Beaches

The best bit about going on holiday! There's nothing quite like being beside the seaside, especially if you live inland. Lucky for us, there's lots and lots of coastline around the South and West, so we've plenty to talk about when it comes to the best beaches.

Poole beach review

There's so much more to Poole beach than simply sand and sea. Join our writer, Becky, on an adventure around this Dorset holiday hot spot.

Places to Go Becky Bye

East Cowes beach review

This shingle beach is a charming, quiet little spot if you fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Places to Go Anmarie Bowler

Sandown beach review

A visit to the Isle of Wight would not be complete without a stroll along the golden sands of Sandown beach.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Watergate Bay beach review

The vast golden sands of Watergate Bay spread out round the corner from Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall.

Places to Go Abby D

Top 6 spots for a sundowner on the Isle of Wight

You don’t need to scour the internet in search of the perfect pint with a spectacular sea view on the Isle of Wight. Just head to some of these handpicked places.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Family friendly walk around Fort Victoria

Get a breath of fresh air with a family walk along the beach and through the woods near Yarmouth. This dog friendly beach means every member of your clan can enjoy the Great Outdoors of the Isle of Wight.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Beaches of the New Forest

We decided to work our way back along the beaches of the south coast despite it being a somewhat dreary looking February day

Visitors' Book Faye

Best Swimming Beaches in the South West

If you’re coming to the South West and can’t wait to get into the water, this is the list for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best beaches to go swimming so you can get straight into the action.

Places to Go Lizzie H

Dunster beach review

A mystical setting on the edge of the Exmoor hills, Dunster beach makes you feel like you've stepped into a children's storybook.

Places to Go Ruth J

Polridmouth beach review

Find beachside seclusion at this secret spot that welcomes dogs all year round - welcome to Polridmouth.

Places to Go Abby D

Places to eat in St Ives

From fresh St Ives crab to local baked pasties, barbecued burgers to fresh fish from the days catch, you'll find a myriad of choice on the cobbled streets of St Ives.

Classic Fodder Liz Arnell

Lyme Regis beach review

Follow Becky's fond memories of growing up by the sea in Lyme Regis as we explore this popular Dorset beach.

Places to Go Becky Bye

Exmouth beach review

Exmouth beach is ideal for a day of classic activities like sandcastle-building, paddling and eating ice creams.

Places to Go Philip Eley

St Ives beaches

Everyone knows St Ives but not everyone has been to all three local beaches. Here are our reasons why you should.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Exploring Bedruthan Steps beach 

A golden, sandy beach on the north coast of Cornwall, entangled with a legend about a giant. This is a dog friendly place to go for a walk on the beach while enjoying the Cornish countryside.

Places to Go Abby D

St Helens beach review

If you've been to the Isle of Wight but never visited St Helens beach then make sure it's on your list of places to visit.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Oddicombe beach review

Fancy yourself an expert stone-skimmer? Try your hand and test your skills down at Oddicombe beach in Devon.

Places to Go Philip Eley

Grand Pier beach review

A great beach for sandcastle-building and a family friendly day out, welcome to Grand Pier beach.

Places to Go Ruth J

Beaches in Falmouth

Take a look at these sandy havens sheltered in Falmouth bay, ideal for your next day out to the beach.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Studland beach review

Surrounding a national nature reserve stretching from Old Harry Rocks to Poole Harbour, this stretch of coast is perfect for those who love spending time on the water.

Places to Go Becky Bye

Milford-on-Sea beach review

A pebbly beach might not be your first choice for a seaside holiday, but don't overlook Milford-on-Sea.

Places to Go Katie Chown

Gyllyngvase Beach review

A small but busy beach close to Falmouth. Great location for a quick walk or a whole day of swimming, kayaking, sun-bathing, paddle boarding and general beach fun.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Uphill beach review

A slightly wilder cousin than a sister to the polished perfection of Weston-Super-Mare's Grand Pier.

Places to Go Ruth J

Rip Currents

It’s best to familiarise yourself with the dangers that come with swimming in the sea so that you can stay safe and happy - how to spot a rip current is important.

