The beautiful islands that make up the United Kingdom are ringed with countless glorious beaches, coves and bays. So many, in fact, that you’ll never be able to explore them all, no matter how hard you try. But don’t despair, from day trips to month-long vacations, with a campervan you are never far from your next beachside idyll.
To save you the time and effort of scouring every coastal nook and cranny for your perfect beach, we’ve rounded up some of the very best right here. The great thing is that with your transport and accommodation all wrapped up in one trendy camper package you’ll have a great time no matter what the weather brings.
From the family-friendly resorts of Dorset and Devon, the surfing hotspots of Cornwall and the secluded coves of the Scottish islands, consider this your essential beach guide for the months ahead.
After all, just like finding the best insurance for campervans, even experienced travellers need a helping hand once in a while! Give our team at Motorhome Protect a call today and you’ll be heading off to the beach in no time.
5 reasons why campervans are so perfect for beach holidays
Many of the UK’s finest beaches are fairly easily accessible, so why are campervans such a popular way of exploring these locations? Let’s take a look.
- The fastest route to freedom and relaxation
Beach holidays are all about going with the flow and achieving that sense of freedom and relaxation we all so crave. And holidays don’t get much more flexible than when travelling by campervan.
There are no strict schedules to keep (unless you want to) and you can decide the length of time you want to spend in any location. If you hear of a great new place to try out then just pack up and you’re away. Likewise, if you’re settled you can always extend your stay for an extra couple of days.
While we love a spot of responsible wild camping, there are always plenty of campsites wherever you find yourself in the UK. The benefit of this being there’s always plentiful water, electricity, toilets, cleaning facilities and places to dispose of waste water.
- Nature is always close at hand
There’s a whole fantastic array of wildlife and stunning landscapes to enjoy when you visit the UK coast. With a campervan you’ve got your own safe, warm hideaway from which to observe nature close at hand. Make sure you pack some binoculars and a decent camera so you can take some of those million-pound views away with you. Top-of-the-range equipment can get expensive – speak to your campervan insurance provider to check the level of contents cover your policy gives you.
- A great way to save money
Hotel rooms with sea views are always going to come at a premium. But with a campervan you can enjoy all the coast has to offer at no extra cost. Modern campervans do an incredible job at balancing comfort, speed and fuel consumption, so your holiday never gets too expensive. And with the money you save, you could always treat yourselves to a fancy meal out at one of the many exclusive seaside restaurants the UK has to offer.
- Perfect for all the family
Kids love beaches and they love living in a miniature house on wheels. What a fantastic combination!
- Furry friends are always welcome
A day out at the beach is any dog’s dream. But unfortunately, many hotels frown on a furry friend sharing your room. But if it’s your campervan, then it’s your rules and Fido is more than welcome!
Best beaches in England
Brighton Beach, Brighton, East Sussex
With its fun-packed amusements, rides and kiosks Brighton Beach and its Grade II-listed pier make a great family day out. The pebble beach is very popular with kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. But if you prefer something a little less strenuous, Brighton’s famous Lanes shopping quarter is nearby.
Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
A short ferry trip across the water from the south coast hangouts of Lymington, Portsmouth and Southampton, will bring you to the beautiful Isle of Wight. Ringed by many picture-perfect sandy beaches and coves the area is an UNESCO Biosphere reserve. Compton Bay in particular stands out even in this illustrious company. Take a walk along this long stretch of sand and marvel at the rising white chalk cliffs behind. If you visit in the warmer months there’s a stunning atmosphere to the area as orchids come into bloom and rare species of butterfly can be spotted. And if you’re a keen fossil hunter then you’re in for a treat as new treasures are constantly being uncovered by the ocean waves.
Bournemouth Beach, Bournemouth, Dorset
If you’re in the mood for putting on your running shoes and getting your daily dose of exercise in fabulous surroundings then head to Bournemouth Beach. With seven miles of golden sand the beach runs from the nature reserve at Hengistbury Head to the exclusive resort of Sandbanks. It’ll leave you footsore but begging for more!
Often touted as the best beach in the country, the beach is also well-regarded for nearby attractions including the wonderful Oceanarium and the Victorian pier.
Weymouth Beach, Weymouth, Dorset
If you’re looking for traditional British seaside fun then head over to Weymouth’s three-miles of curving, sheltered sands. Just a few moments from the busy town centre and shops, the beach still boasts traditional donkey rides, fairground attractions, fish and chip shops and Punch and Judy shows. It’s also known for its fantastic sand sculptures, beach volleyball championships, live music and firework displays!
Blackpool Sands, Dartmouth, South Devon
Contrary to what its name suggests, Blackpool Sands is in fact a sheltered bay near Dartmouth in South Devon. This Blue Flag award-winning beach is backed by a phalanx of scented pine trees and evergreens. This gives it a wild and remote feel, not unlike a secluded Mediterranean island – only easier to get to! An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the glassy waters are some of the clearest you’ll come across in the UK. As well as the usual beach shop, showers, toilets and disabled facilities, Blackpool Sands also has sand pits for the kids, kayaks, paddle boards and wetsuits available for hire. Be warned, if your four-legged friend is joining you then you’d be better off finding another of South Devon’s beaches, as dogs are not allowed here from March to the end of October.
