Huntington Beach Named Best West Coast Beach! Browse Current Contests Huntington Beach, previous winner of the title Best California Beach, took home top honors again, this time, competing against beaches in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii. The top 10 winners in the category Best West Coast Beach are as follows. Other West Coast Beach nominees included East Beach in Santa Barbara, Kaunaoa Beach on the Big Island, Kee Beach in Kauai, Lanikai Beach in Oahu, Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, Poipu Beach Park in Kauai, Oswald West State Park in Manzanita, Waianapanapa State Park in Maui, Wailea in Maui and Waimanalo Beach in Oahu. Congratulations to all 10 winning West Coast beaches. License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo. The Experts.
A Surfing at Colhuw Beach, Llantwit Major, A great wave in front of amazing cliffs says Gwen of this break near Cardiff. There’s a good right hand point and a left that’s fun and has good shape, walling up well. Llantwit Major is not as scary as a reef break but it’s a bit rippy, so best suited to experienced surfers.
Perfect conditions: south-west swell, north-east wind, all tides. B Surfing in Manorbier, There’s an advanced right-hand reef or more mellow beachpeaks beneath the ruins of a Norman castle in this picturesque bay. “A nice wave, “ Gwen agrees. “I haven’t surfed at Manorbier a lot but each time it was a lot of fun and it’s a really pretty spot.” Perfect conditions: south to west swell, north-east wind, mid-tide. C Rest Bay, Porthcawl, Close to Cardiff and Bristol and an easy daytrip from London, Porthcawl is always popular for a quick blast and its mellow waves suit beginners.
Rest Bay is the most consistent break, providing well-formed peaks, while Coney beach in front of the esplanade offers more shelter. Perfect conditions: south to west swell, north-east (Coney) or east (Rest Bay) wind, all tides.
D Newgale, by The break that starts a lifetime of surfing for many first-timers due to easy hire of equipment, forgiving waves at most tides – beware the shore-dump at high, however – and space.
More sheltered waves break on sand beaches further down St Bride’s Bay. Perfect conditions: south to west swell, north-east wind, mid-tide.
E Children carrying surf boards, Gower “My favourite break in Wales” Gwen says, of the Gower’s premier surf spot. “The shore break can be fun and fast at high tide then Lefts is good as the tide drops. Crab Island reef doesn’t work often but it’s pretty special when it does: quick on the take off then easy and long.” Nearby Caswell Bay is better for children and novices. Perfect conditions: south-west or west swell, north wind, all tides.
F Freshwater West, by The Harry Potter film crew came for magical scenery. The Welsh Surf Championship arrives for waves and there are many at different tides, Gwen says. “From low to mid-tide I surf Middle Bay – it’s fast and hollow with a good shape. Also Fresh’ West picks up more swell than Llangennith, so it’s a great for consistency.” Perfect conditions: south to west swell, east wind, all tides.
G Surfing, Voted Britain’s best beach in 2013, the sands down to Rhossili provide waves for all abilities.
“Three Peaks at the north end gets really good – quite peaky,” says Gwen. “I’d give the rest of Llangennith about seven out of ten because it’s the most consistent spot in the area, but Peaks has more shape and power.” Perfect conditions: south to west swell, east wind, all tides.
H A surf school on Hells Mouth beach, by Ignore the name – this forgiving beachbreak is a mellow option because waves lose their power en route north. It still packs a punch on its day, however, and surfers from Liverpool, Manchester and the Midlands drop everything to surf here when it’s on. Perfect conditions: south to west swell, north-east wind, all tides. I Surfing at Whitesands Bay, Another popular beach for beginners though it can get crowded during the peak summer season. Out of school holidays its mix of dazzling sand and punchy turquoise peaks beneath St David’s Head make it one of the most memorable surf spots in West Wales.