Visitors' Book Lizzie H

10 Top Isle of Wight Beaches

In no particular order, we've been exploring hidden beaches, best beaches and Blue Flag beaches to bring you this Isle of Wight beach guide of our Top Ten.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Freshwater Bay

A beach profile for this West Wight beach, just around the corner from the iconic Needles.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Ryde Beach

Called Ryde beach by visitors or Appley beach by the locals, this north coast beach is perfect for a coastal walk on the Isle of Wight.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

St Piran's Day in Cornwall

Celebrate St Piran's Day and all things Cornwall by visiting our favourite St Piran-related places in the county. Now all you need is a cream tea and you'll be proper Cornish - jam then cream, please.

Stories & Characters Kayleigh Hardy

Dog walks in the South Hams

South Hams is one of the most beautiful areas in Devon. It’s got everything for dogs: beaches, hills, woods, streams and pretty villages.

Places to Go Philip Eley

Classic plastic-free beach clean mission

Who will ever forget the truly heart-breaking scenes in Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II, showing a turtle trapped and helpless in floating plastic?

News & Offers Philippa Penney

Top Walks in the West Country

Whether to wear out the kids, or to rediscover alone time together, here are a few of our favourite walks in the South West.

Places to Go Katie Chown

Top tips for a UK beach holiday

We know beach holidays pretty well so we’ve gathered together some of our best hints and tips and put them in one handy blog for you.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Top 5 Christmas cocktails in Cornwall

Fancy a festive tipple or two? The lights are up, the Bublé Christmas album is on and the celebrations are starting all over Cornwall as the festive season gets into full swing.

Classic Fodder Sadie Phillips

Sea Glass and Dogs at Yaverland

Isle of Wight dog walks at Yaverland don't come prettier than this one filled with sparkling sea glass for beach wanderers.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Best places to fish in Hampshire

Fishing can be a great day out for families, couples, parent and child, or even solo. Whether you are new to the activity, or you have brought all your gear on holiday with you, there is something for everyone here in Hampshire.

Places to Go Kylie Barton

Pizza and sea views on Fistral Beach

Pizza, cider and a sea view. For good food in Cornwall, The Stable in Newquay caters for everyone, from kids to vegans and it's right on the beach.

Classic Fodder Abby D

Hidden places to go in the English Riviera

The English Riviera is a large area with lots of beautiful beaches and many interesting houses to explore, but sometimes visitors might want to escape from the crowds and get off the beaten track. So, here is my guide to beautiful hidden places in the English Riviera.

Places to Go Philip Eley

Secret Cornwall Gems

The best places to visit in Cornwall that you may have heard of, but not added to your must-see list. Well, we think they're worth taking a peek at.

Places to Go Abby D

Things to do in Beer

Beer may be small but there are lots of things to do to keep everyone entertained. From beach days to places to eat and entertainment, it makes a great day out in Dorset or Devon.

Things to do Becky Bye

Beach hacks 101

Avoid sandy woes and deal with wet toes using our hints and tips for days at the beach.

Things to do Katie Chown

Where to eat on St Michael’s Mount

There are plenty of good reasons to visit the magical tidal island of St Michael’s Mount, and the food is one of them.

Classic Fodder Abby D

Things to do in Shaldon

Shaldon is a fantastic village facing an attractive estuary with a small village charm but also a good range of shops, pubs and cafes. It lies in a sheltered valley and stares out at the larger town of Teignmouth which it is connected to by a bridge and a ferry.

Things to do Philip Eley

Things to do in Looe

Want bucket loads of seaside charm? Head to Looe! Whether you decide to base yourself here, or pop over for a day trip, there are plenty of things to do to keep you busy here.

Things to do Abby D

Food vans of Cornwall

Peckish? Stuck in the beautiful wilderness of Cornwall? Don’t panic. There may be a fantastic food truck just around the corner. 

