Britain, 5 May-2014, Sam Webb: With their stunning white sands and crystal clear turquoise waters you could be forgiven for thinking these beaches are on an idyllic tropical paradise.
But amazingly each of these incredible seaside landscapes is in Britain – and they’re among the country’s best kept secrets.
The hidden locations of 400 hard-to-find and hard-to-reach beaches have been revealed in a new book by travel writer Daniel Start.
He has spent 10 years researching stretches of unspoilt sand along Britain’s rugged coastline, which at 20,000 miles including its islands is among the longest in the world.
His book, called Hidden Beaches, lifts the lid on beautiful bays and tranquil hideaways from every corner of the country.
Some of the beaches are just off the tourist trail while others, such as Sandy Bay near Tenby, Wales, can only be accessed by water.
Losgainter, on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, is so idyllic that Thai tourism officials once mistakenly used a picture of the beach in one of their holiday brochures.
Keynance Cove on the Lizard, Cornwall, can only be accessed at low tide but those who make the effort are rewarded with a scene on a par with the Caribbean.
The turquoise water gets its colouring from green minerals from the rugged rocks that surround the sandy cove.
The ‘wonderful white cove’ of Moor Sands at East Prawle in south Devon requires a two mile walk from the nearest car park.
A disused quarry at Abereiddi on the north Pembrokeshire coast is now a little known but incredibly picturesque blue lagoon perfect for swimming in.
Those who wish to reach the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ deserted beach of Sandy Cove near Tenby must endure a 200 yard swim as it is totally inaccessible by land, with no route down the cliffs.
A tip-off from a friendly local led Daniel, 41, to a little-known plunge pool in the foot of the cliffs Llangannith on the Gower peninsula.
Further north is one of the most stunning beaches to feature in the book – Traigh Gheal on the Isle of Mull.
The rocky cove’s white sandy beach and turquoise sea would not look out of place on the front of a holiday brochure for the Maldives.
Mr Start quit his job at a London council to pursue his dream of writing a guide to Britain’s best but least known beaches.
He has visited all of the beaches featured in the book, either alone, with friends, or with his wife Tanya and three-year-old daughter Rose.
He added: ‘Until I started researching this book I hadn’t really realised just how beautiful Britain is. Now I think it is home to the most beautiful beaches in the world.
‘The book features everything from beaches that are slightly off the beaten track to some which you can only access by swimming to.
‘There is something magical about swimming onto a deserted beach and sitting on the sand feeling like Robinson Crusoe.
‘Previously I had thought about moving abroad and finding my own little piece of paradise but putting this book together has made me realise paradise is here at home.
‘The only problem is that the water can be a little chilly!’
As well as a guide to the 400 secluded beaches, the book also recommends the best beaches for skinny-dipping, the best for sunset views and the best for ‘jumps’.
Hidden Beaches is published by Wild Things Publishing and costs £16.99.
The book is the follow-up to Wild Swimming, his expert guide to lakes and rivers to swim in around the country.
(Input source: Dailymail.co.uk)