The best beaches in Britain

Northumberland, Yorkshire, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian are home to some of the best beaches in the UK. From hidden coves and craggy cliffs to rockpools and whispering dunes we’ve miles and miles of dazzling coastline to explore from the doorstep of our brilliantly located collection of coastal cottages.

So, whether you’re after a bucket and spade break, windswept walks along empty sands, days filled with beach picnics and paddling, or you simply want to find a secluded spot to unwind and soak in the stunning scenery, you’re sure to find the perfect slice of sand here in the North of England and the South of Scotland. Keep scrolling to discover our pick of the best beaches and nearby seaside cottages.

Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland

Set against the imposing sweep of the 12th century Bamburgh Castle, with golden sands, rolling dunes and panoramic views of Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands, Bamburgh Beach is beloved by children, families and dogs alike and is a firm favourite here at Crabtree & Crabtree. Dog-friendly all year round and with miles of coastal paths to explore nearby it’s a fantastic place for a walk, while a consistent swell makes it a hotspot for water sports including surfing, kayaking and kitesurfing. If you’ve had enough of the sand, gather your children, nets and buckets and head up to the far north of the beach to the rockpools to dabble for sea creatures or wander the cobbled streets of picture-perfect Bamburgh village.

Stay nearby at Wild Rye, The Rushes, Lyme Grass, Wild Chive, Greengate.


North Berwick Beach, East Lothian

Situated on the south shore of the Firth of Forth, North Berwick beach in East Lothian is an expansive sandy beach with splendid views of Bass Rock. Compete with a seawater swimming pool, which holds crystal clear water even when the tide is out, this beach is ideal for lazy summer days spent paddling, strolling along the sands and watching the children sail toy boats on the smooth surface of the tidal pool. Potter down the nearby high-street to discover local shops, ice cream parlours, old fashioned sweet shops and a variety of cafes and eateries. A haven for wildlife and birdlife, The Scottish Seabird Centre is located here, and you can take boat trips from the harbour to Bass Rock to see the gannets swirl overhead.

Stay nearby East Bay Beach House, Fenton Lodge, Little Archer.


Fraisthorpe Beach, East Riding of Yorkshire

Wide, flat and expansive, Fraisthorpe beach is a sandy stretch of coastline that runs from Bridlington Bay southwards to the Humber Estuary. Dog-friendly throughout the year, this beach is an ideal place to splash through the waves with your four-legged friend and is a popular swimming spot in the warmer months. Thanks to its wide sands, it’s also an excellent beach for kite flying, kitesurfing, picnics and large games of beach cricket – so make sure to pack a picnic large enough to fuel the team throughout a fun-filled day of games and North Sea swimming!

Stay nearby at: Rose Cottage, Royland Cottage


Embleton Bay, Northumberland

Overlooked by the dramatic ruins of Dunstaburgh Castle, Embleton Bay is a long sandy beach situated in a sheltered bay on the Northumberland coast. Boasting pristine golden sands, thriving birdlife and stunning views, this often-deserted bay is a hidden gem and is just as lovely for a long beach walk as it is for an afternoon picnic and a spot of bird watching. Wide and sandy, Embleton Bay is beautiful in every season and is just perfect for afternoons spent building sandcastles, collecting shells or rockpooling in the many rocky outcrops that are revealed at low tide. Be sure to pack your camera as these are memories you won’t want to forget!

Stay nearby at: Calder Cottage, Mill Race, Artist's Cottage


Coldingham Bay Beach, Scottish Borders

One of the most picturesque beaches in southern Scotland, Coldingham Bay is a sheltered horseshoe-shaped cove with a kilometre-long sandy beach. Flanked with brightly hued beach huts and home to a reliable swell, this beach is popular with both swimmers, surfers and – when the sun’s out – sunbathers. With a rocky shore at either end of the beach, it’s also a good spot for rockpooling, while Homeli Knoll – a steep grassy hillock to the southern end of the beach – is a good climb if you fancy a stretch of the legs and some excellent views along the coastline.

Stay nearby at: our sleek coastal The Bay apartments.  

Cheswick Sands, Northumberland

If you want panoramic views and sand as far as the eye can see you can’t beat Cheswick Sands. One of the biggest beaches on the Northumberland Coast, this tranquil beach is often empty and is fantastic for family beach days spent racing along the sands, playing beachball, flying kites and building epic sandcastles without worrying about getting sand on your too-close beach neighbour. Dog-friendly, it’s also a great spot to tire out your four-legged friend on endless rambles and sea swims.

Stay nearby at: The Bothy at Cheswick, Farm Cottage, East House, The Beach Hut