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By Parkdean Resorts on 12/05/2023

A wise man once said, “An ocean breeze puts the mind at ease”. The sound of softly crashing waves, the reminiscent scent of salty sea air and the warm sun beaming down on you - it sounds like a recipe for beach therapy.

A trip to the beach is good for the soul. Our most recent survey of 2,000 people found that 1 in 2 people feel instantly happier and more relaxed when they smell sea air.

Along with the benefits for mental health, a trip to the coast can benefit physical health too by lowering stress levels, promoting a good immune system and encouraging healthier habits such as long walks across the shore. According to our study, 60% of people say mental health is just as important as physical health, but over a third (36%) sadly shared that they need an escape from everyday life.

Additionally, online searches for “relaxing family breaks UK” are up 100% in the last 12 months and as families look to get more value for their money, a relaxing break is needed more than ever. Our data shows that a third of people think beach days are more relaxing than a spa day, with 22% saying the only time they properly relax is when on holiday. But do not fear, as pockets become shallower, our UK seas remain deep and exciting, perfect for a good value, seaside holiday.

With this in mind, we wanted to find the UK’s most relaxing beaches. These spots are the very best for your mental and physical health so families can experience the great outdoors this summer in beach towns that have the most vitamin D, the cleanest shores, the freshest air and also the best value for money.

The UK’s top 10 relaxing beaches

For a summer staycation with the relaxation of a spa without the price tag, we’ve found the top 10 beaches to visit this year, where you can relax and reset among nature.

 Rank UK Beach Region Vitamin D (highest average summer temp C) Walking Trails Light Pollution (Bortle Scale) Healthy Restaurants Blue Flag Beach Life Satisfaction Levels Happiness Levels Excellent Reviews on TripAdvisor Hidden Gem Overall Index Score
 1 Porthminster Beach Cornwall 18.0 Yes 4 12 Yes 8.3 8.2 1,289 No 70.4%
2 Carbis Bay Beach Cornwall 18.0 Yes 4 12 Yes 8.3 8.2 957 No 58.9%
3 Hengistbury Head Bach Dorset 20.3 Yes 4 39 No 7.5 7.5 1,720 Yes 56.3%
4 Westward Ho Beach Devon 18.5 Yes 4 7 Yes 8 7.6 1,033 No 54.9%
5 Rhossili Bay Wales 18.4 Yes 3 7 No 7.5 7.5 1,665 Yes 50.0%
6 Brighton Beach East Sussex 19.5 Yes 6 68 Yes 7.6 7.3 2,016 No 49.1%
7 Woolacombe Beach Devon 18.2 Yes 4 12 No 8 7.6 3,077 No 48.7%
8 Luskentyre Beach Scotland 15.1 Yes 1 1 No 8 8 1,055 Yes 48.6%
9 Sandbanks Beach Dorset 20.3 Yes 5 33 Yes 7.5 7.5 1,297 No 48.5%
10 Fistral Beach Cornwall 19.0 Yes 4 23 No 7.6 7.5 3,164 No 47.8%

1. Porthminster Beach, Cornwall is the most relaxing beach to visit in 2023

A Parkdean Resorts brochure showing Porthminster Beach

Taking the top spot as the best beach for sun, sea and therapy is Porthminster Beach, located just a short walk from the centre of St Ives. This Blue Flag beach (an indication of high environmental and quality standards) features a crescent of golden sand, setting the scene for your day of relaxation.

During summer, this beach experiences average high temperatures of up to 18°C, meaning you’ll be sure to top up your vitamin D levels during your visit, regulating your mood and relaxing your body. Happiness levels in the area have been rated 8.2 out of 10, so the local's positive energy can only add to the success of your beach retreat. Walking trails are at your disposal and 12 healthy restaurants are nearby too, to round off your day with a delicious meal.

2. Carbis Bay, Cornwall

A Parkdean Resorts brochure showing Carbis Bay

The second best beach for resetting the soul is Carbis Bay, also based in Cornwall. With 957 ‘Excellent’ reviews and life satisfaction levels of 8.3 out of 10, it’s clear that all those who visit Carbis Bay leave feeling satisfied and happy. This beach also has nearby coastal trails, and it may sound simple, but a walk surrounded by the salty, fresh air is a great way to clear your mind as well as being beneficial to your physical health.

