7 best British beach towns for students
Believe it or not, it's summer. And what better way to spend a summer's day than parked on your favourite beach - here are some of our favourites...
Contrary to popular belief, this frequently-overcast country of ours is blessed with some of the most stunning beaches in Europe.
And with no one in the UK living more than 3 hours from the coast, you've got no excuse not to pack up your bucket and spade and head for the seaside.
We guarantee you'll want to check out our seven favourite British beach towns - we can't, however, guarantee that they'll be bathed in sunshine...
1.) Amusdarach, Inverness
Go for: Breathtaking landscapes from sunrise to sunset.
Most likely to encounter: Walkers, dogs, and a sense of inner peace.
Make sure you: Get in touch with Mother Nature, pack a Thermos and an iPod and watch the sunrise (sunset if you’re true to your student lifestyle).
Go for: The Lanes, the Pier and the after-dark Cool.
Most likely to encounter: People a lot cooler than you will ever be. It feels like everyone in Brighton is an up-and-coming twenty-something, taking liberal to a whole new level, often with fashion choices to match.
Make sure you: Do everything you came for, but with a true-to-Brighton quirk: The Lanes on a rainy afternoon, the Pier after-dark, the Cool with a cocktail in hand. Grab a cupcake from the people who know how, munch candy floss while you ride the carousel, and see if you can bump into local talent Passenger, a singer just as at home busking as he is on his world tours.
Go for: Nostalgia. Remember this place? Three years ago, Newquay was the place to be. The good news is it still is for the Youth of Today, as 16 year-olds flock in their thousands post-GCSEs and stay in hostels that offer late curfews instead of beds.
Most likely to encounter: Your own mini-me.
Make sure you: Relive the sense of being young, wild and free with an evening watching sun set on the beach, bottle of Strongbow in hand. However, if you fancy an antidote to the sixteen year-old swarms, then assert your superior maturity by checking out Foodie Central Padstow, just round the corner. Head there for a plethora of culinary corkers, from Rick Stein’s delicious gourmet Fish and Chips to restaurant Jack’s fresh tapas magic, push the boat out – even the fussiest eater will find a tastebud tickler.
Go for: Great surf, delicious food and stunning landscapes: Polzeath is a lesser-known offering of some of Cornwall’s finest. The ultimate British chill destination.
Most likely to encounter: The surfers from the O’neill/Roxy/Billabong adverts.
Make sure you: Surf early! Give yourself the ultimate wake-up call with a morning surf, washed down with a hot mug of tea and a fabulous fry-up (‘Surfer’s Breakfast’) at the Galleon beach café – popularly believed among friends to be faultless, apart from the fact it should be served on a miniature surfboard. Polzeath is a hotspot for surf schools and their students, as well as growlingly-guarded territory for bodyboarders, so early morning is the perfect (quietest!) time to catch some waves, sharing the sunrise’s suggestion of a rainy day ahead with a couple of fellow keenos.
Go for: This bustling beach town boasts a relaxed, youthful vibe for the British holiday-maker.
Most likely to encounter: People who say ‘Yeah mannn’, but with a home-counties accent.
Make sure you: Marvel at the sheer wealth: this place is a microcosm of 1920s America. Also, borrow a dog for a long stroll down the white-bright beaches.
Go for: Being able to say you’ve been. Blackpool is one of the UK’s most loved – and perhaps most infamous – beach towns. After all, as a student, isn’t it your job to indulge in the infamous?! Head here for a wild weekend of utter madness, hitting everything from the nightlife to the piers, the promenade to Pleasure Beach.
Most likely to encounter: Adults acting like children.
Make sure you: Play mini-golf: one of the more underrated pleasure hits of Blackpool, but a fantastic day out nonetheless. Other kicks include going up Blackpool Tower, being dazzled by Blackpool Illuminations, a saunter round the Winter Gardens, and, above all, absolutely terrifying yourself senseless on one of the rollercoasters – particularly the Big One (yes, that is it’s official name) – the tallest rollercoaster in the UK.
7.) The Witterings, West Sussex
Go for: The beach itself: fine, light sand and brilliant shore formations at low tide.
Most likely to encounter: Consistently attractive lifeguards, sandcastles and paddle-boarders.
Make sure you: Look your best: those lifeguarding binoculars rove! And, for when you get bored of posing, make sure you have a barbeque and some classic beach games packed – a Frisbee, a rounders bat, a football and a volleyball ensure a quintessentially British afternoon. Maybe even make like a pro and try your hand at the variety of watersports on offer – kayaking is a favourite that will cater for even the most tentative beginners, ensuring you retain a scrap of dignity… just.
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