England now has more Blue Flag beaches than Mexico, Cyprus and South Africa

While some people jumped at the chance to book an overseas getaway as soon as Boris Johnson announced the green list of Covid-safe countries to travel to, many are still hesitant about travelling abroad. If that’s you, it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a brilliant summer holiday closer to home.

We’ve got everything crossed for spells of glorious summer sunshine to make this year’s staycation one to remember (for all the right reasons). The UK is full of idyllic and beautiful beaches to flock to when the sun comes out, offering up a huge number of seaside escapes that are also great value for money.

In fact, there are 77 Blue Flag beaches across England that promise Instagram-worthy views, as well as high levels of cleanliness and safety.

Blue Flag beaches Exmouth
Exmouth beach. Image: Alamy

Campaign group Keep Britain Tidy revealed exactly which beaches in England have the highest standards in the Blue Flag Awards 2021.

The accolade is awarded to beaches that can guarantee visitors they are litter-free, have plenty of facilities and high-quality water. Back in 1987 when the awards were launched, there were only 12 beaches in England deemed good enough.

Now that 77 English beaches have won the impressive status, England officially has more Blue Flag beaches than tourist hot spots like Mexico, Cyprus and South Africa.

To find Blue Flag beaches in your area, you can use this interactive map from Keep Britain Tidy. Alternatively, we’ve listed the highest-rated beaches in England below for you to check out. Who needs holidays abroad when you’ve got beaches like these?…

77 Blue Flag beaches in England

East Midlands

Cleethorpes Blue Flag beaches
Cleethorpes beach alongside the North Promenade. Image: Alamy

Central Beach, Mablethorpe
Central Beach, Skegness
Central Beach, Sutton on Sea
Cleethorpes Central

East of England

Thorpe Bay Blue Flag beaches
Sunrise over Thorpe Bay. Image: Alamy

Felixstowe South and Pier
Cromer North
Sea Palling
Sheringham
Mundesley
East Runton
West Runton
East Beach Shoeburyness
Shoebury Common
Thorpe Bay
Three Shells Beach
Westcliff Bay
Dovercourt Bay
Brightlingsea
Walton on the Naze Albion Beach

North East

Whitley Bay Blue Flag beaches
People enjoying summer sunshine on Whitley Bay beach. Image: Alamy

Tynemouth Longsands
King Edward’s Bay
Whitley Bay
Roker
Seaburn
Saltburn by the Sea

Yorkshire and Humber

Whitby beach Blue Flag beaches
Whitby Beach in Yorkshire on a sunny summer day. Image: Alamy

Hornsea
Scarborough North Bay
Whitby

South East

Brighton beach
Brighton Pier on Brighton beach. Image: Alamy

Brighton Central
Hove Lawns
Tankerton
Marina St Leonards
Hayling Island Beachlands
Sandown
Sheerness Beach
Leysdown Beach
Minster Leas
Minnis Bay
West Bay
St Mildreds
Margate Main Sands
Stone Bay
West Wittering Beach

South West

Carbis Bay
Carbis Bay in Cornwall. Image: Alamy

Blackpool Sands
Poole, Sandbanks Peninsular
Poole, Shore Road
Poole, Canford Cliffs
Poole, Branksome Chine
Alum Chine
Bournemouth Manor Steps
Durley Chine
Fisherman’s Walk
Southbourne
Carbis Bay
Crooklets
Gyllyngvase
Porthmeor
Great Western
Polzeath
Porthtowan
Trevone Bay
Widemouth Bay
Sandy Bay
Exmouth
Sidmouth Town
Challaborough Bay
Swanage Central
Dawlish Warren
Teignmouth Town
Breakwater Beach
Broadsands
Meadfoot Beach
Oddicombe Beach
Preston Sands
Torre Abbey Sands
Westward Ho!
Weymouth Central

READ MORE: The best dog-friendly UK beaches to visit with your pooch