10 of the UK's best hidden beaches
Travel Guides

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

9th November 2022

The UK is home to a vast and varied array of magnificent beaches. Many of these sit on the edge of towns, offering easy access to the sand. However, some of our favourite beaches are those that aren’t as simple to find.

Think secluded bays hidden by huge cliffs; rocky outcrops tucked beneath quaint, isolated villages; and vast swathes of wind-swept sand accessed via long and winding country paths.

Here at Coolstays we love these beaches. Whether they’re perfect for sunbathing, dog walking, snorkelling or enjoying a bracing walk with a loved one, these hidden beaches all have one thing - character!

So, why not take a look at 10 of our favourite hidden beaches from up and down the UK?

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Botany Bay, Kent

Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

First up, we’re taking you to the far reaches of eastern Kent and the marvellous Botany Bay.

This sandy beach is surrounded by huge, white cliffs and towering, dramatic chalk stacks that are just waiting to be explored. This is a striking location that offers peace and tranquillity but it really comes to life when the tide is out.

At low tide the retreating sea reveals copious rockpools, fossil hunting opportunities and one of the best chalk reefs in Britain. Kids will love this! Low tide also offers you a fantastic walking opportunity as you head along the coast to Broadstairs, an hour away. But do be aware that when the tide is high, the ends of the beach are cut off.

It’s worth adding that between 1st May and the 30th September there is a dog ban in place. This means that dogs are not permitted on the beach between 10am and 6pm during that period.

Top Coolstays near Botany Bay

Old Barrel Store

Margate - Kent

Sleeps 5

Former brewery building transformed into a lovely boutique cottage in cool Margate.

Club Jupiter

Birchington-on-Sea - Kent

Sleeps 6

Gloriously kitsch caravan, decorated in high-end retro 70's Palm Springs style, just outside Margate in Kent.

The Well Margate

Margate - Kent

Sleeps 4

Stunning sea views and Bohemian charm in this wellness-centred apartment in Margate.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Steephill Cove, Isle of Wight

Photo by Pauline Bernfeld on Unsplash

If you’re hopping across the Solent to the Isle of Wight then you may already have some fab beaches on your hit list, such as Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor. However, if you fancied heading off the tourist trail, you may want to consider Steephill Cove.

Situated just below Ventnor on the island’s south coast, Steephill Cove is a quaint, picture-postcard sand and shingle beach. Despite not being a hugely well-known spot, the beach does still get quite busy during peak periods, however, if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle, or you’re travelling outside of the school holidays, then this beach is a dream.

The beach is well hidden and has no road access, meaning you’ll have to approach it on foot via a twisting, narrow path. This, combined with the rocky, rounded cove, give the beach a nice Mediterranean feel. And with cute beach huts, deckchair hire and fishing boats working away off shore, this really is a delightful place to spend an afternoon building sand castles, paddling or simply relaxing with a good book.

Top Coolstays near Steephill Cove


Ventnor - Isle of Wight

Sleeps 4

An architect designed modernist getaway offering arresting sea views from its elevated position over the Isle of Wight's Ventnor.

The Crow's Nest Cabin

Ventnor - United Kingdom

Sleeps 2

A romantic cabin hideaway set on Ventnor Beach, Isle of Wight with panoramic sea views, a large balcony and a hot tub.

Old School Mews

Shanklin - Isle of Wight

Sleeps 6

Kick back and relax at Old School Mews, a charming converted schoolhouse minutes from the sandy shores of Shanklin Beach, Isle of Wight

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Man O’War Beach, Dorset

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Accessed by an 800-metre footpath from a clifftop car park, followed by a steep staircase that takes you down to the water’s edge, Man O’War Beach is a dreamy cove on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

This beautiful beach offers lovely sand and fine pebbles and is on the east of the popular Durdle Door beach with its famous limestone arches.

Man O’War Beach offers clean, sparkling, shallow waters that are ideal for swimming when the weather’s warm. And, thanks to the lack of easy access, the beach is often peaceful and quiet, meaning you and your loved ones can relax and unwind away from the crowds.

Top Coolstays near Man O'War Beach


West Lulworth - Wareham

Sleeps 20

Luxury Dorset home with gorgeous sea views, ten super king ensuite bedrooms, elegant open-plan living and a stunning indoor swimming pool.

Three Little Pigs

Blandford Forum - Dorset

Sleeps 6

Relax and unwind in style in this breathtaking, award winning Grade II Listed cottage in Dorset.

