20 of the best beaches in the UK that you might not have visited before

When you think of the great British seaside, a number of destinations probably spring to mind: Brighton, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Norfolk, the Isle of Wight. But while these popular places are undoubtedly home to some of the UK’s best and most beautiful beaches, not expanding your search beyond the obvious means you could be missing out on some hidden gems.

To help us all beat the crowds this summer and find the lesser-known spots where we can still enjoy the coast, the team at CV Villas has analysed the TripAdvisor data and found the best-reviewed UK beaches that you probably haven’t visited before. Their advice? Consider heading to Scotland.

best UK Beaches
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Out of 20 of the beaches on the list, which took into account the number of ‘excellent’ ratings each beach had received on the travel review site, six can be found in England, and one in Wales. The rest are Scottish beaches, including the one that takes the top spot: the stunning Traigh Lingeigh Beach in North Uist.

Traigh Lingeigh won favour for its white sands, clear blue waves, flat terrain and its quiet, unspoilt nature, but it’s not the only beach to be hailed as the closest thing you’ll find to paradise on our shores. Here’s the full list of 20 – if you’re looking for a picturesque, peaceful escape where you can really switch off, these would be a great place to start.

20 hidden gem beaches in the UK for your next staycation

Traigh Lingeigh Beach (North Uist, Hebrides, Scotland)

Traigh Lingeigh Beach
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The reviews say: ‘We were here at low tide so were able to enjoy this flat, wide, lovely beach. Its such a beautiful spot to see birds, listen to the waves and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Go here in any weather! It’s amazing.’

Newburgh Seals Beach (Aberdeenshire, Scotland)

Newburgh Seals Beach
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The reviews say: ‘What a great beach. Stunning scenery and fantastic close views of numerous seals and sea birds. Lovely walks from a free car park close by.’

Oldshoremore Beach (Sutherland, Scotland)

Oldshoremore Beach
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The reviews say: ‘Only the Highlands can have a beach as good as this, yet empty.  And true to Scottish tradition a toilet by it.’

Embleton Bay (Northumberland, England)

Embleton Bay
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The reviews say: ‘The beach is everything that anyone would want, overlooked by the castle. It is perfect for walking – we almost wished we had a dog! – and for paddling and just taking in the scenery.’

Ross Back Sands Beach (Northumberland, England)

Ross Back Sands Beach
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The reviews say: ‘This beach is beautiful. It is now labelled ‘my happy place’. A lovely stretch of beach with no one else on there. Just perfect.’

Kiloran Beach (Colonsay, Scotland)

Kiloran Beach
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The reviews say: ‘Stunning is the only way to describe this beautiful beach. The sun was shining, the sea was blue and it felt like a little bit of paradise on earth.’

Sandwood Bay (Kinlochbervie, Scotland)

Sandwood Bay
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The reviews say: ‘Passing through heathland, lochs and beautiful views, the walk itself is beautiful. But the beach at the end is just breathtaking. Highly recommended.’

Traigh Bhostadh (Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland)

Traigh Bhostadh
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The reviews say: ‘Nobody was on it just me and my 2 dear friends. Big rocks, pools caves and grassy banks to sit on. Totally unspoilt and a must-see if you like peace and quiet and solitude.

Scarista Beach (Harris, Hebrides, Scotland)

Scarista Beach
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The reviews say: ‘A little tricky to find the way down to this beach, but oh, so worth the effort. The waves are incredible and the sunsets sublime. The unexpected sighting of 2 porpoises playing in the waves was the icing on the cake.’

Camusdarach Beach (Arisaig, Scotland)

Camusdarach Beach
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The reviews say: ‘Absolutely stunning. Access limited but well worth the trek! We went late September and it was blue skies, blue sea and sunshine. So clean and quiet. Just heaven!’

Porthcressa Beach (Isles of Scilly, England)

Porthcressa Beach
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The reviews say: ‘The promenade area has been thoughtfully designed and built, with a tourist information office and public toilets nearby. There are lovely wooden benches, set into semicircular niches that offer some protection if there is a wind. The beach itself is gently shelving and people seem to enjoy swimming there at high tide. There are good views for birdwatchers out towards the rocks and sea.’

Bamburgh Beach (Northumberland, England)

Bamburgh Beach
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The reviews say: ‘The stark beauty of Bamburgh beach must be seen to be seen to be appreciated. The castle dominates the view and adds to its brilliance.’

Machir Beach (Islay, Scotland)

Machir Beach
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The reviews say: ‘You can walk out to the sea and it’s about 150 yards of sand till you hit the water. There is almost no slope so the waves are tiny. This place is wonderful. A must when you are on Islay.’

Huisinis Beach (Isle of Harris, Scotland)

Huisinis Beach
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The reviews say: ‘It is 14miles along a single track road which certainly has some challenges, between avoiding the sheep and skipping lambs to the highland cattle on the road and the camper vans however it is worth it. We were the only people on the beach initially and it was so tranquil. The colours of the sea are amazing.’

Marloes Sands Beach (Marloes, Wales)

Marloes Sands Beach
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The reviews say: ‘My favourite beach EVER. When the tide is out, you can walk all the way along this beautiful, unspoilt wonder of a beach. It is sandy, with the most beautiful rock pools. The rocks range in colour from pink, purple to blue and green – the geology bed formations are really stunning. It is totally unspoilt and not busy.’

Embo Beach (Embo, Scotland)

Embo Beach
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The reviews say: ‘Peaceful, quiet and good for the soul. I cannot recommend highly enough. Start and finish my days with a walk along the beach when I visit here. Very few places leave me feeing so calm and rested.’

Polin Beach (Sutherland, Scotland)

Polin Beach
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The reviews say: ‘While the well-known beach at Oldshoremore had sixty plus people on it, this was deserted. Such a beautiful beach, and the lack of tourists just added to it. Pink sand, turquoise water and blue skies framed by Lewisian Gneiss outcrops and not soul to be seen.’

Lundy Bay (Cornwall, England)

Lundy Bay
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The reviews say: ‘It is a lovely walk through light woodland and meadow to a wonderful little cove. We sat on the rocks watching the world go by as the tide came in! Well worth visiting with some wonderful scenery!’

Marske Sands Beach (Yorkshire, England)

Marske Beach

The reviews say: ‘Absolutely massive sandy beach backed by dunes, sunset in the evening lovely and on every visit (mostly evenings) it was completely deserted!’

Dalmore Beach (Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland)

Dalmore Beach
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The reviews say: ‘This is an unspoilt beautiful little beach. The sea is a little rough creating great waves but it’s a gorgeous blue and turquoise colour. I saw some locals flying birds of prey here which was amazing to see!!’