Classic Fodder Kayleigh Hardy

Woodfired at West

St Ives is home to some of the greats. It’s currently the home of one of my personal greats; the Woodfired Canteen team. Find out what the fuss is about at their latest pop up on Porthmeor beach.

Classic Fodder Kayleigh Hardy

Things to do in Seaton

With its pebble beach, easy-going vibe, and many interesting days out and attractions nearby, Seaton is a good place for a family holiday, a walking holiday or an activity holiday.

Things to do Philip Eley

Free things to do with children in Torbay

There are lots of great places to visit, and exciting things to do, which won’t cost anything apart from some parking fees. Here is my list of 10 free things to do in Torbay with children.

Things to do Philip Eley

5 family friendly watersports to try instead of surfing

If you've tried surfing and found it's just not for you, take a look at our alternatives. You can still get in the water while you're on holiday, try a new activity and get all the family involved.

Things to do Kayleigh Hardy

A pretty walk to Steephill Cove

A hidden gem with calm waters and golden sands, perfect for a quiet afternoon out in the sunshine while on holiday on the Isle of Wight.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

Bude in September

Plan a September stay in north Cornwall to soak up the last of the summer sunshine before we head into the cosy nights of autumn.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

West Bay, Dorset

A winning day out with all the family, West Bay in Dorset has golden cliffs, beautiful beaches, award-worthy play areas and even a harbour for crabbing.

Places to Go Katie Chown

Crabbing in West Bay

We swooped in and took over a vast expanse of sea wall with multiple seawater buckets, miles of tangled string, and a stinking bag of bacon, dried whitebait and squid. West Bay is a family favourite for crabbing competitions.

Things to do Emma L

My 5 Best Dog Friendly Beaches on the Isle of Wight

As voted for by Nigel, the yellow labrador. We holiday on the Isle of Wight a lot and like to make the most of the dog-friendly beaches on the island. These are the ones we think are the best.

Places to Go Liz Arnell

How to eat al fresco

There are probably only four rules for eating outdoors: 1) keep it simple; 2) prepare as much as you can in advance; 3) add a little twist to a classic, or make use of an unusual cooking technique and finally 4) tin foil is your best friend.

Classic Fodder Rachel Wilson-Couch

Things to do in Dawlish

Dawlish is a seaside town in south east Devon with a gentle air of sophistication yet still a great place for traditional bucket and spade holidays. With both Dawlish and Dawlish Warren full of ideas for a fun break, here is my guide of things to do in Dawlish.

Things to do Philip Eley

Things to do in Porthleven

Once a quiet harbour village on the south coast of Cornwall, Porthleven is a growing hotspot for visitors to the county who have a zest for all things food and the Great Outdoors.

Things to do Kayleigh Hardy

Things to do in Lulworth Cove

If you’re after a coastal day out in Dorset, but fancy something a little more adventurous than Lyme Regis or Swanage, then Lulworth Cove is for you.

Things to do Becky Bye

A country park dog walk in Hampshire

For a truly diverse day out with your dog, with walks galore, head over to Netley’s Royal Victoria Country Park when on holiday in Hampshire.

Places to Go Kylie Barton

Things to do in Burnham-on-Sea

The town has one of the longest stretches of sand in Europe with seven miles of glorious beaches including the beautiful locations of Brean Down and the famous Lighthouse spot.

Things to do Tasha H

Cornish Dog Walks: Watergate Bay

A large expanse of sand with plenty of doggy facilities makes Watergate Bay a great dog friendly beach to walk in Cornwall.

Visitors' Book Abby D

5 Dog friendly beaches in south Devon

Devon is a fabulous place for dogs, with many wide-open spaces for running around in. So, which beaches in South Devon are the most dog-friendly?

Places to Go Philip Eley

Best Dog Friendly Places in Dorset

One of the best things about holidaying in Dorset is long walks that end up in a cosy pub – and it’s just not the same if you don’t take your four-legged friend with you. Luckily we have some of the best dog-friendly cottages in Dorset.

