England beaches are very accessible from just about every place in the country. The country is only about 300 miles wide at its widest point, meaning you can get to the ocean within three hours at the most, no matter where you are located. A good UK day trip is quite apt to include a beach or the coastline.
The Cornwall beaches on the north and northwest of the Cornish peninsula and on the Isles of Scilly are among the most beautiful in all of England. While native Scillonians may disagree, these beautiful islands only about 30 miles west of Land's End are part of the ceremonial county of Cornwall. These beautiful islands (one of England's best-kept secrets) boast long, unspoiled beaches with sugary fine white sand. Many of these beaches, especially those on the uninhabited islands and the islands with few services, are virtually deserted—even during the summer. You can reach the islands by boat or helicopter from the town of Penzance
Some of the most beautiful and accessible Cornwall beaches will be found on the Cornish mainland from about the port town of St. Ives north to the charming little resort town of Bude. Try Summerleaze Beach for a lovely picturesque setting and a fabulous calm swimming hole that is part natural and part man-made. Fistral Beach in Newquay and Watergate Bay a bit to the north are excellent for surfing. Also in this area are the Bedruthan Steps, named for the mythical giant who according to legend used the massive rocks in the surf as steps. There are actually 142 steep steps to get down to the beach, but it is well worth the trek. The Cornwall beaches on the southern part of the peninsula, which is called "the Lizard," are even more dramatic.
The beaches on the south coast of England are also very beautiful. These beaches face the country of France across the English Channel. They include the major port cities of Plymouth to the west; Bournemouth, Southampton, and Portsmouth in the center; and Dover to the east. There are ferries from these cities to France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. There are also ferries to Guernsey and Jersey of the Channel Islands. These islands are located only a few miles off the coast of France, and boast some lovely beaches.
Beaches on the south coast of England were the first to introduce the idea of devoting certain beach areas only for children and families with children. Some of the best beaches for families will be found around Bournemouth. During the summer, beaches are divided into color-coded zones, and children are given wristbands that match the color of their beach area. A lost child can easily be returned to the area where his or her family is located.
England beaches north of Cornwall on the west coast include one of the country's most popular, the Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is located about 25 miles north of the city of Liverpool. The long sandy beach here also boasts amusement park rides like a roller coaster, arcade games, and a lively nightlife. The eastern England beaches on the North Yorkshire coast are known for being wilder, often backed by cliffs. Whitby, where the North York Moors National Park runs right down to the sea, has beaches like this.