With staycations on the up this summer, many Brits will be planning trips to various coastal spots across the country – but which beaches are best to visit for a slice of paradise?

holidaycottages.co.uk has analysed1 water quality, visible pollution, and the number of Instagram snaps (because you only share a post on Insta if it’s picture-perfect, right?) across 593 beaches in England, Scotland and Wales to ultimately reveal the top ten most desirable spots.

Having collated the data, holidaycottages.co.uk then analysed the findings and ranked the results accordingly to unveil the top coastal areas.

Whitesands in Wales crowned as the most appealing beach

It’s no surprise that the stunning Whitesands in Wales takes the top spot as the most appealing beach, having received the score of ‘excellent’ on water quality as well as only having 10% visible pollution and a total of 1,0413 Instagram snaps. With its golden sands and reputation as one of the finest surfing beaches in the country, Whitesands was also granted a Blue Flag Award in 2019.

Barmouth in Wales and Montrose in Scotland take second and third spot.

The top ten most appealing beaches are as followed:


Rank Country Area Overall score (the higher the score, the better)
1 Wales Whitesands 3
2 Wales Barmouth 2.9
3 Scotland Montrose 2.6
4 Wales Newgale 2.5
5 England Seagrove 2.4
6 Wales Harlech 2.3
7 Wales Rhosneigr 2.3
8 England Formby 2.3
9 Wales Castle Beach, Tenby 2.2
10 Scotland Seacliff 2.2


Other top spots include Borth in Wales, West Wittering in England, and Benllech in Wales.

Commenting on the findings, Shannon Keary, Campaigns Manager at holidaycottages.co.uk, says: “Here in the UK we have some pretty beautiful beaches, therefore we conducted this research to determine which spots are the best to visit due to having excellent water quality, minimal pollution and various posts on Instagram – as we only post pleasing scenery pictures! It’s interesting to see which beaches are the most appealing, with the majority situated in Wales.

“As many Britons will be avoiding taking trips abroad this summer, most will be planning trips to the beach instead whether that’s for a nice long break or a day of fun. Therefore, we hope our research will help people decide which beach to visit for a slice of paradise, which we all need right now.”

To search the top beaches across England, Scotland, and Wales, please visit: https://www.holidaycottages.co.uk/desirable-beaches/england.html

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