Summer is here and what better way to enjoy the sun in the UK by taking a trip down to the seaside!
We want to celebrate National Oyster Day by taking you and your group on an unforgettable journey to what we believe to be the top 5 beach destinations in the UK and recommend some of the must-do activities.
The first destination on our recommendations list is, of course, the heart of the Oysters; Whitstable!
Whether you enjoy Oysters or not, this Kent-based location is perfect for seaside treats. Tuck into fish and chips on the pebbles whilst watching the boats head out to sail. Venture along the docks where you can try the fishy cuisine that is on offer or treat yourself to some retail therapy and shop in the small market stalls packed with handcrafted treasures. If you are a lover of the arts, why not visit some of the local art galleries such as The Fishslab and Chappell Contemporary. Visiting these is a great way to support the emerging artists of the local Kentish town.
To get into the spirit for the day of the Oyster, a visit to The Lobster Shack is a must. It’s the perfect place to experience some of Whitstable’s finest and freshest cuisine, plus the building was once an Oyster grading house- you can’t find anywhere better to celebrate the UK’s freshest seafood.
Another recommended stop for some food and drink is the Pearson’s Arms Pub and Restaurant! It offers the perfect end to your evening harbour stroll. Experience more of the local British cuisine, and seeing as you will be by the sea, it would be rude not to eat more seafood!
To enjoy an extended visit to Whitstable, the seaside location has an array of harbourfront lodges and even small beach houses to help you to embrace the true essence of a well-known British Seaside.
Keeping within the coastline of Kent, we now travel to Deal, which lies where the North Sea meets the English Channel.
This seaside destination is a must if travelling towards the White Cliff Country. Deal is known for being a picturesque setting that may be tiny but is home to many hidden treasures. The pebble beach offers up some breathtaking views of the English Channel and the newly refurbished landmark Deal Pier can extend your sightseeing views.
The heart of the town is made up of fisherman’s cottages and old Georgian townhouses that add to the town’s cultural and historical background. For history enthusiasts, a visit to Deal Castle should be on the list. Built by King Henry VIII, it is renowned for being one of the finest Tudor Castles in England.
Deal is popular for its yearly events that attract many visitors who are interested in art, festivals and museums. There are a number of independent stores that sell handmade gifts, and there is also an annual market that is a hotspot for vintage clothing, memorabilia and antiques.
Like many seaside locations, as you would expect, there are plenty of options for fresh fish cuisine. The cuisine in Deal is highly praised, especially within the local traditional British Pubs that are located throughout the small town. These pubs also double up as accommodation.
This seaside escape is a Great Deal!!
Travelling further down the coast, our third recommendation of the UK’s seaside retreats is none other than Hastings.
Hastings is renowned for its history and was the central location for the 1066 Battle of Hastings, which was fought off of what is now known as the Battle Abbey stands. This seaside destination is perfect if you’re looking for a cultural adventure, especially as it is home to the Hastings Fishermen’s Museum and Shipwreck Museum, detailing some fantastic local maritime history.
The town is infused with historical adventures such as Hastings Castle, Hastings Pier and ‘The Smugglers Adventure’. The latter is now a set of underground caves that display the story behind smuggling on the south-east coast 200 years ago called St Clements Caves.
There are many town restaurants nearby that are perfect for your fresh seaside fish & chips such as the infamous ‘Maggie’s Fish & Chips’ that is located on the seafront and overlooks the harbour.
The local accommodation is in keeping with Hastings’ historical background, with old townhouses and old-town layouts! Staying within the town is the best way to have a few days break to explore all the wonders of Hastings – and don’t forget, it is a must to travel on the East and West cliff railway!
Now to venture over to the West of England to the admired destination of Devon. One of the most famous beaches here is called Salcombe.
Salcombe is most famous for its love of Crab! This seafood is celebrated throughout the town with fresh platters served in pretty much every restaurant you enter and the seaside town also has its own annual crab festival.
Salcombe is heaven for all water sports lovers! Whether this is sailing, kayaking, surfing or paddleboarding, the crystal blue waters are so inviting that you can’t help but take a dip!l The beach fronts in Salcombe are like stepping on to oversea’s sands, the white sands and turquoise water is nothing other than breathtaking.
The town is the centre for independent boutiques and art galleries showcasing the work of local creatives. Wine and dine in the town of Salcombe with freshly caught fish and farmed produce, and don’t forget to try Salcombe dairy ice cream which will just make you fall in love with Devon even more!
The hotels are situated along the seafront and are home to some of the best Hotels in Devon thanks to the panoramic views – best Seaview room you’ll ever experience!
Lastly, on the National Express Transport Solutions’ top 5 seaside retreats, we would like to share the most beloved location in the West – St Ives, in Cornwall.
St Ives is one of the main tourist attractions in the South West for surfing lovers thanks to its amazing British waters and sandy beaches. For beginners, Cornwall is the place to go to learn how to be a professional wave rider and it is a must-do if you are staying in or simply visiting St Ives.
For the travellers that prefer to keep their feet on the ground, then St Ives offers an incredible hike to Zennor. This walk is west of St Ives and is an intense 6.5 mile walk along a hidden coastal path- it’s definitely worth the effort just to witness the incredible scenery.
The beach life gets even better when you visit the local beach cafes that offer a variety of local food. They are also perfect for evening dining, a perfect setting to watch the sunset on the horizon. St Ives has some beautiful holiday cottages scattered around the town, which provide great stays for larger groups with small hideaways perfect for individuals or couples that all want to enjoy the sea view.
Lastly, to SEAL the deal – you must take a trip to Seal Island where you can experience these amazing mammals in their natural habitats! This is the only place within the UK where you can gain this memorable experience – plus there are more spectacular scenes to be seen from the boat trip itself.
If you have never visited St Ives, you are bound to fall in love with the sandy beaches and picturesque views that show off the finest of what the UK has to offer.