Birmingham has a lot of great things to offer, but when it comes to beaches… not so much. Stuck in the middle of the country there aren’t many seaside towns super close to Birmingham, but that doesn’t mean Burmmies can’t enjoy their fair share of the coastal delights. Everyone deserves some time spent relaxing on sandy beaches in the sunshine. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best seaside towns near Birmingham you can easily visit this summer.
Less than two hours from Birmingham (either by car or train), Weston-super-Mare is one of the best day trips for a glorious beach day. There are almost two miles of sandy shores to enjoy in the seaside resort. While the town itself is full of independent shops, cafes and bars to explore, as well as museums, theatres and more activities.
The iconic Grand Pier looks like a classic amusement park out front, with seaside classics like Dodgems and a Helter Skelter. But it is full of endless, up-to-the-minute entertainment, such as an indoor Go-Kart track, axe throwing and virtual reality, plus so much more. Meanwhile, the Marine Lake offers sea-water bathing and its own sandy beach when the tide is out. And you’ll find some splashing fun at Water Adventure Play Park!
If the thought of Weston Super Mare sounds a bit too busy for your liking, but you still want to stick to the South West. One of the best beaches near Birmingham is only a short drive away (though it is a little more difficult by train). Burnham-on-Sea is becoming more and more popular for its award-winning, sandy beach great for swimming, paddling and sunbathing. While its famous pier is just a short walk away, with lots of shops and cafes close by. If you like, there’s also a separate area for boats and jet skis to launch.
Head in the other direction from Birmingham, and for about the same amount of time, you’ll come across one of the UK’s most iconic seaside towns: Blackpool. The Blackpool Tower is an iconic attraction, home to Tower Circus (which has been running since 1894!) and some of the best clowns in the business. Make sure to visit Coral Island too, Blackpool’s largest indoor free family attraction, for plenty of pirate-themed rides and games.
While further down the coastline, you’ll find Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a legendary amusement park where you could spend all day having fun. It’s also home to the largest collection of wooden roller coasters in the United Kingdom: the Big Dipper, Blue Flyer, Grand National and Nickelodeon Streak. But from the beach to Sea Life, the Blackpool Zoo to the arcades, this seaside town holds an abundance of attractions.
4. Barry Island
If you’re a fan of the hit BBC show Gavin & Stacey, this place should already be on your radar. So take the two-and-a-half-hour drive to relive all your favourite scenes in this cute seaside setting. Of course, you don’t have to be a fan to have fun here. There’s something for everyone in the Welsh peninsula of Barry Island.
Not only does it contains some of the best beaches near Birmingham (like the golden sands of Whitemore Bay or the pebbly cove of Cold Knap), perfect for swimming, fishing, windsurfing, walking, or rockpool diving. But Barry Island Pleasure Park will get the heart racing with a rollercoaster, log flume, dodgems and a waltzer. While there are some gentler rides for smaller children too. Elsewhere discover leafy parks and gardens for picnics, as well as plenty of places to eat and drink.
Hidden at the top of North Wales, Rhyl feels like one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Rhyl East Beach offers traditional seaside town vibes in the summer times, thanks to miles of sandy shores. But Rhyl’s SeaQuarium is a true must-see on the seafront. Full of lots of exotic sealife, discover eels, piranhas, coral and so much more. Or why not try your hand at sailing, waterskiing, or any number of other sports at the saltwater Marine Lake? If you’d prefer to be a bit closer to dry land, however, Rhyl also boasts a historic Miniature Railway.
6. West Kirby
You won’t find the biggest beach in West Kirby (up on the Wirral peninsula, about two hours from Birmingham). But you won’t feel left out at the lively coastal town and the West Kirby Marine Lake, with stunning views of the Welsh Hills. There are plenty of water activities you can accomplish in the choppy waters, while the quirky streets brim with independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Bring the bikes for a leafy cycle along the Wirral Way; soak up some culture at the West Kirby Arts Centre or the town’s ancient history at West Kirby Museum; or even venture out to sea and visit the breathtaking Hilbre Island, an 11.5-acre tidal island featuring a bird observatory and old telegraph station.
Smack bang in the middle of Wales’s coastline, Aberystwyth is a colourful and popular seaside town you can reach from Birmingham. Head straight West from Brum, it should take a little under three hours. But it’s more than worth the trip! The local university makes it a diverse and vibrant place, with an abundance of interesting shops and restaurants to check out.
But the real draw has to be the mile-long Victorian promenade, featuring the oldest pier in Wales. Follow it to the top of Constitution Hill for one of the best views of this seaside town! Here you’ll also find the world’s largest Camera Obscura, a sort of Victorian CCTV camera, with a bird’s eye view of more than 1000 square miles around Aberystwyth. Other nearby highlights include Pen Dinas Hill, an Iron Age hillfort, and Aberystwyth Castle.