Only four Scottish destinations named in list of top seaside resorts

An English holiday resort best known for its stunning castle has defended its title as Britain’s best seaside resort for the second year running.

Tiny Bamburgh on the Northumberland coast again 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%.

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Sadly, only four Scottish resorts made the list with the only good news being that St Andrews came third overall. It scored five out of five in all but two categories, value for money and peace and quiet.

People enjoying the sunshine at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. Pic: Owen Humphreys

The other Scottish seaside destinations to make the charts were North Berwick in East Lothian, Oban in Argyll and Ayr, the west coast’s busiest day-trip destination.

As the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions prevented much foreign travel, the UK’s traditional option of a holiday by the sea saw a resurgence in popularity.

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

The village, which has an off-season population of around 400, boasts miles of beaches with clean sand and rock pools and the wildlife of the nearby Farne Islands.

St Andrews is famous for its beaches, ancient buildings, golf and attracts massive numbers of tourists. Pic: Shutterstock

And while Scotland can boast of St Andrews’ chart position, it is worth reflecting that Wales has three of the top six seaside resorts in the ranking.

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Budget-friendly Llandudno 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?.

North Berwick is renowned around the world for its stunning beaches and 'golf' coast links courses.
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Tourists flock to St Andrews not just for the stunning beaches as it also features Scotland’s oldest university, a world-famous golf course and a network of medieval streets to explore.

Oban, known as ‘the Gateway to the Isles’, scored 64% on the list and failed to record a five out of five in any category.

It was beaten by Ayr, the traditional west coast family beach holiday destination closest to Glasgow and served by rail and bus links was ranked at 71%.

Ayr’s miles of beaches and low average hotel costs of just £80 per night, along with stunning scenery across the Firth of Clyde to Arran, helped it beat many other rivals.

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The Gateway to the Isles: Oban is a popular seaside holiday destination. Pic: Shutterstock

The only other destination to make the list is North Berwick – which was was recently named as the most expensive seaside town in Scotland to purchase a home – with a score of 77%.

It also proved a costly place to stay with average hotel prices of £197 but scored favourably in almost all other categories including scenery

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

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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.

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: “The British seaside hasn’t boomed like this since the 1960s.

Ayr is best known for its miles of sandy beaches and ancient harbour. It has long been a favourite resort for people on the west coast. Pic: Shutterstock
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“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.