Bamburgh retains title of Britain’s best seaside resort

It received the maximum of five stars for its beaches, seafront, peace and quiet, scenery and value for money – with an overall score of 87%.

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A tiny village on the Northumberland coast has topped a ranking of Britain’s best seaside resorts for the second year in a row.

Bamburgh came first out of 87 destinations in a survey of more than 4,300 people by consumer group Which?.

It received the maximum of five stars for its beaches, seafront, peace and quiet, scenery and value for money – with an overall score of 87%.

UK seaside locations have enjoyed a surge in popularity during the pandemic, with many people opting for domestic holidays rather than overseas trips.

Bamburgh, which has a population of around 400, boasts a historic and imposing castle with a pretty cricket pitch below, miles of beaches with clean sand and rock pools and the wildlife of the nearby Farne Islands.

The town’s biggest draw is the Great Orme, a limestone headland which rises to nearly 700ft.
The town’s biggest draw is the Great Orme, a limestone headland which rises to nearly 700ft.

Which? said respondents to this year’s survey praised Bamburgh’s beauty, describing the clifftop castle as “spectacular”.

Wales has three of the top six seaside resorts in the ranking.

Budget-friendly Llandudno, north Wales, claimed second place overall.

The town’s biggest draw is the Great Orme, a limestone headland which rises to nearly 700ft.

Hotels in Llandudno cost an average of just £95 per night which proves that “for popular locations there’s no need to break the bank”, according to Which?.

Third-placed St Andrews, Fife, features Scotland’s oldest university, a world-famous golf course and a network of medieval streets to explore.

Some 51 destinations across Britain scored at least 70% in the survey.

The bottom five resorts consisted of Skegness, Lincolnshire; Bognor Regis, West Sussex; Southend, Essex; Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; and Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset.

Skegness earned no more than two stars for any category other than its beaches.

Sunrise at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland
Sunrise at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

Rory Boland, editor of magazine 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.”

Seaside resorts in Northern Ireland did not have enough respondents to be included in the research.

– Here are the top five seaside resorts and their overall score, according to Which?:

1. Bamburgh, Northumberland 87%

2. Llandudno, Conwy 86%

3. St Andrews, Fife 84%

=4. Dartmouth, Devon 83%

=4. Tenby, Pembrokeshire 83%