When you think about visiting England, do you think about spending a lazy day or two on the beach in one of the many English seaside resorts? If you aren’t a native, you probably don’t! England doesn’t exactly have an international reputation as a country with beaches to flock to, but the weather and climate does (sometime) lend itself to long summer days at the beach.
Locals and tourists from around England already spend long hot days on the coast. These seaside resort towns are packed with local shops, pubs, and restaurants, and the streets are lined with stalls during local fairs and festivals.
In addition to each town’s lovely beaches, many feature museums, fun parks, and even water parks. Fishing, exploring shipwrecks, and other activities are also available. A trip to one of England’s many fantastic seaside resort towns is one that is sure to be fun for the whole family!
We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite seaside towns and resorts–you and your family are sure to have a blast. Take a timeout and spend a day on the coast enjoying the ocean during your trip. Gorgeous architecture and quaint inland towns aren’t all that England has to offer!
The Best 15 English Seaside Resorts
Brighton is a seaside resort town about an hour south of London by train, and a popular day-trip destination. The broad beach sits in front of amusement arcades and Regency-era buildings. The central Brighton Pier opened in 1899 and has rides and food stalls.
Outside of the beach, Brighton has vineyards, breweries, the Royal Pavilion, and British Airways i360, a 162 meter tall tower that offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the landscape.
This town is on the southern coast of England and is known best for its 7 mile stretch of beaches, Victorian architecture, and a buzzing nightlife. Stretching out into the water is Bournemouth Pier, which has an obstacle course, a climbing wall, and even a zip line.
Away from the beach is Bournemouth Gardens, which have rock gardens, an aviary, and plants from 3 continents.
Located in Cornwall on England’s North Atlantic coast, the small town of Newquay features a number of aquatic attractions aside from the beach.
Families will enjoy the Blue Reef Aquarium, and Holywell Bay Fun Park, while those who love sailing and fishing will enjoy Newquay Sea Safaris and Fishing.
Scarborough is located on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire and was historically part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. The town is between 10 to 230 feet above sea level, with the highest part of the town situated on steep limestone cliffs.
The town has two bays; the South Bay glitters with amusement arcades, ice cream parlors, and shellfish stalls, while the North Bay is quieter and more natural. Scarborough is perhaps the oldest seaside resort in England, with its roots in the 1600s when people flocked for the health-giving properties of the spa waters.
Skegness is on the Lincolnshire coast on the North Sea, around 43 miles east of Lincoln. The locals hold an annual carnival in August, a week-long affair that incorporates the whole town. Aside from the resorts and spas, Skegness is home to the Natureland Seal Sanctuary, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.
Blackpool is on the Irish Sea coast and is known for Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an old-school amusement park with vintage wooden roller coasters. The 1894 Blackpool Tower still houses a circus as well as a glass viewing platform and a ballroom.
More commonly known just as Southend, this seaside resort town features the magnificent and family friendly Sea-Life Adventure, Splash Fountains, and the newly opened Three Shells Beach and Lagoon.
8. Great Yarmouth
Often just called Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth is a coastal town in Norfolk, East Anglia, at the mouth of the River Yare. Visitors can explore remains of shipwrecks at The Potteries, or visit Pleasure Beach, or even the Thrigby Wildlife Gardens.
Salcombe is a popular resort town in Devon, close to the mouth of the Kingsbridge Estuary. Salcombe’s sheltered beaches are golden and sandy, leading out into calm waters. Visitors can enjoy surfing lessons, local shops and restaurants, or just a quiet day swimming and sunbathing.
This seaside resort in Kent lies along the coast of North Foreland, and features incredible beaches, local cuisine, and attractions. The magnificent Shell Grotto allows you to explore underground passages decorated with a mosaic made up entirely of shells–4.6 million of them!
Visitors to Morecambe can enjoy flying kites, building sandcastles, or enjoying the views all from the shoreline. The award-winning promenade is filled with local boutiques and restaurants. Morecambe offers a small-town experience with beautiful beaches.
Weymouth’s Georgian-era seafront is an impressive backdrop to the fine golden sand beaches. The coastline itself is a World Heritage site, making it a favorite destination for tourists from all over England and overseas.
Aside from the beautiful beaches, Eastbourne features a lovely pier filled with attractions and food. The Grand Hotel, a landmark Victorian building with a spa, is a wonderful place to start your beach getaway.
Cromer is perched on the edge of the Norfolk coast, and is famous for its tasty crabs, wide beaches, and a traditional pier. Cromer Pier even has a theater that performs variety shows throughout the season.
Aside from local restaurants serving up their famous crab, Cromer has local art galleries, fashion boutiques, and local grocery stores, so you can take the tastes with you.
Rock, in Cornwall, is one of the few English seaside resorts that is popular with wealthy visitors, and is populated by villas and apartments situated among the trees. The sheltered waters make Rock a haven for water-based leisure sports like angling, fishing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, and water skiing. Sailing is another popular pursuit.
NB: We’ve just profiled another lovely family beach here: Felixstowe Beach, UK: Discover This Great Family Beach