South Shields' Sandhaven beach ranked best in the UK by The Sunday Times

Sandhaven beat over 800 others The Sunday Times visited to take the top spot. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

A beach on South Tyneside has been ranked as the best in the UK by The Sunday Times.

Sandhaven in South Shields topped the newspaper's annual guide which lists the 50 best beaches in Britain, according to the publication.

The winning beach beat over 800 others the newspaper's chief travel writer Chris Haslam visited.

Each year the guide aims to highlight the best Britain has to offer at its coast.

The list gives readers a description of each beach in the the final 50, in addition to practical information on local facilities like car parking, toilets, refreshments, shops and accommodation.

This year seven of those in the top 50 beaches according to The Sunday times are in the ITV Tyne Tees region.

A traditional sandcastle castle under construction on Sandhaven beach. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

These were:

  • Beach of the year - Sandhaven, South Shields

  • Howdiemont Sands, Northumberland 

  • Newton Steads and Football Hole, Northumberland

  • St Aidan’s Dunes, Northumberland

  • Whitby West, North Yorkshire 

  • Cornelian Bay, North Yorkshire

  • Redcar Coatham, North Yorkshire

Lifeguards training at Sandhaven Beach, South Shields

Chris Haslam from The Sunday Times said: "This has been the 15th circumnavigation of the British coast for me, and the second for my Jack Russell assistant Dave T. Dog.

"Over eight weeks we've seen sunrises and sunsets, sand and shingle, surfed with dolphins and kayaked with seals. 

"We've navigated canyon-like lanes to empty coves, queued to get onto urban hotspots, and, in one case, swam through a tunnel to reach an otherwise inaccessible bay."

He added "When the sun is shining, our beaches are the most beautiful on earth."

The Leader of South Tyneside Council, Councillor Tracey Dixon is celebrating the accolade. She said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded the prestigious Beach of the Year status.

"Our natural assets are there for everyone to enjoy and we can sometimes overlook what is right on our doorstep and which sets us apart from other areas.

“Creating beautiful spaces is a huge team effort. The Council works in partnership with local businesses, friends’ groups, our residents, and visitors to ensure that the beach and our amenities are of the highest standard possible.

"I was delighted to see that the Sunday Times recognised our beaches as a true community asset, there for everyone to enjoy.”

The full list of Britain's top 50 beaches is available online.

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