The best secret beaches in England to enjoy the June heat wave in peace

The best secret beaches in England to enjoy the June heat wave in peace

best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 june heat wave - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 june heat wave – Getty

There’s nothing better than the feeling of stumbling across a secluded beach – especially during a summer heat wave, when you know most beaches in Britain will be packed with day trippers. Whether you want to relax with a book in hand between gentle dips in the sea or get together for a proper picnic with friends and family, knowing you won’t have to compete with the hordes for a spot on the sand is seriously satisfying.

For those hoping to celebrate this glorious weather with a seaside trip, here are a dozen less-crowded stretches of sand in England.

England’s best secret beaches to visit during the heat wave

South-west

1. Nanjizal, Land’s End, West Cornwall

This is the real Land’s End, a world away from the theme park along the cliffs. Gaping sandstone caves appear to have housed sleeping dragons, and low tide reveals a white-sand beach, though its shape changes depending on winter storms. The Song of the Sea stone arch features an emerald pool that invites you to swim to the ocean on the other side. Walk south to find more coves at St Levan, Pedn Vounder and Porthgwarra.

How to find it: Two miles between Land’s End and Porthgwarra on the SW Coast Path.

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2. Porthbeor Beach, St Anthony, South Cornwall

Adorned with tropical gardens and secret churches, the Roseland Peninsula is something of a place lost in time. There are good beaches at Great Molunan, near the lighthouse, and Towan, but this is the better and lesser-known, reached via a half-hour walk along the coast path from the latter. Long, wild and sandy, with fantastic rock pools, you’ll find a super secret cove to the north, accessible at low tide. This is the kind of place where Crusoe would feel right at home.

How to find it: Park at the National Trust’s Porth Farm Car Park. Porthbeor can be reached via a half-hour walk south along the coast path.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

3. Speke’s Mill Mouth, Hartland, North Devon

A 50-meter waterfall descends an abyss into this vast empty bay on Devon’s lesser-known ‘shipwreck coast’. Atlantic rollers crash into the rocky shoreline, bringing up logs, shells and the wreckage of boats long sunk on these treacherous shores. Long fingers of soft sand stretch out into the ocean, forming deep pools of pale rock between smooth rock slabs.

How to find it: One mile south of the Southwest Coast Path from Hartland Quay.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

4. Gammon Head, East Prawle, South Devon

The best of a trio of pearly, craggy coves along this southern stretch of Devon’s south coast. In early summer, marsh fritillaries and silver-studded blue butterflies flutter in the warm summer breeze, and meadow pipits and skylarks fly among the heather. East of Gammon Head, a steep path and rope descend to Elender Cove, a narrow strip of secret sand beneath high rocky spiers. The clear waters make for great snorkeling.

How to find it: Continue along East Prawle and park at the end of the road (Prawle Point). Follow the Coastal Path one mile west.

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5. Worbarrow Bay, Tyneham, Dorset

In 1943, Tyneham villagers here were evicted from their idyllic coastal location in remote Dorset Purbecks for the Army to establish a temporary training camp for the war effort – and they were never allowed to return. Now the woods and fields are havens for wildlife and the ruins are fascinating to explore. The crescent bay forms a perfect crescent of sand, nestled beneath rolling hills and ancient woods. There are sea caves in the cove to the left and a grassy hill fort to climb as well.

How to find it: Situated on the slopes between East Lulworth and Corfe Castle, but closed on Army shooting days.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

Southeast

6. Brancaster, Norfolk

The beach and dunes stretch for miles in both directions. To the east is the Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve, famous for its migratory birds. Ahead is Scolt Head Island, where seals wallow and bask. To the west is the iconic wreck of the steamship SS Vina, sunk in the sand plains by the military in 1944 for use as a bombing target and revealed and then resubmerged with the tide.

How to find it: Four miles west of Burnham Overy Staithe on the A149. Turn at the church and park at the golf club.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

See our guide to the best hotels in Norfolk

7. Covehithe, Suffolk

The lane ends abruptly at the edge of the crumbling cliff and a roofless church in a lost village is surrounded by empty fields. This is a mysterious kind of place and a visceral reminder of the power of the sea. Fortunately, those same forces also carved out one of Suffolk’s best secret beaches, backed by a shimmering shallow lagoon teeming with birds. The cliffs are crumbling all around, but the sea crashes into an empty beach, perfect for being alone with nature.

How to find it: From Wrentham (A12) exit at Covehithe. Take the trail on the right, 100 m before the church (NR34 7JW). Follow the edge of the field to the beach. Limited parking.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

See our guide to the best hotels in Suffolk

8. Birling Gap, Eastbourne, Sussex

The white cliffs of Sete Irmãs are iconic, but many don’t know the beach at the bottom. A zigzag metal staircase and a vertiginous boat launch ramp lead to Sussex’s wildest beach. A vast expanse of limestone pools brimming with marine delights and a narrow strait of gravel and sand leads down to the sea for swimmers. For a few hours at low tide, adventurers can explore this wild coastline and even hike to Beachy Head or Cuckmere Haven.

Be very careful – you need to know your tides.

How to find it: Signed from Friston (A259).

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

9. Shepherd’s Chine, Chale, Isle of Wight

The southwest coast of the Isle of Wight has miles of beach, but it’s only accessible by a handful of small “chines,” canyons that drop steeply to the gravel below. Shepherd’s Chine is great for sunsets and campfires and the stream has created beautiful pebble formations.

CAUTION: The beach is steep, so watch out for surf when the sea is rough.

How to find it: Two miles north of Chale on the A3055.

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North

10. Coves Haven, Holy Island, Northumberland

Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, was the birthplace of Christianity in England. Many cross the tidal walkway to visit the monastery founded by Saint Aidan of Iona in the 7th century, but few know the beach on the north side of the island. This refuge is where the monks would retreat to commune with the ocean and purify themselves in the waves. The sandy bay is dominated by sandstone caves that are home to birds of prey.

How to find it: Turn left and left again out of the parking lot and follow the unmarked lane past the farm buildings and brushwood for a mile. On the way back, stop at the charming churchyard of Santa Maria and the adjacent priory ruins.

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

11. Drigg and Eskdale, Lake District

The Lake District isn’t all lakes and hills – the National Park also has a spectacular coastline. In Drigg, a 1,000-acre expanse of empty dunes and nature reserve stretches for miles along the Irish Sea and forms an important breeding ground for the rare natterjack frog. Just beyond is Ravenglass, a tidal port favored by the Romans and the terminus of a small railroad that goes up into Eskdale.

How to find it: From Drigg/B5344 turn off the “Station and Shore” signal (CA19 1XR).

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best secret beaches england uk one day visit summer 2022 - Getty

best secret beaches england uk daytime visit summer 2022 – Getty

12. Anderby, Lincolnshire

Not always considered a summer vacation destination, Lincolnshire is a land where shimmering marshes merge with endless sand and marine horizons that inspire painters and stargazers. When the Cloud Appreciation Society was created in 2005, with a manifesto promising to combat the banality of “blue sky thinking,” it set up its first cloud-watching observatory on remote Anderby Beach. It’s just a larch beach hut with a terrace and reclining beach chairs, but it all adds to the laid-back feel of this coastline.

How to find it: Three miles north of Chapel St Leonards, accessed via seawall breaks (PE24 5XY). Also try Wolla Bank to the south.

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taken from Daniel Start’s Hidden Beaches

This article is kept up to date with the latest information.

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