Tynemouth: Small crowds gather on Long Sands Beach
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The “best beaches” in the UK have been crowned in a new survey. Around 2,000 took part to vote for their 50 favourite seaside hotspots, with the regions of Dorset and Cornwall scoring the most highly.
Though Cornwall is arguably one of the top destinations for staycations and holidays thanks to its abundant coastal offering, it was a beach in Dorset which stole the top spot.
Bournemouth beach was named the “best beach” in the UK.
However, Cornwall’s scenic offering was close behind, taking three of the top ten spots.
St Ives, Bude and Newquay were ranked as the third, fourth and seventh “best beaches” in the UK, respectively.
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Other beaches to score highly in the UK beach charts include Blackpool Beach, which came in fourth place and Whitby, in Yorkshire, which took the fifth spot.
Brighton Beach, in Sussex, was voted the sixth “best beach in the UK” and Tenby in Pembrokeshire was voted into eight place.
Completing the top 10 were Bognor Regis Beach, in West Sussex, and Filey Beach in North Yorkshire.
Other beaches included in the top 50 were Dorset’s Woolacombe and Weymouth Beaches, Tynemouth Beach in Tyne and Wear, and Lochinver Beach in Scotland.
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As part of the study, commissioned by Sky Ocean Rescue in partnership with WWF UK, researchers also found out why Britons love heading to the beach so much.
Half of those polled via OnePoll said a visit to the coast “helps to clear their head” and allowed them to “escape the stresses and strains of everyday life”.
Two-thirds of respondents cited having a “strong emotional connection to the seaside”.
Around 67 percent of those surveyed admitted they have missed visiting the beach during the various lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mental wellbeing was a regular theme of the survey, with eight in 10 of those who took part saying the ocean is “good for their mental wellbeing”.
More than half of people said the beach helped them to “relax” and 29 percent said it was a great opportunity for “escapism”.
There were also plenty of Britons who highlighted the scenic and sensory perks of a trip to the seaside.
Feeling the sand between their toes was a favourite aspect of the beach for 24 percent of respondents, meanwhile, 44 percent said the sound of waves crashing on the shore helped them to feel zen.
What’s more, as staycations begin to surge in popularity, a third of people said they felt a holiday to the UK seaside was “underrated”.
Sarah Young, head of marine policy at WWF-UK which commissioned the research in partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, said: “While we wait for travel restrictions to be lifted, there are a number of things we can be doing at home to protect our beautiful coastlines and ensure staycations can be enjoyed for years to come.
“Over the months ahead, Sky Ocean Rescue and WWF will be setting out the actions that we can take as individuals to become ocean heroes, while also encouraging stronger leadership from the UK Government to support vital ocean recovery that’s so urgently needed.”
The campaign by WWF and Sky Ocean Rescue aims to encourage beachgoers to pay more attention to recycling, ensuring they don’t leave litter behind, and cutting down on unnecessary plastic in favour of more eco-friendly materials.
The full list of Top 50 UK beaches is as follows:
- Bournemouth, Dorset
- St Ives, Cornwall
- Bude, Cornwall
- Blackpool Beach
- Whitby, Yorkshire
- Brighton, Sussex
- Newquay, Cornwall
- Tenby, Pembrokeshire
- Bognor Regis, West Sussex
- Filey, North Yorkshire
- Woolacombe, Devon
- Weymouth, Dorset
- Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
- Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear
- Scarborough, North Yorkshire
- Barmouth, Gwynedd
- Llandudno, Conwy County Borough
- Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire
- Shanklin, the Isle of Wight
- Exmouth, Devon
- Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
- Broadstairs, Kent
- Dawlish, Devon
- Polzeath, Cornwall
- Watergate Bay, Cornwall
- Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire
- Crosby, Merseyside
- Sandbanks beach, Dorset
- Torquay, Devon
- Eastbourne, East Sussex
- Skegness, Lincolnshire
- Camber Sands, East Sussex
- Ilfracombe, Devon
- Paignton, Devon
- Southwold, Suffolk
- Southend on Sea, Essex
- Whitstable, Kent
- Lochinver, Scotland
- Margate, Kent
- Salcombe, Devon
- Pittenweem, Fife
- Porthmadog, Gwynedd
- Portree (Skye), Inner Hebrides
- Portmeirion, Gwynedd
- Hastings, East Sussex
- New Brighton, Merseyside
- Folkestone, Kent
- Plockton, Ross and Cromarty
- Gardenstown, Aberdeenshire
- Stromness, Orkney
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