The Hurdlemaker's Hut

Dorchester - Dorset

Sleeps 2

Cosy bespoke shepherds hut with marvellous stargazing outdoor bath, fire pit and wood burner on peaceful farm in Piddle Valley, Dorset.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Kynance Cove, Cornwall

Photo by Elektra Klimi on Unsplash

Dramatic and beautiful, Cornwall’s Kynance Cove is a spectacular place to be thanks to the huge, tall rock outcrops that tower up from the beach. Kids can play among the rocks as you watch daredevils throwing themselves into the sea from their craggy heights.

The crystal clear waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelers will love exploring the rocky caves and overhangs.

Asparagus Island is only accessible on foot during low tide, however, many people choose to swim out to the green-topped rocky isle. Here, you’ll find the fabulous and aptly named Devil’s Letterbox, a blowhole that shoots up huge plumes of water with a big roar and rumble.

Top Coolstays near Kynance Cove

The Boathouse

Manaccan - Cornwall

Sleeps 14

A beautiful, 6-bed boathouse in a secluded Cornish cove; off-the-beaten track and just a few steps from the shore…

Anchor Cottage

Porthleven - Cornwall

Sleeps 5

Fantastic seaside cottage in Porthleven, Cornwall, sat on the water's edge offering a cosy, charming interior and amazing coastal views.


Nr Helston - Cornwall

Sleeps 6

With uninterrupted views out to sea, and perched on a stunning cliff top location, Godrevy welcomes a working lighthouse as its nearest neighbour

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Bamburgh, Northumberland

Photo by Bruce Edwards on Unsplash

Once a Norman stronghold, Bamburgh Castle towers over the wide, pristine Bamburgh Beach below. The castle dominates the skyline and has been standing on that spot since the 6th century, with the oldest part of the current structure having been built in the 12th century.

This dramatic beach is backed by sand dunes and offers the perfect location for a long, wind-swept walk at any time of the year. There are plenty of other fab coastal walks from here that take you past craggy rocks, busy rock pools and, if you head slightly inland, a wide variety of flora and fauna.

From the beach itself you’re also presented with lovely views of the Farne Islands and can take boat trips out to see them up close, spotting seals and seabirds at play.

Top Coolstays near Bamburgh Beach

Trees at Tughall

Chathill - Northumberland

Sleeps Three cabins sleeping 2

Choose from one of three architect-designed modernist cabins, just a stone's throw from the arresting Northumberland Coast AONB.

Hunting Hall Shepherd's Hut

Berwick upon Tweed - Northumberland

Sleeps 2

Enjoy peace and tranquility amongst nature in this pretty Shepherd's Hut situated in the lovely Northumberland countryside.

Bamburgh Under Canvas

Glororum - Northumberland

Sleeps Bell tents sleeping 2

Luxurious lotus bell tents located in the countryside near the iconic Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, a romantic seaside escape.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Runswick Bay, Yorkshire

Photo by Lee Jeffs on Unsplash

Backed by picturesque, quaint cottages perched on a rising cliff, this gorgeous beach is invisible until you finally arrive at it, as it’s hidden by the hills that surround it. And once you arrive, you’re in for a treat. This is a lovely beach in Yorkshire near the famous goth town of Whitby.

The beach has lots of things to keep you entertained from the big rocks, waiting to be explored, to the rockpools exposed at low tide. There is also a large stone staircase that’s been carved out of the cliffs and fossils that date back over 180 million years! However, when the weather’s nice, you may just want to lounge on the sand and relax with your loved ones.

Lovers of coastal walks will be delighted to hear that Runswick Bay sits on the Cleveland Way National Trail, meaning you have a whole host of lovely coastal walks both north and south of the village, some of which offer amazing views from Kettleness.

Top Coolstays near Runswick Bay

Burnsyde Beach House

Saltburn-by-the-sea - North Yorkshire

Sleeps 6

Stunningly renovated and with breathtaking sea views, Burnsyde Beach House lets you live the good life on the North Yorkshire coast

Hillside Farm

Sleights - North Yorkshire

Sleeps 22

A huge, beautifully renovated stone farmhouse in the stunning North York Moors. The perfect escape for a relaxing group getaway.

No.30 Whitby

Whitby - North Yorkshire

Sleeps 20

Grand Victorian townhouse with ten bathrooms, a huge living area, several fireplaces and a sunny courtyard on the West Cliff, Whitby.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Aberlady Bay, East Lothian

Aberlady Bay image courtesy of Laurence Arnold via Flickr Creative Commons.

On a beautiful stretch of coastline east of Scotland’s capital, Aberlady Bay is a delightful expanse of golden sand. This fantastic, isolated beach offers nice views of Arthur’s Seat as well as a wrecked submarine that sits on the sand.

The bay is also home to a cracking nature reserve, which is home to sand, mudflats and salt marshes that all fall below the high tide mark. The nature reserve is criss-crossed by paths, which you can take to explore the land keeping an eye out for wildfowl and waders and even a herd of majestic roe deer. The reserve is also home to over 550 species of plant life, a quaint freshwater loch and some dense woodland.

