Believe it or not, the UK boasts some brilliant stretches of coast, from tacky wonderlands such as Blackpool and Skegness, to the more picturesque. But don’t just take our word for it – we’ve picked a few of our favourite seaside spots for travellers of every persuasion to take their bucket and spade this summer, so check them out for yourself.

Durdle Door, Dorset

Best for The money shot

Why? One of the most impressive landmarks on the Jurassic Coast – England’s first natural world heritage site – this high rock arch poking out into the water was formed by the sea punching clean through it. A sweeping beach in its shadow is the perfect place to soak up the sight and catch some rays. Keep your eyes on TNT over summer for more on the Jurassic Coast – 95 miles of incredible coastline carved from 185 million years of the Earth’s history.

Lunan Bay, Scotland

Best for Surfing with a view

Why? On the country’s east coast, this dramatic two-mile stretch of broad beach is backed by rolling dunes and low red cliffs. Adding to this high drama are the crumbling remains of the Red Castle, built in the 1100s, which looms regally over the scene. Lunan Bay is ever-popular with surfers for its shifting beach break peaks, but not so well-known to get crowded.;

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Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland

Best for Clean craic

Why? On Northern Ireland’s wild and windswept Causeway Coast, this pristine beach has been allocated Seaside Award status for its cleanliness and water quality. After a dip in the invigorating North Atlantic, continue your clean-living with walks along the area’s various nature trails, which give great views of the north coast. Then nip over to neighbouring Portrush for a gander at the sea-sculpted shapes in the limestone cliffs of White Rocks beach.

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Brighton, East Sussex

Best For Party time

Why? The pebble beach might not be the perfect place to stretch out and sunbathe, but who wants to sleep in this city? Get your funfair fix at the pier with rickety rides, gaudy arcades and fluff-clouds of candyfloss, then lubricate the evening at Brighton’s myriad beachfront bars. Stay surfside at Digital, a club under the Kings Road Arches looking out to sea, and playing obscenely danceable tunes from Deadmau5 to Friendly Fires. Those that really like to hang loose can check out the nudist beach a mile east of Brighton Pier.;

Marloes Sands, Wales

Best for Wildlife-watching

Why? This rugged and remote beach in Pembrokeshire is not only a gem for its acres of unpeopled space, but take a turn around the Marloes Peninusla and you can spot seals and even porpoises. A short boat trip to Skomer Island across the water brings you face-to-face with crowds of puffins. Reefs and wrecks in this area also make it a great break for divers.

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Dover, Kent

Best for An essential sight

Why? Dover’s seaside is an iconic idyll. The famous white chalk cliffs put Britain’s best face forward – handy, seeing as its long been considered the country’s front line – and bracing walks and bike rides along the clifftops give arresting sea views. The town itself does little to raise itself above the ranks of shithole, but it’s the unspoilt beauty surrounding Dover that recommends it.