TripAdvisor has announced the winners of their 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards, and it was a sweep for the South West when it came to securing a spot in the coveted best beaches category. A staggering seven beaches across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset made it onto this year’s top ten beaches list.
In celebration of the win, we’re bringing you a breakdown of the region’s award-winning beaches, so you can plan your perfect seaside break along some of Britain’s most beautiful coastline.
Fistral Beach, Cornwall
No list of the region’s beaches would be complete without mentioning Cornwall’s very own surfers’ paradise. Situated just minutes from Newquay town centre, Fistral Beach faces west towards the open Atlantic – channeling powerful waves into the bay and creating the perfect surfing conditions. A visit to this surfing Mecca wouldn’t be complete without trying the sport for yourself – and with a beachside surfing school offering lessons, board and wetsuit hire – there’s no excuse not to have a go.
However, less confident swimmers will still find plenty to do without dipping a toe. With cafes, shops and even a golf course nearby, you can enjoy lunch with a view or practise your putting skills. Kids will also love exploring the grassy sand dunes behind the beach and dogs are welcome all year, too, meaning the whole family can enjoy Fistral Beach.
Video sourced from Amazing Videos
Newquay Holiday Park is just over ten minutes away from Fistral Beach, making it the perfect place to stay if you’re planning to catch some waves on your next getaway.
Porthminster Beach, Cornwall
Porthminster Beach could easily be confused with somewhere on the Mediterranean. Its white sand, azure blue waters and the lush green foliage (complete with palm trees!) give it a distinctly tropical vibe. It’s a firm favourite amongst families with younger children, as the sheltered bay is home to calm waters – perfect for splashing about by the shore or swimming. There are also lifeguards on duty during the summer months, making it an ideal spot for less confident swimmers.
With the stunning seaside resort of St Ives just a short stroll away, you’ll find a plethora of things to do once you’ve dried off. From exploring modern art at the Tate gallery to finding the perfect place for a spot of lunch at the many cafes and restaurants, it’s the ideal destination for a day by the sea.
Video sourced from Paul Dinning
Perranporth Beach, Cornwall
Perranporth Beach on the north coast of Cornwall is home to a huge stretch of unspoilt sandy coastline, with the village of Perranporth at one end and a spectacular headland at the other. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the region’s most popular beaches, ticking every box on the perfect beach wishlist. With sparkling waters, fine sand and plenty of space to find your own spot, what more could you ask for? How about a pub, right on the beach!
As well as perfect conditions for swimming, surfing and sailing, visitors can also explore the extensive system of sand dunes behind the beach. Why not pack a picnic and find a warm spot of sand amongst the grassy hills to enjoy lunch with a spectacular view? You’ll also be able to visit St. Piran’s Cross and the ruins of St. Piran’s Oratory, discovering the history and legend behind the Patron Saint of Cornwall.
Fancy a holiday near beautiful Perranporth? Check out Holywell Bay Holiday Park, just 15 minutes down the road, it’s the ideal place to stay on your next Cornwall break.
Woolacombe Beach, North Devon
Situated on the north coast of Devon, this pristine stretch of golden sand lies between two headlands – just over three miles apart. With clear inviting waters and strong swells, Woolacombe attracts surfers from around the UK – with its long stretch of sand meaning there’s plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the waves. That’s not to say swimmers can’t enjoy the water too, with lifeguards on duty throughout the summer months – so you and your family can enjoy a splash in the waves.
If you’re not one for getting wet, you can always kick back and relax with a good book. With such a vast stretch of sand to explore, you’re guaranteed to find your own little secluded spot to lay out your towels and deck chairs. After soaking up your fill of sun, sea and sand – why not head into Woolacombe village, where you’ll find pubs, surf shops and cafes galore.
Video sourced from Cornwall and Devon TV
With so much beach to enjoy, you’ll want to visit more than once. Why not book a holiday at nearby Ruda Holiday Park – just a 30 minute stroll from the southern end of Woolacombe Beach.
Bournemouth Beach, Dorset
With seven miles of sandy coastline to choose from, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Bournemouth. This area on the south coast of Dorset is home to some of the warmest waters in the British Isles, making it incredibly popular with beachgoers and holidaymakers looking for a seaside break. Bournemouth’s main beach sits directly alongside the town centre, running perpendicular to Bournemouth Pier.
Offering an authentic British seaside experience, Bournemouth beach is home to golden sands and calm waters – perfect for cooling off on a warm summer’s day. Bournemouth Pier is also home to amusements and ice cream galore, meaning there’s plenty to entertain everyone.
Weymouth Beach, Dorset
Securing the number one spot for 2017, Weymouth Beach serves up a classic British seaside scene – with calm, shallow waters, golden sands and a lively promenade. Situated on Dorset’s southerly coastline overlooking the English Channel, Weymouth Beach sits adjacent to the charming harbour town from which it gets its name – with the arc of pristine sand and promenade stretching out for three miles across Weymouth Bay.
The calm and shallow waters are ideal for families and swimmers. However, if you prefer to stay on dry land, there’s plenty to do beachside, too. The long promenade is perfect for an afternoon walk. Kids will also love the chance to take a traditional donkey ride along the seafront.
Video sourced from Taylorcharlie99
Less than 15 minutes from Warmwell Holiday Park, you can have it all on your next holiday – combining Warmwell’s peaceful woodland and lakeside setting with the best of Britain’s beaches.
Hengistbury Head, Dorset
Situated east of Bournemouth, at the very tip of Poole Bay, Hengistbury Head Beach is sheltered by the spectacular headland and cliffs of Hengistbury Head. The sand and pebble beach is largely untouched, and is one of the quietest beaches in the area – making it ideal for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of busy Bournemouth.
As well as paddling in the shallows, visitors can walk along to Hengistbury Head and explore the numerous paths and trails through the headland’s nature reserve. With its rural setting, there’s nothing but nature here – so pack a picnic and a flask and enjoy a beach day off-the-grid.
Video sourced from Ben Walker
Has our list of the region’s best beaches got you yearning for some seaside fun? Explore our coastal holidays parks in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset to find your perfect break and visit some of these spectacular beaches for yourself.
Do you have a favourite beach that you think should be included on our list? We’d love to hear your recommendations on our Facebook page.