Places to Go Amanda Tomlin

Things to do in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight

A holiday in Shanklin is the perfect bucket-and-spade seafront experience. Full of fun for all the family, it’s the quintessential beach resort destination, but in an idyllic setting on the south east coast of the Isle of Wight.

Things to do Katie Chown

Things to do in Weston-super-Mare

With a perfect mix of culture, heritage and adventure, Weston-super-Mare is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy a slice of traditional beach fun paired with an abundance of things to do.

Things to do Tasha H

Things to do in Bude

A great family-friendly seaside town with something for everyone, it’s no surprise Bude was voted the Best UK Coastal Resort at the British Travel Awards in 2015 and 2016! Whether you’d like a long cliff coastal walk, relaxing day at the beach or a round of crazy golf, there's lots of things to do in Bude.

Things to do Abby D

Things to do in St Austell

When you think of a typical Cornish holiday, you probably won’t think of St Austell. But this historic town is well worth a wander and offers plenty of things to do as well as fantastic access to some of the best beaches in the whole county.

Things to do Abby D

Things to do in Kingsbridge

Kingsbridge is an attractive market town in its own right, but it is most often seen as a good base from which to explore the spectacular surrounding area of South Hams.

Things to do Philip Eley

Things to do in Teignmouth

Teignmouth has the nostalgic charm of a Victorian seaside town, with its pier, lido and large houses, but there’s a lot more to this interesting town than that, so here’s my guide to things to do in Teignmouth.

Things to do Philip Eley

Things to do in Watchet

The pretty harbour village of Watchet offers a charming holiday experience in West Somerset. During the summer it is a hive of activity with the winter months in contrast proving a quiet and tranquil ambiance. For a little town, there’s plenty going on, so I’ve picked some of my highlights for a day out in Watchet.

Things to do Tasha H

Visit Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is one of the few places in the UK where you could get away with a relaxed approach to holidaymaking. From the centre of the Island you are never more than half an hour from the sea, and you'll find family friendly bays, beaches and coves scattered all over. There are lots of things to do on a visit to the Isle of Wight.

Things to do Robbie L

Things to do in Torquay

Torquay has been a fashionable seaside resort since the early 19th century with some fabulous beaches and many interesting historical houses alongside its shops and cafes.

Things to do Philip Eley

Things to do in Fowey

Set on the south coast, Fowey is a maritime lover’s paradise. The smart nautical town hugs the west side of the Fowey estuary, where deep waters attract sailing fans. The town itself is a mix of enchantingly narrow streets and a mix of architecture including historic medieval, grand Georgian and Victorian buildings.

Things to do Abby D

Making the most of Cornwall's April showers

Don't forget your coat as spring brings April showers to Cornwall. But stay positive, there are plenty of things you can do when the skies turn grey.

Things to do Kayleigh Hardy

Things to do in Seaview

On the east of the Isle of Wight, Seaview is a great spot for family holidays on the beach, romantic ocean vistas and maybe even an ice cream or two.

Things to do Kayleigh Hardy

Spring dog walk at Kilve Beach

With fields and fossils, Kilve beach is a prime location for keeping your furry friend entertained whilst enjoying the natural history of Somerset.

Places to Go Kayleigh Hardy

Things to do in the Lizard

Explore the wild and beautiful Lizard Peninsula and revive the senses, before returning to your very own home-from-home in a luxury holiday cottage.

Things to do Lizzie H

Gandys London in Cornwall

Philanthropic brand Gandys London opened their first south west shop in Fowey - discover why they thought Cornwall encapsulated their ethos.

Stories & Characters Katie Chown

Things to do in Falmouth

A holiday in Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without a day out in the historic harbour town of Falmouth. Sitting just south of Truro, Falmouth isn’t too far off the beaten track and makes for a great day out.

Things to do Kayleigh Hardy

Otter Surfboards of North Cornwall

Love the water like an otter on a surfboard once you've read James' story about living on the north coast of Cornwall.

Stories & Characters Katie Chown

Poldark places

A round up of locations where Aidan has been filming plus the trailer for season two, just for info's sake...

