Discover 28 of the Best Seaside Towns in the UK
Fish and chips, the wind blowing through your hair, and a cheeky seagull thrown in for entertainment are just some of the things that come to mind when planning a seaside holiday in the UK. You just can’t beat a holiday to the British coast! Below you’ll find a list of the best seaside towns in the UK and campsites nearby.
1. Southwold, Suffolk
Head to the charming Suffolk Heritage Coast to explore the traditional seaside town of Southwold. Its sandy beach, working lighthouse and award-winning pier are just a short drive away from our Kessingland Club Site. Food and drink are a focal point here with a tour of Adnams Brewery, adjacent to the lighthouse which is a must during your visit. Southwold is a great destination year-round, whether you plan to visit during the summer for an ice cream or in the winter for blustery walks and cosy pub lunches.
Where to stay: Kessingland Club Site is a 15-minute drive away
2. St Ives, Cornwall
With its beautiful blue flag beaches, quaint cobbled streets and large art scene, St Ives has so much to offer. The first thing many people will think of when they hear of St Ives is its abundance of art galleries and the many famous artists who have called the seaside town their home. Once you’ve had your fill of the arts, you could enjoy a relaxing boat trip, train ride, guided tour or a meander through the town at your own pace. Whatever you choose to do during your holiday, we’re sure you’ll fall for the charm, history and friendly faces St Ives has to offer.
Where to stay: Sennen Cove Club Site is a 30-minute drive away
3. Weymouth, Dorset
Weymouth became popular in the 17th Century with King George III being a regular visitor. As it was deemed good enough for a king, it continued to grow into what we now know as one of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK. In the summer months, Weymouth is bursting with tourists as sailing championships and seafood festivals supply plenty of entertainment. For a quieter holiday, there are plenty of quayside pubs to watch the ships sailing in and out of the harbour. Brewers Quay and Weymouth Museum are just a few of the things you could do on a rainy day. A true family-friendly resort, Weymouth has endless things to do and places to explore.
Where to stay: Moreton Club Site is a 20-minute drive away
4. Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Britain’s first seaside resort offers everything you’d expect from a holiday at the beach. Donkey rides, ice cream and paddling in the sea aren’t the only activities you’ll find yourself excited about while there though. Scarborough Castle, Scarborough Brewery and the Scarborough Fair Collection are all highly recommended and will give you an insight into both the past and present of this holiday hotspot. The Blue Flag awarded North Bay is slightly less busy than Scarborough Beach but just as good for spending a day on the sand. Scarborough Beach itself is just a short walk away from our Club Site of the same name, ideal if you’re not looking to stray far from your base.
Where to stay: Scarborough Club Site is a 6-minute drive away
5. Hastings, East Sussex
The Victorian seaside resort of Hastings in East Sussex makes for a great getaway. The town still has a working fishing port, and you’ll find many of the restaurants in the Old Town serve the catch of the day. Speaking of the Old Town, the Medieval layout features half-timbered houses, antique shops and plenty of cafes and boutiques to fill a days’ worth of exploring easily. Away from the town centre, there are plenty of things to do. The funicular railways are a throwback to the Victorian days and great fun for kids, with superb views over the town at the top. Alternatively, you can go even further back in time with a visit to the 1066 Battle of Hastings Abbey and Battlefield, just a 15-minute drive away. With fresh seafood, beautiful beaches and superb shopping Hastings leaves little to be desired.
Where to stay: Normans Bay Club Site is a 28-minute drive away
6. Cromer, Norfolk
Have you ever had a Cromer crab sandwich? Aside from being one of the best places in the UK to enjoy freshly caught crab, Cromer has stood its ground throughout history and remains one of the most traditional seaside resorts in the UK. Community spirit is strong in Cromer, with events taking place throughout the summer, bringing both tourists and locals together. The Cromer Carnival, the Cromer Crab and Lobster Festival and the traditional end of the pier variety shows are just a few events to have on your radar. The Lifeboat Museum, the Norfolk Coast Path and brilliant beaches all await those holidaying in this popular Norfolk resort.
Where to stay: West Runton Club Site is a 10-minute drive away
7. Lyme Regis, West Dorset
At the Western End of the Jurassic Coast, Lyme Regis has plenty of things to do and see. The picture-perfect harbour and Town Beach with its iconic curving bay are great for enjoying the lapping waves and sand. Clifftop hikes, lazy afternoons in the town and plenty of great, fresh food make Lyme Regis one of best places to visit in Dorset. Book onto a fossil hunting tour or visit the Dinosaurland Fossil Museum for a look at some of the most impressive local finds. The Marine Aquarium is another great family day out, focussing on local sea life.
Where to stay: Charmouth Club Site is an 8-minute drive away
8. St Davids, Pembrokeshire
Don’t be fooled by Britain’s smallest city; St Davids has plenty to do. The rocky coves around the Pembrokeshire coast can be explored on one of the many boat trips available. You’re also in great proximity to hop across to Skomer Island for a spot of puffin watching. Worth visiting in the city is St Davids Cathedral and the Gothic ruins of The Bishops Palace. Whitesands Bay is one of the best beaches around and not to be missed off your to-do list.
