By Parkdean Resorts on 08/12/2022
When we think of beaches, we envision beaming sun, warm breezes, holidays, ice cream, and summer! But our UK beaches are not to be forgotten about in the colder months. The UK’s stunning coastline has a wild beauty in winter and makes great family days out all year round.
Online searches for “weekend winter breaks” are up an astonishing 181% in the last 12 months. Whether you’re looking for a new dog walk to explore, want to spot wildlife in their natural habitat, or get out in the fresh air this Christmas, look no further for inspiration as we discover the UK’s most beautiful beaches in winter.
Thermo flasks at the ready! These are the best winter beaches in the UK
We know what makes a good beach, and what makes it even better in winter! We’ve analysed several factors - from the chances of snow, to the number of cafes to warm yourself up with a hot chocolate after your stroll - to discover which beaches are a must-see this winter.
|Rank||Beaches||Location||Population||TripAdvisor Score||Cafes||Hashtag views||Searches||Average snow Days|
|1||Whitley Bay||Tyne & Wear||36,623||3.5||96||42,600,000||60,500||7.1|
|2||Brighton Beach||East Sussex||277,200||4.0||290||64,400,00||74,000||4.6|
|3||Robin Hoods Bay||Yorkshire||13,213||4.5||45||4,000,000||74,000||4.9|
|6.||Hastings Beach||East Sussex||92,984||4.5||90||256,100||22,200||4.7|
|7.||Colwyn Bay||Conwy County Borough||34,284||4.0||77||1,400,000||40,500||4.7|
1. Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear
Our research found Whitley Bay in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland to be the best winter beach destination in the UK. With 60,500 average online searches every year and up to 7.1 average annual snow days, Whitley Bay is a must-see this winter.
This Northern beach is also popular amongst TikTokers, with over 42 million views for hashtags related to this coastline. A popular holiday destination, Whitley Bay boasts a stunning two-mile-long golden sandy beachfront, and with some areas dog friendly, makes the perfect winter walk for all the family to enjoy!
2. Brighton Beach, East Sussex
Brighton Beach in East Sussex is the second-best winter UK beach. This sandy shore has become a popular staycation destination for Brits with over 74,000 yearly online searches and is famous for its iconic Palace Pier which features adrenaline-pumping rides such as the Turbo Coaster and a number of different cafes and restaurants to warm up after a day at this beach.
If the pier doesn’t take your fancy, our research found there are 290 different cafes to explore in the Brighton area, so a hot chocolate is a must! And while you’re there, why not jump on the TikTok train and join the 64 million views for #brightonbeach?
3. Robin Hoods Bay, Yorkshire
Our study found that Robin Hoods Bay in North Yorkshire is just as great in winter as it is in summer. This beach has achieved a 4.5* rating on TripAdvisor showing just how much visitors enjoyed their time here throughout the year. This beach also has an average of 4.9 snowy days, so keep an eye on your local weather forecast if you want to see this beach in its full winter glory.
4. Skegness Beach, Lincolnshire
Skegness Beach in Lincolnshire is the fourth best beach in winter and offers a great day out even when the weather cools - just don’t forget to wrap up. Matching Robin Hoods Bay, Skegness Beach has achieved a 4.5* rating on TripAdvisor and the #skegnessbeach has over 5.6 million views on TikTok. This sandy beach offers traditional seaside amusements and has even been awarded a Blue Flag Award!
5. Blackpool Beach, Lancashire
Blackpool Beach in Lancashire is a bucket list location for both Brits and tourists from all over the world. And our research shows that this beach is just as popular in winter as it is in summer. With 7.6 million views for the #Bblackpoolbeach hashtag on TikTok, this holiday destination is not one to be missed. If you didn’t get a chance to visit in the summer, never fear as there's still plenty to enjoy in the colder months. The Central Pier is not one to miss, with amusements, games, rides, bars, and even free entry!
6. Hastings Beach, East Sussex
Hastings Beach in East Sussex is another fantastic staycation spot to visit in winter. Here you can expect to stroll along a beach made up of sand and shingle and indulge in one of the 90 cafes nearby. This beach has also been rated 4.5/5 on TripAdvisor by visitors showing just how much they enjoyed their visit.