Perfect conditions: south to west swell, east wind, all tides. • Gwen Spurlock by • This is Wales 2018 byWales On View • Cardiff mini guide byWales on View • Surfing at Colhuw Beach, Llantwit Major, by ref: SVW-C17-0910-0048 • Surfing in Manorbier, by ref: SVW-C07-1011-0060 • Rest Bay, Porthcawl, by ref: S101-373-SP • Newgale, by • Children carrying surf boards, Gower by ref: S115-728 • Freshwater West, by ref: S98-108-SP • Surfing, by ref: S102-005_SP • A surf school on Hells Mouth beach, by • Surfing at Whitesands Bay, by ref: SVW-C07-1011-0912 • Dylan Thomas statue, by ref: S128-941 • Surf School by • Barmouth bridge crossing the Mawddach estuary, by ref: NVW-C52-0910-0063 • Heron in flight at RSPB Conwy, by • Piazza, Minffordd, by • Trwyn Do Lighthouse, by
best dating west wales beaches middle east - Best Countries in the Middle East
With Britain basking in some unexpected April heat, why not make a rapid dash to the seaside? To help you pick the best stretch of sand, we asked our experts to recommend their favourite beaches around the country. Some of the nominations are deservedly popular spots along the south and western coast of Britain, while others are of the wild and unspoilt variety, where even at the height of summer you can find a secluded spot beneath cliffs or among dunes. (If you are looking for more suggestions for wild, out of the way places, see our guide to the ).
Some of the shorelines here – those in Scotland and the Isles of Scilly, for instance – are so remote that you will need to find a base for a night or two. So for each destination we have suggested somewhere to stay locally, and – where it exists – somewhere to eat on or near your stretch of sand. North Cornwall 1. Watergate Bay, Newquay Two miles of golden sand backed by cliffs and caves, where the Atlantic swells produce reliable surf and peregrine falcons, gulls and fulmars wheel overhead.
Spot strawberry anemones and crabs among the rock pools, walk along the clifftop, or book a surfing or traction kiting lesson with the excellent Extreme Academy on the beach (01637 860840; ). Watergate Bay Eat: Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall (01637 861000; ) is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (booking essential). The Beach Hut bistro is less expensive than Fifteen; right on the sand, it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (01637 860877; ).
Stay: At Watergate Bay Hotel, overlooking the sands, which has great children's facilities and a self-catering option. Doubles from £175, including breakfast. Read a full review: • • South Cornwall 2. Porthcurno, near Land's End Set beneath the clifftop Minack Theatre, this is arguably the county's most beautiful bay: a funnel of sand caught between lichen-encrusted granite cliffs. Easily accessible, it has fine white sand and is popular with families.
It's best at low tide when you can walk to other beaches in the bay (one of which is nudist) and sit on sandbars beneath the ancient cliff fort of Treryn Dinas, surrounded by Grecian-blue water. Porthcurno beach Credit: AP Eat: At the Coffee Shop at the Minack Theatre, above the beach offers coffee, Cornish cream teas, and light meals.
You have to pay for admission to the site, but this includes access to the gardens. (01736 810694; ). Stay: At The Old Coastguard hotel in Mousehole, which offers a spacious bar/restaurant, and a superb location with views over the palm-filled garden sloping down to the sea.
Doubles from £130, including breakfast. Read a full review: Cosy rooms at the Old Coastguard Hotel Isles of Scilly 3. Pentle Bay, Tresco Pentle Bay induces a broad grin. You can't help it after crossing Tresco Island's lush interior and walking through sandy grass into a wall of dazzling colour: bleached white sand, emerald-and-turquoise ocean dotted with islands and impossibly blue sky.
Everything is light, bright, almost tropical in its brilliance. It takes a dip in the briny – two degrees colder than the mainland – to confirm that you are still in Britain. Blackpool Sands is a great spot for swimming Credit: ALAMY Eat: At The Venus Café, right on the beach, serves Devon crab, baguettes and salads (01803 770209; ), open daily from 8.30am-9pm until the beginning of September.
Stay: At Strete Barton House, Strete: a stylish b & b in a 16th-century manor house near Dartmouth (01803 770364; ). • Dorset 6. Studland Bay Four miles of pristine white sand, which shelves gently into milky-blue waters, with a backdrop of dunes and heathland.
The northern stretch, most easily reached by chain ferry, has an away-from-it-all, desert-island feel, appreciated by the naturist sunbathers at Shell Bay; the southern Knoll Beach is popular with families.
