The best Blue Flag beaches in the UK

If you're looking for the best beach holiday in the UK, there are many excellent beaches to choose from. One of the easiest and most effective ways to ensure you choose the best beaches is to look for Blue Flag beaches in the UK.


This prestigious award given to locations all over the country helps visitors know where they can find UK Blue Flag beaches that deliver a top-tier experience for holidaygoers.

To help you plan for your next dream getaway, we'll take you through our guide to what a Blue Flag beach is and where you can find Blue Flag beaches in the UK across different areas.

From Prestatyn Central Beach in Wales to Swanage Beach on the South Coast and Skegness Beach on the East Coast, let's get right into the best Blue Flag Beaches in the UK!

  • Prestatyn Central, Prestatyn
  • Borth Beach, Borth
  • Aberystwyth Beach, Aberystwyth
  • Swanage Beach, Dorset
  • Hayling Island Beach, Hampshire
  • Porthmeor Beach, Cornwall
  • Sandown Beach, Isle of Wight
  • Sutton-On-Sea Beach, Lincolnshire
  • Brightlingsea Beach, Essex
  • Skegness Beach, Lincolnshire
  • Frinton-On-Sea Beach, Essex

What is a Blue Flag beach?

The Blue Flag is an international award given to beaches that meet stringent standards for water quality, environmental management, cleanliness, safety, and amenities. As such, achieving Blue Flag status recognises a beach's commitment to excellence and sustainability.

Blue Flags are awarded yearly, with some beaches retaining, losing, or gaining the award for the first time.

The 2024 Blue Flag beaches in the UK are among the cleanest and safest in the country, making them the top choice for family breaks and beach-lover getaways.

The top Blue Flag beaches in Wales

Wales boasts some of the most beautiful and pristine coastlines in the United Kingdom – from South to North Wales – and some of its beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag award for 2024. Here are the top Blue Flag beaches in Wales to visit on your trip:

Prestatyn Central, Prestatyn image

Prestatyn Central, Prestatyn

Prestatyn Central Beach is a long, sandy beach in Prestatyn, Denbighshire. It is one of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK and is a highly popular destination for families. The beach also boasts a 4-mile promenade full of shops and cafes with ramped access from the car parks. You'll find the well-maintained beach has excellent facilities, including toilets and showers.

Find out more
Borth Beach, Borth image

Borth Beach, Borth

A hidden gem in Wales is Borth Beach on the Ceredigion coast. It offers stunning views of the Cambrian Mountains and the Dyfi Estuary. This is another one of the 2024 UK Blue Flag beaches known for its clean golden sands and crystal-clear waters. It's the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing. Visitors can also explore the nearby sand dunes and nature reserves.

Find out more
Aberystwyth Beach, Aberystwyth image

Aberystwyth Beach, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth Beach is a long, sweeping stretch of sand located in the heart of the charming coastal town of Aberystwyth. The Victorian promenade and pier further add to the beach's charm and provide plenty of amenities for visitors. The beach has a lifeguard service between June and September to help facilitate safe and enjoyable swimming.

Find out more

The best South Coast Blue Flag beaches in the UK

When it comes to the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK, the South Coast of England is an ideal spot. This region is renowned for its beautiful UK Blue Flag beaches; several of them could be the dream spot for your next beach getaway.

Swanage Beach, Dorset image

Swanage Beach, Dorset

One of the best UK Blue Flag beaches on the South Coast is Swanage Beach, a stunning sandy beach in Dorset's picturesque county. This beach is a popular destination for families, offering safe swimming, excellent water quality, and a range of facilities. Imagine bounding up and down the sand with your little ones, building the best sandcastles and sand drawings on your day out.

Find out more
Hayling Island Beach, Hampshire image

Hayling Island Beach, Hampshire

Hayling Island Beach is a sandy stretch of beach located on Hayling, just off the coast of Hampshire. This is another one of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK and is a favourite among windsurfers and kitesurfers, thanks to its ideal wind conditions. Visitors can also enjoy the beach's many amenities, including a promenade lined with several shops and cafés, for a tasty treat.

Find out more
Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall image

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall

Another stunning UK Blue Flag beach of 2024 is Porthmeor Beach. Not only does the beach have excellent surf conditions—something found often in Cornwall—but the golden sands and crystal-clear waters make for the perfect escape to tranquillity. The nearby town of St Ives adds to the beach's charm with its quaint streets, galleries, and restaurants.

Find out more
Sandown Beach, Isle of Wight image

Sandown Beach, Isle of Wight

Sandown Beach is a beautiful Blue Flag beach on the Isle of Wight. This sandy beach is perfect for families of all ages, offering plenty of space for the young ones to indulge in beach activities and for the adults to enjoy some much-needed sunbathing. You'll also find a range of amenities, including cafés, shops, and even the Sandown Pier amusement park.