Places to Go Katie Chown

Charlestown harbour

Charlestown is immediately recognisable to fans of Poldark as the harbour in the series. The joy of it as a location is that they’ve hardly had to change much at all.

Places to Go Philip Eley

The Rame Peninsula: Pier Cellar Dog Walk

Leaving the thick woodland it took my eyes a few seconds to adjust to the beautiful bright coastal light. Afternoon sun bathed the villages in a gorgeous golden filter and they managed to look even more picturesque than before.

Things to do Abby D

All things eating in Dorset

Whatever your idea of holiday bliss, there is an endless supply of things to see and do, and thanks to the mass of locally produced and sourced delicacies, there is also plenty to get your teeth into.

Classic Fodder Lizzie H

Paddle Boarding with SUP in a Bag

Favoured with glassy waters, calm enveloped the morning and as we looked out to sea our excitement grew – this was a perfect day to go paddle boarding.

Things to do Lizzie H

Black Prince Flower Boat Procession

The historic Black Prince Flower Boat Procession traditionally took place to bid farewell to the winter cold and welcome spring sunshine – little wonder it’s so popular!

Things to do Lizzie H

A day in Kingsand and Cawsand

Kingsand and Cawsand are twin seafront villages on The Rame Peninsula in Cornwall. They have a rich fishing (and smuggling!) heritage and you can still spot the old fish cellars and stores along the coast.

Visitors' Book Abby D

Dog walks in Paignton with Bailey

It’s very tempting to belt out a rendition of something from ‘The Sound of Music’, but all I can manage is ‘Bailey wait for me!’ as she disappears through some brambles.

Visitors' Book B Hutchings

Cornish Hurling in St Ives

At half past ten the mayor 'throws up' the silver ball, blessed in the holy well of St Eia, and the games begin...

Things to do Lizzie H

Dog walking around Burgh Island, Bigbury-On-Sea

Take a wander around, picking up some interesting facts about Bigbury Bay while you're there; the life and times of a Huer, and the pilchard packers. Remember though, it is tidal!

Places to Go B Hutchings

Blood Moons and Dark Sky Tourism

When on holiday, consider a slightly different point of view. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine and come and check out the latest in night-time activities.

Things to do Lizzie H

A winning holiday at Winnie's Cottage

The winner of our holiday competition with Classic Cottages and JojoMamanBebe tells us all about her fab baby-friendly holiday in Winnie's Cottage (1822)

Visitors' Book Melanie E

A cold sea swim with a giant

Pete braved the freezing waters and went for a dip - it was definitely a dip and not a swim... Still, bravo.

Pub Philosophy Katie Chown

Feast your eyes on the Hidden Hut

Finally, we are given the signal and – in true British fashion – the hordes of hardcore carnivores form an orderly queue: mouths watering, plates in hand.

Places to Go Sadie Phillips

A trip to St Mawes

A little wander around the waterfront on our way through St Mawes.

Pub Philosophy Katie Chown

Relax in Cornwall with Yoga in Newquay

For the first time in a long time I was able to fully shut out all those niggling worries and racing thoughts swirling around my mind. It was total bliss.

Things to do Sadie Phillips

The crown of The Jurassic Coast

Whilst the Jurassic Coast is overflowing with beautiful seaside destinations, there is one for me whose charm outshines the rest; Lulworth Cove.

Places to Go Becky Bye

Classic Cornish Beach Clean

A random assortment of rubbish - the things you find! Not to mention the boss in a pinny...

News & Offers Katie Chown

Family Holidays: Crabbing at Stoke Gabriel

On most crabbing adventures at other sites we feel the familiar tug on the line and gingerly start to pull the string up, but halfway up the wall the crab wisely lets go of the bag and jumps back into the water. Not so at Stoke Gabriel.

Things to do Philip Eley

Wild Swimming in Devon

Swimming – it's the most natural of activities, yet so many people only ever do it in the most unnatural of locations.

