Holkham Beach, Norfolk

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Archie Eke on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Archie Eke on Unsplash

England

 

 

The North Norfolk coast is rich in wildlife, a haven for birds and home to one of the largest seal colonies in Britain at Blakeney Point. In fact, so beautiful is this particular stretch it was used as a setting in the film Shakespeare in Love. This shoreline is part of Holkham National Nature Reserve where shady pine woods and salt marshes sit alongside miles of beach – giving you the opportunity to wonder at the harmony of it all and walk for as long as you choose.

 

Rhossili Beach, Gower

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Emma Sian Green on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Emma Sian Green on Unsplash

Wales

 

Quieter than Cornwall and less crowded than Devon, Welsh beaches are tranquil and breathtakingly beautiful. Rhossili is the westernmost beach on the Gower Peninsula. Best accessed down a path from the village of Rhossili, it is one of the most recognisable beaches in Wales yet manages to retain a Robinson Crusoe atmosphere. This 5km long stretch of sand is bookended by the famous promontory Worm’s Head at one end and Llangennith at the other. Backed by steep green hills, the powerful Atlantic swells here mean the water is popular with surfers. A fabulous spot for a wild and windy beach stroll.

 

Luskentyre Sands, Isle of Harris

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Nils Leonhardt on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Nils Leonhardt on Unsplash

Scotland

 

When we think of Scotland, white sand beaches are not what first spring to mind but, as well as the stunning craggy mountains and sweeping forests that it’s famous for, Scotland also boasts some incredible beaches. Located on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Seilibost Beach (pronounced Shell-a-bost) is one of the most spectacular in Scotland. The Eastern end of the beach gives way to grassy dunes and makes a suitable starting point for long walks. Pure, white sands with rocky patches slope gently into the pristine, aquamarine waters of the sea and the view out over Luskentyre Bay to the mountains beyond make this a perfect get away from it all destination.

 

White Rocks, Portrush, Co Antrim

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Michael Shannon on Unsplash

Ireland

 

Whiterocks is well known by locals but less so by tourists and the walk to and from Portrush along this blue flag beach is stunning.  Fringed with limestone cliffs, bizarre sea-sculpted rock formations pile up at the Eastern end of the bay. There are also magnificent sea caves to explore and a path up to the ruins of Dunluce Castle.

 

Texel Beach, Wadden Islands

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Maxim Stuij on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Maxim Stuij on Unsplash

Netherlands

 

Texel beach is on the island of Texel just a short ferry ride over from the mainland on the North coast of Holland.  A paradise for beach walkers with its 30km of long sandy beach, the island’s northern coastline is an utterly unique dune landscape and also a protected nature reserve. The landmark red lighthouse is 150 years old and offers spectacular vistas from its viewing platform.

 

Plage des Prises, Ile de Ré

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Anthony Choren on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Anthony Choren on Unsplash

France

 

Lying just off the west coast of France, the Ile de Ré is a UNESCO world heritage site of sand dunes, salt flats and pine forests. It gets more hours of sunlight here than anywhere else on the west coast and boasts 100km of diverse coastline. There are lots of beaches to walk on but those on the west of the island are quieter. We like La Plage des Prises, just South of Couarde. A 5km stretch of fine sand over which a coastal board walk has been laid. Enjoy the scent of pine and tamarind trees drifting over as you stroll. At just 9km drive from La Rochelle it makes a great day trip from the mainland.

 

Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa

<p><span style="font-size: 8pt;">Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash</span></p>

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

Spain

 

 

Located on the Costa de la Luz 20km north of Tarifa, La Playa de Bolonia lies within El Estrecho Natural Park. The winds of Poniente and Levante have created a huge dune of fine white sand that towers over the western end of the beach. Backed by a forest of umbrella pines and lapped by the turquoise clear waters of the Atlantic, the dune is considered to be so beautiful it was declared a Natural Monument in 2001. And as if the striking beauty of this beach is not enough, it also features the most complete Roman ruins yet to be discovered in Spain. Because of its proximity to Africa the ancient town of Baelo Claudia was an important centre for commerce and the distribution of goods across the Empire.

In light of current circumstances, please check government advice and be sure it's safe to travel before visiting any of these destinations. For now, this list is for future reference and current daydreaming only. 

And when it is safe to go, make sure you also check the tide times carefully – many beaches are at their best at low tide but can disappear altogether as the tide comes in. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water, provisions and, of course, your Salties!

 

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