The small Northumberland village of Bamburgh, with its wide sandy beach dominated by an imposing clifftop castle, has retained the title of Britain’s best seaside destination.

The best beaches in the UK have been revealed in the annual survey of Who?the consumer watchdog surveying over 4,300 visitors about their recent trips to cities, towns and resorts.

The survey asked visitors to rate nearly 100 destinations on factors including beach, attractions, scenery, peace and quiet, and value for money. Bamburgh, with a population of just over 400, tops the charts with an overall destination score of 87% and visitors describing it as “spectacular”.

Previously winners in 2019 and 2021, Bamburgh claimed the title for its three-mile stretch of golden sand, backed by an extensive system of tussock dunes and overlooked by the epic Bamburgh Castle.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel says: With a busy summer expected on UK beaches, the wide stretch of sand at Bamburgh means there’s always room for your towel. This is helped by the wind, which blows in from the North Sea, which makes the sand look freshly maintained and free of litter.

“This is a seaside tour in its most basic and best form; with little else to do but walk, jog or sip cups of tea from your water bottle in the comfort of your deckchair while watching the North Sea waves roll by.” he added.

The Great Orme tram in Llandudno. Photography: Aliyah

Wales secured three of the top six seaside towns, with Llandudno, a budget town, taking second place overall with a score of 86%. The town’s biggest draw is the Great Orme, a limestone promontory popular with climbers, which rises over 200 meters and offers ‘unmatched’ views. Active visitors enjoyed lacing up their walking shoes and hiking to the top, while others opted to take the tram or the open-air cable car.

Third place went to the Scottish seaside town of St Andrews with a score of 84%. Visitors praised the university town’s “youthful vibe”, its quaint streets and historic sites, testifying to its winning mix of sport, culture, sand and sea.

Joint fourth winners were Dartmouth in Devon, where visitors enjoy steam trains and delicious seafood, and the seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, with its parade of pastel-coloured Georgian houses and selection of five beaches stars, from the golden sweep of North beach, dotted with rock pools and windbreaks, to Castle beach nestled in a cove, to the smaller beach of Harbor.

The seaside resorts of Skegness, Bognor Regis, Southend-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Burnham-on-Sea, all with destination scores below 51%, buttressed the picture.

However, despite its low ranking, holidaymakers had some highlights to share from their trips to Skegness. Many have recommended the Natureland seal sanctuary, with one visitor calling it “the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a David Attenborough programme”. Meanwhile, nostalgic attractions and kiddie rides have made the Lincolnshire coastal town a ‘real’ British seaside resort in the eyes of some respondents.

Visitors to Bognor Regis have found it a “charming” town with the best climate on the south coast. Holidaymakers tipped the peaceful Pagham Harbor Nature Reserve and Hotham Park – a “little gem” – while the flat promenade was rented out to be suitable for visitors with reduced mobility.

According to Which?, the 10 best seaside towns in the UK are:

  1. Bamburgh, Northumberland

  2. Llandudno, Conwy

  3. St. Andrews, Fife

  4. Dartmouth, Devon

  5. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

  6. St. Davids, Pembrokeshire

  7. Aldeburgh, Suffolk

  8. Filey, North Yorkshire

  9. Conwy, Conwy

  10. Lyme Regis, Dorset