The UK’s best secret beaches where you can still social distance – The Sun

THE British public flocked to beaches across the UK over the weekend, with mass crowding on some of the popular tourist hotspots.

Thankfully, there are many less well-known, secret beaches in Britain which you can visit instead.

While guidelines still advise social distancing, Brits are now allowed to go outside further from their homes which includes long walks and beach visits.

However, the great weather has also meant many popular beaches have been too busy to visit.

Thankfully the UK has more than 770 beaches which can be visited, many of them hidden from most.

Here are the best secret beaches which remain crowd-free even during busy times.

Cuckmere Haven beach, East Sussex

Situated at the base of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs on the Sussex Heritage Coast, the wide pebble beach at Cuckmere Haven is a quiet alternative to the congregating crowds at Eastbourne, just under six miles away.

Popular both with sunbathers and fishermen, it is also rather famous, having been used as a location for films including Harry Potter and Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

Food is available and you can drop the car at the country park centre.

There is no lifeguard, though, so keep an eye on the kids.

Gaddings Dam, West Yorks

The small, land-locked sandy beach is the country’s highest, 355m above sea level.

Just 23 miles from Manchester or an hour’s drive from Leeds, you’ll find it on the moors between Todmorden and Walsden.

Good walking boots are ­recommended as there is no road access – the walk includes a steep hike up a hill and a footpath which can be slippery.

There’s no tide or current so the water is popular with wild swimmers, although there are a few rocks under the water near the edges of the walls, and there’s no lifeguard on duty. It’s also quite exposed so don’t ­forget the sunscreen.

Port Iago, Wales

This secret, sandy, very pretty cove is located on the northern coast of the Llyn Peninsula in Gwynedd.

Its sheltered, south-west-facing position and clear blue waters are just the ticket for sunbathers and swimmers.

You can even set up camp here with the kids. There is a car park just above the beach, which is reached down a private lane through the Ty Mawr farm. Access to the shore is down a steep and sandy dune.

For amenities, take a stroll west on foot to the popular bay of Porth Oer (Whistling Sands) to find a shop and cafe.

Red Rake at Silverdale Cove, Morcambe Bay

Dotted along the Morecambe Bay ­coastline at Silverdale are some of the most picturesque, hidden beaches in the area, including Red Rake.

There’s a small cave on the cliff face, which is perfect for snaps of Knott End Point and Morecambe Bay. A twitcher’s paradise, it’s also a few miles from the reed beds of the RSPB Leighton Moss Nature Reserve – a ­regular haunt of the bittern, as well as marsh harriers and harbour bearded tits.

Ice creams and refreshments can be enjoyed in Silverdale village, if you fancy a break from bird-watching.

Porth Joke, Cornwall

Dodge the hordes flocking to holiday hotspot Newquay and head instead to this hidden gem, located five miles south of the famous – and hugely ­popular – Fistral Beach.

Locally known as Polly Joke, this unspoilt and picturesque sandy cove is deeper than it is wide – at low tide rock pools and caves are revealed. Ideal for nature lovers as well as sun worshippers and surfers, if you visit during late spring and early summer you’ll also see the blooming wild flower display, perfect for brightening up your social media feed.

Find it by strolling along the coast path for one mile from West Pentire. You can also park there.

Shakespeare, Kent

Be prepared to take 100 stairs down – and back up again – to this quiet Dover beach which is renowned as a hotspot for swimming enthusiasts.

The long stretch of shingle is located within a bay near Shakespeare Cliff. There are some deep rock pools which the kids will love exploring and can be accessed at low tide.

It is also a popular place for fishing and dog walking.

Channel swimmers start their epic journeys from here as it’s the shortest distance between the UK and France.

Barricane, Devon

This picturesque, secluded inlet in Woolacombe is known for the assortment of exotic shells that end up on the beach – said to have been washed in from a Caribbean island across the Atlantic ocean.

A site of Special Scientific Interest, the beach is surrounded by rocky outcrops and is popular with surfers, rock poolers and swimmers.

The water quality is Marine ­Conservation Society-recommended, though there are no lifeguards and you will need to check tide times – during high tide it becomes a large, natural pool and use is restricted.

If you’re feeling peckish, there is a small cafe on the beach serving up its ­famous curry to enjoy on the sand.

Brightlingsea, Essex

For a refreshing dip on a beach backed by colourful beach huts and a long promenade, head here.

The water quality is excellent, the golden sand is ideal for building castles and the ­sunsets are epic. While tourists flock to the Essex resorts of Southend and Clacton, this is a favourite with locals.

So if you want peace, quiet and fun for all the family, it’s the perfect alternative.

Presipe Bay, Pembrokeshire

Sited on the Pembrokeshire coast within the area’s National Park, this secluded, sandy beach has some interesting rock ­formations and is backed by fiery red ­sandstone cliffs rich in fossils.

A quiet spot that’s far from the tourist trail, there are no facilities but kids and pooches will love it.

You can access the bay via the pleasant path between Sprinkle Haven and Manorbier, then walking down around 160 steps.

The best time to visit is when the tide is out so check before heading down – the beach is much smaller when the tide is in.

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