Britain is blessed with an abundance of beautiful beaches, and the coastal towns which accompany them are an idyllic residence for all wishing to become immersed in seaside living. Below, we will explore some of the best beach living locations in the UK.
With South Shields’ Sandhaven beach previously topping The Times’ best beaches in Britain list for its magnificent views, and Whitley Bay being crowned the best place to live in Northern England, the North East is the perfect area to begin when considering beach life.
The coastline has always been important to the region, with shipbuilding and trade historically being stalwarts of North East industry. Because of this, and a high demand for domestic holidays close to Newcastle upon Tyne, several proud seaside towns sit right on the coast with thriving local communities, including South Shields, Tynemouth, and Whitley Bay. North and South Tyneside are well connected by the local Metro transport system too, meaning journeys to the metropolitan hub of Newcastle couldn’t be easier.
Look out for: Tynemouth Market – a bustling weekend marketplace inside the local Metro station, offering unique crafts, food, and vintage goods, plus art celebrating life in the North East.
Just a short journey further north brings the peace of the Northumberland countryside, with excellent leisure and culture including stunning castles, the Roman remains of Hadrian’s Wall, and the historic pilgrimage site of Holy Island. It also has an abundance of coastline, and therefore easy access to local beaches.
Bamburgh Dunes lays under the shadow of one of the area’s most iconic landmarks, Bamburgh Castle, offering a glorious backdrop on a sunny day, and the village itself was recently named by Which? as the best seaside town in the UK. Northumberland offers small, friendly communities in the best of the country’s natural surroundings, yet is served by the A1 which provides access to Edinburgh in the north, and Newcastle upon Tyne in the south.
Look out for: Seahouses – a quaint fishing village between Beadnell and Bamburgh that offers classic British seaside living with unashamed joy.
The association between the South West of England and picturesque postcard beaches is no new phenomenon, but its unchanged nature is one of the major appeals of the Devon coastline.
Benefitting from a wealth of local history and thriving summer tourism, the variety of smooth sand and pebbled beaches typifies the diversity of life on England’s south coast, and the warmer water is ideal for surfers looking to catch some waves when the conditions are right. Devon has just two cities, Plymouth and Exeter, both of which are rich in history yet abundant in contemporary attractions.
Look out for: Lego dragons – since five million Lego pieces were lost at sea back in 1997, tiny dragons (among other shapes) have been washing ashore on several of Devon's beaches, and South West residents have a friendly competition to find the rarest pieces.
The South Wales coastline has long been a top spot for summering in the sun, but the beauty of Wales’ rocky shores is such that it can be admired all year round.
From cities like Cardiff and Newport to spots like Gower and Pembrokeshire, there are plenty of sites by the sea to dip your toes in the water. A home in South Wales offers a perfect blend of metropolitan urban community with a stunning natural backdrop, and you'll benefit from a direct connection to South West England via the M4 and M48 bridges.
Look out for: Barry Island – a long-standing favourite of the south Welsh coast, Barry has the second-highest tidal range in the world. It was also given a public spotlight as a regular setting in the BBC hit TV show, Gavin and Stacey.
Perhaps the best-known beachside resort in Britain, Blackpool has been a popular holiday destination since the late 18th Century. The promenade, tower, illuminations, and donkey rides are iconic features of a town which has been a fierce advocate for entertainment, the arts, and the health benefits of seaside life.
The proud North West town is undergoing a resurgence in recent times with inward investments meaning it’s an exciting time to live in those historic surroundings. It's also served by the M55, so an ideal base for commuters to Preston, Bolton or Manchester.
Look out for: Blackpool Tower Ballroom – nothing quite exemplifies the history of entertainment in Blackpool like the Tower Ballroom, a famous old venue which exudes antiquity and performance.
Imagine yourself basking in the glow of a late summer sunrise, toes tipping through natural dunes of unseen sand, a deep breath of coastal breeze for fresh-faced morning muse. And, as the sun tracks its arc across a sea-blue sky, a flurry of feet pour to the shore, accompanied by sounds of laughter and splashing, smells of sun cream and lashings of vinegar, red-faced smiles, and recharged solar souls. Until, when the horizon swallows the sunlight, and the pale face of the moon shimmers on the tide, you are alone with your beach once again.