Beach you to it
Country Life UK|May 20, 2020
Britain has a beach for everyone. Rosie Paterson rounds up 10 of the best
Rosie Paterson

1. For surfing

Lahinch, Co Clare

The west coast of Ireland bears the brunt of some of the Atlantic Ocean’s most terrific swells. As a result, its beaches are a Mecca for surfers. Lahinch—a mile-long, sandy crescent—is regarded as one of the best. There’s a strong current, so beginners should book a lesson with Lahinch Surf School (www.lahinchsurfschool.com). More experienced surfers should head for the wild and windswept Aran Islands, just off the same coastline. The best breaks tend to be off the rocks and are not for the faint-hearted.

Where to stay

Moy House, an 18th-century country house with 15 acres of grounds, overlooking the sweep of Lahinch Bay (www.moyhouse. com), or Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites, a five-bedroom, design-led retreat on Inishmaan (www.inismeain.com)

2. For outstanding beauty

Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

On a sunny day, Luskentyre beach could easily be mistaken for somewhere in the Caribbean. The sand is a brilliant sugarwhite sweep and the sea a vivid shade of blue. Sand dunes to the north provide protection on windier days and there are excellent walking trails for those who don’t fancy a dip. If bad weather sweeps in, you’ll certainly feel ready for a dram afterwards.

Where to stay

Scarista House—a Georgian countryhouse hotel with the beach on one side and heather-covered mountains on the other. Inside, the decoration is traditional and there’s a separate dog-friendly cottage (www.scaristahouse.com)

3. For sand dunes

Saunton Sands, Devon

Saunton’s three-mile-long, straight beach is backed by Braunton Burrows, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the second-largest sand-dune system in Britain. The dunes support more than 470 species of flowering plants and an important insect population. It is part of a working estate, but visitors have unrestricted access to the 1,800-acre space.

Where to stay

Saunton Sands Hotel—an impressive, family-owned hotel and spa, with unobstructed sea views and direct beach access (www. sauntonsands.co.uk)

4. For swimming

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