Explore the best of east coast beaches in the UK

From wild to charming, the best beaches in the east coast

Dive into the captivating beauty of the UK's East Coast beaches with lastminute.com. Whether you're in search of tranquil retreats, picturesque landscapes, or the ideal spot for family fun in the sun, our guide takes you through the hidden gems and popular destinations along the eastern shoreline. With lastminute.com, planning your perfect beach holiday is easier than ever, ensuring a memorable escape filled with sandy toes, salty breezes, and the soothing sounds of the sea.

  1. Broadstairs, Kent
  2. Dunwich Beach, Suffolk
  3. Holkham Beach, North Norfolk
  4. Whitby, Yorkshire
  5. Bamburgh, Northumberland
  6. Embo Beach, Scottish Highlands

Journey from one end of the east coast to the other to discover some of the country’s finest coastal areas. From the handsome beaches of Kent and East Anglia to the historic resort towns of Yorkshire, the picturesque Northumberland Coast and the wild, rugged landscapes of Scotland's Highland beaches, these are the finest beaches east coast UK has to offer.

1. Broadstairs, Kent

The Georgian and Victorian town of Broadstairs is home to a number of beaches, any one of which could be considered among the best beaches east coast UK has to offer. Forming part of the Viking Coast Trail, it’s possible to walk from any beach in Broadstairs to another, provided the tide is low. To the north of Broadstairs at Joss Bay, you can discover one of the southeast’s top surfing sites. Families tend to stick to Viking Bay thanks to its access to the town centre, children’s rides and beach amenities. Head north of the main beach to Kingsgate Bay, to discover sea caves and the bay's iconic rocky arch and on to Botany Bay where a series of dramatic chalk stacks dominate the landscape.

Top events: Broadstairs Dickens Festival (June), Broadstairs Folk Week (August) and Broadstairs Food Festival (October).

2. Dunwich Beach, Suffolk

This shingle beach is a great place for collecting Suffolk hag stones (stones with holes that ward off witches) and is also popular with surfers. The most incredible thing about the beach however, is to delve into the story of a once lively port town, now buried beneath the sea. The dramatic cliff edge is a testament to the storms and erosion that occurred over the 13th and 14th centuries. What does remain is a large fish and chip restaurant, purported to be the ‘best in the world’ and a fascinating museum, both a stone’s throw from the beach. Local legend has it that when the tide is right, you can hear the old church bells beneath the waves.

Great beaches nearby: genteel Southwold, wild Walberswich and arty Aldeburgh.

3. Holkham Beach, North Norfolk

Whilst the majority of day-trippers and holidaymakers journey to the charming coastal towns of Cromer, Sheringham or Wells-next-the-Sea, those in the know head to Holkham Beach. The beach is a vast stretch of golden sand, 6km in fact, backed by sand dunes, wildflowers and pine trees. Dogs are allowed all year on Holkham beach which is protected as part of the Holkham Estate and Nature Reserve. Thanks to Norfolk's famous flat terrain, the views up and down this wild coast are seemingly unending.

Top choice for: dog walkers and nature lovers.

4. Whitby, Yorkshire

The northeast’s answer to Bournemouth or Blackpool, Whitby has been offering up the perfect bracing beach break since the 18th century. It's one of the best beaches east coast England has to offer. Whitby's popularity as a spa town in the Georgian era has not waned, and families return year on year to enjoy safe, calm swimming waters, miles of golden sand and donkey rides. Whitby isn’t just one beach, it’s home to a series of beaches and bays, with something for everyone. Although there's plenty to keep you occupied in Whitby, it's also the perfect base for exploring the wild North York Moors. An association with Bram Stoker's Dracula and the cobbled, labyrinthine lanes of the old town add a macabre quirk to this family-friendly destination.

Great choice for: families, fossil hunters and fans of Gothic literature.

5. Bamburgh, Northumberland

This part of the Northumberland Coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty. Bamburgh's blue flag beach is flanked by the Bamburgh Dunes, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Overlooking the main beach and visible for miles around is the enigmatic Bamburgh Castle. Perched atop a grassy, dolerite outcrop, this Norman keep is one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK, but is open to public visitors. Due to Bamburgh relative isolation from the UK's most populated areas, it's a great choice for those seeking the most quiet beaches east coast offers.

While you’re there: cross the causeway to the mysterious Holy Island of Lindisfarne Castle.

6. Embo Beach, Scottish Highlands

It’s a common misconception that beaches of this stature can only be found in far-flung, tropical places and in fact, Scotland is home to countless incredible coastal areas. Of the many beaches east coast Scotland has to offer, Embo has it all. The vast swatches of rippled sand will make you feel a million miles away from the rest of the world. The perfect habitat for many species, the beach is backed by tall dunes and a series of mudflats, which means butterfly watchers will not be disappointed. Rockpools offer even more sanctuaries for marine life. From the sand, views of Ben Bhraggie mountain and the Dornoch Firth add to the overall rugged majesty of Embo Beach.

Great beach for: little explorers, dog walkers and nature lovers.

You could also be interested in

Find your perfect destination

Sign up to our newsletter

We'll send you exclusive offers and sneak peeks of our best deals, plus travel tips and inspiring ideas for where to go next.