5 beaches near Birmingham: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted
Beaches near Birmingham

England's second-largest city, Birmingham, is also one of the furthest from the coast. Located in the West Midlands, close to the geographical center of the country, Birmingham is about the last place you'd expect to find a sandy beach. In fact, the city is better known for its Industrial Revolution heritage, the busy transportation hub of Birmingham International Airport, and the city's thriving cultural scene than it is for sand and surf.

However, in an island nation like the UK, you're never all that far from the nearest beach. Birmingham is surrounded by some scenic natural areas, including lakes where you can take a swim and lie out on the beach. And if you're willing to travel just a little further, you can find some of the UK's top beaches that are reachable from Birmingham on a day trip or on a longer weekend adventure.

If hitting the beach sounds like a good way to add some fun to your time in Birmingham, don't forget to first drop off your bags at a luggage storage in the city. Traveling light and bringing only what you need to the beach will make it much easier to have a great time, and you won't have to worry about who's looking after your things while you enjoy everything the coast has to offer.

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Wirral beaches near Birmingham

Wirral Country Park

If you're looking for an ocean beach near Birmingham, you're going to have to drive or take public transit for a considerable distance. A popular option to enjoy sandy beaches near Birmingham is to head to the Wirral peninsula near Liverpool, where you'll find golden sands, crashing waves, and plenty to do, thanks to the presence of Wirral Country Park.

Travel distance from Birmingham

The park lies just over a hundred miles from Birmingham, which means a drive of about two hours to get there. It's also possible to take public transit via a train from Birmingham New Street Station to Liverpool Lime Street, then a train and bus to the park itself. However, this will take much longer, over three hours in fact.

Activity recommendations

Thurstaston Beach: The country park encompasses this stretch of sheltered sand where you can enjoy magnificent views of the North Wales coast, Liverpool, and on a clear day, even the iconic Blackpool tower on nearby Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Add in some rolling waves of the Irish Sea, and you'll be enjoying one of the most scenic beaches near Birmingham. Stretch out on the sandy beach or take a paddle in the ocean to enjoy everything this popular area has to offer.

Hiking: The Wirral Way, a 12-mile mixed-use footpath, runs right through the country park and is a great place to stretch your legs and encounter local wildlife. The path is also open to cyclists, and there's another route for horseback riders, so however you like to explore, chances are good you can do it here.

This area is at its busiest in the summer, and as almost the nearest beach to Birmingham, you'll hear more than one or two Brummie accents among the crowd. Visit in the off-season, however, and you'll have the place more or less to yourself. It may be too cold for swimming, but you can still enjoy a great walk along the beach or through the park, so there's no reason not to consider a visit here in the winter, too.

Barry Island near Birmingham

Barry Island

Located in Glamorgan, South Wales, Barry Island is a beach resort with plenty of things to do. One of the best beaches near Birmingham for families, the island is easily reached and makes a great gateway to explore more of what South Wales has to offer.

Travel distance from Birmingham

It's around 130 miles from Birmingham to Barry Island, passing through Cardiff on the way. You can reach it with a drive of around 2.5 hours. And because it's so close to the major city of Cardiff, you can travel by train from the heart of Birmingham to the sandy beach stretches of South Wales in less than three hours. There's a train that runs directly from Cardiff Central to Barry Island, making this one of the easiest to reach beaches near Birmingham.

Activity recommendations

Barry Island Pleasure Park: Barry Island isn't exactly a well-kept secret. After all, it's so close to the Welsh capital that it could never hope to stay hidden for long. As a result, you can expect to encounter crowds of holidaymakers here. But that also means you'll find fantastic amenities and things to do. For example, the Barry Island Pleasure Park is a theme park where you can ride roller coasters, play carnival games, spend some time in the videogame arcade, or enjoy incredible restaurants.

Beaches: Barry Island is home to a variety of beaches, making it a great choice if you want to do a little exploring. Whitmore Bay, with its huge crescent of golden sand, is a popular choice for families, while Jackson's Bay is more of a hidden gem. There's also the shingle beach at Cold Knap Bay, which offers excellent water clarity and plenty of rock pools to explore. The variety of beaches on offer here means that although this area is extremely popular in the summer, it's not too hard to find your own space.

You can avoid the crowds of holidaymakers from Cardiff and beyond by visiting Barry Island in the off-season. Although the weather may be too cold for swimming, the occasional dramatic storm creates some visual interest, and a walk along the beautiful beach is a great activity at any time of year.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Beach

Blackpool Beach hardly needs an introduction. This resort has been the UK's leading coastal recreation area since the Victorian period. Blackpool Beach is hardly the most unspoiled and natural of the beaches near Birmingham; in fact, this beach is possibly one of the most well-developed in the whole UK. But if you're looking for lots of activities on a beach vacation, this is the place to come.

