There’s something particularly special about being with your loved one on a beach. Whether it’s the sounds of the sea gently lapping the shore as you flirt with the idea of dipping a toe, strolling hand in hand along a secluded stretch of sand reminiscing on old times, or cuddling up as the sun sets over the ocean casting spectacular shadows and colours across the horizon; there really is much to be said about being on the beach with your beloved partner.
From impressing your companion with your stone-skimming ability or enjoying a peaceful picnic together, to discovering your very own private little cove on an adventure, there’s plenty of different kinds of beaches across the country for whatever you’re looking for.
To help you find that perfect place to soak up the sun and spend quality time together, we’ve compiled a list of the most romantic beaches in the UK. Take your pick from: south west, south coast, east coast, north of England, Wales or Scotland – you may even be inspired to pop a certain question at these utopian destinations…
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK can be found in the south west. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset are famed for their hidden coves, sandy stretches and breath-taking bays, so we’ve whittled them down (or at least tried!), to create our ultimate romantic spots to make your job of whisking a loved one away that little bit easier.
Trevose Head, North Cornwall
Just along from Padstow and north of Newquay, sandwiched between two of the county’s most popular towns, are what can only be described as sandy slices of heaven. Trevose Head itself is not a beach, rather a National Trust headland, however the bays to its eastern side are quite spectacular. Polventon Bay, Boobys Bay and Harlyn Bay vary in size and popularity, but are all equally stunning stretches to spend quality time together with your beau. Seek out one of the coves, lay down a blanket and bask in the sunshine together, before heading back to your beautiful cottage – what could be better?
Lantic Bay, South Cornwall
The blend of sand and shingle, the turquoise glow of the water, the sound of the waves gently lapping the shore, the handful of boats moored just a short way out that float delicately on the ripples; it’s a utopian destination that offers a dreamlike scene that should most definitely be shared with a loved one. It may be a National Trust beach and have its own car park, but that doesn’t stop Lantic Bay being an idyllic secret space that many who aren’t local know little about. The car park itself is a fair walk from the beach, and even once you catch sight of the sand there’s still a trek down the hillside - which perhaps puts people off - but the fact it’s often so deserted is exactly what makes it perfectly romantic. If you fancy an even more challenging walk before relaxing for the day, start from Polruan and head along the South West Coast Path. Just remember to take some food and water as there’s nothing but views between the two, and no amenities at the beach itself.
Porthcurno, West Cornwall
Sand as soft as silk and water marbled with glistening shades of sapphire and turquoise, backdropped by the striking Minack Theatre and located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country, Porthcurno’s beach is stunningly romantic. This coastal retreat looks more like a Grecian paradise than a Cornish cove, but that’s just what makes it so magical, and with a handful of facilities including a quaint café and pub in the village you won’t need to worry about packing too much for your trip.
Sunny Cove, South Devon
Famed for the picturesque surrounding villages, tranquil boating environment and prestigious restaurants, Salcombe is a popular resort with many celebrities for offering a more upmarket coastal experience. It has multiple little bays either side of the estuary, and families often flock to the North or South Sands, so for a more secluded escape we suggest Sunny Cove. Its gentle waves and sheltered location make it perfect for a little swim with your loved one, and due to the fact it’s only accessible via boat or a woodland walk, many steer clear, so you’ll likely have a sublime spot to enjoy all to yourselves.
Putsborough Sands, North Devon
Ideally positioned on Devon’s north coast, Putsborough is sandwiched between two of the area’s most popular surfing beaches, Croyde and Woolacombe. Add to that Saunton Sands being just along the coast, and you’ve got a plethora of breath-taking stretches within close proximity to each other that all attract thousands of visitors – so why not visit the lesser-known, far more romantic Putsborough? The shop and café means all you need to take is a blanket to lay back, soak up the sun and enjoy each other’s company. It’s also a truly flawless setting to pop that all important question as the sun sets over the horizon casting a warm glow across what is undoubtedly a picture-perfect setting.
Sheltered from westerly winds, backed by the beautiful white chalk cliffs, and scattered with vibrant, colourful boats across the bay, this shingle cove is a tranquil spot to relax with your partner in crime. There’s some charming restaurants and pubs to enjoy a drink and some exquisite food in the sunshine while you’re there, and in the warm waters of summer there’s no better feeling than dipping a toe in the sea to cool off – without the hassle of trudging back to the shore covered in itchy grains of sand that get in all kinds of places!
