By Parkdean Resorts on 27/03/2023
As we head into spring, it’s fair to say that we’re all very much in need of some vitamin D after the long winter months.
However, with value for money being more important than ever, we know that even the people who holidayed in the UK annually will be looking to boost their staycation tally this year. The popularity of UK holidays has continued to soar over the past 12 months, with searches for ‘staycation breaks’ rising by 233%. And with searches for ‘UK staycation deals’ increasing by 91%, it’s clear to see that Brits are looking to get their money’s worth when holidaying this year.
Spring in the UK is home to some of the most beautiful coastal weather, and relaxing on the beach and enjoying the views doesn’t have to be reserved for foreign travel. Due to this, we’ve revealed the UK beaches that are expected to see the first of the spring sun this year to give you some inspiration when booking - because UK holidaying should never mean that you compromise on quality!
We’ve also analysed the terrain of the world’s most popular beaches to reveal the top UK beach destination dupes, so you don’t even have to get on a plane to visit these showstopping destinations! Not only have we colour matched the sand but we’ve also analysed the rocky shorelines and vegetation in each location.
These are the best UK destination dupes for foreign holidays this season based on cost, distance and flight times!
So you don’t have to fly abroad this year, we’ve revealed the best UK destination dupes for popular foreign holidays. And with 90% of the UK's population living within 2 hours' drive of a Parkdean Resorts holiday park, we've applied 2 hours worth of petrol costs to our calculations.
Based on the cheapest prices^ for a 7 night holiday in the UK for a family of four in April 2023, as well as the warmest weather, beach terrain and overall costs, the results are in…
|Ranking||UK location||Parkdean Resorts location||Total cost*||Abroad location||Flight time
|1||Studland - Shell Bay in Dorset||Sandford Holiday Park||£380.20||Carnon-Plage, France||1hr 53m||£2,564|
|2||Arnside Beach, Grange-Over-Sands||White Cross Bay Holiday Park||£450.20||Halland Beach, Sweden||4hr 23m||£2,658|
|3||Kynance Cove, Cornwall||Lizard Point Holiday Park||£220.20||Sosua Beach, Dominican Republic||13hr 15m||£4,436|
|4||Durdle Door, Dorset||Sandford Holiday Park||£290.20||Kleftiko Beach, Greek Islands of Milos, Greece||7hr 40m||£2,794|
|5||Filey Beach, Yorkshire||Barmston Beach Holiday Park||£330.20||West Mobau Beach, Canada||18hr 11m||£2,343|
|6||Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall||Lizard Point Holiday Park||£220.20||Cinnamon Bay Beach, Virgin Islands||21hr 35m||£3,952|
|7||Camber Sands||Camber Sands Holiday Park||£370.20||Nehalem Bay State PArk, Oregon, US||17hr 54m||£3,762|
|8||Whitstable Beach, Kent||St Margaret's Bay Holiday Park||£370.20||Miami Beach, US||12hr 53m||£6,522|
|9||Small Hope Beach, Isle of Wight||Thorness Bay Holiday Park||£210.20||Brighton Beach, Melbourne Australia||24hr 5m||£7,985|
|10||Dungeness Beach, Kent||Romney Sands Holiday Park||£270.20||Sunrise Crescent Bay, Qixingtan||19hr 13m||£6,364|
*Parkdean holiday cost + petrol cost for 2 hours of driving
**Flights + accommodation
But which UK beaches are the warmest in spring?
If you’re planning on taking a UK break during Spring (21st March - 21st June), these are the beaches that get the warmest, the quickest - with the best average and high temperatures.
1. Camber Sands experiences highs of 19°C and is the UK’s answer to this US state park
Taking the top spot as the first beach to experience spring sun is Camber Sands in East Sussex! With 7 miles of glorious golden sand, this beach sees highs of 19°C throughout the spring months, making it the perfect place to experience the first of the UK sun.
With an average of just 7.7 rainy days and approximately 7 sunlight hours each day in spring, Camber Sands makes a perfect destination dupe for Oregon’s State Park, Nehalem Bay. With both beaches boasting beautiful shore pines and rolling hill views, Camber Sands is a ringer for the US bay - the only difference is 4,991 miles of air travel and over £3,000 in cost!
Visiting Camber Sands proves that you don’t need to fly to the US for beautiful sea views and picture perfect terrain - both locations boast excellent cycling trails and beachside camping, but when looking for a more family-friendly seaside escape nearby, Camber Sands Holiday Park is on the doorstep of the UK beach. Here you can head down to the shore and see one of the largest dune systems on the South Coast with your own eyes!
