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Last Updated: Friday, 4 June, 2004, 13:04 GMT 14:04 UK
UK's best beaches - South-east England
Click on the blue flags to find about the UK's best beaches.

Midlands Eastern England Northern Ireland North-East England Scotland South West England Wales Sheerness Herne Bay Ramsgate Birchington Margate Camber Littlehampton West Wittering West Beachlands Sandown Southend Ryde East Shanklin Bognor Regis Eastbourne Dymchurch Margate main sands Brightlingsea

BEACH: Birchington, Minnis Bay, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: Nearest town Birchington, with rail station. Local buses and taxis to all routes.

Sandy beach with rocky areas and facilities including: windsurfing; sailing; cafe; beach huts; slipway; promenade; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; pay parking (across parking) and street parking; lost child area.

BEACH: Bognor Regis, east of pier, West Sussex
HOW TO GET THERE: Access by road from London via A29. By train to Bognor Regis station. Beach is 10 minute walk south through shopping precinct.

A predominantly shingle beach which gives way to sand at low tide. Relatively safe bathing is a major feature, as are the well-managed facilities catering for beach and sea users. Kid Care scheme in operation. Amenities include deck chair hire. Sports include windsurfing, sailing and jet skis.

BEACH: Brightlingsea, Essex
HOW TO GET THERE: Access by road via the B1027 and B1029 from Colchester and Clacton on Sea. The nearest railway station is at Alreford, three miles away.

This small and quiet family resort has a gently shelving sand and shingle beach. A car park next to the beach gives good access. Activities include windsurfing, canoeing, jet skis, crazy golf and bowls. Dogs are restricted.

BEACH: Camber, East Sussex
HOW TO GET THERE: Off the main A259 coast road via the B24.The nearest town, Rye, has rail links to Ashford and Hastings. A bus service operates from Rye to the beach. A new cycle trail between Rye and Camber is being extended towards Hasting and the Kent Border.

Sandy beach with the only dunes in East Sussex and facilities including: windsurfing; surfing; canoeing; sailing; jet-skiing; cafe/ restaurant; slipway; deckchair hire; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; pay parking; crazy golf; campsite; wildlife reserve; amusement arcade; leisure centre; lost child centre.

BEACH: Dymchurch, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: Beach is a short walk from the town centre. Dymchurch is on the A259 between Hythe and New Romney. Bus services from Folkestone, Hythe and Ashford.

Extensive sandy beach located within easy reach of good local amenities, offering an ideal family location.

BEACH: Eastbourne, pier to Wish Tower, East Sussex
HOW TO GET THERE: Eastbourne is easily accessible by both road and rail. There are twice hourly services to London Victoria and the M25 is 50 minutes drive time from the town centre. The main trunk roads are the A27/A23 and A22.

Very popular shingle beach which has sandy stretches at mid to low tide. Deck chair and beach hut hire, children's entertainers and a slipway are among the many facilities. Eastbourne is a traditional British seaside resort with pier, bandstand, promenade and famed floral carpet gardens.

BEACH: Herne Bay, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: The nearest town is Herne Bay. Access from the A299/ M2 Kent coast route. The A291 provides a main route from Canterbury. Buses serve all local towns.

Shingle beach with sandy mudflats has facilities including: windsurfing; sailing; cafe/ restaurant; slipway; promenade; pier; dog restricted area; free, pay and street parking; harbour; amusement arcade; leisure centre.

BEACH: Littlehampton, West Sussex
HOW TO GET THERE: Access by car or coach via A24 from London, then A259; or A259 from east and west; or via A241/ A27. By train to Littlehampton. Beach is 10 minutes walk through town and riverside walkway.

Large shingle beach, overlooked by coastguard tower, gives way to sand at low tide and has facilities including: cafe/ restaurant; beach huts; deckchair hire; promenade; pier; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; entertainers; bowling; crazy golf; pay and street parking; harbour; amusement arcade; leisure centre; camping; wildlife reserve; lost child centre.

BEACH: Margate Main Sands, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: Margate is accessible by road on the A299 and A28. It also has a railway station with connections to London and the rest of Kent.

The long sandy beach at Margate has always been known as a family resort, but more lately as a popular area for day visitors. The attractions include childrens entertainement, donkey rides, pedalos and areas of historic interest. Paddleboats, canoes and other water-sports are available.

BEACH: Margate, Westbrook Bay, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: About 440 yards (400m) from the main railway station, where taxis are easily available. Westbrook is signed off the main road into Margate from the motorway to Thanet towns Ramsgate and Broadstairs.

Sandy beach with rocky areas, cliffs and shallow bathing conditions plus facilities including: windsurfing; cafe/ restaurant, beach huts, slipway; deckchair hire; promenade; restricted dog areas; dog exercise areas; bowling; crazy golf; free parking (across road) and pay parking; lost child centre.

