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Beach holidays: UK and beyond

Pack your deckchair, slap on the suntan lotion and head off on the perfect beach break with our round-up of the best sandy stretches in the UK and beyond. Best for: Family fun UK : Bournemouth Set up camp with your family on the clean, safe

Pack your deckchair, slap on the suntan lotion and head off on the perfect beach break with our round-up of the best sandy stretches in the UK and beyond.

Best for: Family fun

UK: Bournemouth
Set up camp with your family on the clean, safe, beaches in Bournemouth, Dorset. With some of the warmest water temperatures in the UK, beach equipment to rent, including beach deck chairs, windbreaks, and parasols, and lifeguards stationed all along the 11km (7 mile) stretch of shore, Bournemouth offers a comfortable and easy family beach experience. If the kids tire of sandcastles and seashells, head to one of Bournemouth's many parks; chug along on a scenic train ride; or fly high on a hot air balloon ride offered by Bournemouth Balloon.

Beyond: Nantucket, USA
The family-friendly island of Nantucket, Massachussets, off the coast of Cape Cod, has plenty of low-key entertainment for children and adults alike. Bike rental shops are the perfect way to traverse the island's network of paths that wind you around iconic grey shingled houses, lighthouses, and grassy dunes. Sandy shores line the entire island and you can find any type of beach you desire: crowded, empty, great surf, or gentle waves. Best of all, there are no access restrictions and no entry fees to any of the beaches. Arrive on a dog-friendly ferry or take a quick plane ride to the island's airport.

 

Best for: Romance

UK: Rhossili Bay
Take a romantic holiday to the 5km (3 mile) expanse of beach that lines Rhossili Bay on the southern coast ofWales. Once you've basked in the sun, stroll along the cliffs of Rhossili Down, a picturesque cliff towering at 193m (633ft) at its highest point. Cuddle up and behold views of the surrounding sea and bluffs that have won this shipwreck-strewn strand numerous awards. Top off your trip with a stay at the Worm's Head Hotel for fantastic sunsets, or explore historic Rhossili town centre.

Beyond: Tahiti
For pure escapism and romance, visit the unfrenzied south Pacific idyll of Tahiti in the French Polynesian islands. A wealth of luxury accommodations set alongside stretches of pearly-white sand beaches makes this sunny speck of land a favourite for honeymooners. Seclude yourself with your other half at a private, overwater bungalow offered through many of the island's resorts.

 

Best for: Sand, sun and sports

UK: Brighton
Get moving at the Yellowave Beachsports venue in Brighton, a sporty beach with a twist. Alongside sandy shores and lapping waves sits an expansive, multipurpose sporting area used for beach volleyball, football, rugby, badminton and ultimate frisbee; plus, a 3.5m (11.5ft) bouldering wall. Feel the burn during a lesson, or get competitive in one of the many leagues suitable for all ages and levels. With every sport played in the sand, you can swap your sneakers for sunscreen, work up a sweat, then refuel at an eatery in the busy Brighton area.

Beyond: Waikiki Beach
Long, rolling waves attract surfers of all levels to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, but the athletic opportunities don't end there. Not only is this tropical paradise ideal for snorkelling, swimming, and sunbathing, loads of shops in the bustling area offer rentals for jet skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, pedal boats, kayaks, volleyball and beyond.

 

Best for: Nature lovers

 

UKSandwich Bay
Discover nature at the wildlife sanctuary of Sandwich Bay Beach in Kent, part of the Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve, where carefully protected orchids dot the grassy landscape and endangered birds linger around the pristine beach. Low tide exposes a long stretch of beach ideal for quietly observing the environment, watching the distant passingferries, or simply lapping up the sun. Bring some walking gear and hike through miles of coastal trails around the reserve for the full nature experience.

Beyond: Eilat
Clear waters and warm temperatures bid nature lovers to the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, a sanctuary for the Red Sea coral reef located in Israel's southernmost resort, Eilat. Rent snorkelling equipment or go with an instructor to be amazed by an underwater rainbow of fish, coral, and creatures. Wooden shade structures, showers, and a snack shop add to the pleasant atmosphere of this nature-lover's haven.

 

Best for: Beach and bars

UK: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Round up your mates and head to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in north east England, where you can lounge all day on the unspoilt shores of the nearby Tynemouth beaches, recognised for their cleanliness and safety. When you're ready to start the night, crack open a locally brewed bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale and pick one or a few of the establishments in the city's trendy Quayside area. For cheap drinks without frills, wander to Bigg Market where you'll be surrounded by a host of pubs, bars, and clubs.

Beyond: Ibiza
Although the beaches on the island of Ibiza, off the south eastern coast of Spain, boast powdery, white sands and azure Mediterranean waters, it's the clubs that are the main attraction. Retreat from the beach bronzed and rested, then hit the bars and clubs in Ibiza Town that stay open from dusk till dawn to witness one of the most wild party scenes in the world.

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