'It could be Ibiza' - travel writer on why South Shields' 'staggeringly beautiful' Sandhaven Beach was named Britain's best
After a South Shields beach was named the best in Britain, the travel writer behind the top beaches guide explains why it claimed the title.
Sandhaven Beach was named the Sunday Times Beach of the Year title for 2022, with experts proclaiming the stretch of shore worthy of being dubbed the best in the UK.
The beach is much-loved for its beauty, with golden sands and blue sea stretching out the horizon, set against the dramatic natural backdrop of Trow Rocks and the Leas to the south, and the historic architecture of Tynemouth and beyond to the North.
Chief travel writer Chris Haslam selected entries for The Sunday Times 50 Best Beaches Guide from more than 800 beaches he visited around the UK’s coast for the The Sunday Times 50 Best Beaches Guide.
He said: “There are multiple reasons why I decided to choose Sandhaven, and when I first visited in late May it was a miserable day but it still looked beautiful. I came back a second time and the sun was shining, the sea was blue and the rocks and sand were white and glistening.
"If you didn’t know it was South Shields, it could have been Ibiza from looking at a photograph, it’s staggeringly beautiful.”
The accolade comes after Sandhaven Beach reclaimed its Blue Flag Award for 2022.
“Sandhaven offers something for everyone, the people are so welcoming and friendly and the maintenance of the beach is for the community,” said Chris.
"It’s not about profit or money, there is so much room to put more businesses and bars, restaurants but it’s kept natural and clean – It’s just loved by the people.
"There is passion for this beach from the surf school to the daily cleaning to the Victorian history that is cherished here to this day, it is magnificently beautiful.”
South Tyneside Council leader Tracey Dixon said providing a top seafront was a collective effort of which everyone involved could be proud.
"The council works in partnership with local businesses, friends’ groups, our residents, and visitors to ensure that the beach and our amenities are of the highest standard possible,” she said.