Britain and Europe's best beaches

By Michael Manton, Tuesday 26 February 2013

Around this time every year, TripAdvisor helps to beat away those winter blues by releasing its list of the best beaches in the world. The big surprise this year is Rhossili Bay in Swansea, which has been crowned the UK’s number one beach and third best in Europe, beating almost every other beach in Spain, Greece and Italy.
Rhossili Bay, SwanseaRhossili Bay, Swansea

The Welsh beach even placed in the world’s top 10 above those in Hawaii, the Caribbean and more exotic locations. Woolacombe Beach in Devon was named the UK’s second best beach while Cornwall’s Porthminster Beach took third place, with all three beaches placing in Europe's top ten list.

This is according to the 2013 Travellers’ Choice Beaches Awards, based entirely on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor travellers.

“These awards recognise the best beaches in the UK and beyond, according to those that really matter – travellers that have visited these beaches and given them the highest levels of praise,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “Huge congratulations to Swansea’s Rhossili Bay for beating many of the most exotic beaches across the globe.”

Rhossili Bay is the largest expanse of white sand on the Gower Peninsula and stretches for three miles. The beach’s vast stretch of sand and towering cliffs make it popular with surfers, paragliders and ramblers. The village of Rhossili is steeped in history and the wreck of the Helvetia, which ran aground on Rhossili Bay in November 1887 can still be seen on the beach today.

Councillor David Phillips, Leader of the City and County of Swansea said, “We are delighted, but not surprised, that Rhossili Bay has been acknowledged by the world’s leading consumer travel website. We hope that many more visitors continue to enjoy its outstanding natural beauty.”

UK Top 10 beaches

  1. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea - cottages in Rosilli
  2. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Devon - cottages in Woolacombe
  3. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall - cottages in St Ives
  4. Longsands Beach, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear - cottages in North Tyneside
  5. Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset - cottages in Bournemouth
  6. Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall - cottages in Newquay
  7. Weymouth Beach, Weymouth, Dorset - cottages in Weymouth
  8. Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset - cottages in Poole
  9. Filey Beach, Filey, Yorkshire - cottages in Filey
  10. St. Brelade's Bay Beach, Jersey - cottages in Jersey

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Europe Top 10 beaches

  1. Rabbit Beach, Sicily, Italy
  2. Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadeo, Spain
  3. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea, Wales, UK
  4. Playa de ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
  5. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Devon, England, UK
  6. Elafonisi Beach, Elafonissi, Crete,Greece - villas in Crete
  7. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey - villas in Dalyan
  8. La Pelosa Beach, Stintino, Sardinia, Italy - villas in Stintino
  9. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, England, UK
  10. St Pauls Bay, Lindos, Rhodes, Greece - villas in Rhodes

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World Top 10 beaches

  1. Rabbit Beach, Sicily – Italy
  2. Grace Bay, Providenciales – Turks and Caicos
  3. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland – Australia
  4. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha – Brazil
  5. Flamenco Beach (Playa Flamenco), Culebra – Puerto Rico
  6. Playa de las Catedrales, Ribadeo – Spain
  7.  Lopes Mendes Beach, Ilha Grande – Brazil
  8. Horseshoe Bay Beach, Southampton Parish – Bermuda
  9. Eagle Beach – Aruba
  10. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea – Wales, UK




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