Britain’s 10 Best Beaches for Winter Walks
There is plenty to love about Britain’s beaches in winter: crisp, clear days with bright blue skies; large swathes of sand without any footprints; the comfort of snuggling into toasty woolly layers; and, of course, the odd tumultuous storm that whips up a frenzy and provides incredible natural cinematography viewed from a safe distance.
Wherever your dream location may be along Britain’s extensive coastline, you are never too far from a world-class beach on which to roam. Each unique and totally awe-inspiring, we have put together a list of the 10 best beaches for winter walks, so you can branch out from your sea view retreat, unplug and recharge amongst nature.
Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland, England
The picturesque Bamburgh Beach is a wonderful place for leisurely strolls throughout the year, but winter is particularly special. Void of crowds, the beach’s broad, sandy expanse lies in the foreground of the formidable Bamburgh Castle, replicating a scene that has survived 800 years of history. Don some wellies, zip up a thick coat and head to the beach for unrivalled scenery and rejuvenating sea air.
Sea view cottages in Bamburgh >
Camber Sands, Sussex, England
If you find yourself enjoying a seaside winter holiday in South East England, Camber Sands should definitely be on your list. One of the few beaches in Sussex to have a sandy shore (instead of the more common pebble and shingle) and home to the only sand dunes in East Sussex, its unique geology and gorgeous scenery make for an enchanting setting. And, almost 5 miles in length, there will certainly be no shortage of space for drawn-out walks!
Sea view cottages in Camber >
Bootle Beach, Cumbria, England
Bootle Beach in Cumbria is one of those massive sweeps of sand that never feels busy. Even quieter in winter, it is the perfect place to go and peddle your legs and clear your head, walking along tiger-striped sand patterned by the brush of the sea. With distant views of fells inland and the odd fishing boat out at sea, this quiet little corner of the world is great for winter walks, especially if you have an energetic dog in your pack.
Sea view cottages in Cumbria >
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Not only a surfers’ paradise in winter with some of the best waves in the country, but Freshwater West is also a firm favourite among walkers. Boasting Hollywood fame for its unrivalled beauty, film fanatics may recognise Freshwater West for its appearances in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where it was used as the location for Dobby’s Shell Cottage.
Sea view cottages in Pembrokeshire >
Gwithian, Cornwall, England
Adorned in warm layers and armed with a hot flask of tea, a blustery winter walk along the magnificent Gwithian beach will be a real treat. One of the many jaw-dropping beaches to grace the Cornish coastline, this heavenly 3-mile strip runs all the way from the Hayle River mouth to the Red River mouth at Godrevy. Make sure you visit at low tide though, as little of the beach remains at high tide.
Sea view cottages in Hayle near Gwithian >
Killantringan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Killantringan is a stunning beach that joins with neighbouring Knock Bay to create a mile-long stretch of powder-fine sand. Exuding the kind of raw energy and wild vibes that only Scottish beaches can, winter walks here will certainly be memorable. And, if the weather is fine and you feel like setting yourself a challenge, there is a good coastal path from the beach that runs for 3 miles all the way to nearby Portpatrick, home to plenty of pubs and restaurants.
Sea view cottages in Dumfries and Galloway >
Traeth Yr Ora, Anglesey, Wales
Hiding off the beaten track, this wide sand and shingle beach is just remote enough to often be empty. With room left at high tide to happily wander about, at low tide the walking opportunities at Traeth Yr Ora are even better as huge tracts of sea-hardened sand are revealed. As you go, let your gaze wander over to Dulas Island a mile offshore where a 9-meter stone tower is visible. Commissioned by Colonel James Hughes of Llys Dulas Estate in 1821, the tower was built as a refuge for shipwrecked sailors.
Sea view cottages in Anglesey >
Blackpool Sands, Devon, England
Even in winter, the sight of Blackpool Sands could easily trick you into thinking you had fallen into a scene from the Med. Sheltered by the protective shield of tree-topped cliffs, this Blue Flag Award-winning beach is carpeted with sugary sand and fringed by turquoise seas. Walk along the beach and take in the views, picking up the adjoining South Coast West Path if you feel like carrying on.
Sea view cottages near Blackpool Sands >
Saligo Bay, Isle of Islay, Scotland
Arguably Islay’s most beautiful bay, the romantically named Saligo Bay had to be on our list of Britain’s best beaches for winter walks. Reached through a gate halfway between Machir and Ballinaby Farm and across rabbit-filled dunes, the sights upon reaching this beach are positively mesmerising. Famous for its ethereal light and iconic rock formation, the Sleeping Giant, there’s no better place to blow away the cobwebs.
Sea view cottages in Scotland >
Three Cliffs Bay, the Gower, Wales
Sand dunes, saltmarsh, towering limestone cliffs and silky sands all combine to create the gorgeous Three Cliffs Bay. One of the most photographed areas of the Gower Peninsula, it’s not hard to see why so many people fall for its picture-perfect aesthetics. For the best winter walks, time your visit with the ebbing tide to print footsteps in the sand and lose yourself to the beach’s immeasurable beauty.
Sea view cottages in Gower >
Book a Stay on the Coast this Winter
If this list of the best beaches for winter walks has inspired you, why not book a stay on the coast during the colder months? We have loads of beautiful self-catering holiday homes and coastal cottages close to these and other spectacular beaches throughout the UK and Ireland. Start your search here.