2. Dungeness Beach, Kent is closest to Taiwan’s unspoilt coastline with highs of 18.6°C!
This dog friendly beach in Kent is a great spring find! With highs of 18.6°C, Dungeness Beach is technically classed as a desert due to its vast size. With unique structures such as two lighthouses and unused fishing boats, this beach makes for a special seaside experience that really feels like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.
Surprisingly, Dungeness Beach has a similar aesthetic to Taiwan’s unspoilt coastline and is almost identical to Sunrise Crescent Bay in Qixingtan. Both destinations exude a wild and remote feeling and feature golden grey pebbles and coastal views for miles.
Sunrise Crescent Bay is located to the north of Hualien City and has previously been dubbed one of the ‘best pebble beaches in the world’. The crescent-shaped coast is a stunning location to stargaze and watch the sunrise - yet Dungeness Beach has exactly the same qualities! So, if you’re travelling in the UK you can save yourself 7,990 miles of commute and over £6,000!
As there’s so much to explore at Dungeness Beach, you’ll definitely want to come back for more. Enjoy a stay at the nearby Romney Sands Holiday Park to extend the fun.
3. Studland - Shell Bay in Dorset is identical to France’s Carnon-Plage beach and boasts 18.1°C highs
With highs of 18.1°C in spring, Shell Bay Beach in Dorset makes a beautiful spot for a UK spring staycation. Shell Bay Beach is a natural haven and the perfect escape from the stresses of the real world. With 4 miles of golden sands, gorgeous waters and a gently sloping beach, Shell Bay Beach is a great destination for a family-friendly adventure.
If you need further proof that you don’t need to venture outside of the UK this year, take a look at just how much of a dupe Shell Bay Beach is for Carnon-Plage Beach in France. Dubbed as the ‘lesser-known’ area of the Riviera, Carnon-Plage Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Montpellier, but is tucked away from the coastal tourist trap.
If it’s golden sand you’re after and rolling heathland with a remote feel - Shell Bay Beach is the perfect dupe. The beach is partly owned by the National Trust and retains its wilderness with the rear of the beach being a protected nature reserve. The southern end of Shell Bay Beach even has a designated naturist section for those feeling brave! A trip to Shell Bay Beach over Carnon-Plage Beach could save you £2,100 and more than 565 travel miles.
4. Kynance Cove is Cornwall’s answer to the Dominican Republic (and it has highs of 16.6°C in spring!)
When looking for a spring staycation, Kynance Cove in Cornwall is a must. With highs of 16.6°C, this gorgeous beach boasts turquoise waters and white sands that are usually found in the far-flung Dominican Republic.
This eco-friendly beach might sell Cornish pasties on its shores but as you sit back, relax and enjoy your pastry fix, you’d be mistaken for thinking you’re in the Caribbean. The rugged and rolling coastline of Kynance Cove is akin to Sosua Beach in the Dominican Republic. Both beaches have a horseshoe shape, white sand and turquoise waters, but with a whopping £4,216 price difference, Cornwall really is a no-brainer this year!
When looking for a staycation in Cornwall, look no further than Lizard Point Holiday Park. With indoor and outdoor pools, brand-new accommodation and just a 10 minute drive from the beach, Lizard Point is located perfectly for a coastal break.
5. Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall is just like the Virgin Islands and even experiences highs of 16.1°C in spring
Porthcurno Beach in Cornwall rounds off the top five, making Cornwall the stand-out destination for staycation travel this spring! With highs of 16.1°C, Porthcurno Beach is a stunning oasis, with white sands and fantastic scenic views - it’s also the beach most similar to the Virgin Islands.
Cinnamon Bay Beach is located on the beautiful island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands National Park and has been described as one of the most pristine beaches located in the park. With half a mile of white sandy beach - it really is a picture perfect destination.
Side-by-side, Porthcurno Beach features similar swatches of white sand, turquoise blue sea and luxurious green hills - the coves are even similar in shape and the views out to sea are simply stunning from both beaches.
However, a trip to Porthcurno Beach could save you over £3,700, when compared to a trip to Cinnamon Bay Beach! Again, Lizard Point is the perfect Cornish escape.
More UK beach destination dupes you NEED to visit in 2023!
As well as ranking beach destinations on weather, sand similarities and terrain, we at Parkdean Resorts have also found dupes for the UK’s most popular beaches.
1. Durdle Door, Dorset dupe Kleftiko Beach, Greek Island of Milos
Durdle Door’s coastline is potentially one of the most famous landmarks in the UK. The iconic stone arch is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and was created when the sea pierced through Portland limestone around 10,000 years ago. From rock-pooling to nature trails, Durdle Door’s coastline is a carbon copy of Kleftiko Beach in the Greek Island of Milos but a fraction of the price!