Where to stay: St Davids Club Site is a 20-minute drive away
9. Folkestone, Kent
Well known by Channel hoppers, Folkestone is often used as a stopping off point for those travelling to Calais. What many don’t see is the growing art scene busy harbour and nearby attractions loved by both locals and tourists alike. Head to the creative quarter for galleries, art studios and plenty of shops and cafes, ideal for spending a day or two exploring at your own pace. Lower Leas Coastal Park offers a play area, public art installations and the Leas Lift which takes you from the promenade at the top of the cliff to the seafront below.
Where to stay: Folkestone Club Site is a 8-minute drive away
10. Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Bognor Regis, 20 minutes from the South Downs National Park is one of the most well knows seaside towns in the UK. The pier is a focal point with its sea view outdoor bar, and the promenade has all of the usual shops to look forward to. Hotham Park is highly recommended with 10 acres of land to explore including a miniature railway, boating lake and children’s play area. Keep an eye on local events as markets and festivals are a year-round occurrence and don’t miss the International Birdman in September.
Where to stay: Chichester Club Site is a 26-minute drive away
11. Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth offers visitors a wide variety of things to do, with a beautiful harbour backdrop and coastal scenery. Take a cruise on the river Dart, explore Dartmouth Castle or head a few miles away from the town to the popular beaches of Blackpool Sands or Slapton Sands. In the town, you’ll find a great mix of high street shops as well as independent boutiques and cafes. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, the South West Coast Path, the UK’s longest National Trail passes right through Dartmouth.
Where to stay: Dartmouth Club Site is a 5-minute drive away
12. Broadstairs, Kent
Head to the Victorian town of Broadstairs for plenty of old-world seaside charm and family-friendly activities. There are seven beaches and bays to choose from here, with Viking Bay being a favourite with families due to its children’s rides and cliff top promenade. Once you’ve built enough sandcastles, visit one of the 1950’s ice cream parlours for a real taste of the seaside.
Where to stay: Canterbury Club Site is a 35-minute drive away
13. Sandown, Isle of Wight
The long sandy stretch of Sandown Beach with its traditional British seafront is one of the most popular on the Isle of Wight. Famed for its clean waters and great facilities, Sandown is ideal for a family holiday. Nearby, the Isle of Wight Zoo, Dinosaur Isle Museum and Brading Roman Villa are just a sample of the attractions to fill your holiday.
Where to stay: Adgestone Club Site is a 9-minute drive away
14. Worthing, West Sussex
The focal point of Worthing is the long pier, built in 1862 and still housing a 1930s arcade. On both sides of the pier, you’ll find long stretches of pebble beach backed by the promenade with the usual seafront shops. Those camping in West Sussex will have easy access to the beautiful South Downs and attractions such as Cissbury Ring.
Where to stay: Slindon Club Site is a 25-minute drive away
15. Bamburgh, Northumberland
Those staying near Bamburgh have access to some of the best seaside in the UK. Bamburgh Castle Beach itself is overlooked by the Bamburgh Castle and is opposite the Farne Islands. A boat trip to the Farne Islands is highly recommended during your holiday to see the iconic puffins that call the islands home. Beadnell Bay Beach is another great stretch of sand and just minutes from our Beadnell Bay Club Site.
Where to stay: Beadnell Bay Club Site is a 8-minute drive away
16. Whitby, North Yorkshire
Although a small town, Whitby has plenty of Gothic character and things to do. Learn about the town’s links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula at The Dracula Experience, enjoy a train ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway or visit the ruins of the 13th century Whitby Abbey. There are a few different beaches to enjoy here, but Sandsend is one of the most popular. The water here rarely gets warm enough for a swim, but you can enjoy a paddle in the summer months, and surfers often brave the waves. One of the towns popular pastimes is crabbing in the harbour, which is great fun for all ages.
Where to stay: Scarborough Club Site is a 30-minute drive away
17. Portmeirion, North Wales
There’s a small entry fee to Portmeirion, with a guided walk of the village included. The Portmeirion you can visit today was constructed from 1925. The Japanese Garden, wonderful scenery of the Dwyryd Estuary and cafes within the village make a visit worthwhile. The surrounding area of the Snowdonia National Park is fantastic for walkers and those seeking to climb to the mountain peak. Robin Hoods Bay, Porthmadog and Caernarfon are also within easy reach, and all make great days out from our Llanystumdwy Club Site.
Where to stay: Llanystumdwy Club Site is a 20-minute drive away
18. Plymouth, Devon
Well known for its maritime past, Plymouth has been a naval base for hundreds of years. The city is packed with great attractions, shopping and places to eat. The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth Hoe and Plymouth Gin Distillery are some of the most popular attractions.
