Northumberland village named Britain's best seaside destination in Which? annual survey

A tiny village in Northumberland has retained the title of Britain’s best seaside destination.
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Bamburgh, with a population a little over 400, topped the charts in Which?’s annual survey with an overall destination score of 87 per cent.

The survey asked more than 4,300 visitors to rate coastal resorts they have visited across a range of categories including quality of beaches, seafront, tourist attractions, food and drink, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.

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Ranked number one in 2021, Bamburgh proved unbeatable once again for its sheer beauty, with its sweeping sandy beach overlooked by a clifftop castle described as “spectacular” and “imposing” by respondents.

Britain’s best seaside destinations ranked in Which?’s annual survey.Britain’s best seaside destinations ranked in Which?’s annual survey.
Britain’s best seaside destinations ranked in Which?’s annual survey.

Barbara Brook, chairman of Bamburgh Parish Council, said: “Northumberland and especially Bamburgh are always delighted to be recognised as being a beautiful historic village, castle, and beach to visit, our only concern is whether we are able to cope with the volume of traffic, parking, and toilet facilities making sure that all visitors and tourists continue to enjoy a great experience.

“We would respectively request all visitors who visit the beach, village and surrounding countryside to take their rubbish home and leave our village clean and tidy as they found it.”

Castle owners Francis and Claire Watson-Armstrong added: “We’re absolutely delighted that for a second year running Bamburgh has been crowned best seaside destination in the whole of the UK.

"It comes as no surprise really – it’s just breath-taking.

The seaside destination rankings.The seaside destination rankings.
The seaside destination rankings.
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"With the situation as we come out of the pandemic and Brexit and concerns about flying, I think more and more people are discovering Northumberland and Bamburgh for the first time and are just blown away by its offering.

"There really is something for everyone. The value for money element of the survey is a key. It costs nothing to go and sit on the beach and make a sandcastle.

"We’re absolutely thrilled and look forward to welcoming people to Bamburgh and the castle.”

Elsewhere in the North East, Berwick-upon-Tweed comes in 23rd with a score of 75 per cent and high ratings for its scenery and value for money.

Bamburgh beach and castle. Picture by Jane ColtmanBamburgh beach and castle. Picture by Jane Coltman
Bamburgh beach and castle. Picture by Jane Coltman
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Tynemouth is tied 34th with a score of 73 per cent and praise for its beach and seafront.

Seahouses ranked tied 41st on 71 per cent with its beaches, scenery and value for money highlighted.

Whitley Bay is tied 46th on 70 per cent with its seafront singled out as a top attraction.

Wales has three of the top six seaside towns, with budget-friendly Llandudno claiming second spot overall with a score of 86 per cent.

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Third-placed St Andrews is the highest-ranked Scottish seaside destination with an 84 per cent score.

Dartmouth in Devon shows it doesn’t need a sprawling beach to attract visitors to the water: it scored five stars in the seafront category. This propelled it to a destination score of 83 per cent and joint fourth place in the overall table along with Tenby in Pembrokeshire, west Wales.

The results shine a spotlight on the sheer quality of Britain’s coastline: 51 destinations scored an impressive 70 per cent overall or higher. This included Folkestone in Kent which was the cheapest seaside destination at £63 per night.

Further down the table, Skegness, Bognor Regis, Southend-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth and Burnham-on-Sea made up the bottom five, with destination scores no better than 51 per cent.

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Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: “The British seaside hasn’t boomed like this since the 1960s. Holidaymakers had such a fantastic time in their caravans, tents and beach lodges over the past two years that a coastal break on home shores is on the cards for many, even with restrictions on overseas travel lifted.

“Prices for a UK stay have increased, but there’s no need to pay over the odds. For a holiday on a budget it’s best to aim for an off-season trip. Head to one of the many well priced resorts with your bucket and spade, an empty stomach for the candyfloss and a pile of 2p coins and go make your fortune on the slots.”