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Friday, August 20, 2010

The ultimate beach road trip

As the end of August approaches, as the summer begins to near its twilight and as the days grow shorter, we look to the bank holiday weekend with a sense of excitement but also with a sense of panic. It’s almost all over!
August bank holiday is all about creating a last-ditch potted summer so the team at Mio, experts at guiding drivers to their destination, has put together Britain’s must-sea beaches, including post codes to help you construct the ultimate road trip this bank holiday.
Achmelvich, Sutherland (Best for tranquillity)
Achmelvich with Suilven in the background
Creative Commons License photo credit: Saskia Heijltjes
Achmelvich is three miles from the fishing village of Lochinver on the remote west coast of Scotland. It has held a blue flag for 13 consecutive years and in reality is a small collection of beaches huddled around rocky bays and headlands. Turn your back on these peaceful beaches and you’ll see the giant Mount Suilven looming right in front of you.
Mio Postcode finder: IV27 4JB
Sennen Cove, Cornwall (Best for Surf)
Sennen Cove
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dewfs™
A blue flag bearer and one of the best places in the UK to surf, Sennen Cove sits one mile north-east of Land’s End and boasts grassy hills and spotless sands. Experienced surfers take note – the waves get bigger as you head north up the beach.
Mio Postcode finder: TR19 7AW
Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon (Best for exploring)
BIGBURY
Creative Commons License photo credit: Markles55
A golden, rural beach, with low cliffs and warm waters. Burgh Island lies out to sea, where Agatha Christie partied in the 1920s. At low tide, the island is accessible across a sand spit, but at high tide, you’ll need a ride on the big-wheeled sea-tractor.
Mio Postcode finder: TQ7 4AS
Canford Cliffs Chine, Poole, Dorset (Best for relaxing)
A quiet sun trap in between busier surroundings – this blue flag beach is where the locals go to avoid the crush of tourists. The beach has all the facilities you’ll need but none of the hassle of more developed beaches.
Mio Postcode finder: BH13 7HX
Yellowave, Brighton, East Sussex (Best for fitness)
Yellowave is a beach fitness centre between Brighton Marina and the pier. A 2012 Olympics training venue, it holds six beach volleyball courts, which can be turned into two five-a-side beach football or rugby pitches or one international-size beach football pitch, while there is also room for ultimate Frisbee, bouldering, “beachminton” and a play area for kids.
Mio Postcode finder: BN2 1EN
West Beach, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex (Best for the family)
Clacton Beach
Creative Commons License photo credit: Southern_Comfort
A sandy blue flag beach surrounded by the buzz of a traditional seaside resort. Kids can pick up a colour-coded wristband from the lifeguards to avoid getting lost in the furore and the annual air show takes place above the beach on 26th and 27th August.
Mio Postcode finder: CO15 2LF
Hunstanton, Norfolk (Best for activities)
Hunstanton Cliffs
Creative Commons License photo credit: Duncan~
This blue flag beach is framed by red-and-white-striped cliffs and the traditional beach boasts candy floss, doughnuts, donkey rides and a bandstand. There’s also a busy kite-surfing community (http://www.hunstantonwatersports.com/). Hunstanton is the only coastal town in East Anglia to face west so all action stops every evening to watch the sun set into the sea.
Mio Postcode finder: PE36 5BB
Central Beach, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire (Best for tradition)

Creative Commons License photo credit: steve p2008
A classic British bucket-and-spade type resort. There’s a Victorian gardens and waterfall, the Lollipop Express steam train which takes you along the Victorian promenade and a free Punch and Judy puppet and balloon show to keep you entertained – 11.30am on Wednesdays until 1st September.
Mio Postcode finder: DN35 8SE
Bamburgh, Northumberland (Best for heritage)
bamburgh castle
Creative Commons License photo credit: paul.mcgreevy
A horseshoe-shaped stretch of sand that is overlooked by the imposing turrets of Bamburgh Castle. The beach extends for three miles from the village of Bamburgh to Seahouses and there is ample opportunity to explore more, with the Lindisfarne, the Holy Island and the Farne Islands nearby.
Mio Postcode finder: NE69 7DB
Burntisland, Fife (Best for bad weather)
Burntisland from the Binn Hill
Creative Commons License photo credit: bazhall81
A blue flag winner for 13 consecutive years. The beach hosts old favourites like crazy golf, bouncy castles and an annual summer fairground and if the weather fails there’s a swimming pool with waterslides and a wave machine a short walk from the beach.

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