19 Best Quiet Beaches in the UK (Hidden Gems)

quietest beaches in the uk

Last updated: August 15, 2022 at 13:25 pm

Although beautifully sunny days can be too rare in the UK when they arrive, there’s nothing better than going to the beach. The smell of the ocean, the sound of the waves, sand beneath your toes, and munching on chips, ice cream and candy floss.

Unfortunately, everyone close to the seaside has the same idea and beaches can become uncomfortably crowded. Not the perfect fun day you were planning. So, are there any quiet beaches left in the UK?

Luckily, there are a few. Here is a list of the best ones for your day at the coast.

North East England

Ross Back Sands – Bamburgh – Northumberland

ross back sands beach

This beach is only accessible by foot and is a 1.5-mile trip. This means that if you have mobility issues or rely on a pushchair for the kids, this won’t be the place for you. That said, its inaccessibility is what stops it from becoming uncomfortably crowded.

If you make the trip, you’ll be rewarded with miles of sand and stunning views of Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see some seals basking on the rocks nearby. This beach regularly comes top of the charts of hidden beaches, so definitely one to visit.

Druridge Bay – Amble to Cresswell – Northumberland

druridge bay beach

Although this beach is popular with walkers, surfers and dog owners alike, it’s so big that even on the sunniest day, you’ll still have space to enjoy it. It’s a beautiful, windswept beach that’s seven miles long. It runs down from a nature reserve and is unspoiled. If you love wild beauty, it’s the one for you.

Cayton Bay – Near Scarborough – North Yorkshire

cayton bay beach

This beach has it all. It boasts an expansive, sweeping bay, a dog-friendly beach, ample facilities, and reasonably priced parking. Whether you’re a surfer, a birdwatcher, a fan of fossils, or simply looking to relax in the sun, this beach fits the bill.

It’s situated between the much busier beaches in Scarborough and Filey, so it won’t feel too crowded. A hidden gem.

North West England

Many people don’t consider beaches in the northwest and flock to the Lake District instead. If you take the time to look, there are some beautiful, quiet beaches.

Haverigg Beach – Duddon Estuary – Cumbria

haverigg beach

There are more than 30 miles of shoreline at the estuary, a mix of sand, dunes and salt marsh. With so much space, you’re guaranteed not to be bothered too much by others. There are also stunning views of fells in the nearby Lake District, an RSPB bird sanctuary and a restored lighthouse. A perfect place for a relaxing day out.

St Anne’s Beach – Lytham St Annes – Lancashire

This beautiful beach is just a couple of miles away from the hordes at Blackpool. It offers miles of beautiful sandy beaches and a Victorian pier.

There are also lots of nice eateries nearby if you’d rather not bother with the hassle of making a picnic. Most of the beach is dog-friendly, and it’s also a haven for bird watchers.

South East England

Covehithe Beach – Wrentham – Suffolk

Southwold is just a couple of miles south and is absolutely packed in good weather. Covehithe is a quiet haven because it’s only accessible on foot or by bike. It has a beautiful beach, a nearby nature reserve and sometimes seals, although they can be elusive. On a sunny day, it’s a peaceful place for a day out.

Kingsgate Bay – Isle of Thanet – Kent

kingsgate bay beach

If you avoid the neighbouring tourist traps of Margate and Broadstairs, you’ll find Kingsgate Bay sandwiched in between. It’s not as popular because it’s not accessibly by car and there aren’t many amenities.

However, there is a beautiful, sheltered cove, golden sands and rock pools aplenty.

South West

Church Ope Cove – Isle of Portland – Dorset

If you love the feel of the sand, then this beach isn’t for you. A local stone quarry deposited pebbles on the beach. After many years they are lovely and smooth, but still not sand.

What you do get is a beautiful cove, sheltered by cliffs on three sides. It’s perfect for a day of swimming and snorkelling.

Woody Bay – Barnstaple – Devon

This beach is quiet because there’s a steep descent to reach it, discouraging families with children and those with mobility issues. However, if you can make it, you’ll find an idyllic spot. There is a partially constructed pier and swimming pool from the Victorian era, and it’s a perfect place to go swimming.