Croyde Beach, Croyde, North Devon
As we head further towards the south west the surf culture really starts to take off. And riding in your campervan means you’re sure to fit right in among this laid-back crowd. Regarded as one of the UK’s best surfing beaches, Croyde Beach is a stunning three quarter mile crescent of golden sand, framed by two headlands. Not only does this look great in your Instagram feed but it also offers great protection from the wind when you want to picnic, sunbathe or go rock-pooling!
With its quaint thatched houses, pubs and cafes the village itself is also gorgeous and a joy to explore. And if you fancy a challenge then why not visit one of the many surf schools here? Who knows you could pick up a hobby that’s perfect for a campervan life!
Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall
Cornwall boasts some of the very best beaches in the UK and it’s almost impossible to choose a ‘best beach’ here. But the white sands and crystalline turquoise waters of Porthcurno Beach in the far west of Cornwall is undoubtedly one of our favourites. It’s a popular beach with families but also with dolphins and basking sharks who can sometimes be spotted in the calm waters around here. And when you’ve had enough of its raw beauty, why not pay a visit to the incredible Minack open-air theatre on the cliffs high above the beach?
Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
If you love surfing then you really need to visit the long and sandy Fistral Beach near the Cornish surfing centre of Newquay. Backed by high cliffs and sand dunes it’s an iconic coastal resort and quite simply one of the most consistent and best surfing beaches in the UK and Europe. On a fine Cornish summer’s day, it’s an ideal spot for families to take surfing lessons or simply relax with a delicious picnic.
Best beaches in Wales
Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea
Just a short drive from Swansea and easily accessible from a nearby car park the beach at Three Cliffs Bay is one of the best on the Gower Peninsula. Perhaps best known for its three stark, imposing limestone cliffs, this picturesque little cove boasts a beach patched with rushes, rock pools and shallow lagoons. Although it’s a beautiful spot it can be very wild and swimming and water sports are not recommended here. Take a walk and take some stunning pictures instead.
Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea
Another hugely popular beach near Swansea, the three-mile sandy beach at Rhossili Bay is popular with not only beach lovers but also those who enjoy water sports, surfing and walking. Take a stroll out to the iconic Worm’s Head landmark and you might even spot dolphins and whales.
Barafundle Beach, Stackpole, Pembrokeshire
Voted many, many times as one of Britain’s most beautiful beaches, Pembrokeshire’s Barafundle Beach is characterised by swathes of golden sand and crystal-clear waters. To visit in your campervan, you’ll need to park up at the car park and walk around half a mile to the beach. However, the calm atmosphere of this tranquil and isolated location is well worth it.
Black Rock Sands, Porthmadog, Gwynedd
Heading further north, Black Rock Sands near Porthmadog is popular with those who love nothing better than driving their beloved campervan on the sands. Why not experience the thrill of driving on these golden sands, it really is great fun!
If you’re interested, read our top tips for driving a campervan on a beach. It could stop you from getting stuck far from home as the tide comes in!
Best beaches in Scotland
Traigh Iar, North Uist Island
There are few locations more ethereal or more far-flung than Traigh Iar beach on the western side of North Uist Island. Just off the western coast of Scotland, North Uist is home to some stunning beaches indeed. But if we have to choose one then Traigh Iar is it. It’s a serene, 4km-long crescent of perfect white sand set against wonderfully still waters and pure island air. Just breathe it all in!
Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
If you asked someone to paint a picture of a South Pacific island paradise then it would look identical to Luskentyre Beach. With pristine pearly-white sands and impossibly clear blue/green waters Luskentyre is blissfully secluded and peaceful (if a little chilly at times). Simply spectacular!
Best beach in Northern Ireland
Whiterocks Beach, Portrush, County Antrim
Found just off the popular Causeway Coastal route, Whiterocks Bay is a renowned spot for beachgoers in Northern Ireland. Sitting in the shadow of Dunluce Castle, this extensive sandy beach is lined inland by gentle dune hills. To the eastern end of the beach, various strange columns of white limestone rise from the waves and give the beach its name.
Protecting your vehicle with campervan insurance cover
Whatever type of campervan you drive, they’re a significant investment, so they deserve significant protection when on a beach adventure.
Whatever precautions you take, it’s almost impossible to rule out everything that could possibly happen when you’re out and about in such beautiful but remote locations.
Using our panel of insurers Motorhome Protect will search out campervan insurance, tailored to your vehicle, needs and budget.
Cover arranged by us includes benefits such as:
- Cover for vehicles valued up to £150,000
- Up to £3,500 of cover for your camping personal effects
- Unlimited EU cover
- Discounts if you’re a member of a campervan club
Call Motorhome Protect and get a quick quote for campervan insurance today.
Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.