Studland Bay's pristine sand Credit: This content is subject to copyright./Adam Burton / robertharding Eat: At the National Trust Beach Café, Knoll Beach, which serves hot and cold main meals and snacks. You can dine indoors or out (01929 450500; ).
Stay: At The Pig on the Beach hotel, which offers cosy interiors, superb breakfasts and an extensive kitchen garden, with views of Old Harry Rocks and the Isle of Wight. Doubles from £119, excluding breakfast. . • Isle of Wight 7. Compton Bay A rural and unspoilt stretch of coast caught between the English Channel and the grassy downs of West Wight. Walk south to Brook Bay at low tide and you may find ancient dinosaur tracks revealed on the foreshore, or spot fossils in the crumbling cliffs (see for details of fossil walks).
Access from the clifftop car parks (National Trust) is by steep wooden steps. Eat: At The Café at Dimbola Lodge in Freshwater Bay (01983 756814; ), is set in a charming photographic museum and serves teas and lunches.
Stay: At Compton Farm Caravan and Camping (01983 740215; ), close to the beach, or in one of the smart yurts of the Really Green Holiday Company at Afton, a short drive or cycle away (07802 678591; ). • Sussex 8. West Wittering It's a long, narrow and often traffic-choked road to the Witterings from Chichester, but that's what gives this Sussex beach its remote feel.
The fine, open stretch of sand, overlooking the Solent and Chichester harbour, is spotlessly clean and at low tide there are pools for paddling. Out on the water, acrobatic windsurfers sweep past. From the far western end, you can cross a narrow ridge to East Head, a lovely and remote sand-dune spit at the mouth of the harbour.
Get there early to avoid the queues and bag a parking spot. Kent 9. Botany Bay This is the most northerly of Broadstairs's beaches, and perhaps the prettiest – a 660ft curve of sand backed by white cliffs, with chalk stacks, rock pools and safe swimming. At low tide you can walk to Joss Bay, Kent's best surf beach. Eat: Bessie's Tea Parlour () and Morelli's Gelato () are popular options.
Stay: At Crescent Victoria Hotel in Margate, which offers individually-styled rooms, a retro vibe, and fabulous sea views. Suffolk 10. Walberswick The wooden bridge leading from the picturesque village of Walberswick to the beach is always crammed with children clutching crabbing lines and plastic buckets. Clamber over the ridge of dunes into the magical light of the Suffolk coast and you'll understand why so many artists are drawn to paint this long and empty stretch of sandy beach.
The quaint village of Walberswick Credit: © Terry Mathews / Alamy Stock Photo/Terry Mathews / Alamy Stock Photo Eat: At the Anchor for superior pub food, plus brunches, BBQs, and Curry Fridays (01502 722112; ). Stay: At In Southwold, stay at the refurbished which has a restaurant using local ingredients, or the , which offers an old-fashioned welcome and family-friendly service.
• • Norfolk 11. Wells/Holkham You don't know the meaning of "big sky" until you cross the wooden boards through the dunes and tip out on to this vast stretch of sand, midway along the north Norfolk coast. You can lay out your beach towels here or walk east on a path through the pine woods to the slightly more sheltered beach at neighbouring Wells-next-the-Sea.
In high summer it's easier to park at Wells and walk the other way. In any case, take a windbreak – and watch out for the caprices of the incoming tide. Holkham beach Credit: AP Eat: At The Beach Cafe on the Holkham Estate is backed by pinewoods and near the beach. Food is homemade, using local produce, and includes hot and cold snacks, lunches, and sandwiches, as well as ice-creams and drinks. Dogs welcome (01328 713055; ).
Stay: At Cley Windmill overlooking the salt marshes about 11 miles east along the coast. Read a full review of • • Yorkshire 12. Sandsend Set against a backdrop of grassy cliffs, where the wide sweep of beach from Whitby ends, this stretch is quieter and prettier than its famous neighbour.
Children play in the little becks that flow across the sand and ducks waddle across the green in charming Sandsend village. This is a great place for fossil hunting at low tide. Sandsend is a great place for fossil hunting Credit: gb27photo - Fotolia Eat: At The Woodlands (01947 893438) is a lovely café-cum-restaurant close to the beach; closed on Mondays.