At Durdle Door, you’ll find similar rock formations, sandy-coloured cliffs and turquoise waters, but if you head to Greece, you’ll be looking at travelling 3,991 miles and spending an extra £2,504! Dorset is home to historic market towns and rocky coastlines, and if you’re looking to enjoy the breathtaking views of Durdle Door, family-friendly Sandford Holiday Park is the perfect retreat after a day at this stunning beach.
2. Filey Beach, Yorkshire dupe West Mobau Beach, Canada
You might not believe that this Yorkshire beach is similar to Canada’s Provincial Park, but when analysing the sand and terrain, it’s hard to tell them apart. Both feature golden sandy coastlines and several walking and hiking trails.
If you’re looking to take in the stunning sights of Scarborough whilst also having unlimited access to Filey Beach, Barmston Beach Holiday Park is within easy reach and is just a fraction of the price of heading to Canada’s West Mobau’s Beach. A UK staycation at Barmston Beach Holiday Park could save you £2,013, when compared to the Canadian coastal break!
3. Arnside Beach, Grange-Over-Sands dupe Halland, Sweden
Sweden’s scenic countryside has been globally synonymous with nature lovers and Halland Beach is a coastal haven on the western part of the country. With a mixture of sandy beaches and lush forests, this beach is an area of natural beauty.
With an equally appealing wild coastline - Arnside Beach is Cumbria’s sandy equivalent to Sweden’s Halland Beach. What’s more, don’t forget that a trip to Cumbria could save you over £2,200 in contrast to the Swedish getaway - a no brainer if you ask us!
If you’re looking for a family-friendly retreat close by, White Cross Bay Holiday Park is nearby and offers stunning marina views. We also have an owner’s only site, Gatebeck Holiday Park, perfect for people who are looking for a more permanent UK holiday solution - and it’s only minutes away from Arnside Beach!
4. Small Hope Beach, Isle of Wight dupe Brighton Beach, Melbourne
Small but mighty, the Isle of Wight’s Small Hope Beach is a beacon of colour with its stunning beachside huts that line the sandy shores. 10,584 miles away is Melbourne’s Brighton Beach which is one of the city’s best loved beaches.
The scenic resemblance between Small Hope Beach and Melbourne’s Brighton Beach is uncanny. Nestled in lush green terrain, rolling golden sands and beach huts evoke seaside nostalgia - Small Hope Beach might be a world away in distance, but also cost. A trip to this idyllic beach could save you over £7,700!
Around a 40 minute drive away from Small Hope Beach, you’ll find Thorness Bay Holiday Park with stunning views and family-friendly facilities including a heated pool.
5. Whitstable Beach, Kent dupe Miami Beach
Looking for the UK’s answer to the iconic Miami Beach? Whitsable in Kent has been dubbed ‘better than Miami’ by celebrities visiting the location and apparently, locals couldn’t agree more.
The Kentish town, which has been a pillar of UK seaside holidays for decades, boasts sunny blues and a shingle beach to rival Florida’s sandy holiday hotspot, Miami Beach. Head to the shores and it’s easy to see why!
Given that a trip to Miami could set you back an extra £6,152 more than a trip to Kent, why not enjoy a stay at St. Margaret’s Bay Holiday Park? Just a 40 minute drive from the beach, this retreat has all the family could ever need.
UK Beaches in Spring
While we’ve identified the best affordable dupes and the beaches which are the first to experience the joys of the spring sun, every beach around the UK boasts wonderful weather in the springtime. From Kinghorn Harbour Beach in Scotland with highs of 15.7°C, to Three Cliffs Bay in Wales which experiences highs of 16.1°C - a UK staycation is never to be overlooked.
Spring really is the most affordable season to book a break with Parkdean Resorts, so if you’re looking for a Beach Within Reach, take a look at our last-minute holidays now!
MethodologyPrice of a UK holiday (Parkdean Resorts)
Price of the cheapest 7-day Parkdean holiday for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) in April 2023 was sourced from the Parkdean website. ^Please note, prices were referenced at the time of writing, and are subject to change and availability.
Petrol costs for a 2 hour drive were calculated using www.fuelcost-calculator.co.uk based on 38.8 miles per gallon / 191p per litre.
Price of an international holiday
Price of flights for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) during April 2023 were sourced from Skyscanner.
Price of accommodation for 7 nights for a family of four (2 adults, 2 children) during April 2023 were sourced from Booking.com.
Warmest beaches in spring
All Climate-related data was scraped from Climate-data.org. For any locations which did not have the exact location of the beach, we scraped data for the nearest location which had data available.
From this data, we ranked each beach by the highest temperature, average temperature and sunlight hours throughout the spring months (21st March - 21st June) to see which locations get the warmest the quickest.