Lantic Bay – Fowey – South Cornwall

lantic bay beach

Cornwall is a hugely popular tourist destination, so all its beaches tend to be busy. Lantic Bay escapes because it can only be reached by boat or descending a steep path, which takes around 30 minutes. It’s worth the effort to get there, though.

It’s beautifully secluded with soft, golden sand and clear water. Perfect for a picnic or a day’s sunbathing. Parts of the beach get cut off at high tide, so make sure you check the times before you visit.


Sandwood Bay – Sutherland – West Coast

sandwood bay beach

It’s a four-mile walk to reach this bay, and you’ll need to come equipped as the path can be very windy. You’ll be rewarded for your hard work with stunning views and unique rock formations. Sandwood Bay offers a mile of crisp, white sands, a saltwater lagoon, and a freshwater loch. It’s a stunning location if you make the trip.

Farr Bay Beach – Bettyhill – North Coast

You’ll have to go a long way north to find this stunning beach, but it’s worth it. Because it’s so far north, it remains unspoilt but an absolute paradise for surfers, walkers, and wildlife lovers. It has sandy beaches, clear but freezing water and a host of wildlife, including seals, otters, and golden eagles.

Seacliff Beach – North Berwick – East Coast

If you live near Edinburgh and fancy a day at the beach, this is where you should be headed. It’s a 50-minute drive to this private beach. You’ll need to pay a small admission fee to enter the car park, but it’s worth it! There is plenty of sand, which is kept clean. You can also investigate sea life in its many rock pools. Alternatively, if you want to unwind, you can gaze at the stunning views of Tantallon Castle, Bass Rock and the Firth of Forth.


Scott’s Bay – Llansteffan – Carmarthenshire

scott's bay beach

Most people head to Llansteffan’s main beach and miss this gem altogether. It’s a beautiful spot with plenty of sand and sea to enjoy, ideal spot for a picnic. It’s so quiet you’ll feel like you’re miles from civilisation, but there’s a car park and a fish n chip shop within walking distance. While you eat, you can look at a hilltop castle above the bay or out to sea.

Porth Iago – Llyn Peninsula – North Wales

A beautiful sandy beach is sandwiched between the headlands on the Llyn Peninsula. It’s not easy to get to, but it’s so secluded it’s worth the trip. You can spend the day sunbathing, paddling, or walking along the shoreline. You could even pretend you’re on your own island.

Broad Haven South – Bosherston – Pembrokeshire

This beach has plenty of sand and sea but it’s the rock formations that catch your eye when you arrive. Church Rock is a favourite with tourists, named because it looks like an old church in the middle of the sea.

It’s a lovely spot to go for a walk, enjoy relaxing on the sand or dip your feet in the water. Be warned that strong currents make this beach unsuitable for swimming, and you need to check the times carefully as the tide comes in fast.

Northern Ireland

Tyrella Beach – Downpatrick – County Down

tyrella beach

While the beach in neighbouring Newcastle is jam-packed, Tyrella beach remains relatively quiet. It offers 2km of sand and is also a conservation area, so there are some beautiful walks to explore. It’s a favourite of water sports lovers, and there’s a part-time lifeguard in the summer if you fancy a dip.

Ballygally Beach – County Antrim

This beach is part of the Causeway Coastal Routes and has won several awards. It’s only 300m long, so it isn’t huge, but it does offer wonderful views of the Antrim coast, and on clear days you might see Scotland. It’s a lovely spot for a walk, a swim, or a day’s sunbathing. There are also decent local amenities including a childrens play park, toilets, a carp park and a shop selling ice cream and other refreshments.

Ballywalter Beach – Newtonards – County Down

ballywalter beach

This long, sandy beach can be found on the Ards Peninsula. It boasts everything you need for a fun day at the seaside. You gain go for a walk, take a cooling swim, or take the kids to explore the sea life in the rock pools. There’s a car park and toilets by the beach and the village of Ballywater is nearby, offering cafes and bars if you prefer not to eat on the beach.


Although it can seem like the entire country is at the beach in hot weather there are still gems away from the crowds. They may be harder to get to but they’re all worth going the extra mile for.

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About the Author: Claire

Hailing from the North-East, Claire has been writing for Quiet Living since 2020 and has built a wealth of knowledge in home improvement, with a keen interest in knowledge based articles.

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