Broadsands, South Devon
A traditional seaside resort on the English Riviera, Paignton has everything for an old-school approach to British holidaying. Its bustling shops, restaurant chains and bright lights of the amusements attract families from across the country, but head south out of the town towards Brixham and you’ll discover the blissful beach of Broadsands. This expanse of sand is backed by a popular green if you’ve got a furry friend to take along on your trip, and has a car park right by the beach.
Broad Sands, North Devon
In stark contrast to its predecessor of the same name in the south of the county, Broad Sands is located between Watermouth and Combe Martin, and offers the very definition of ‘secret beach’. The only way to reach this beauty spot is to climb down 200 steps, and as you can imagine, there’s no pretty little café or thriving shop once you reach the bottom, so pack some treats to enjoy together on your excursion! The deep double cove is peppered with caves, ideal for adventurous exploration, or just lay back and enjoy the stillness enveloped by the steep, wooded cliffs. It really is one of the most perfectly hidden romantics spot in the UK.
Lulworth Cove, Dorset
One of Dorset’s most famous spots, Lulworth Cove may be a little busier than some of the other beaches in this guide, but for good reason. This seaside gem is sheltered and scenic, with lots of lovely shops and cafes to pop into from the car park to the beach, and is surrounded by beautiful, romantic places to stay both along the coast and rurally further inland. From the cove, there are frequent boat trips available in high season to see the coastline from the sea, and what could be more romantic than holding your loved one tight as you gaze in awe at the archaeologically stunning shore, including the spectacular Durdle Door.
Seatown Beach, Dorset
Located just along the Jurassic Coast between Lyme Regis and West Bay, this pebble beach is much quieter than its neighbouring stretches thanks to Lyme’s popularity as a thriving tourist town and West Bay’s huge boost in visitors following its appearance on hit TV show Broadchurch. Setting up for a romantic trip at Seatown means you’ll have the best of both those worlds either side, with the added bonus of a beautifully peaceful, stunningly pretty beach to cuddle up on in between.
Kilve beach, Somerset
One of the rockiest beaches of the lot, but certainly one of the most spectacular in terms of the view, Kilve Beach is on the coast of the Quantock Hills. The rockpools sprinkled across the stretch offer a unique bonding experience for you and your partner and there is a large grassy space just behind the beach with plenty of benches if you want to take along some lunch. The major highlight of this spot really is the scenery though; looking across the Bristol Channel, you are afforded an unhampered view of Wales, where you might be able to pick out everything from Barry Island to the Welsh mountains on a clear day.
A sparse stretch of sand and shingle, Dunster’s surroundings help make it a wonderfully romantic destination. Arrive in the area via the steam railway, travelling in style to your destination, before enjoying a stroll hand in hand along the peaceful shores. Dunster Castle is just off the beach, offering the ultimate fairy tale setting for a lovers’ escape, particularly if you time it right for their outdoor theatre performances in the summer months; snuggle up on a blanket and enjoy a truly intimate showing.
From waterside retreats in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, to Sussex seaside escapes and heavenly beach hideaways in Kent, the south coast has plenty to offer when you’re looking for a romantic beach to visit with your partner.
The New Forest is very much known for its, well, forest. But its coast is equally beautiful, and often far less visited as its mainly shingle and only a few stretches are accessible along the shoreline. Calshot is one of those few places, and thanks to its positioning between the bustling New Forest and the vibrant city of Southampton across the Solent, it’s relatively untouched by most visitors to the area, making it a wonderfully peaceful place to visit with your beau. Pick a spot amongst the pebbles, get settled, and watch the world go by.
Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
On the western side of the island, Compton Bay can be popular with visitors closer to Hanover Point, but stroll further along toward the white cliffs and it’s a serene retreat with soft sands and a stunning backdrop. Sunsets on this part of the land are truly mind-blowing, so why not pack a picnic, take some Prosecco, and indulge in a romantic experience like no other.