Where to stay: California Cross Club Site is a 30-minute drive away
19. Swanage, Dorset
Swanage is great for those seeking a holiday on the Jurassic Coast with our nearby Moreton Club Site within easy reach. Swanage Beach is ideal for families with some of the south coasts best bathing water, and there are endless walking and cycling options to explore. While camping here Corfe Castle, Swanage Railway and Durlston Country Park are all worth a visit.
Where to stay: Moreton Club Site is a 31-minute drive away
20. Ilfracombe, Devon
The pretty fishing harbour of Ilfracombe sits on the rugged North Devon coastline. The charming seaside town has plenty to explore including its Victorian architecture, The Lanes with a wide range of shops and wonderful beaches for the whole family to enjoy.
Where to stay: Lynton Club Site is a 27-minute drive away
21. Tenby, Pembrokshire
Tenby is a pretty harbour town and resort in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Whether you fancy an action-packed getaway with the family or a peaceful trip away from the mayhem, Tenby has plenty to offer. Spend the day exploring beaches, museums and small islands linked to or just off the coast of Tenby.
Where to stay: St David's Campsite is around an hour drive away
22. Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth is a beautiful town on the coast of southern Cornwall. Whether you're looking for a family day-out at the beach building sandcastles or exploring fascinating attractions such as the Maritime Museum or Pennedis Castle, Falmouth is a must-visit.
Where to stay: Veryan Campsite is a 44-minute drive away
23. Maybole, Ayrshire
Situated in the southwest of Scotland, Maybole is a coastal town. While small, it is not short of exciting things to do. Head to Culzean Castle beach, a pretty and secluded beach nestled under the impressive Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coastline. It is made up of both sand and rocks and offers spectacular views. Croy Shore Beach is another popular beach in Maybole, great for walks with picturesque views of Culzean Castle. There are plenty of other attractions to enjoy while here, including Crossraguel Abbey, Electric Brae Galley & Studio and Blairqhuan Castle.
Where to stay: Culzean Castle Campsite is an 8-minute drive away
24. Newquay, Cornwall
Newquay is a town on the north coast of Cornwall and one of the nation's most popular seaside holiday destinations. Newquay is well-known for its lively atmosphere and family-friendly beaches. Fistral Beach is Newquay's most popular beach, as some consider it to be the best surfing beach in the UK. Paddleboard your way through Crantock Beach and explore the rock pools and caves. You can even try your hand at sand-boarding. Other places to visit in Newquay include Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Blue Reef Aquarium Centre and Pirate's Quest Adventure Golf.
Where to stay: Tregurrian Campsite is a 12-minute drive away
25. Margate, Kent
Margate is a quirky coastal town on England's southeast coast that combines the rustic charm of old England with a contemporary and modern feel. The town is home to two gorgeous beaches, Southwold Pier Beach to the north and Southwold Denes Beach. At Southwold Pier you'll find classic British seaside fun, a sandy golden beach and a beautiful sea view. Denes Beach is a perfect day out for the family, ideal for relaxing with a yummy picnic, dipping your toes in the sea to cool off on a summer's day or building some truly impressive sandcastles. Head into Margate's Old Town to browse a selection of independent shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants. Other attractions in Margate include The Shell Grotto, The Hornby Visitor Centre and Turner Contemporary.
Where to stay: Canterbury Campsite is a 36-minute drive away
26. Torquay, Devon
Torquay is a stunning seaside resort town in Devon. Perfect for all the foodies out there, Torquay has a delectable selection of fish and seafood locally sourced. Torre Abbey Sands is a beautiful golden beach located along the seafront in Torquay, well-loved by locals and holiday-goers for its delightful views and sunshine. Grab a bucket and go crabbing for the day on the Torquay Harbour. Other things to enjoy in Torquay include Kent's Cavern Prehistoric Caves, Babbacombe Model Village and Torre Abbey.
Where to stay: Dartmouth Campsite is a 54-minute drive away
27. Bournemouth, Dorset
The beautiful coastal town of Bournemouth is brimming with plenty to do. It is a vibrant area of Dorset and has something for all ages, including plenty of delightful beaches to explore. Appreciate the culture of Bournemouth at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum or roam the gorgeous Lower Gardens. Breathe in the fresh air at Bournemouth Pier and Beach.
Where to stay: Verwood Campsite is a 24-minute drive away
28. Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
Wells-next-the-Sea is a charming port Town in Norfolk. Enjoy the Wells Beach and Pinewoods walk, which takes you across the harbour, golden sand dunes and leafy woodland. Spend a day in the quaint little village of Holkham, which has a beautiful bay full of sandy dunes. Roam the luscious grounds of Holkham Hall and take in the stunning landscape while enjoying a spot of birdwatching at Holkham National Nature Reserve.
Where to stay: West Runton Campsite is a 45-minute drive away
For more coastal holiday inspiration, view some of our best coastal campsites.
Note: All drive times are an approximation and will vary based on traffic conditions and preferred routes.