Top places to enjoy the best beach holidays in the UK

With thousands of miles of picture-perfect coastlines and a host of dazzling islands, there's no shortage of places to go to for a memorable beach holiday in the UK. Book a rental house near the beach and enjoy a seaside escapade that can be as adventure-packed or as laid-back as you want it to be. There are aquatic attractions aplenty in the UK, from family-friendly coastal resorts in Dorset and award-winning beaches in Wales to the splendid seashores of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Time for blissful beach holidays in England

England's beaches are beautiful all year round – comb the beach for seashells in spring, get your daily dose of vitamin D on sun-soaked shores in summer, go surfing in autumn or take a romantic seaside stroll in winter. Don't forget to bring your furry friend; many beaches in England are dog-friendly either throughout the year or after the summer holidays.

Bask on Blue Flag beaches in the West Country

Sandwiched between the English Channel and Bristol Channel, the West Country in South West England boasts a diversity of beach escapes. For a luxury beach holiday in the UK, rent a spacious cottage on the English Riviera in Devon, home to Blue Flag beaches like Breakwater and Meadfoot. Hit the surf and enjoy Celtic hospitality in Cornwall or go fossil-hunting on the beaches along Dorset's Jurassic Coast.

Go on a family beach break in East Anglia

Fun in the sun for the whole family awaits on the East Anglia coast. Choose from holiday rentals in Suffolk and you'll be close to Blue Flag beaches like Lowestoft, where kids can frolic on the golden sand and spend hours playing arcade games on the pier. And at Holkham Bay beach in Norfolk, you can let Fido loose to run on the seemingly endless expanse of soft sand.

Experience a unique UK beach holiday in Wales

Acclaimed as one of Europe's finest natural playgrounds, Wales boasts hundreds of beaches all along its stunning coastline. There's a plethora of water sports on offer to get your heart pumping: from surfing to kayaking to coasteering – an exhilarating mixture of rock-hopping, cliff-jumping, cave-exploring and more. Of course, you can also just lie back and relax on the beach if that's how you'd like to spend your Welsh seaside holiday.

Savour accessible beach holidays on the Pembrokeshire Coast

Home to Great Britain's sole coastal national park, the Pembrokeshire Coast boasts dazzling beaches for everyone to enjoy. All-terrain wheelchairs can be hired for a small fee at Saundersfoot beach near Tenby, Broad Haven beach near Haverford and Whitesands beach near St. Davids, so those with mobility issues needn't miss out on the sands and shallow waters of the area's gorgeous beaches.

Embrace quiet beach holidays on the Llyn Peninsula

The Llyn (or Lleyn) Peninsula in north Wales is a beguiling region whose coastline is dotted with rugged cliffs and deserted coves. Book a holiday letting here and explore remote beaches like Porth Ysgo in Llanfaelrhys and Porth Iago in Rhydlios. Surfers, meanwhile, shouldn't miss Porth Neigwl, also called Hell's Mouth, on the peninsula's south coast. Porth Oer, a half-hour's drive away, is also a popular surfing destination, though it's also known for the whistling or squeaking sound that its white sands make.

Splurge on UK luxury beach holidays in Scotland

Immensely rich in coastal treasures, Scotland boasts some of the UK's most beautiful beaches. There are plenty of options for aquatic getaways, from bustling seashores in the Scottish Highlands to hidden gems on the country's myriad islands. Whether you're after a peaceful break or a fun-filled beach adventure with the family, you'll find plenty of luxury villa rentals and holiday cottages available where you can enjoy your Scottish escape in style.

Be mesmerized by nature in the Scottish Highlands

A mountainous region in northern Scotland, the Scottish Highlands are also home to a multitude of breathtaking beaches. Luxury seaside cottages may face the coastal attractions such as the golden sands of Dornoch Beach, the Jurassic rocks of Brora Beach or the sand dunes of Nairn Beach. If you fancy a serene locale, head to Redpoint Beach in Gairloch, which hardly ever gets crowded even during the peak summer season.

Sail your way to a beach holiday on Scotland's islands

Some of the best beaches in the UK can be found on Scottish islands. The Isle of Skye is one Scotland's most famous island getaway destinations, with dramatic spots like Coral Beach and Camas Daraich. But for a less crowded UK beach holiday, book a holiday cottage on the tranquil Isle of Islay. Dubbed the Queen of the Hebrides, it's home to a revered whisky industry as well as quiet beaches like Machir and Saligo.

Navigate to Northern Ireland for wonderful UK beach holidays

Deserted beaches with dramatic rock formations and sand dunes, as well as bustling seaside escapes popular with families and water sports enthusiasts await in Northern Ireland. Holiday lettings in quaint coastal villages often offer rooms with fantastic views, and castle ruins and other historic and cultural attractions are never too far away.

Discover Causeway Coast beaches in County Antrim

The stunning Causeway Coast, stretching from the River Foyle in the west to the River Dun in the east, boasts a good number of beaches where the sand meets the North Atlantic Ocean. Terrific swells at beaches like Portrush West Strand and Portballintrae draw surfers in summer and winter, while spots like Castlerock Beach and Downhill Beach attract families because they're perfectly safe for swimming.

Walk through Westeros in County Londonderry

If you're a fan of the epic HBO series 'Game of Thrones,' you might want to book a holiday rental in County Londonderry, where several scenes were shot. You'll find golden beaches and imposing sand dunes at Portstewart Strand near the River Bann, a setting for the fictional kingdom of Dorne. Or imagine dragons flying overhead as you walk the white-sand Downhill Beach near Castlerock, depicted as Dragonstone island in the series.