Queen Victoria’s private beach at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight is opening to the public in July, so you’ll soon be able to splash about on a beach fit for royalty. The grand opening is 27 to 31 July, when mini-golf tournaments and Punch and Judy will keep the whole family smiling. To celebrate this regal beach party, here’s our guide to some of England’s most secluded sandy spots…
Sugar Sands, Northumberland
The North East spoils you for choice when it comes to dramatic sand dunes simmering with wildlife and miles of remote coastline perfect for kite flying and sand castle competitions. And you won’t find a sweeter spot than Sugar Sands, a small but perfectly formed beach with pale peach sands. It’s quite hard to access, but it’s definitely a hidden gem that’s worth the idyllic walk from the village of Longhoughton.
Blackpool Sands, Devon
Just three miles west of Dartmouth is this pristine family-run beach. Cuddled by pine tree-topped cliffs, Blackpool Sands makes for the ideal secret beach spot. And with its frothy teal waves bleeding into a curved stretch of shingle it has an almost Mediterranean feel. This is just one of many unspoilt seaside treasures along Start Bay on the South Devon heritage coast.
Camber Sands, East Sussex
Camber Sands is one of Sussex’s best-kept secrets and less than two hours away from London. It made a cameo in Carry On film Follow that Camel; was the backdrop for that iconic fashion shoot with Kate Moss; and more recently stood in as an alien planet in Dr Who. It’s easy to see why the camera crews flock here. The vast stretch of unspoilt sands studded with sea shells is perfect for an endless game of fetch with the dog while the tall grassy sand dunes add to its secluded charm.
Portheras Cove, Cornwall
Wedged between Morvah and Pendeen Points, Portheras Cove is a well-kept secret in the South West and still a baby in comparison with other famous Cornish beaches. Its spongy beige sands were only opened to the public in 2004 after a shipwreck was cleared from the bay.
Dickens spent many a summer in Broadstairs at his “home from home” now known as Bleak House, and even in his bicentenary year it’s still easy to see why. Blessed with seven blissful bays, including Botany Bay dominated by chunks of white cliff and Joss beach, one of the best surfing beaches within easy reach of London.
The Cotswolds may be miles away from the coast but don’t let that stop you from having an ice cream and sandcastle-fuelled day out in the heart of the countryside. Cotswolds Country Park – just outside of Cirencester – has its very own inland beach surrounded by bright golden sands and dense woodlands.
For even more beach ideas, check out our guide to England’s coastline.
Got an English hidden beach to recommend? Spill the beans in the comments below…