Most beautiful beach in Britain

Oxwich Bay, on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, was named as the most beautiful beach in Britain

By Nic Havers on 22 February 2007 in News

After spending one whole year clocking up over 26,800 miles of combined travel, and setting foot on over 1,000 beaches in all 6 continents, experts at The Travel Magazine have named Oxwich Bay, on the Gower Peninsula in South Wales, as the most beautiful beach in Britain. 

Seventeen travel experts undertook an epic marathon of visiting hundreds of beaches up and down the length and breadth of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, but the verdict was that Oxwich bay's superlative sands and beautiful location made it a hands-down winner, alongside 11 other beaches from around the world - locations as diverse as the Caribbean, Mexico, India and the Cook Islands.

"We went looking for beaches that had a refined quality.  We wanted to include beaches not just with natural beauty, good sand and sea quality, but also eco-friendly beaches with a 'just-this-minute-discovered' feel", said Nic Havers, co-author of the article and Deputy Features Editor of The Travel Magazine.

"What makes Oxwich so special is its Arcadian quality: there are 2.5 miles of wonderful pale sand, with safe, shallow seas.  Even on the hottest of days, this secluded beach is quiet.  The scenery is magnificent and unspoilt.  The beach is overlooked by Penrice Castle, and surrounded by extensive dunelands and wooded areas, which are great for children and adults alike to explore. The beach is also a popular spot for swimming, sailing and windsurfing".

The year-long research took on a global dimension with journalists visiting every type of conceivable beach from Latin America to the Caribbean to Africa, Asia and the Pacific.  Other winning beaches include Pink Beach in Antigua, Whitehaven beach in Australia and One Foot Island in the Cook Islands.  Every beach is accompanied by a place to stay within a 30-minute radius of the beach and the accommodation is as diverse as the beach: a castle, jungle lodges, a stunning eco-lodge in Mozambique, a hippy-chic treehouse in the Philippines, a Turkish gulet in Mexico, and a boutique resort in Mykonos

"But what Oxwich proves is that you don't necessarily need to fly abroad to enjoy a superb beach" said Sharron Livingston, editor of The Travel Magazine, "For the cost of a tank of petrol, you can visit Britain's most beautiful beach - and one of Europe's best too - right here in southwest Wales".

Andrew Davies, Welsh Assembly Government Enterprise Minister, said,  “For Oxwich Bay to be recognised as the best beach in the UK by The Travel Magazine is a tremendous accolade that speaks volumes for the beauty of Wales as a tourism destination. It is also a tribute to the care taken by our local authorities and other agencies to maintain and preserve these precious social amenities that are also wildlife habitats.  Apart from being beautiful, they are well maintained in terms of water quality, general cleanliness and public amenity and the work of Keep Wales Tidy, the Green Seas Partnership and local authorities has secured 43 EU Blue Flags for our populous ‘urban’ beaches and many more Green Flags for their rural counterparts."

The complete list of winning beaches was grouped by month (indicating the best month to visit) and runs as follows:

1. JANUARY: Pink Beach, Barbuda, Antigua - (excerpt from article: 17 miles long and formed from pink coral, this is arguably the most magnificent beach in the Caribbean)

2. FEBRUARY: Ense?ada Grande, Isla Espiritu Santo, Sea of Cortez, Baja California, Mexico (excerpt from article: the sea is like swimming in a bottle of Cura?ao; once ashore you'll find wedding-cake white sands, nail-varnish pink volcanic rocks, clouds of yellow butterflies and the 300-year old boojum tree.  Sail there by luxury, Turkish gulet.)

3. MARCH: Kovalam Beach, Kerala, India (excerpt from article: a coconut-forested, crescent-shaped beach where you can indulge in a rejuvenating herbal, body-toning massage or for the equivalent of 30p, enjoy a curry served on a leaf)

4. APRIL: White Island, Camiguin, the Philippines (excerpt from article: a Tippex-white sandbar with views of two volcanoes and a nearby sunken cemetery.  Stay nearby in a hippy-chic treehouse)

5. MAY: Praia da Lopes Mendes, Ilha Grande, Brazil (excerpt from article: the beach has sand as soft as flour - to get there follow jungle paths alive with butterflies and pygmy monkeys past waterfalls and tropical flowers)

6. JUNE: Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia (excerpt from article: the sand here is 99.89% pure quartz and you can swim with 1,500 types of multi-coloured fish)

7. JULY: Oxwich Bay, Gower, South Wales (excerpt from article: Soft, sandy Oxwich Bay, framed by woodland and overlooked by Penrice Castle could come straight from an Enid Blyton story).

8. AUGUST: Guludo Beach, Quirimbas Peninsula, Mozambique (excerpt from article: possibly the most beautiful beach in Africa - experience a barefoot paradise where you can visit Rolas island offshore and meet an old fisherman who will take you into the Coral Rock Forest to see the biggest crabs in the world)

9. SEPTEMBER: Super Paradise Beach, Mykonos, Greece (excerpt from article: Super Paradise beach is, like the rest of the island, hedonistic, funky and tolerant of alternative lifestyles.  With its breezy joie de vivre lifestyle, Mykonos is the St Tropez of the Aegaen).

10.  OCTOBER: Eilat, Israel (excerpt from article: eclectic mix of Bedouin hospitality, Middle Eastern cuisine and Las Vegas style hotels)

11. NOVEMBER: One Foot Island, Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands (excerpt from article: Tranquil One Foot Island, lined by giant banyan trees and frangipani, fulfils even the wildest of tropical island dreams)

12. DECEMBER: Playa Flamenco, Culebra, Puerto Rico (excerpt from article: Used as a pirate refuge for more than three centuries, the beauty of 7-mile long Culebra inspires impulsive acts, like hugging trees)


The Travel Magazine

John, you are absolutely right. Don't know how that image crept in. Anyways, thanks for letting us know. Corrected!

23 April, 2013

John Parrott, Swindon

well it's a good article but you used a photograph of the Algarve, Portugal in your main article; Portugal has superb beaches but your article didn't mention one Portuguese beach.

20 April, 2013

Iqbal, Mauritius

Well the beautiful beaches is in Mauritius with white sand and blue lagoon.Mauritius beaches are the best.

25 July, 2011

Vanessa M, Central London

very nice magazine

9 April, 2009

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