Travel distance from Birmingham

Blackpool lies about 120 miles north of Birmingham, so it will take a little over two hours to get here by car. It's also possible to take the train the way Victorian holidaymakers used to do, though that will take longer — more like three hours.

Activity recommendations

Blackpool Beach: The main beach at Blackpool is seven miles long, so there's plenty of space to stretch out, even during the peak of summer. Along with sunbathing and swimming, you'll find traditional activities like the always-popular donkey rides, as well as state-of-the-art attractions on the three piers that offer great restaurants, video arcades, and amusement park rides. You can also stroll the famous Golden Mile Promenade behind the beach to explore restaurants, shops, and other attractions that make Blackpool the most popular seaside resort in the UK.

Blackpool Tower: This iron tower is an icon of Blackpool and has been since the resort was first developed well over a hundred years ago. As well as offering great views over the coastline, this miniature version of the Eiffel Tower has its own circus, a virtual reality roller coaster, a 4D cinema, and the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, so there are many things to do at this legendary attraction.

SEA LIFE Blackpool: This state-of-the-art aquarium gives you the chance to explore beneath the ocean waves while staying dry on land. Home to more than 2,500 marine animals ranging from sharks to rays to turtles, the aquarium is a great place to learn more about the ecology of marine environments around the world.

Burnham-on-Sea near Birmingham


If you prefer a more natural beach to explore, head south to Burnham-on-Sea. This area of Somerset is home to eight beaches within a concentrated area, plus the wild beauty of Exmoor National Park and the mystical history of Glastonbury are not far away, making this a wonderful area to explore.

Travel distance from Birmingham

It takes about two hours to reach Burnham-on-Sea by car from Birmingham. You can also take public transport by catching a train to Bristol and then another to Burnham, but this will take around three hours.

Activity recommendations

Beaches: Burnham Beach itself has one of the longest stretches of soft sand in Europe. At seven miles, it's the size of Blackpool but gets far fewer visitors. On the beach, you can go on the traditional donkey rides, cool off in the water, or sunbathe and enjoy the scenery. Beyond the main beach, there is also North Beach and South Beach to explore, so you could spend days just getting to grips with the beaches here.

Apex Park: This wildlife haven is an important refuge for hundreds of species of migratory and local birds. Open to the public, it also has a skate park, a children's play area, and multiple hiking trails that let you explore the natural environment.

Golf: This area is a great place to play a round of golf. The Burnham and Berrow Golf Club is a championship course where you can rent clubs and try your skills, and there are other courses and driving ranges in the area so you can get some practice in.

Swimming is a great activity here in the summer, but make sure to heed the warning flags, as there can be dangerous currents. If you're not going to be swimming, this area is a great place to visit at any time of year. Not only is there plenty to do in the region, but the rugged beauty of the coastline looks even better with fewer people around.

Weston-super-Mare Pier


The nearest beach to Birmingham, commonly known simply as Weston, this popular resort close to the Mendip Hills has been the beach vacation of choice for Midlanders for generations.

Travel distance from Birmingham

It takes about two hours to reach Weston-super-Mare by car from Birmingham and about the same amount of time by train, making this one of the best beaches near Birmingham to visit if you don't want to drive.

Activity recommendations

Beach: The beach at Weston is one of the biggest in the UK. Take the kids on donkey rides, splash around in the water, or stretch out on the sand, and the distance from Birmingham will seem much greater than it really is as you enjoy this coastal environment.

Water Adventure Play Park: This thrilling waterpark is a great place to cool off in the summer months. Open year-round, the slides and rides here provide a thrill for families visiting the resort.

Helicopter Museum: The weather doesn't always cooperate, so if you're in need of something to do out of the elements, the Weston Helicopter Museum is a great choice. The collection is comprised of both military and civilian aircraft, and with more than 80 different helicopters to see, this place can keep everyone entertained for a few hours at least.

Weston-super-Mare is a fantastic year-round destination. Due to the Water Adventure Play Park, you can actually swim throughout the year here.

Best beaches near Birmingham, UK


These beach getaways make ideal weekend trips from Birmingham. And if you're visiting on a budget, some of the less-developed beaches also offer great free things to do near the city.

Drop off your bags at a convenient luggage storage in Birmingham and travel light to enjoy a classic British seaside vacation. Birmingham may be one of the UK's most landlocked cities, but as these great beaches show, you never have to travel too far to reach the coast.

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