7. Colwyn Bay, North Wales
As the only Welsh beach to appear in our top 10, Colwyn Bay is not one to be missed this winter. This beach is home to a three-mile-long promenade that offers a great leg stretch for the family over Christmas. Nearby, you can also find the Welsh Mountain Zoo, where you can see a range of animals from big cats to reptiles. But if you’re hoping for a white Christmas, Colwyn Bay might not be the one for you as our research found this beach only averages 4.7 snowy days each year.
8. Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Our research found the eighth best UK beach to visit in winter is Lulworth Cove in Dorset. This beach has over 4 million views on TikTok for the #lulworthcove hashtag and 74,000 online searches, showing just how much this beach is in demand! If Lulworth Cove is on your bucket list, but you want to avoid the crowds, make sure to visit in the winter where you can sit back, relax and embrace the serenity, and you can even stay at our Warmwell Holiday Park, just a 20-minute drive away.
9. Herne Bay, Kent
In ninth place is Herne Bay in Kent. Tourists flock to this beach in the summer months to bask in the sunshine, but our research found that it is still a great place to visit in the colder months. This beach is ranked 4/5 on TripAdvisor and has over 14 million views on Tiktok for #hernebay, which might be down to the fact that British romantic comedy ‘Heartstopper’ was filmed on these very shores!
10. Crantock Beach, Cornwall
And finally in 10th place is Crantock Beach in Cornwall. We all know that Cornwall is one of the UK’s favourite places to visit in summer, but how does it fare in winter? Not only has this beach scored an impressive 5/5 on TripAdvisor, but it also has 85 different cafes for you to warm yourself up in after a day at this beach.
Up to snow good? These are the UK’s snowiest beaches
Nothing makes you feel cosier than a snowy day, and if you’re looking to brave the weather for a wintery walk, we’ve discovered which UK beaches are expected to get the most snow by analysing weather forecasts for the last 30 years. And if you’re a snow lover in Scotland, you’re in luck because it’s home to three of the top five beaches.
1. Coldingham Bay, Scotland
Our research shows that Coldingham Bay in Scotland is the snowiest UK beach, and with its Northern location, it’s no surprise to us. Just under 2 miles from the nearest town Eyemouth, Coldingham Bay boasts a stunning coastline and averages 11.4 snowy days each year.
2. Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire
Thornwick Bay in East Yorkshire has the second most snowy days annually - so if you’re looking for a winter wonderland this Christmas, look no further. Thornwick Bay has an average of 11.3 snow days every year. This rocky beach is perfect for exploring, with endless caves and rock formations, the whole family is sure to enjoy their day at this beach. Just make sure you wrap up warm!
3. Luskentyre Beach, Scotland
In third place is Luskentyre Beach in Scotland, averaging 11.1 snowy days each year. In the Outer Hebrides, Luskentyre Beach may take a little longer to travel to, but we think it’s definitely worth the miles. Famous for its soft white sand and dazzling blue water, this beach is not only a popular tourist spot in summer but also in winter.
4. Lunan Bay, Scotland
Another Scottish location has made it into the top snowiest UK beaches. Lunan Bay averages 11 snowy days each year and makes a great wintery day out for history enthusiasts with medieval castle grounds to explore nearby.
5. Saltburn Beach, North Yorkshire
Our research found that Saltburn Beach has an average of 10.9 snowy days every year. This North Yorkshire beach is home to the famous Saltburn Pier, which is a must if you’re visiting this seaside town over Christmas. Saltburn Pier is over 150 years old and makes for a stunning view in the colder months.
If you’re looking to enjoy the best winter beaches in the UK, browse our Christmas holidays, and book your winter holiday.
The following 8 metrics were ranked and then averaged to provide a total ranking for which beaches would be the best to visit during the winter period.
- Average yearly search volume for terms relating to each beach
- Number of annual snow days averaged over a 30 year period
- The material composition of the beach
- Whether a lifeguard service is operational or not
- Average TripAdvisor score for beach
- Population of local area
- Number of Hot Chocolate/Cafe Shops located near to the beach. The number is based on locations registered on TripAdvisor and is subject to change
- Number of views for social media content relating to each beach