Find out more

The best UK Blue Flag Beaches on the East Coast

Moving onto the East Coast of England, you'll find plenty of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK, each offering unique charm and appeal. Here are some of our top picks for your next dream trip:

Sutton-On-Sea Beach, Lincolnshire image

Sutton-On-Sea Beach, Lincolnshire

Sutton-On-Sea Beach is a long, sandy beach located in the charming coastal town of Sutton-On-Sea, Lincolnshire. This Blue Flag beach offers clean sands, safe swimming, and a range of facilities to make your visit one of the most memorable moments of your holiday. Stroll along the promenade or indulge in some of the cafés and beach huts available

Find out more
Brightlingsea Beach, Essex image

Brightlingsea Beach, Essex

Located on the Essex coastline, another one of the best UK Blue Flag beaches is Brightlingsea Beach. Take a trip to this beautiful beach for a serene experience and picturesque views of the Colne Estuary. You can also enjoy various beach activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports and few ice cream stands are nearby.

Find out more
Frinton-On-Sea Beach, Essex image

Frinton-On-Sea Beach, Essex

Remaining in Essex, the sandy Frinton-On-Sea Beach is another fantastic Blue Flag beach on your radar when choosing a holiday destination. Located in the charming town of Frinton-On-Sea, this sandy beach is known for its clear waters, excellent facilities, and stunning views of the North Sea. Certain parts of the beach are closed to dogs from May to September.

Find out more
Skegness Beach, Lincolnshire image

Skegness Beach, Lincolnshire

The highly popular Skegness Beach is a great place to finish our list of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK. Situated in the seaside town of Skegness, Lincolnshire, this long, sandy beach has everything you could want for a memorable day out at the beach. And for some more excitement, you can always head to the nearby Skegness Pier for family entertainment.

Find out more

All UK Blue Flag beaches in 2024

Although you have this list of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK, there are a total of 188 Blue Flag beaches in the British Isles , each offering its unique charm and appeal. In 2024, the list of Blue Flag beaches in the UK includes:

Cornwall Blue flag beaches:

  • Gyllyngvase Beach - Falmouth
  • Porthmeor Beach - St Ives
  • Great Western Beach - Newquay
  • Polzeath Beach - Polzeath
  • Porthtowan Beach - Porthtowan
  • Trevone Bay - Padstow
  • Widemouth Bay - Bude
  • Sennen Beach - Sennen
  • Carbis Bay Beach - Carbis Bay
  • Towan Beach - Porth (Newquay)
  • Harbour Cove - Padstow
  • Porthluney Cove - Mevagissey
  • Marazion Beach - Marazion

Blue Flag beaches Dorset:

  • Alum Chine Beach - Bournemouth
  • Durley Chine Beach - Bournemouth
  • Fisherman's Walk Beach - Southbourne
  • Highcliffe Beach - Highcliffe
  • Mudeford Sandbank Beach - Christchurch
  • Shore Road Beach - Swanage

Blue Flag beaches Hampshire and Isle of Wight:

  • Sandown Beach
  • Shanklin Beach
  • Colwell Bay Beach
  • Beachlands - Hayling Island

Blue Flag beaches Essex:

  • Brightlingsea Beach, Brightlingsea
  • Walton-on-the-Naze Beach, Walton-on-the-Naze
  • Dovercourt Bay Beach, Harwich
  • Frinton-on-Sea Beach, Frinton on Sea
  • Shoebury East Beach, Southend-on-Sea
  • Shoebury Common Beach, Southend-on-Sea
  • Thorpe Bay Beach, Southend-on-Sea
  • Three Shells Beach, Southend-on-Sea
  • Westcliff Bay Beach, Southend-on-Sea

Blue Flag beaches Lincolnshire:

  • Mablethorpe Town Beach, Mablethorpe
  • Skegness Beach, Skegness
  • Sutton-on-Sea Beach, Mablethorpe

Blue Flag beaches Yorkshire:

  • Whitby Sands Beach, Whitby
  • Scarborough North Bay Beach, Scarborough

Blue Flag beaches North Wales:

  • Aberporth
  • Aberystwyth South
  • Borth
  • Llangrannog
  • Tresaith
  • Prestatyn

Blue Flag beaches in the UK FAQs

With our guide to the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK, you should be more than ready for your next dream holiday.

However, to give you some extra information, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about UK Blue Flag beaches:

Are there any Blue Flag beaches in England?

Yes, there is a wide range of Blue Flag beaches in England, including popular destinations including:

  • Swanage Beach in Dorset
  • Hayling Island Beach in Hampshire
  • Porthmeor Beach in Cornwall

You’ll find plenty of other pristine beaches that have been awarded with the 2024 Blue Flag.

How many Blue Flags are there in the UK?

As of 2024, there are 188 Blue Flag-awarded beaches in the UK. This includes the entire British Isles, England, Wales, and Ireland.

Is Brighton a Blue Flag beach?

No, Brighton Beach is not currently a Blue Flag beach. However, it is a popular destination for beachgoers and can still provide a fun day out if you choose to visit.

Your UK Blue Flag beach adventure awaits!

The many UK Blue Flag beaches of 2024 provide a world-class beach experience, combining pristine waters, clean sands, and excellent facilities. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly beach, a water sports haven, or a picturesque coastal escape, these best Blue Flag beaches in the UK have something to offer everyone.

It’s time to book your trip, get your list ready, pack your beach gear, slather on the sunscreen, and get ready to explore some of the best Blue Flag beaches in the UK!

Take a look at similar articles

Take a look at beaches by region:

Hampshire | Scotland | Isle of Wight | Dorset | North Wales | Yorkshire | Lincolnshire | Cornwall

Discovering different...

Whilst you wait... just think about being in your swimmers, the sun's out and the smiles are big