3. Hengistbury Head Beach, Dorset

A Parkdean Resorts brochure showing Hengistbury Head

The third most relaxing beach to visit in the UK is Hengistbury Head Beach in Dorset, with highs of 20.3°C. This ‘hidden gem’ beach has the highest temperatures of the top five beaches during summer, meaning you won’t go without vitamin D during your visit. Hengistbury Head Beach has 39 healthy restaurants nearby too, where you can complete your day with some good food. This beach is next to a nature reserve and has walking trails too, where you can stretch your legs and mind as you stroll across the shores.

4. Westward Ho Beach, Devon

A Parkdean Resorts brochure showing Westward Ho

The fourth most therapeutic beach is Westward Ho Beach. With 1,033 ‘Excellent’ reviews, this beach ranks high thanks to warm temperatures, reaching a scorching 18.5°C during summer. Luckily this beach is located less than 20 minutes away from our very own Bideford Bay Holiday Park, where you can settle down for a night or two and turn your peaceful beach day into a full-on staycation, for maximum relaxation.

5. Rhossili Bay, Wales

A Parkdean Resorts brochure showing Rhossili Bay

Rhossili Bay rounds off the top five beaches for beach therapy and makes a perfect place to relax and reset. This beach has the lowest light pollution levels out of the top five, measuring at a level three on the Bortle scale, perfect for stargazing when evening falls - who needs spas when you have the stars?

There are 29 healthy restaurants nearby this ‘hidden-gem’ beach too, perfect for rounding off your wholesome day with a wholesome meal. Both life satisfaction levels and happiness levels in the area have been rated a 7.5 out of 10, meaning Rhossili Bay can provide the perfect environment for your day of positivity by the sea!

We’ve taken our research one step further and have broken down each of our relaxation factors…

The best UK beaches for ‘vitamin sea’

Vitamin D is often referred to as “the sunshine vitamin” because just a few minutes of careful sun exposure is enough to top up your vitamin D levels. Studies have also shown that vitamin D can have a positive impact on your mood and plays a big role in your physical health too. With this in mind, we’ve found the five beaches in the UK with the highest temperatures during summer so that you can get your vitamin D and ‘vitamin sea’ at the same time!

A map showing the UK's warmest beaches

1. Camber Sands, East Sussex - 21.3 °C

Camber Sands boasts the highest temperatures during summer, experiencing average highs of up to 21.3°C! Better yet, this beach is only an 11-minute walk from the Parkdean Camber Sands Holiday Park, where you can prolong your fun in the sun and stick around for a staycation.

2. Bournemouth Beach, Sandbanks Beach and Hengistbury Head Beach, Dorset - 20.3°C

Dorset residents are lucky enough to have three gloriously warm beaches at their disposal: Bournemouth Beach, Sandbanks Beach, and Hengistbury Head Beach. With average highs of 20.3°C, all three of these beaches tie as the third warmest beaches to visit during summer.

3. West Wittering Beach, Chichester - 20.2°C

Temperatures at West Wittering Beach reach average highs of 20.2°C during summer, making it the third warmest beach in the ranking. Not only is West Wittering a great place to unwind in the warmth, but the picturesque views of this sandy beach make it all the more worth a visit.

4. Gorleston-on-Sea Beach Great Yarmouth - 20°C

The fourth warmest UK beach during the summer is Gorleston-on-Sea Beach in Great Yarmouth. Across the 2-mile stretch of clean, golden sand, temperatures reach up to 20°C on average, an ideal setting for a lazy day in the sun!

5. Exmouth Beach, Devon and Weymouth Beach - 19.9°C

Rounding off the top five are Exmouth Beach and Weymouth Beach, located across the ‘Jurassic Coast’, given its name for the huge array of fossils found here. Temperatures at both beaches can average 19.9°C during summer, making it a perfect location for a sunny beach day with the family!

The UK’s happiest beach towns

If one beach day just isn’t enough, why not look for something a little more permanent? Having a static caravan at the beach means there is no limit to the amount of time you can spend on the sand, however with so many picturesque coastlines to choose from, we’ve narrowed down your search by finding the happiest beach towns in the UK.