Things to do Pat Kinsella

The best family friendly beach in south Devon

I hesitate to write this because I don’t want too many people to know about THE perfect family friendly beach, but just between you and me, I think I’ve found it.

Visitors' Book Philip Eley

WIN goodies for the kiddies this summer

NOW CLOSED Great summers make great childhood memories and our Great Little Trading Company competition gives you the chance to win the toys to play with.

News & Offers Katie Chown

Fossil hunting in Lyme Regis

Even my twelve-year-old son was soon bashing away at rocks with his hammer and proudly announcing his discovery of belemnites, crinoid stems and an ammonite

Things to do Amanda Tomlin

Learning to surf in Cornwall

In a county hemmed by stunning, Atlantic-pounded beaches, it’s hardly surprising that surfing is such a popular pastime

Things to do Hayley Spurway

The Best Secret Beaches in Cornwall

If you’re looking for somewhere a little more romantic and peaceful, there are plenty of lesser-known beaches where you couples can bag your own patch of pearly sands.

Places to Go Hayley Spurway

Things to do in Cornwall

A Cornish Girl's insight into which places should be on your bucket list for a trip to Cornwall.

Places to Go A Cornish Girl

Rubbish Beach Art

Clean up our beaches and create a gallery of artistic leftovers.

Stories & Characters Katie Chown

Loe Bar Beach Clean

A few of the Classic team set out along the coast near Porthleven to clean up the shoreline and help protect our marine environment.

News & Offers Katie Chown

The Magic of Mount's Bay

Not just for those with a Bus Pass... this journey is best taken on an open top bus!

Visitors' Book Maz C

Guest experience: The best barbecue time can buy

In Notes & Stories 3 we asked you to name your most memorable barbecue moment as part of a collaboration with our friends at Barefoot Kitchen. One entry rose like a phoenix from the coals...

Visitors' Book Kieren

Sand Summit 2011/12

How one long walk sparked a dream to collect an eggcup’s worth of every beach from Minehead to Swanage.

Stories & Characters Peter Kirby

Meet The Sand Extremists

Love it or hate it we have got quite a lot of it in the South West. Here is our take on sand.

Stories & Characters Peter Kirby

The loveliest loop on earth

The pick of things to do, places to see, food to eat on the western tip of Cornwall by people who have been born there or as good as.

Places to Go Peter Kirby

Walk the Best

Have a walk around the best bits of the West Country, as voted for in the Coast Awards 2012.

Places to Go Katie Chown

Conversations with rocks

Rock features heavily in our landscape from cliff to moor, so stop just looking and go play on them.

Things to do Peter Kirby

Surfing without waves

Surfers get grumpy down here when there are no waves so we have come up with some ideas to chase their blues away.

Things to do Peter Kirby

Map a Nap

A holiday is time off work, and work is some form of purposeful activity. Therefore, rest, refrain from purpose. And have a snooze.

Stories & Characters Peter Kirby

Top Ten UK beaches by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor's top ten beaches in the UK, as determined by travellers' ratings and reviews. If anyone needed another excuse to visit the South West, eight of them are down here in the West Country!

Places to Go Katie Chown

Classic Beach Clean Video

Cleaning up Gunwalloe beach with Keep Britain Tidy and being filmed by South West Tourism Alliance.

News & Offers Katie Chown

Dog friendly in Cornwall

Beaches galore around Cornwall means it is handy to know which ones are available to take your doggy on once the peak season bans are lifted at the end of September.

News & Offers Katie Chown

Dog friendly in Dorset

The first of our county blogs in the run up to the end of the month, when the beaches become dog friendly once more. Dog friendly beaches in Dorset and holiday cottages on the Jurassic Coast.

News & Offers Katie Chown

Dog friendly in Devon

Devon is ideal walking country, so it makes sense to take your dog.

News & Offers Katie Chown

Dog friendly in Somerset

Somerset has prime dog walking land over its levels, but it also has a beautiful coastline for sandy forays when the beaches become dog friendly for the first of October.

News & Offers Katie Chown