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The Lake District is easily among the United Kingdom’s most visually breathtaking areas. Awe-inspiring landscapes of mountainous fells, glistening waters and charming rural sensibilities abound at every turn, attracting droves of tourists all year round. Alluring as this area is, in the summertime the vast majority more often than not opt to travel further afield in search of the more traditional beach holiday. The beauty of the region, however, is that its gratifying location, within reach of the north west coast, means that the two don’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive.
Whether you choose to base yourself among the roaming hills of Windermere or closer to the beaches by the Solway Firth and Irish Sea, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the best of both worlds on your Lake District break. Our guide should give you some idea of the best nearby beaches to unwind on, before heading back to your scenic retreat.
Top five beaches in the Lake District
Beach holidays in St Bees
On the coast, not far from Whitehaven, lies the inconspicuous village of St Bees. As well as boasting a refreshingly clean and quiet sand beach, imparting splendid views across the sea towards the Isle of Man, its dramatic red sandstone cliffs offer the perfect backdrop for a coastal walk. A flourishing seabird colony can also be spotted along this stretch of coast, which is well placed to allow access to both of the Western Lakes. Elsewhere, why not learn about the St Bees Man at the Priory?
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Beach holidays in Silecroft
Nestled on the outskirts of the Lake District National Park is Silecroft beach, a tranquil shingle-and-sand expanse backed by the mighty Black Combe Fells. Whether you wish to ride horseback close to the lapping waves, fly a kite or walk the dog, this is the beach for you. For the best views of the area, strap on your hiking boots for a trek up Black Combe itself. The 600m high fell offers views across to Scotland, and on a clear day it’s said you can distinguish 14 English counties.
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Beach holidays in Walney Island
Jutting into the Irish Sea just beyond the town of Barrow-in-Furness, you’ll spot the Island of Walney. Although technically an extension of the town itself, the western shores feel a world away from the mainland. Most of this coastline consists of a long, sandy beach complemented by dunes and nature reserves that are home to thousands of rare birds and the rarer still natterjack toad. Be warned before you go – unless you’re into that kind of thing – that the far north of the beach is a popular naturists’ haunt.
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Beach holidays in Arnside
Residing at the mouth of where the River Gilpin flows towards Morecambe Bay, Arnside is one of Cumbria’s countless sleepy civil parishes. Due to its geographical location, the beach here is at the mercy of the tides, as the warning signs and sirens testify, but when the all-clear is given, it’s a cosy and picturesque setting. This unpredictability means that the beach is reasonably quiet, allowing a tranquil experience if you so desire.
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Beach holidays in Silloth
A little further from the official parameters of the Lake District than the others, the unmistakably English disposition of Silloth makes it worth the additional mileage. Away from the multitude of caravan parks, the shorelines along West Beach have remained relatively unspoilt since Victorian times, with a wonderful promenade renowned for its near unrivalled views across the Solway Firth. Keen anglers, though, will be more pleased to know that the waters are touted by leading publications as the best in the country for flatfishing.
View cottages in West Lakes
Main image © Dana&Ron
Silecroft © AndrewH.UK
Walney island © Spamdangler
Arnside © Gidzy
Silloth © Identity Photogr@phy
Park Lodge Apartment (sleeps up to 8 adults):
Entrance hall leading to stairs up to a double bedroom with 5ft. bed with separate adjoining cloakroom. Stairs leading up to:
First Floor: Kitchen/breakfast room, reception room and separate dining-r...
Situated within the wing of a stone built, end terrace Victorian House, Dukesbury is a first floor apartment in Grange-over-Sands which has its own private entrance. A wonderful apartment, Dukesbury has a delightful open plan living room with fabu...
Muncaster View is a welcoming terraced cottage on a working farm a mile from Ravenglass. There are two ground floor double bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room. Upstairs is an open plan living area with a kitchen, dining area and sitting ar...
With private access to a secluded sand and shingle beach and at just a mile from the village of Aldingham, this outstanding, detached farmhouse is a fantastic place for a family seaside holiday. Steeped in history, this property even includes the ...
2 double beds (1 with en suite) and 1 single, lounge with TV, DVD and wood burner, fully equipped kitchen, 2nd shower room with shower cubicle, hand basin and WC, large conservatory with amazing views out over Morecambe Bay, lobby with wash machin...