Holidays abroad are now permitted, but with many still concerned by the prospect of sitting on a plane and quarantine measures changing almost daily, our safest bet for a summer holiday in 2020 is to stay right here in Britain.
Lots of us have turned to the idea of a staycation in the UK this summer and are flocking to the coast for a taste of the seaside (no matter the temperature) in our droves. In fact, SiteMinder have found that more than half (52 per cent) of the UK plans to travel domestically for the remainder of 2020.
However, if the pictures of the crowds at Bournemouth have put you off wanting to go for a paddle (and we don’t blame you), you’ll be pleased to know that the popular tourist destination is not deemed the best beach in Britain.
In fact, the much lesser known Runswick Sands in North Yorkshire takes that title, having been crowned beach of the year 2020 by The Sunday Times. Described as ‘close to perfection’ for its ‘pods of bottlenose dolphins on the horizon plus fossil‑hunting and rock‑pooling on the seemingly endless sands’, it sounds positively idyllic.
Nestled between Staithes and Whitby, it’s clear why this beach in ‘God’s Own Country’ is worth a visit. The mile-long stretch of sand is home to safe swimming and paddling opportunities and paddleboards and kayaks are available for hire. There’s brilliant opportunity for rock-pooling and fishing, and next door Kettleness Sands provides excellent fossil-hunting grounds.
The car park is restricted to 80 spaces which helps to keep the beach from becoming overrun with day trippers and there are nearby cafes and pubs to keep you going all day. Along with the spectacular views and the chance to spot a dolphin or (if you’re extremely lucky) a humpback whale on the horizon, we’re struggling to find anything not to love about this idyllic, lesser-known spot, perfect for a totally British day at the seaside.
The Sunday Times wanted this year’s 50 best beaches in Britain list to reflect some of the more local, less obvious beaches dotted around the UK and to give those ‘perennially popular dependables such as Tenby, St Ives, Cromer and Bournemouth’ a rest for a year – a wise idea given the surge in seaside day trips that will take place this summer. Other Yorkshire beaches that made the cut include Spurn Head, Fraisthorpe and Filey’s Hunmanby Gap.