Britain’s top 10 urban beaches, Brighton No 1!!!

CAN’T decide between the city and the beach? Cool off in the heat and do both…

Brighton-is-probably-the-most-famous-UK-city-with-a-beachBrighton is probably the most famous UK city with a beach
1. Brighton – probably the most famous UK city with a beach, complete with its impressive Pier and long beach front. Cool off in the sea and then cross the road to enjoy fine restaurants, art galleries, cafes and shops. The historic ‘Lanes’ is a maze of twisting streets full of jewellery shops, antiques and boutiques and were once the heart of this old fishing town of Brighthelmstone. www.visitbrighton.com

2. Bournemouth – usually known for its golden sands and large quota of retired folk, Bournemouth’s image has had a recent revamp. The seven miles of sand have been discovered by a more cosmopolitan crowd and ‘surfer chic’ style is making a mark. If traditional fun is more your style, the city has more than 250 beach huts for hire on a daily or weekly basis so you can make your own perfect cup of tea, even on the beach.www.bournemouth.co.uk/things-to-do/beach

3. Oxford – yes, we know it’s miles from the sea and most famous for its colleges and a rich academic history. But, why should all the coastal towns have all the fun? For the first time ever, this summer Castle Quarter now has an urban beach with 23 tonnes of sand, 8 palm trees and 50 deckchairs and a list of daily events from beach volleyball to petanque.www.thebigbangrestaurants.co.uk/#!oxford-beach/c1072

4. Cardiff – in another first, 300 tonnes of sand are being shipped in to the Welsh capital this summer for the city’s first urban beach, opening on July 27 in Cardiff Bay. Beachgoers will be able to relax under giant parasols or play in a sand pit and shallow water play area. Look out for music and entertainment, including beach soccer and volleyball. The beach will form part of the annual Cardiff festival. cardiffbay.co.uk/index.php/en

5. Nottingham’s famous summer ‘urban beach’ at Old Market Square is now in its fifth year and is open until September. A giant paddling pool, sandy beach area, café, rides and lots of free activities for all the family over the summer have been attracting the crowds.www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Buckets and spades at the ready if you head off to Camden

6. London – Buckets and spades at the ready if you head off to Camden, better known for its famous outdoor market. London’s Roundhouse is bringing back its beach for four weeks, starting July 27. Prepare to be welcomed by traditional seaside amusements and refreshments with an end-of-pier bar, a sizzling BBQ, deckchairs to lounge in and 150 tonnes of sand. www.roundhouse.org.uk/camden-beach#.UepLIJpwbX4

7. Swansea – watersports are big in Wales’s second city which has the five-mile stretch of the beach within walking distance of the shops. Walk along it to the west and it runs into Mumbles where you might even bump into movie star Catherine Zeta Jones. In the other direction, Swansea Bay hosts a thriving festival through until September. www.visitswanseabay.com

8. Sunderland – Not quite in the city, but certainly the sandy Roker beach is within walking distance of the city centre. Seaburn too is fairly unknown outside the North East, though popular with local walkers and surfers. www.nearestbeach.co.uk/sunderland

9. Liverpool – again…only just outside the city, Liverpool, in the North West, also has twobeaches, each within two miles, Fort Rock (great for families) and Crosby Beach, ideal for bird watching. www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do-family/liverpool/Best-Beaches

10. Finally, St Andrews – actually this charming Scottish golf mecca is a town, rather than a city. But with two fabulous beaches it deserves a mention. One is the magnificent West Sands, where the famous opening sequence of Chariots of Fire was shot. Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge met at university there too. wwww.visitscotland.com

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