Situated between Newquay and Padstow, this large sandy beach is a welcome escape from the tackiness of nearby Fistral.
Watergate bay is not just a lovely spot; there are facilities to hire all sorts of equipment for fun in the sun: surfboards, wave skis, power kites etc.
After a hard day's activity you can chill on the beach with a beer listening to surf rock.
A popular location for the English Surf Championships and since my last visit a certain Mr Oliver has opened a restaurant there.
A beautiful spot none the less.
Never mind the caravan park. Keep going, through the pines and grass, through the dunes, and down to the beach. You can walk for miles on the golden sand, or stay in the dunes and hope to see a Natterjack toad with the natty yellow stripe down his back. And it never seems to get that crowded, because the East Anglian landscape and the huge East Anglian sky make this beach feel very big indeed.
Lovely uncrowded beach on the South Gower Coast. One mile walk from the nearest parking or bus stop. Approach down rugged cliff, warm sea and gentle tides - ideal for young children to learn to swim. No shops/pubs, so take your own picnic
Between Caswell and Oxwich bays.
This is a magical place from my childhood and a place I still visit often.
If you have young children they'll love searching the rock pools for starfish, crabs and small fish and they'll fall in love with the sea birds dancing on the shore line as the sun slowly comes to rest after a long day of adventure.
A heron often visits the beach of an evening and it, along with the Oyster Catchers add to the sense of escape. If you bring your binoculars you can watch for porpoise as you look out across the Irish Sea toward the Isle of Man.
If you have a head for heights you can take a cliff walk and there is a wonderful links golf course to enjoy.
The Cumbrian Coastal train stops at St Bees or it is a short cycle ride from Whitehaven train station.
I am recommending Southern Down because it has everything that you could possibly ask for in a beach.
It has beautiful rockpools, fantastic surf, eye-catching sand and even stunning fossils (including ammonites and 'devils toenails!'). Southern Down is truly an incredible beach not to be missed.
By Tom Marlowe (age 10).
South Wales coast, near Bridgend. M4 Junction 35. (Between Porthcawl and Barry Island).
Excellent B&B just near the seafront and pier. Modern and stylish rooms and run by an interesting ex-academic who was friendly and welcoming.
13 Madeira Place
The penguin parade at Summerland Beach on Phillip Island is a must. OK... so it's a bit touristy, but to be honest you forget that when you sit on the beach waiting for the little penguins to come up onto the sand.
At sunset the anticipation grows and suddenly you see one penguin running tentatively out of the water to check if it's safe. The penguin will run in and out of the water several times until a signal is given... and then thousands of penguins come running up the beach and the cliffs. It lasts a couple of hours - and it's a great sight to see.
There is a visitors' centre there which is OK - and you can buy photos of the penguins as you are not able to take photos of the event itself... unless you happen to find one or two in the carpark like I did. The basic admission is about AUS$17, and you will be there for most of the evening.
Phillip Island is 90 mins drive from Melbourne City. Driving by car is easy, but it is probably easier to join one of the coaches to get there. www.penguins.org.au
This huge beach (some say 18km, some say 23) is beautiful. I have never been to such a peaceful secluded beach in the Med - lovely.
If you are feeling energetic take a walk from the 'town' centre past the bread and water restaurant and follow the road. Eventually you come to the sand dunes. Time it right and take a bottle of wine to enjoy a beautiful sunset.
A quiet town set amidst stunning limestone scenery. We went for an interesting (and gentle) hike around the National Park. I also recommend the day trip to Cayo Leviso - a fabulous coral island with a great beach (one day is plenty). Oh and stay in Casa Particulaires - the only way to see Cuba!
Drive or take a bus from Pinar del Rio.
Part naturist on the other side of Lopud, it’s idyllic and has good facilities in a sheltered, shallow bay - safe for swimming and the sea is clean and turquoise. It warms quickly and there's only the occasional jelly fish to vex.
From its stunning beaches (one of them being the famous Zlatni Rat) to its great, laid-back nightlife, this was our favourite place in Croatia. We camped in the grounds of the monastry, a beautiful building that overlooked the sea on both sides. It was exceptionally cheap (accommodation in Croatia on the cheap is limited if you don't have a tent) and we woke every morning with a dip in the turquoise sea that was a 1 min walk away. Heaven!
Get a ferry from Split to Supetar on the island of Brac. From there, get a bus to the other side of the island where you'll find Bol.
The best secret cafe of the island is on Campos beach. Excellent sandwiches, salads and pasta, well groomed cocktails, and the must have - enormous cheesecake pieces (surely the best I've ever tasted).
After your swim, relax by playing backgammon or reading a book listening to nice world music. Before you leave, don't forget to buy a trendy George's Place souvenir t-shirt!
On the far left of Campos beach, 5.5 km from the port of Skala. When you get to the beach, You have to walk through the sand to reach it; tel. 22470 31881
At the end of a long, winding road through stunning mountain scenery is a little piece of Crete as it was in the 60s and 70s - but with electricity.
A traditional family-run taverna offering fresh food and four simple-but-comfortable balconied rooms, all with stunning views along one of the most picturesque and unspoilt coastlines in Europe.
Situated in a secluded bay and literally perched at the water's edge, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves after a perfect meal of freshly caught and perfectly cooked fish and a carafe of local wine.
Perfect for those whose idea of nightlife is counting the stars, and who don’t need any water sports other than swimming and fishing.
Stavros & Vicky Peraki;
tel: (0030) 6937124600;
North-west Crete - particularly the Apokoronos plain - is beautiful: good beaches with gorgeous views of the White Mountains. The national road makes travelling across the north of the island easy and safe. Good access to Xania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Knossos. Kalives, Almerida and Plaka all make good beach holiday bases. Or for somewhere more secluded go up into the mountain villages.
Crete is big enough to have plenty to offer: culture, historical sites, stunning gorges and mountains, and probably one of the best beaches ever at Elafonissi (south-west Crete, but it can be crowded at peak times).
Of all the Greek Islands visited we've found Cretans to be the friendliest and most hospitable people. Greeks are generally very friendly, but we found Cretans to be exceptionally so.
Do you like Mykonos, but want to avoid the crowds? Try Agios Stefanos for somewhere a bit quieter than Mykonos town. It’s a small beach area about 4kms north of the main town with a selection of accommodation styles (from the Kastro Hotel to Mamas Pension), its own general store and some very good beachfront bars and restaurants.
A good way to spend some time is to walk from Ag Stefanos to Mykonos for a long lunch and then walk back to Ag Stefanos for dinner overlooking the beach
Catch a bus from the airport (we did) to your accommodation. Taxis are also available to get around the island.
Hotel Kastro: tel: 2289 023176
Mamas Pension: 401 St. Stefanos Beach; tel: (0030) 22890 23262; email: email@example.com; www.mammas.coo.gr
General information: www.travel-to-mykonos.com/place.php?place_id=10
Salobreña is the weekend getaway for the people of Granada, but despite this, its sandy beach is quiet. The locals are very friendly, and the town itself is pretty, with a castle and a less commercialised atmosphere than nearby Malaga and Nerja.
Regular buses from Granada, which is 80km (50 minutes) away.
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