Stay: At The Porthole, a converted 19th-century bunker built into the cliff with a private terrace overlooking the sea (01947 893500; ). • • Northumberland 13. Bamburgh Overlooked by Bamburgh Castle, this beautiful stretch of wild coastline offers clear seas and huge sands that stretch to Seahouses, three miles away. On a clear day you can see out to Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands.
Beautiful Bamburgh Credit: ALAMY Eat: At The Old Ship Inn, Seahouses (01665 720200; ), an atmospheric pub with sweeping sea views; local seafood is the speciality.
Or eat simply: barbecue Bamburgh bangers from R Carter & Son butchers (01668 214344; ). Stay: At St Cuthbert's House (01665 720456; ), an elegant 200-year-old former chapel in North Sunderland near Seahouses.
Lancashire 14. Formby The monumental dunes here are classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and from their tops there are views of the Cumbrian mountains – and even Blackpool Tower on a clear day. Footpaths lead through the pinewoods behind to a red squirrel reserve (this is one of the last outposts in Britain), and on the vast expanse of beach you can sometimes spot prehistoric human and animal footprints. The sunsets are spectacular.
Read our • East coast of Scotland 15. Lunan Bay This magnificent two-mile strand on the unheralded Angus coastline is backed by dunes and overlooked by Red Castle, a crumbling 12th-century fortress. Its pink sandstone hues match the colour of the low red cliffs and curious rock formations on the beach below. This is a great place for birdwatching, and is popular with surfers and riders.
Some swear the sands have a rosy tint; certainly the shore glitters after a storm, when semiprecious stones such as agate and jasper can be found. Take care when swimming as there are strong currents. Eat: At Gordon's Restaurant with rooms in nearby Inverkeilor (01241 830364; ), a place for serious foodies. It now also has five guest rooms, from £110 per night, including breakfast.
There are no facilities on the beach, so bring a picnic. Stay: At Ethie Castle (01241 830434; ), on the coast near Lunan Bay, a14th-century sandstone fortress that is one of Scotland's oldest inhabited castles – and one of its most atmospheric b&bs. • West coast of Scotland 16. Sandwood Bay, Cape Wrath, Sutherland Sutherland's, and arguably Scotland's, best beach is Sandwood Bay: a glorious, mile-long stretch of sparkling sand that is pounded by North Atlantic rollers and backed by undulating dunes.
The beach, which is owned and managed by the John Muir Trust, is popular with intrepid types – there's a hike of four and a half miles from Blairmore. Eat: A picnic. Stay: At Mackay's Rooms, Durness, has seven stylish bedrooms, two self-catering properties and two crofts. .
• Scottish Islands 17. Luskentyre, Outer Hebrides Hidden at the end of a winding road on the wild north-west coast of the Isle of Harris, this long stretch of brilliant sand is washed by shallow, startlingly azure water.
Farther out are the steel-grey rollers more often associated with Scotland, studded with empty, windswept islands. • Northern Ireland 18. Portstewart Strand A magnificent beach on the Causeway Coast, bounded at one end by low basalt cliffs and at the other by the River Bann. The dunes that back the two-mile-long Strand reach heights of 100ft and more, lending it an air of wildness and mystery, and the waves that crash on to the beach provide reasonable surfing.
In neighbouring Portrush you can marvel at sea-sculpted shapes in limestone cliffs on White Rocks beach – the Cathedral Cave, the Lion's Paw, the Wishing Arch. The coast at Portstewart Credit: AP/FOTOLIA Eat: At Ramore Wine Bar, on the harbour in Portrush (028 7082 4313; ). Stay: At the Royal Court Hotel (028 7082 2236; ), which stands above Portrush, looking down on the town, the East Strand and the Royal Portrush Golf Course.
Wales 19. Marloes Sands There is a half-mile walk from the car park to this magnificent National Trust-managed beach, but it's worth it for the crystal-clear water and dramatic sandstone cliffs, the views of outlying islands, and for the fossils, rock pools, seals, surf and space. • 20. Rhossili beach The Worm's Head promontory marks the beginning of this four-mile stretch of golden sand. Set at the western tip of the peninsula, it bears the full might of Atlantic swells, and is popular with surfers, walkers and paragliders.
