When it comes to vacationing in the UK, a beach trip might not be the first thing that springs to mind. The United Kingdom is famed for its rolling countryside, rich history, and incredible culture, but not so much for its golden sand or endless sunshine.
But sun-worshippers and beach lovers vacationing in Southampton, UK, might want to take another look. This charming city on the south coast is surrounded by some of the best beaches the country has to offer, a combination of picturesque cliffs, hidden bays, and, yes, some gorgeous stretches of golden sand!
So if you are visiting Southampton, UK, and are in the mood for a little sun, surf, and sand, look no further. From the stunning natural beauty of Calshot Beach to the vibrant atmosphere of Lee-on-Solent, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are five of the best beaches in Southampton, UK.
Weston Shore Beach
This hidden gem located just to the west of Southampton is ideal for anyone who wants a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. With its stunning views of the Solent and its picturesque cliffs, it is a wonderful place to relax or take a stroll along the promenade. It is an excellent introduction to British beach life, combining charming cafes and beachside restaurants, exciting watersports, and a low-key, laid-back atmosphere.
This stunning natural beauty is located on the western edge of the Solent and is one of Southampton’s most attractive beaches. Its crystal-clear, shallow lagoon makes it a wonderful choice for anyone with a young family, and the beach boasts a wonderful activities center offering a wide range of water sports and other outdoor activities. It is also the home of the imposing Calshot Castle, a fortified tower originally built back in the 16th century to defend this strategically important spot from the Spanish Armada! It’s a neat addition to the delights of the beach and gives you the chance to add a little history to your day out.
This quaint, charming shingle beach is situated in the sleepy (and quirkily named) village of Hamble-le-Rice. It is a great option for anyone looking for peace and quiet, as it is well off the beaten track and chances are you’ll have the place to yourself for much of the day! With lovely views of the River Hamble, as well as the added bonus of a walk along the Hamble Rail Trail from Hamble to Burseldon, Hamble Beach is a superb place to enjoy the tranquility and charm of the English countryside.
Netley Abbey Beach
This hidden gem is tucked away just outside the village of Netley, to the east of Southampton, UK. It is a gorgeous spot with a lovely sandy beach and great views across the Solent, as well as the crumbling beauty of the ruins of Netley Abbey as a backdrop. This fine example of picturesque decripitude has a fascinating history and is one of the top attractions in the area. Founded in the 13th century by monks, it was dissolved by Henry VIII, repurposed as a manor, fell into ruin, and found fame as the inspiration for a host of Romantic poets.
For a more lively day out, Lee-on-the-Solent is the best choice in the area. This vibrant beach on the western edge of the Solent is a great combo of sand and shingle beach which tends to have quite a buzz, with an excellent mix of young families, picnickers, swimmers, and watersports enthusiasts. Try your hand at windsurfing or paddleboarding, or just enjoy lunch at a classic British seaside cafe.
While the UK might not be known for its beach culture, there are plenty of lovely spots if you know where to find them, and Southampton, UK, boasts some of the best.