Botany Bay, Kent
The hugely popular resort of Broadstairs is just around the coast, and it’s often heaving with holidaymakers and children – hardly ideal for relaxing stroll or paddle in the sea with your spouse. So, head further north to the much less crowded Botany Bay, and you certainly won’t be disappointed. The striking chalk stacks dotted along the cove give it a beautiful sense of character that many of the more open and commercial beaches lack and it is perfect for a swim in calmer waters. Its tranquil aura offers a stark comparison to the other beaches nearby and is the ideal destination for a couple to enjoy a peaceful day out together.
West Wittering, Sussex
A beautifully pristine and unspoilt stretch, West Wittering beach is a stunning spot to spend quality time with your beau in the sunshine. The shallow waters offer perfect paddling temperatures, so you can stroll hand in hand with your toes in the sea, whilst the soft sand acts as a lengthy blanket of silk-like feel on which to lay down and watch the world go by. The area is famed for the wildlife surrounding it, plus views across Chichester Harbour and the sight of kite surfers gliding across the waters is both entertaining and awe-inspiring.
Cuckmere Haven, Sussex
The dramatic backdrop of sheer white cliffs creates a unique and exceptional sight not often seen on Britain’s beaches. The consistent erosion of the cliffs means the beach is ever evolving, and the meandering river flowing to the sea adds yet another element to the area’s unrivalled beauty and individuality. You’re sure to be hard pressed to find another beach quite like it, which is just what makes it so romantic. Walk alongside the river, amble down to the beach, and enjoy the breath-taking views out to sea – you certainly won’t regret it.
Saunter by the sea in Suffolk, escape to the wonderful waterfront of Essex, lounge on gorgeous beaches along Norfolk’s coast, or head for one of Lincolnshire’s lovely stretches. There’s an abundance of seaside retreats along the east coast, with dog friendly places if you’ve got a four-legged friend, and some truly stunning and relaxing retreats if it’s just you and your two-legged companion.
Situated on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, if you don’t fall in love with the fish and chips, the sumptuous view, or the history of the town (but really, why wouldn’t you?), then you’ll certainly see the look of love in one another’s eyes and discover an ardour for the idyllic beach. If you’re early risers, head out before dawn and snuggle up on the shingle to watch the sunrise over the horizon for a true taste of romance, or for a bit of culture wander down to see the remarkable Maggi Hambling sculpture ‘A Conversation with the Sea’. If all else fails, there’s some delightful shops in Aldeburgh if retail therapy always does the trick!
This may seem like a strange pick for romance, but its quirky appeal is ideal for a day out with a difference. Walberswick’s tradition of crab fishing offers up a memorable and relaxing activity to partake in with your partner and could be especially entertaining if you’re a competitive coupling! Alternatively, this beach’s remoteness and contrast of dunes offer the perfect picnic spot, and its proximity to Southwold means that whilst most people soak up the sun in the town next door, you’ll have a much more peaceful time together.
Walton on the Naze, Essex
Popular with young families but equally as suitable for couples of any age, this seaside town has a delightful sandy beach and the second longest pier in the country, so you can wander to its end leisurely with your spouse and enjoy the panoramic views all around. The shelving sand backdropped by bright beach huts means you’re enveloped by tranquillity and traditionalism, offering an ocean side haven that is a world away from the much-commercialised Clacton located just along the coast.
Another spectrum of colour awaits at Wells-next-the-Sea to smother your romantic trip in a swathe of vibrancy, with the Norfolk resort’s beach huts lining the sand providing a flamboyant flair to an otherwise reserved and modest stretch – the huts even have their own names! The beach itself is soft as silk underfoot, so why not kick those shoes off and wiggle your toes in the sand? It’s such a beautiful area with plenty of activities to indulge in together, plus if you’ve got a four-legged friend, they can join you on the big beach day out too as much of the bay is dog friendly.
Blakeney and Cley, Norfolk
Peace and quiet, you and your loved one, a largely unpopulated beach – sound good? Blakeney and Cley are practically next door to each other and each offer serene shingle stretches for you to explore with your beau, so it’s only fair that they both get a mention in our shortlist. Norfolk’s coast has lots of gorgeous bays and coves, but with so many seaside resorts swamped with larger groups and garish amusements, it’s a welcome change to find a beach of such beauty so untouched and unspoilt, leaving it perfect for you to enjoy a tender moment together.
