fun activities, for example, rock pooling, painting and photography. Kynance Cove is a great place to visit throughout the whole year, although the sunbathing may be off the agenda in December.

READ MORE: Best Days Out in Cornwall


2. Appletree Bay, Isles of Scilly

Appletree Bay is excellent proof there’s no need to hop on a plane and fly somewhere across seas and oceans to experience some genuinely magnificent turquoise waters, you can hop on a 20-minute plane ride in England and be at this beautiful beach on the Isles of Scilly.

white sand beaches in england

The Isles of Scilly is definitely one of Britain’s most incredible places, as it is home to more than 35 paradise beaches. Thanks to its shallow waters, Appletree Bay on the island of Tresco is an excellent spot for snorkelling and paddling.

If you want to find out more about these incredible islands, check out these interesting facts about the Scilly Isles.


3. Porthmeor Beach in St Ives, Cornwall

St Ives is considered to be the home for some of Cornwall’s best beaches. Each of them has its own personality, which is why you should explore as many as you can.

white sand beaches

If you’re looking for a place to learn how to surf or have a cocktail watching the sunset, head to Porthmeor Beach on a day out in St Ives.

If you wish to visit the seaside with your furry friend, have a relaxing day at Bamaluz Beach.

To do a bit of kayaking or simply enjoy its Mediterranean vibe – hang around the Carbis Bay Beach.

We’d recommend doing all three!


4. Studland Bay, Dorset

beaches in england

The pristine golden sands you’ll notice at the beaches around Studland Bay are stunning. Have a fun-filled family day, building sandcastles or playing games in the water while you’re here.

Whether you’re a kid or a grown-up, Studland Bay is the place to visit for a white sand beach in Dorset. If the sea conditions are still, you can paddle all the way to Old Harry Rocks to enjoy looking back at the beach from afar.

READ MORE: Great Days Out in Dorset


5. Bournemouth Beachfront, Dorset

Sure, having a relaxing day at the beach is great, but sunbathing for hours may not be everyone’s cup of tea. In that case – a perfect place to visit is the Bournemouth beachfront in Dorset, where you’ll find an array of bars, great cafes and fun activities to do as well as lying on the beach.

days out on the beaches

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, head to Rockreef to launch yourself from the pier to shore with a zip-wire.


6. West Wittering, East Sussex

A good place for spotting wildlife and one of East Sussex’s best beaches – West Wittering. If you’re lucky, you might spot some skylarks, which usually nest in the marram grass near the dunes.

white beaches

At low tide, keep your eyes open – you might notice seals laying on the mudflats. Keep in mind – the area has been designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest, so try not to harm the incredible habitat in any way.

If you want to find out more about West Wittering Beach, check out our guide to Chichester Harbour AONB. There are some great places to explore around West Wittering too – check out the video on that link.


7. Brancaster Beach, Norfolk

Have you ever wondered what would it be like to be a captain?

Beach in Norfolk

Well, in Brancaster Beach, you can live out this fantasy – at least in some way, since it is retaining the remains of an old shipwreck, which can be seen when the tide is out. What’s more – the beach is child and dog friendly, so you’ll be able to bring along the whole family for a day of fun.

This is a great white sand beach to stop off at if you’re walking the North Norfolk Coast Path or just want a beachy day out in Norfolk.


8. Fistral Beach, Newquay

A paradise for surfers – Fistral Beach is truly a magical place to see. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the simple pleasures of swimming and playing around the turquoise waters, or you’re searching for first-class seafront facilities, it’s the right place to be!

white sands beaches

Before the pandemic, it was also the setting for many festivals and events, such as Boardmasters. Keep an eye on Newquay events listings pages for more information on what’s going on down there to time your trip just right.

READ MORE: Fancy doing a Cornwall quiz?


9. Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh

On a hot summer (or spring) day, some of the white sand beaches in England can get quite crowded, and surely – there’s nothing more annoying than sweating next to other people (in less than 2 metres distance). Well, if you’re not a fan of crowds, Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland might be your ideal destination.

white sands beaches

The unspoilt shoreline is backed by incredible dunes and, of course, the Bamburgh Castle. A little bit of history combined with some beach fun. What could be better?