Top Coolstays near Aberlady Bay

The Barn at Williamstone Farm Steadings

North Berwick - East Lothian

Sleeps 6-8

An amazing barn conversion at Williamstone Farm Steadings – bringing country luxury to the Scottish coast

The Old Millhouse

Dalkeith - Midlothian

Sleeps 10

An historic, country house with exclusive, five-star luxuries; set in a peaceful sanctuary just a few miles from Edinburgh…

Leuchie Walled Garden

North Berwick - East Lothian

Sleeps 12

Super-stylish mid-Century holiday home that sleeps 12, with acres of wonderful walled gardens close to the popular seaside town of North Berwick.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Coral Beach, Isle of Skye

Photo by Laurence Arnold Jack White on Unsplash

Time tends to stand still on Skye. This majestic island, the largest and most northern of the Inner Hebrides, is steeped in natural history and offers inspiring scenery at every glance. It is also home to so many great beaches that it’s hard to choose only one. But we’ve done just that…

When it comes to hidden beaches, Coral Beach in Claigan has to be number one. Known locally as a ‘wee gem’, Coral Beach is made of fossilised, sun-bleached algae (not coral) and is located just four miles from the fantastic Dunvegan Castle.

Peaceful and calm when the wind dies down and bracing and bold when it blows, this beach is from another world. It’s also home to a rugged coastline that features hexagonal rocks from which you can dive into the chilly water. Go for a walk along the beach and watch cows wandering to the water’s edge, a sight that adds to the almost ethereal feel of this spectacular location.

Top Coolstays near Coral Beach

The Lookout Skye

Isle of Skye - Scotland

Sleeps 2

Fabulously cosy, eco house with a wood-burning stove and jaw dropping views on the romantic Isle of Skye.

The Two Byres

Hallin - Isle of Skye

Sleeps 6

Escape to a remote corner of the UK in this luxurious home on the Isle of Skye offering spectacular views and a cosy wood-burner.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Porth Wen, Anglesey

Porth Wen image courtesy of Claire Cox via Flickr Creative Commons.

None of the beaches on this list offer the eerie stillness of Porth Wen beach on Wales’ Anglesey isle. With its tiny shingle bay (not ideal for sunbathing), you won’t be spending hours relaxing by the water’s edge. But what this beach does offer is a beautiful scene that will stay with you long after you leave.

The craggy shoreline is home to a host of rockpools, and at one end of the beach stands a large, natural rock arch. However, the most amazing feature of this location is the old, deserted brickworks that overlooks the water. This former factory is now abandoned (it closed when World War I broke out) and the ruins are now overgrown with greenery making them a sight to behold.

The beach itself is more popular with fishermen than holidaymakers, so expect some peace as you explore the old furnaces and towering smokestacks. Wander the old building and think back to a time long ago when these spaces were teeming with workers, going about their day.

Top Coolstays near Porth Wen


Holyhead - Anglesey

Sleeps 9

A self-catering holiday retreat on Holy Island, Anglesey, boasting gorgeous décor, stunning sea views, a separate annex and a private hot tub.

Ty Rhos Newydd

Llanerchymedd - United Kingdom

Sleeps 10

An ultra-modern holiday home set in picturesque Pencraigwen, Anglesey, featuring a cinema room, hot tub and games room.

10 of the UK's best hidden beaches

Mwnt Beach, Cardigan Bay

Photo by Nick Russill on Unsplash

Sheltered by sandstone cliffs and situated in a remote location, Mwnt Beach is a perfect cove in West Wales. Think gentle, rolling waves and a big sandy beach that’s ideal for kids to run around on.

Despite the remote location, this National Trust beach is no secret, and can prove popular when the weather’s warm. However, it’s still worth a visit as there is a true abundance of magnificent wildlife on offer. Grab a pair of binoculars and see if you can catch sight of bottlenose dolphins playing out in the bay. But that’s not all you might spot, keep your eyes peeled for porpoises too, and even basking sharks!

The beach is also overlooked by a quaint 14th century church that sits up on the cliffs. Be sure to wander up here and visit this ancient pilgrimage site, and once you’re atop the cliffs you can enjoy the spectacular views of the bay and beyond.

Top Coolstays near Mwnt Beach


Newport - Pembrokeshire

Sleeps 4

Traditional Welsh stone cottage close to sandy beaches and spectacular coastal paths in pretty Pembrokeshire.

Ty Isaf

Cardigan - Ceredigion

Sleeps 6

Stay just a short stroll from Tresaith’s beautiful blue flag beach at the stylish and contemporary Ty Isaf.

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