A double fronted cove, turquoise waters and sea caves you can swim to. Scramble to the top of the island look-out and keep watch for pirates. There are rarely visitors to this beach – the steep steps seem to keep all but the most intrepid away. Explore to the south, past Turks Cave, to reach Golden Cove too
Devon’s highest waterfall plummets down on to this vast, wild beach. Long fingers of soft sand stretch out into the ocean and deep rock pools form at low tide.
Perhaps the most beautiful beach in Cornwall. Framed by Logan’s Rock on one side and the Minack cliff-top theatre on the other, it’s a tricky scramble down, but at low tide off shore sand bars form with shallow lagoons which warm in the sun. Above there is a basic cliff top campsite with superb views.
The magical Helford estuary is lined with ancient woodland, sub-tropical gardens and secret shingle coves. There’s no better way to explore than by open canoe. Head upstream to Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek, or head downstream for Durgan beach on the north side, or my favourite, Bosahan, on the south.
A wonderful half moon bay with a perfect crescent of sand, set beneath ancient woods in remotest Dorset. There are sea caves and a grassy hill fort to climb. The ruined village of Tyneham make a fascinating diversion.
One of the wildest beaches on the South Coast, with superb veiws of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs. At low-tide the adventurous can explore the foreshore all the way to the Birling Gap. This was a favourite haunt of the Bloomsbury Set, with Charlestone Farmhouse not far away.
A long sandy bay is backed with white cliffs. At low tide you can scramble round to a secret beach on the right with cave vaults and tunnels carved from the cliffs by smuggler of yore. Alison runs a tea shop from her rose gardens in summer.
It’s a very pretty valley walk down to this little-known low tide sandy cove. If you continue on round to the right you will reach Fall Bay with its Giant’s Cave, popular with climbers. Beyond is the dragon-shaped tidal island of Worm’s Head, where Dylan Thomas was once marooned.
A double waterfall tumbles into a sheltered bay beneath steep cliffs and jungle-like foliage. You can reach it on the dramatic old coastal railway line – now a cycle path – from either Scarborough or Robin Hood‘s Bay.
The great sandy sweep of Embleton Bay stretches beneath the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle. This is the Northumberland coast’s most spectacular beach – and that’s saying something – yet you’ll often find it deserted. Walk a mile north along the beach to the isolated Ship Inn.