BEACH OF THE YEAR

Nominated by Hermione Cockburn, BBC Coast presenter

12th January 2017
Beach of the Year composite image

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1) Seacliff near North Berwick, East Lothian 

A real gem with outstanding views of Bass Rock’s huge gannet colony as well as the ruins of Tantallon castle. Red sandstone rocks sit at either end of this unspoilt sandy beach with a remarkable little harbour carved out of the craggy foreshore. Great for family swimming and water sports. 

2) Balephuil Bay, Inner Hebrides

A stunning and remote expanse of fine white sand and turquoise sea on Tiree’s southwest coast, flanked by low dunes and machair habitat home to wildflowers and corncrakes. Your only company is likely to be free-roaming cattle or hardy surfers hitting the Atlantic waves. 

3) Porthcurno, Cornwall 

High granite cliffs around a bay of pure white sand make for a beautiful secluded spot. Steps to the coastal path give access to the open-air Minack Theatre and garden perched on the clifftop. Porthcurno Telegraph Museum reveals the area’s history. A great place to spend the day

4) Charmouth Beach, Dorset  

With its characteristic dark grey, slumping cliffs, Charmouth on the Jurassic Coast is ideal for fossil hunters. Exciting finds, such as Ichthyosaur skeletons, are still made, and even first-timers can find the remains of ancient sea creatures such as ammonites in rocky pools at low tide. 

5) Embleton Bay, Northumberland

This immense sandy beach, dominated by the majestic remains of Dunstanburgh Castle at its southern tip, is perfect for family days out or long walks. The Ship Inn in Low Newton is great spot for a pint and there’s good birdwatching at Newton Pool Nature Reserve behind the dunes. 

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