In total contrast, Lincolnshire’s coastal gem of Mablethorpe is a quirky combination of inimitability and conformity to traditional seaside norms. Take a ride together on the unique sand train, splash in the calm waters, or hold on tight and enjoy some fast-paced fairground fun before heading to see the loveable seals at the Seal Sanctuary and Wildlife Centre, or discovering more about one of the many eccentric ‘bathing beauties’. No matter what you like doing on your days out, there’s truly something for every man and woman in this wonderfully topsy-turvy town.
Anderby Creek, Lincolnshire
Heaven for both you and any additional furry friends your relationship may have welcomed, this beach may be dog-friendly, but that doesn’t stop it being any less appealing if you’re just visiting with the two-legged love of your life. Get back to nature amongst sublime sand dunes and unspoiled scenery, with lots of little areas to hide away and enjoy a picnic in shelter from the wind and cosy up listening to the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. For that really memorable romantic touch, The Cloud Bar is situated just off the beach where you can lay together on the specially designed seats and admire the world above, with parabolic mirrors installed to have that real magic element.
NORTH OF ENGLAND
Hidden gems across the north of England can be found in all corners of the region, from Berwick-Upon-Tweed in the most north easterly part of the country to waterside havens along Merseyside and the outskirts of the Lake District. While heading north might not be the first thought when looking for a romantic beach getaway, there’s plenty to choose from and they’re each as beautiful and awe-inspiring as any that you may find in the southern counties!
Lytham St Annes, Lancashire
The bright lights of Blackpool may be just a mile or two up the coast, but this little Lancashire gem feels a world away from the heaving tourist hotspot if you’re looking for the quieter side of life with your partner. The pretty beach huts lining the promenade are quaint and traditional, reflective of the town itself and the soft sand welcomes bare feet like fluffy carpet in winter. Why not share a picnic or some customary fish and chips with the iconic windmill as your backdrop, or head along the coast a little to the boating lake for a relaxing pedalo trip or romantic rowing session?
Formby Sands, Merseyside
Stunning Irish Sea views and a wealth of wildlife to discover, Formby Sands is a jewel in the crown of the National Trust. Cosy up to your loved one for the calm after a storm to witness the breath-taking sight across the ocean, or pick a quiet spot amongst the dunes to enjoy a picnic and prosecco together. Having fewer beaches in the north doesn’t mean they’re any less beautiful – it just makes them extra special!
Ravenglass, Lake District
The Lake District may not spring to mind when you’re thinking of a day at the beach, but with rivers, estuaries and sand banks dotted along its fringes, if you stumble across one it’s often a sandy haven amongst a sea of greenery… and lakes. Ravenglass is one such example of a unique beach where you can spend hours with your partner admiring awe-inspiring scenery, away from the crowds of traditional coastal resorts in the serenity of one of the country’s most spectacular national parks.
Runswick Bay, Yorkshire
Yorkshire’s varied scenery is unrivalled by many English counties, with the Moors, Dales and coast all featuring some truly beautiful settings. In the north of the county, along the coast from the famous seaside town of Whitby, lies Runswick Bay with its crystal waters and golden sand. Accessed via a steep hill, it’s a secret spot that Yorkshire lads and lasses have adored for years that is now visited more and more each year by adoring tourists and it’s not hard to see why. The exquisite landscape is the perfect setting for sunrise, to listen to the waves lapping the shore, or perhaps to pop that all important question?
Cocklawburn Beach, Northumberland
Any location described as having ‘barely anyone there’ immediately says romance to us, because having no one around means you’re free to act completely as you would with each other in the comfort of your own home; whether that means cartwheeling across the sand, enjoying a picnic of assorted goodies, or just doing absolutely nothing but watch the world go by and breathe in the sea air. Free parking, completely unspoiled and dog-friendly all feature on this beautiful beach’s repertoire, and with such peace surrounding you it makes the perfect destination to head for whiling away the hours in the company of your best friend for life.
Cwtch up by the coast on one of Wales’ many wonderful beaches. From the Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire shores of the south, to the western waterside hideaways and sandy retreats in the north, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to Cymru’s coastal beauty spots, so we’ve narrowed down the choice to include some of the most spectacular, secluded and simply sublime destinations you should head to with your beau.
Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula
There are so many stunning stretches of coast around Swansea, The Mumbles and The Gower, but our favourite for romance is definitely Three Cliffs Bay. Looking like a sprawling blue lagoon with breath-taking views in every direction, it’s photogenic in every sense, and thanks to its location slightly off the beaten track it is never overly busy. For a romantic walk to your even more romantic destination, follow the stream through the woods and sand dunes until your view opens up to the glorious bay where the full effect of its magical aura will take your breath away.
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
A real sun trap sheltered by the towering cliffs, this impressive bay looks like it has been taken straight out of a travel brochure. The immaculate sands underfoot offer a silky-smooth blanket on which to lay down together and watch the clouds pass by overhead, whilst listening to the soothing sounds of gently lapping waves and birds drifting above. This picture-perfect beach need no improvement and with the love of your life by your side, you’ll wonder how life can ever get any better.
Barmouth Beach, Gwynedd
Snowdonia National Park in the background, crystal clear waters lapping at your toes, and utterly breath-taking sunsets combine to create a spellbinding setting to spend time with your loved one. Barmouth is idyllic and traditional whilst retaining complete originality thanks to its positioning, and makes a refreshing change to the mountainous ranges and craggy rock faces you may traverse during your stay in the area. Pick a spot on the sand, get comfy and enjoy spending quality time together in such a phenomenal place.
Mwnt Beach, Ceredigion
One of the most beautiful things to witness in life is nature in all its glory and there’s rarely a better example of that than seeing a dolphin elegantly glide and jump through the ocean waters – and there’s not many better places to spot them than Mwnt Beach. Cardigan Bay has plenty of places to seek out a sandy stretch and explore with your companion, but this particular bay offers shelter from the winds and a more secluded area to enjoy the stunning views out across the Irish Sea. It’s a Welsh wonder that dreams are made of.
Whether it’s brisk windy walks hand in hand or spending the occasional sun-drenched day on the sands of Scotland, there’s some bonnie beaches to choose from when you’re looking for somewhere to spend quality time with your partner in crime. Islands, Highlands and east coast escapes all feature on our must-visit list in the home of haggis and the beautiful sounds of bagpipes.
Applecross, Scottish Highlands
In the north-west of the country on the fringes of the Highlands, Applecross is a stunning peninsula with a remarkable journey to reach the shore, driving along winding roads that climb high above the clouds in some places before dropping down to sea level. Once your magical trip through the haze is over, you’re left with a beautiful stretch of sand with only a handful of frequent visitors thanks to its location so far away from larger settlements, so you and your partner are free to explore an incredible coastal landscape that’s perfectly squeezed between awe-inspiring mountains.
Sandwood Bay Beach, North West Scotland
You could easily be mistaken for thinking this phenomenal bay was at the other end of Britain on the south coast, or even further afield perhaps overseas, but this spectacular beach is in fact a wee haven close to the most north westerly tip of Scotland. Accessible only on foot via a lengthy path, you can reminisce on old times as you wander through paradise ready to make new memories. You’ll want to take your camera for views as incredible as these, ranging from a giant stack out at sea, to beautiful sand dunes, and an ‘edge of the world’ sensation as you gaze out on a rippling blanket of blue.
Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull
You’ll be well-rewarded for making the journey to the Isle of Mull when you arrive at Calgary Bay, immediately in awe of the immaculate white sand and the crystal-clear sea lapping the shore. Whether you’re both into swimming and want to experience the thrill of taking a dip in the chilly Scottish waters, or you just want a totally secluded excursion to spend quality time together, this exquisite cove ticks every box and more.
Dornoch, Scottish Highlands
On the east coast of the country, Dornoch features golden sand that stretches for miles, so you can always find a quiet spot to sit together without fear of intrusion or passers-by. The tranquillity the beach offers is like nothing else, no matter if you want to lay back and watch the world go by, paddle in the sea, or take a brisk winter walk between the dunes. Be sure to try and catch the sunrise if you visit – as dawn breaks, the sun shimmering off the sapphire blue waters creates a sense of euphoria and long-lasting memories that are just perfect for sharing with your love.
We have some beautiful cottages across the country close to many of these breath-taking beaches where you can make memories to cherish forever. Begin your journey to ultimate romance by the sea today.