20 of the Best Seaside Towns in the UK - The Camping and Caravanning Club
The Camping & Caravanning Club Logo

Discover 20 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 so below you’ll find a list of the best seaside towns in the UK and where you can camp nearby.

1. Southwold, Suffolk

southwold beach huts

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 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

st ives landscape view

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 harbour

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

scarborough coast

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

hastings ss

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

cromer coast and pier

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

lyme regis harbour

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 a 8-minute drive away

8. St Davids, Pembrokeshire

st davids cathedral aerial view

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

folkestone ss

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 coast

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 landscape

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

broadstairs coast view

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

worthing pier and coastline

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

bamburgh landscape

Those staying near Bamburgh have access to some of the best seaside in the UK. Bamburgh Castle Beach itself is overlooked by the castle of the same name 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

 whitby harbour at night

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

plymouth landscape view

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 bay coastline view

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

ilfracombe harbour

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

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.

More holiday inspiration