BEACH: Ramsgate Main Sands, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: Ramsgate has a main line railway station and all main routes have buses and taxis available.

Sandy beach, with some rocky areas and cliffs, with nearby walks to Broadstairs and Pegwell Bay as well as around the historic seafront and harbour. Facilities include: surfing; sailing; cafe/ restaurant; beach huts; slipway; deckchair hire; promenade; pier; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; entertainers; pay parking (across road); harbour; amusement arcade; lost child centre.

BEACH: Ryde East, Isle of Wight
HOW TO GET THERE: The beach is situated to the north of Ryde town centre, which is accessible by public transport or the Ryde Dotto Train.

A sandy beach, fully exposed at low tide, next to an esplanade and facing the Solent. Facilities include: windsurfing; jet skiing; cafe/ restaurant; beach huts; slipway; deckchair hire; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; bowling; crazy golf; pay and street parking; harbour; campsite; amusement arcade; leisure centre; lost child centre.

BEACH: Sandown, Isle of Wight
HOW TO GET THERE: Readily accessible by car or foot with Sandown town centre only one mile (1.5 km) away.

Sandy beach with facilities including: windsurfing; surfing; sailing; jet skiing; cafe/ restaurant; slipway; deckchair hire; pay and street parking; campsite.

BEACH: Shanklin, Isle of Wight
HOW TO GET THERE: Shanklin Town and Old Village is the nearest town to the beach, which can be accessed by public transport or a leisure ride on the Dotto Train.

Long, sandy stretches with lift to connect cliff top to beach, which has facilities including: windsurfing; surfing; canoeing; sailing; jet skiing; paddleboats; cafe/ restaurant; beach huts; slipway; deckchair hire; pedallo hire; promenade; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; crazy golf; pay and parking (across road) and street parking; amusement arcade; camping; lost child centre.

BEACH: Sheerness, Beach Street, Kent
HOW TO GET THERE: Follow the A249 signposted to the Docks, take the second junction off the roundabout, over roundabout, passing the railway station, left into Millennium Way, first left into Victory Street, across junction to Beech street

Next to natural port of Sheerness, sand and shingle beach with small rocks at low tide removed in key bathing areas. Facilities include: sailing; cafe/ restaurant; promenade; dog restricted area; bowling; pay parking; amusement arcade; leisure centre; lost child centre.

BEACH: Southend, Shoebury Common, Essex
HOW TO GET THERE: Via Southend on Sea Eastern Esplanade and Thorpe Bay.

Two miles (3.2km) from Southend centre, sand and shingle beach with mud flats and facilities including: jet skiing; café/restaurant; beach huts; deckchair hire; slipway; promenade; pay parking; wildlife reserve.

BEACH: Southend, Shoeburyness, East Essex
HOW TO GET THERE: The nearest major town is Southend on Sea. Access from Southend is via Eastern Esplanade and Thorpe Bay. Shoeburyness railway station is 5 minutes walk.

Sand and shingle beach with mudflats, small dunes and facilities including: windsurfing; sailing; cafe/ restaurant; deckchair hire; slipway; promenade; lost child centre; dog restricted area; dog exercise area; pay car park; wildlife reserve; caravan site.

BEACH: West Beachlands, Central Hayling Island
HOW TO GET THERE: West Beachlands is located on the south coast of Hayling Island, south of Havant which is situated on the A27 between Chichester and Portsmouth. It can be reached by road, train and bus. Road, bus, walking and cycling routes to Hayling Island.

Sandy beach with shingle banks, sand dunes and vast sand banks exposed at low tide. Area designated site of Special Scientific Interest. Facilities include: sailing, windsurfing; canoeing; surfing; jet skiing; cafe/ restaurant, beach huts, surfboard hire; restricted dog areas; dog exercise areas; bowling; crazy golf; pay parking; harbour; campsite; amusement arcade, wildlife reserve; leisure centre.

BEACH: West Beachlands, South Hayling Island
HOW TO GET THERE: As for West Beachlands, Central.

See West Beachlands, Central, except facilities include: sailing, windsurfing; canoeing; surfing; jet skiing; cafe/ restaurant, beach huts, surfboard hire; restricted dog areas; dog exercise areas; pay parking; harbour; campsite; amusement arcade, wildlife reserve; leisure centre.

BEACH: West Wittering, West Sussex
HOW TO GET THERE: The nearest town is Chichester. Road and footpath from the village. Bus route from Chichester, No 52, which runs every 30 minutes.

Overlooking the Solent and Chichester Harbour with large grassy area for parking and sunbathing. There are tidal pools ideal for children. Sandy beach with shingle and dunes plus facilities including windsurfing; surfing; canoeing; cafe/ restaurant; beach huts; deckchair hire; surfboard hire; restricted dog areas; dog exercise areas; pay parking; harbour; campsite; wildlife reserve; lost child centre.

SOURCE: Encams (Environmental Campaigns)


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