So Hungry for Sand is the UK’s second largest city, it almost seems absurd to put the beaches and Birmingham in the same sentence. But if anything, it makes us crave the invigorating air and colorful walks of UK coastal towns more than most. And with overseas travel still uncertain, the temptation to escape the Midlands for the revitalizing embrace of the British coast is proving alluring. Whether you’re looking for rugged windswept shores or a traditional seaside town, here are some of the best beaches near Birmingham.
Driving time from Birmingham: two hours
Just under two hours away, Weston-super-Mare is Birmingham’s closest major beach and offers all the charming British seaside imagery that a desperately landlocked Brummie could wish for. Slot entertainment, rock sticks and a cavalcade of fish and chip shops all vie for attention, while the arcuate promenade is also home to one of the longest natural stretches of sand in the Kingdom. United.
For spectacular views and a more peaceful setting, take the short drive north to Sand point and its craggy coastal scenes. Back on Main Street, wander away from the Grand Pier to find fish and chips from the local institution Papa’s on Waterloo Street and take a seat on the promenade.
Thurstaston, Wirral Peninsula
Driving time from Birmingham: two hours
While it’s a similar distance to travel by car, Thurstaston Beach on the Wirral Peninsula is a world away from upbeat Weston. With tranquil views across the Dee Estuary towards the misty North Wales coast, this long stretch of sand and pebbles is ideal for a soothing escape from the buzz of the city.
The calm shoreline is also dominated by Wirral Country Park, a lush green expanse that is home to a variety of wildlife. On a clear day you might even see the rising cast iron form of Blackpool Tower in the distance. Enjoy it with an ice cream from the cozy Flissy’s Coffee Shop.
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales
Driving time from Birmingham: two hours 45 minutes
With the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, Aberystwyth caught the attention of enthusiastic Victorian vacationers. It was even optimistically announced the Biarritz of Wales once. Although that flattering moniker is long gone, the town still retains a faded grandeur – with its pastel-colored terrace flanked by the towering Constitution Hill to the north and the ruins of 13th-century Aberystwyth Castle to the south, sand and the North Beach Pebbles is set in a cinematic and weathered landscape.
For wider views, take the Aberystwyth Electric Railway to the top of Constitution Hill – on a clear day a splendid coastal panorama stretches out with the rugged peaks of Snowdonia to the north. Or soak up the view from the Royal Pier where you will find seaside specialties such as ice cream or fish and chips.
Llanddwyn Beach, Anglesey, Wales
Driving time from Birmingham: three hours
With 125 miles of coastline to choose from, Anglesey is worth the long drive from the West Midlands. And what better reward for your travels than crossing the Britannia Bridge and heading south to one of the UK’s most spectacular stretches of sand?
Stroll through the bucolic calm of Newborough Forest before reaching the golden arch of Llanddwyn Beach. With the jagged outline of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula forming a majestic backdrop, the network of walking trails and historic lighthouses creates an irresistible temptation to explore – though no one would blame you for simply sunbathing and taking in the magnificent views of the sea. Llanddwyn Bay.
Driving time from Birmingham: three hours 15 minutes
A tongue of honey-colored sand crossing the mouth of Poole Harbor and continuing for about three miles to Bournemouth, Sandbanks Beach is a beautiful Blue Flag stretch on the south coast. Although dubiously dubbed the British answer to Palm Beach due to its plethora of expensive homes and hotels, it’s still a great day out for those looking for a family trip to the seaside.
The soft sand is perfect for children and there is plenty more to keep them occupied, including a mini-golf course, table tennis, and a playground. Head to Sandbanks Beach Café for fish and chips, but if you want to live up to the local reputation, reserving a seat at Rick Stein Restaurant is a more extravagant option.
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