Blue Flag awards 2023: UK beaches crowned with ‘prestigious’ status ahead of heatwave - full list

A total of 77 beaches have been awarded the prestigious status, which measures beaches based on quality

The UK is experiencing a mini heatwave ahead of the summer months – but which beaches are worth your while? Several of the UK’s best beaches have recently been crowned as prestigious according to the Blue Flag awards 2023.

More than 70 beaches across England have been crowned with the prestigious award for meeting the “highest environmental standards”. The awards have been announced by environmental charity Keep Britain Charity.

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The beaches were awarded the honours on Tuesday, May 16. They recognise the quality of beaches, how they are managed and the facilities they have.

A cool 77 beaches met the standards set by the Blue Flag international award. While this is great news for the areas that have been crowned the status, there are other beaches in the UK that have sadly lost the Blue Flag awards.

One of these beaches includes Brighton beach, which has lost its coveted Blue Flag status following the 2023 awards. The beach, which is popular with Londoners, lost the coveted status after its water quality was downgraded.

Blue Flag awards 2023

The Blue Flag awards measure beaches in terms of their quality, but what is the exact criteria set out by the awards? The criteria the beaches have to meet are:

  • Safety and services – first aid and lifeguards (when necessary)

  • Environmental information – displaying details about local ecosystems

  • Water quality – beaches must meet the excellent water quality standard, which is set out in the EU bathing water directive

  • Environmental management – litter and waste management

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The awards are “the only way for the public to be assured that beaches are delivering a safe, clean and well-managed space for them” according to the charity’s website. The website continues that “natural environment and water quality may vary, particularly after heavy rainfall”.

Blue Flag award beaches

East Midlands

  • Central Beach, Mablethorpe 

  • Central Beach, Skegness 

  • Central Beach, Sutton on Sea 

East of England

  • Felixstowe South and Pier, East Suffolk

  • Southwold, East Suffolk

  • Cromer, North Norfolk

  • Sheringham, North Norfolk

  • West Runton, North Norfolk

  • East Beach Shoeburyness, Southend on Sea

  • Shoebury Common, Southend on Sea

  • Thorpe Bay, Southend on Sea

  • Three Shells Beach, Southend on Sea

  • Westcliff Bay, Southend on Sea

  • Dovercourt Bay, Tendring

  • Brightlingsea, Tendring

  • Frinton on Sea, Tendring

  • Walton on the Naze Albion Beach, Tendring

North East

  • Tynemouth Longsands, North Tyneside 

  • King Edwards Bay, North Tyneside 

  • Whitley Bay, North Tyneside 

  • Roker, Sunderland

  • Seaburn, Sunderland

Yorkshire & Humber

  • Scarborough North Bay, North Yorkshire

  • Whitby, North Yorkshire

  • Hornsea, East Riding

  • Withernsea, East Riding

South East

  • Hove Lawns, Brighton

  • Tankerton, Canterbury

  • Marina St Leonards, Hastings

  • Hayling Island Beachlands, Havant

  • Sandown, Isle of Wight

  • Sheerness Beach, Kent

  • Minster Leas, Kent

  • Botany Bay, Kent

  • Joss Bay, Kent

  • Minnis Bay, Kent

  • St Mildreds, Kent

  • Margate Main Sands, Kent

  • Stone Bay, Kent 

  • West Wittering Beach, Chichester

South West

  • Blackpool Sands, Devon

  • Sandbanks Peninsular, Poole

  • Shore Road, Poole

  • Canford Cliffs, Poole

  • Branksome, Poole

  • Alum Chine, Bournemouth

  • Bournemouth Manor Steps, Bournemouth 

  • Durley Chine, Bouremouth

  • Fisherman’s Walk, Bournemouth

  • Southbourne, Bournemouth

  • Avon Beach, Christchurch

  • Friars Cliff Beach, Christchurch

  • Highcliffe Beach, Christchurch

  • Carbis Bay, Cornwall

  • Crooklets, Cornwall

  • Gyllyngvase, Cornwall

  • Porthmeor, Cornwall

  • Polzeath, Cornwall

  • Porthtowan, Cornwall

  • Summerleaze, Cornwall

  • Trevone Bay, Cornwall

  • Widemouth Bay, Cornwall

  • Beer, Devon

  • Exmouth, Devon

  • Seaton, Devon

  • Sidmouth Town, Devon

  • Croyde Bay, Devon

  • Swanage Central, Dorset

  • Dawlish Warren, Devon

  • Breakwater Beach, Brixham

  • Broadsands, Devon

  • Meadfoot Beach, Devon

  • Oddicombe Beach, Devon

  • Preston Sands, Devon

  • Torre Abbey Sands, Devon

  • Westward Ho!, Devon

  • Weymouth Central, Devon

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