From beachcombing, surfing to sun worshipping, Britain’s best beaches revealed

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A sheltered cove that started life as a sheltered iron ore mine was named Sunday as Britain’s beach of the year.

Lusty Glaze in the Cornish resort of Newquay was declared the winner in a survey of hundreds of beaches by the Sunday Times newspaper.

One of eight beaches close to Newquay, Lusty Glaze brings a distinctively Australian vibe to Cornwall’s north coast, says the Sunday Times.

“There’s a raffishly glamorous feel to the blonde-and-tanned crowd, and the surroundings are just as good looking; the deep cove looks like a hoofprint licked into the iron-ore rich cliffs by Neptune’s horse,” says the citation.

Lusty Cove is reached by descending the 133 steps from the cliff top, or at low tide it can be reached without making the steep descent.

The gently sloping beach acres of soft, clean sand (ideal for making sandcastles), and for the more adventurous wanting to ride the waves there is a surf school.

Cornwall, the most westerly part of England, and home to the famous Land’s End, has more than 300 beaches, some rated as among the best beaches in the world.

Lusty Glaze is one of the few coastal beaches in Britain to have been rich in iron ore. A cave, more than 60 meters deep, was once mined for its minerals, but was abandoned in the late 1800’s. Four other beaches in Cornwall and neighboring Devon join Lusty Glaze in the top 10 family beaches.

The only east coast beach in the list is Southwold beach in Suffolk, where a humble wooden beach hut would cost a sunworshipper a six-figure sum to buy. Some have been sold for 160,000 U.S.dollars or more.

Close to top winner Lusty Glaze, the Sunday Times listed Cornwall’s Fistral Beach as winner in its category for active beaches. Named as Britain’s most famous surfing beach, the almost 900-meter beach faces a “glassy wall” of water that provides a challenge for any surfer, while at the same time accommodates foam-riding beginners to the watersport. The report describes Fistral as Britain’s university of surf.

Cornwall also won the category for Britain’s most secret beach, with the honor going to Portheras Cove on the wild Atlantic ocean coast. North facing with sheer cliffs, the beach for those who discover this glittering paradise, will find soft sand and clear blue water.

Sanna Bay in Scotland’s Ardnamurchan peninsula, was named as Britain’s most scenic beach. The most westerly beach on the British mainland, its sunset comes an hour later than sundown in London.

Margate Bay beach in Kent, a popular destination for London day-trippers, was judged to have the best town beach in the Sunday Times list. Margate, says the citation, has resurfaced as Britain’s hippest resort, home to the Turner Contemporary Gallery. Famed for its vintage clothes stores and artisan coffee shops, the town’s star attraction, says the Sunday Times, is the half-moon shaped Bay Beach.

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