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New Brighton by Damon Peace on Flickr

Around the UK in 5 off-beat beaches

15 February 2019 | London Calling

Here at Culture Calling, we think it's seaside season any time of year - and given you're never more than 70 miles from the sea in the UK (the furthest point being in Derbyshire!) you're always pretty close to a coast. Check out these five of our favourite beach spots.

Whitstable, Kent
First popular with the Romans and now with Londoners fleeing the capital for a spot of fresh seaside air, Whitstable, on the north Kent coast, is famous for its oysters. Shucks – they even have an Oyster Festival every July (we think the “only eat oysters in a month with an ‘R’ in it” rule doesn’t apply if they’re fresh from the sea…)

Image credit: Dubris on Flickr
 
Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire
You won’t find green tights and feathered hats here – though it does have history as a smuggling community, so there are plenty of legends about the place. With its narrow, twisting cobbled streets and alleyways, it’s easy to imagine the sailors, smugglers and press gangs that passed through, hundreds of years ago. Enjoy a stroll along this dramatic coastline – with a bag of fish ‘n’ chips, of course.

Image credit: Dave Mac 77 on Flickr
 
Pittenweem, Fife
An hour and a half’s drive north of Edinburgh, Pittenweem has a thriving fishing port and market, as well as a resident artist community and annual Arts Festival every August. Along the coast, you’ll find the utterly instagrammable Elie Ness Lighthouse, and just three miles north there’s Kellie Castle: a gorgeous National Trust property with impressive (and fragrant!) gardens.
 
Image credit: Timon Rose on Flickr

New Brighton, Merseyside
Much less assuming than the bustle of Brighton-Brighton on the south coast, New Brighton has seen more peaks and dips in popularity than a Blackpool rollercoaster. The then run-down seaside resort took on cult status in the 80s after Martin Parr's famous photographic book The Last Resort. Today, visitors can reap the benefits of a multi-million pound redevelopment, which saw the opening of the Floral Pavilion Theatre and a host of new bars and restaurants. The coast on the other side of the Wirral peninsula (a 25-minute drive away) is worth a day trip too.

Image credit: Mark Bentley on Flickr

Ilfracombe, Devon
Ilfracombe is a little seaside town with a big personality – namely Verity, a 66ft bronze-clad sculpture of a pregnant, sword-wielding woman, by Damian Hirst. Beyond this historic harbour, prepare to be amazed by the iconic Tunnels Beaches, which are a network of hand-carved tunnels leading to sheltered beaches and a tidal Victorian bathing pool.

Image credit: tunnelsbeaches.co.uk
 
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