ICONIC British resorts lost out to lesser-known destinations in a list of the best and worst seaside destinations.
Tiny St Mawes in Cornwall, with an 85 per cent customer approval, came top in ratings by consumer group Which?.
Skegness, home of the iconic original Butlin’s, got only 44 per cent with Great Yarmouth on 48 per cent and Blackpool 53 per cent.
Consumer watchdog Which? today revealed Britain’s best beaches – as millions of wary Britons seek a summer staycation destination that escapes the city crowds.
As the holiday season begins with lockdown restrictions easing, many families are looking to stay in the UK but keen to steer clear of bustling resorts.
Iconic resorts like Blackpool, Brighton and Skegness have not done so well in the holiday survey.
Instead, lots of lesser-known coastal villages have received top marks for their delectable seafood and lack of crowds.
A Cornish village with a population of less than 1,000 leads Which?’s annual rankings of the UK’s best coastal destinations.
St Mawes, in Cornwall earned a full five stars for its scenery, seafront and peace and quiet – and a glowing overall customer score of 85 per cent.
Those who visited St Mawes recommended eating crab baguettes at Mr Scorse’s deli and spotting dolphins on the ferry to Falmouth, but admitted that avoiding peak season was the best way to dodge the crowds.
The survey – carried out before the coronavirus lockdown – shows British holidaymakers favour peace and quiet over crowds, crazy golf and roller coasters.
BRITAIN’S TOP 10 BEACHES
- St Mawes, Cornwall
- Dartmouth, Devon
- Southwold, Suffolk
- Aldeburgh, Suffolk
- Bamburgh, Northumberland
- Blakeney, Norfolk
- St Andrews, Fife
- Saint Davids, Pembrokeshire
- Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear
- Beer, Devon
It also highlights quieter beaches, bars and restaurants that travellers can visit this summer.
Which? assessed a range of factors including food and drink, seafront, beach, value for money and peace and quiet to come to a judgement.
Dartmouth, arguably one of the most famous destinations in the Which? top 10, scored 84 per cent.
Those who visited drew attention to steam trains and delicious seafood, but advised using the park and ride service as finding a parking spot in town is “near impossible”.
Coastal Suffolk had two entries in the top five, with both Southwold (84%) and Aldeburgh (83%) scoring top marks for scenery and peace and quiet.
BRITAIN’S WORST 10 BEACHES
- Skegness, Lincolnshire
- Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
- Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
- Bognor Regis, West Sussex
- Marblethorpe, Lincolnshire
- Blackpool, Lancashire
- Littlehampton, West Sussex
- Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
- Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset
- Morecambe, Lancashire
Visitors highlighted the great food and drink on offer in Southwold – earning a whopping five stars in this category.
Bamburgh in Northumberland (83%), which topped last year’s rankings, is still a favourite with visitors this year. It was rated a full five stars in almost every category.
St Andrews (81%), home of Scotland’s oldest university, also made it into the top 10, with a full five stars for food and drink, beautiful views and its attractions, including the world-renowned golf course which has been played by celebs such as Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray.
Oban is a good option for a more easy-going Scottish seaside destination. It is best known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, thanks to its role as a hub for tourists departing to the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides, but it is also a charming holiday spot of its own.
On the Welsh coast, St Davids (81%), Llandudno (80%), Tenby (79%) and Conwy (78%) all scored highly, with great ratings for scenery and value for money.
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