The UK is filled with amazing seaside towns and villages, idyllic places to visit in the warm summer sunshine. Driving through historic, seaside villages and along beautiful coastlines is the perfect way to spend a summer's day.
If you’re planning an escape to the coast, start with our pick of the best seaside destinations in the UK. Hire your premium car from our many city central and airport locations and start exploring!
This small fishing village and bay, located within the North York Moors National Park on the coast of North Yorkshire, England is a vibrant village with stunning coastal walks and independent cafes, pubs and shops to explore. A few hours outside of Manchester, visit Robin Hood’s Bay’s twisting, narrow cobbled streets and alleyways and imagine the sailors, fisherman and even smugglers who walked these streets hundreds of years ago. One of the most photographed locations in the world, photography enthusiasts and Instagramers alike will appreciate its natural beauty. Let the kids explore on the family-friendly beaches, great for the fossil hunters! Hire a car in Manchester and get out to Whitby to explore Robin Hood’s Bay today.
We think Shanklin is one of the most idyllic seaside resorts on our list as the Old Village of Shanklin is filled with traditional buildings such as thatched roof pubs, sweet shops and tearooms. At the bottom of the steep cliffs is a sandy beach called Sandown Beach, winner of the Beach of The Year by Countryfile Magazine Awards in 2019. One of our favourite spots is Fisherman’s Cottage, the town’s original thatched dining pub on the beach dating back to 1817. There are many driving routes to get you to the Isle of Wight from London, depending on your starting point. It’s possible to get to the Portsmouth car ferry terminal in around an hour and a half from London, making this an ideal day trip or a longer weekend getaway from the busy city.
Known as having a vibrant art scene, St Ives in Cornwall is bursting with galleries, exhibitions and culture. The Penwith landscape is breathtaking with its stunning azure seascapes, white sand beaches set against a backdrop of a higgledy-piggledy town with narrow cobbled streets, fishermen’s houses, and independent shops, bars and restaurants. Discover the Blue-Flag Award-winning beaches of Porthmeor and Porthminster, ideal for sunbathers and water sport enthusiasts. If you’re exploring Cornwall, don’t miss out on other great destinations such as Land’s End, Newquay, Penzance and more!
Known worldwide as one of the ‘coolest’ UK beach towns, Brighton has a retro, eclectic and artistic culture that’s laid back and a whole lot of fun. An hour or so outside of London, Brighton makes a perfect day trip from London. Explore the winding streets and lanes to find the best trinkets, discover eco-friendly produce and products and iconic attractions like the Royal Pavilion Brighton which has a wealth of fun to attract all ages. Visit Brighton Palace Pier with its rides and sit in the iconic deckchairs to relax and enjoy the views.
Perhaps not as well known, this pretty beach offers something for the whole family to enjoy and a little over an hour outside Inverness, this is an easy beach to get to using our Inverness premium car hire service. In the small village of Brora, in Sutherland in the Highlands, you can enjoy this small golden sandy beach with Jurassic rocks and a sloping seafront. This rural, unspoilt beach is great for wildlife watching as you may spot seals, dolphins and minke whales swimming around the seas. One of the stops on our recommended Scotland driving route, Brora is also a prime golf location, making this an ideal destination for the entire family.
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