10. Pelistry Beach, Isles of Scilly

Similarly to Bamburgh Castle, Pelistry Beach on St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly is an excellent destination for anyone trying to avoid crowds. Have a little picnic while gazing at an incredible sunset (or – if you’re an early bird – a fantastic sunrise) and try to relax while listening to the sound of waves. Make sure to visit Toll’s Island when the tide is low.

What’s more – yummy cafe’s are less than five minutes walk away. 


11. Scolt Head, Norfolk

beaches in england

Getting to Scolt Head Island is an adventure in itself as it requires crossing creeks and low tide beaches. Once you arrive on the island, you won’t be bored!

Lay on the beach, go bird watching (the habitat is quite impressive) or have a dip in the sea. This is one of the most impressive white sand beaches in England.


12. Beadnell Beach, Northumberland

white sand beach

Are you looking to do some water sports or admire some truly magnificent sunsets?

Well, be sure to put Beadnell in your itinerary. Build epic sandcastles, try beach cricket or simply enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a lovely time enjoying the sun on the white sands of Beadnell Beach.


13. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire

If you’re looking to experience a beach day with plenty to do around, then heading to Blackpool Pleasure Beach might be the right choice.

beaches

An impressive amusement park is situated on Blackpool’s South Shore, which offers fun-filled rollercoaster rides for anyone craving an adrenaline rush. There are also nostalgic carousels and traditional seaside games for those who prefer more chill activities too.


14. Longsands, Tynemouth

The stunning beaches of Longsands have been a favourite for both tourists and locals, as they’re fun to visit year-round.

days out on white beaches

Longsands is one of the most painted and photographed beaches in the country and has developed a national reputation for being a top surf destination. If you’re only a beginner, don’t worry – there are many great spots to have surf lessons here.


15. Man O’War Beach, Dorset

For some breath-taking views, make sure to visit the smaller of Durdle Door’s two beaches – Man O’War Bay.

white sands beach england

Keep in mind that there is a steep downhill walk from the car park, which takes about 30 minutes to the steps above the beach. This is one of the most popular white sand beaches in England so get there early to grab a spot.

Also, just a note to take your rubbish home with you as it seems many people forget to bring it back up the steps with them.


16. Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset

Over a million visitors come to Hengistbury Head each year, and it’s no wonder – Hengistbury Head is a fascinating place due to its significant habitats and internationally important archaeology and geology. It’s also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Visit this white sand beach for the day, enjoy a calm walk, and soak in all the panoramic views.

white sands hengistbury head

If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the life of reptiles, a superb variety of insects and also small mammals, for example, natterjack toads, which are one of Britain’s rarest creatures.

Hengistbury Head isn’t only for lovers of nature. Enjoy everything the beach has got to offer. If hunger kicks in, nearby you’ll find some great cafe’s, and don’t forget to bring your four-legged friend with you as dogs are welcome.


17. Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire

Hunmanby Gap

Usually, the Hunmanby Beach is relatively empty, so you don’t have to worry about crowds or your dog being with you. Have a relaxing stroll through the beach and pay attention to Billy Butlin’s holiday home, known as the White House. Dip your feet in the sand, breathe in all the fresh air and leave all your worries behind. 

18. Thorney Island, West Sussex

Thorney Island is one of the best beaches in the south of England. It’s also often very quiet as you have to walk a few miles to get to it. The Thorney Island beach is pure white sands and an incredible site with the paddle boarders and wind surfers.

If you want to find out more about getting to the white sand beach at Thorney Island, watch the video above. You can also find written instructions on getting round Thorney Island here.


Quicklist: White sand beaches in England

1. Kynance Cove, Cornwall
2. Appletree Bay, Isles of Scilly
3. St Ives Beach, Cornwall
4. Studland Bay, Dorset
5. Bournemouth Beachfront, Dorset
6. West Wittering, East Sussex
7. Brancaster Beach, Norfolk
8. Fistral Beach, Newquay
9. Bamburgh Castle, Bamburgh
10. Pelistry Beach, Isles of Scilly
11. Scolt Head, Norfolk
12. Beadnell Beach, Northumberland
13. Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
14. Longsands, Tynemouth
15. Man O’War Beach, Dorset
16. Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset
17. Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire
18. Thorney Island, West Sussex


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