Access is tricky, involving a walk down the cliff path. Look out for the hull of the Helvetia, wrecked on the beach in 1887. There can be strong undertows when the surf is high.
Getting there By rail For timetables, prices and to buy tickets, see Trainline () or National Rail Enquiries (). By coach For coach travel see National Express () or Megabus (), for buses see Traveline (), get live traffic updates at www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information.
See also our guide to . By air To find domestic flights, check Skyscanner (), Cheapflights () or Kayak (). See also our expert guide to . With contributions from Ian Belcher, Gill Charlton, Hugh Graham, Francesca Hoyles, Michael Kerr, Nigel Richardson, Caroline Shearing, Lizzie Porter and Joanna Symons.
Image caption Rhossili Bay is a three-mile (4km) stretch of sandy beach on the Gower peninsula It may not have quite as much sun, but a south Wales beach is rivalling those in Spain, Italy, Turkey and Greece to be named among the best in Europe.
Rhossili Bay on the Gower peninsula is third in a list of best European beaches in a survey of worldwide tourists by the TripAdvisor website. It was beaten only by Rabbit Beach at Lampedusa, Sicily, and Playa de las Catedrales in Ribadeo, Galicia, Spain. Swansea council pronounced itself "delighted but not surprised". Council leader David Phillips said: "We hope that many more visitors continue to enjoy its outstanding natural beauty." 6.
Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Crete, Greece 7. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey 8. La Pelosa Beach, Stintino, Sardinia, Italy 9. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall 10. St Pauls Bay, Lindos, Rhodes, Greece Source: TripAdvisor Rhossili Bay is a three-mile (4km) stretch of white sand within an area designated as the first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK.
It has Worm's Head at one end - a small tidal island and the most westerly tip of Gower - and on the other there is the other small tidal island of Burry Holms. Along the beach is a sole building - the Old Rectory, an old house dating to the 1850s which is now owned by the National Trust - and a ship wreck can be seen on the sand at low tide. Rhossili Bay was one of three UK beaches that made the top 10 European list, joining Woolacombe Beach in Devon in fifth, with Porthminster Beach at St Ives in ninth.
Other beaches in the list included Playa de ses Illetes, on the Spanish island of Formentera, which was fourth, Elafonissi Beach on the Greek island of Crete, which was sixth and Iztuzu Beach in Dalyan, Turkey, which was seventh. Rhossili also beat La Pelosa Beach in Stintino, Sardinia and and St Pauls Bay, in Lindos, on the Greek island of Rhodes, which were eighth and tenth respectively. The TripAdvisor website carries reviews of places, hotels and restaurants posted by travellers and holiday makers.
Image caption The Old Rectory is a sole building above the beach, dating back to the 1850s Emma Shaw, spokeswoman for TripAdvisor, said the awards recognised the best beaches according to travellers who had visited them and given them "the highest levels of praise". "Huge congratulations to Swansea's Rhossili Bay for beating many of the most exotic beaches across the globe," she added.
'Views are stunning' Barbara Powell, who runs West Pilton House B&B in Rhossilli, said her guests were often astonished that an area of south Wales is so beautiful. "I hope more people come and share it with us," she said. "I think the main appeal of Rhossili is that it's unspoilt - that's probably the most important thing.
"The views are stunning - Three Cliffs Bay, Worms Head, across to Llangennith... you can walk here, you can go paragliding, horse riding and fishing and surfing, of course." Adrian Short, who was born and brought up on Gower and has owned the Worm's Head Hotel in Rhossili for over a decade, said the beach was perfect.
"It has that perfect arched bay and it's very natural," he said. "It can also look very dramatic. You have Worm's Head on one side and Burry Holms on the other side. "Of course, it's the double edged sword.
On one hand, we want to keep the beach unspoilt but on the other hand we need to attract visitors to the area as that's what drives the economy."
Best Beach holiday Wales UK The hidden secret Barafundle Bay Pembrokeshire landscape photography