Glorious UK Beaches
Crashing waves, invigorating ozone and the gentle tickle of warm sand between your toes are top reasons to make a visit to the seaside. Whether it’s a day away, a bank holiday weekend or a longer stay, Britain’s beaches are just the ticket for recharging our batteries. We’ve made a list of Arkell & Wills’ favourite beaches – perhaps yours are here too?
Cornwall has long been a firm favourite for Debz. She’s been heading there for years with her husband and dogs - and now with the children - visiting Rock, Padstow and Watergate Bay. She remembers going for a romantic stroll along the vast expanse of sand at Croyde Bay in Devon with her hubby and spotting a lone surfer looking out to sea. She says, ‘My little Jack Russell, Sprout AKA Sproutie, walked straight up to him and we’d up his leg! Sproutie either thought the surfer was a handy, if rather odd-looking, tree or thought he needed warming up. Thankfully the surfer had a full wetsuit on and a good sense of humour!’
Rock Beach from Padstow
Swimming at Padstow Family time at Padstow
Friends of ours have recently moved to Edinburgh and they love the beaches at North Berwick, which they visit regularly. The rocky/ sandy foreshore at Seacliff Beach is great for exploring and rock pooling and it’s so peaceful. And if it gets a little chilly, simply snuggle into your Arkell & Wills cashmere sweater while enjoying the views to Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle. Heading west, the islands of the Hebrides have white sand beaches to rival any in the Caribbean, such as Machir Bay on Islay. As a bonus, there are eight distilleries to visit on Islay, with many a wee dram to sample.
North Berwick, Scotland North Berwick, Scotland
Heading for Ireland? Friends recommend Marble Hill Strand, near Dunfanaghy in County Donegal. It is remote and beautiful, the vast expanse of sand bordered by rolling waves. You’ll find a little coffee shack on it and Jaws Surf School, which is run by a guy called Donald. He’s a talented guy, as he also sings in a band. The nearby Shandon Hotel has recently been refurbished, so why not indulge in a spa if the surf is too bracing for you? Later, treat yourselves to an out-of-this-world, wood-fired pizza accompanied by Irish music while sitting outside the Rusty Oven in Dunfanaghy.
In Northern Ireland, Portstewart, Castlerock and Benone Strand are stunning Blue Flag beaches with miles of golden sands, dunes and rolling waves. Top tip: pop into a coffee shop in Castlerock called Crusoe’s and ask for their massive scone. It’s a popular place with walkers, who pop in for lunch after working up an appetite enjoying the mountain and cliff scenery.
Nicky and Debz run Arkell & Wills from their base in the Cotswolds, but when they have time off and if the weather forecast is fine, they grab a cashmere sweater and head to the beaches of Devon or Cornwall. They recommend the long golden sandy shoreline that stretches from Sandbanks to Bournemouth, which is excellent for giving the kids an opportunity to run off steam and tire themselves out before bedtime. Book a babysitter and discover the unbeatable variety of entertainment and places to eat and drink, once the little ones are asleep.
Sarah recommends the beautiful beach at Ogmore-by-Sea, in South Wales, particularly out of season, when it is quieter. We don’t think you can have too much relaxing on the beach but if you fancy a change, try beachcombing or head for the ruined castle and skip over the river on stepping-stones to reach the dunes and coastal path beyond. We heartily endorse a visit to Morfa Nefyn and the nearby fishing village of Porthdinllaen in North Wales or a trip to the azure waters and pine-tree-fringed beach of Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire.
Ogmore-by-Sea, South Wales
Those who enjoy wildlife can add to the beach experience by visiting nature reserves, such as the National Trust’s Blakeney Reserve in Norfolk. The salt marshes attract a wide variety of birdlife and even seals, which can be spotted at low tide. Look out for the Trust’s organised activities to keep everyone occupied. Did you agree with our choices? Why not contact us with your recommendations or send us a British beach selfie? While wearing Arkell & Wills, naturally!