1. Cornwall

Cornwall is the happiest beach town in the UK, with both Porthminster Beach and Carbis Bay ranking as the happiest beaches, being rated an 8.2 when it comes to happiness levels, and 8.3 for life satisfaction and making the perfect place for those looking to ‘splash’ out on a holiday home!

2. Luskentyre

The second happiest beach town in the UK is Luskentyre in South Harris, Scotland, where both happiness levels and life satisfaction levels are rated an 8, this is a place filled with locals who really do like to be beside the seaside!

3. Yorkshire

Rounding off the top three happiest beach towns in the UK is Yorkshire, with Filey Beach and Whitby Beach. Happiness levels and life satisfaction levels at Filey and Whitby were rated 7.7, making them both a great and welcoming location for a home away from home!

The UK’s best secret beaches

With #seaair having 1.6 million views on TikTok, the health benefits of ocean air aren’t going unnoticed. Research shows that sea air is a rich combination of seawater, salt, iodine, magnesium, and trace elements which all improve your ability to absorb oxygen and therefore feel more energised.

If you’re looking for some secret sea air, away from the hustle and bustle, there are plenty of hidden gems you can make the most of this summer. The Tunnels Beaches are a great example, a collection of unique and sheltered beaches in Devon which can only be accessed via the hand-carved tunnels- a hidden gem and an exciting adventure.

Another great secret spot is Horsey Beach, an unspoilt and peaceful sandy beach on the coast of Norfolk. While this beach is beautiful in summer, it also remains popular through the colder months too, as it becomes the home to seals from October to February, when they come to shore with their pups.

The beach staycations cheaper than a spa break

When it comes to a relaxing break, people often look to spas - forgetting about the importance of the great outdoors. Opting for a beach break this year won’t only help improve your mental and physical health but also help out your bank balance too.

If you’re looking for a relaxing retreat, a weekend break for two at Porthminster Beach, staying at Sea Acres Holiday Park could save you £1,561 compared to a stay at a local spa. No jacuzzi can compare to the soft white sand and sparkling blue waters of Porthminster Beach!

A trip to Carbis Bay doesn't need to cost a fortune; a family of four can enjoy a 7 night stay at Holywell Bay Holiday Park from only £489 (for the cheapest accommodation in July). A no-brainer when a weekend stay for two in spas in the area can cost in the region of £2,000!

A beach staycation at Westward Ho! Beach can be both relaxing and budget friendly when you stay at our Bideford Bay Holiday Park. Only 19 minutes away from the beach you’ll find yourself immersed in the fresh sea air, soft sands and sunshine - not to mention the savings of up to £1,047.

Looking for a relaxing stay in Wales without the huge price tag synonymous with spa stays? Take a trip to Rhossili Bay where you can enjoy all of the natural benefits of the seaside and save yourself up to £418 at Carmarthen Bay Holiday Park, rather than opting for a trip to a local spa.

Feeling inspired?

It’s important to give yourself a chance to refresh, relax and reset sometimes, and a UK beach break is the perfect escape this summer for exactly that! Take a look at our last-minute breaks and kickstart your serene staycation now!


Metric Methodology
Parkdean Resorts recent survey A survey of 2,000 people from the UK was used to find statistics on the effects that a beach break can have on mental health.
Healthy restaurants, 'Excellent' reviews and hidden gems TripAdvisor metrics were used to determine the number of healthy restaurants in each local area, each beach's number of 'Excellent' reviews and whether the beach is considered to be a hidden gem.
Life satisfaction and happiness ONS data was used to find the happiness and life satisfaction of each local area.
Weather All climate related data was taken from
Spa break cost All spa break data was sourced from - looking at the total cost of the 'top pick' spa hotel for 2 adults on a 3 night spa hotel break.
Parkdean Resorts holiday cost The Parkdean Resorts holiday cost is b ased on the cheapest holiday price in July for 2 people to enjoy a 3 night break, as well as the cost for a family of 4 to enjoy a 7 night break - taken from the Parkdean Resorts website at the time of writing. Pricing correct as of 11th May 2023.