Best beaches and seaside towns near Surrey according to Which

With so much uncertainty over whether trips abroad will be allowed this summer, many British holidaymakers will be seeking closer-to-home seaside escapes.

Although Surrey has no coastline, there are plenty of stunning spots by the sea on offer to residents willing to drive a little further afield – in Kent, East Sussex and Hampshire, for example.

Ahead of the summer holidays, online review company Which? has revealed exactly which coastal locations have been voted the UK’s best.

The ranking is based on ratings by Which? reviewers who were asked to score the beach, attractions, scenery, peace and quiet, and value for money for almost 100 destinations.

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Below, SurreyLive has listed the 10 best places in the ranking that are within an hour and a half’s drive of the county, perfect for a sunny day trip or staycation.

Underneath the location is the town or village’s percentage score. Firstly, here are the top five.

1. Rye, East Sussex

Distance: One hour and 15 minutes’ drive from the Oxted area.

Score: 81

Rye is home to an array of cosy pubs, boutique hotels and arty shops. The hidden gem is steeped in history; in the Rye Castle Museum there are relics from the town’s shipbuilding past.

The coastline is about two miles from the town for those who fancy a paddle and an ice cream on the beach.

It received full marks (5/5) for attractions and a strong four stars for peace and quiet.

2. Dungeness, Kent

Fishing boats lined up on the beach at Dungeness
Fishing boats lined up on the beach at Dungeness
(Image: Getty Images/Moment RF)

Distance: One and a half hour’s drive from the Oxted area.

Score: 76

Dungeness is a headland and is mainly formed of a shingle beach. It shelters a large area of low-lying land which makes up Romney Marsh, a wetland area and paradise for walkers. It lies at the southern-most tip of Kent and the expanse of shingle is a sight to behold on a sunny day.

Which? customers rated it only 2/5 for attractions but full marks for value for money and peace and quiet.

3. Lymington, Hampshire

Distance: One and a half hour’s drive from the Haslemere area.

Score: 75

Located on the west bank of the Lymington River, this port town is one of the few on the list which doesn’t have its own beach.

Which? members gave its scenery a four-star rating, a three-star rating for peace and quiet, while only two stars were awarded to its attractions and value for money.

4. Deal, Kent

Deal beach
The beach in Deal
(Image: Karol Steele / Dover Express Series)

Distance: One and a half hour’s drive from the Oxted area.

Score: 74

Deal is a small Kent town offering buzzy bars to relax in and a very pretty pebble beach. Although, on the Which? ranking the beach did not score incredibly highly (2/5).

However, reviewers seemed to feel Deal made up for it in the peace and quiet and value for money categories, which were each awarded four points out of five.

5. Eastbourne, East Sussex

Eastbourne beach
Eastbourne beach
(Image: Sunday Mail)

Distance: One hour and 10 minutes’ drive from the Horley area.

Score: 74

Eastbourne is a popular resort town and sitting on its seafront is a row of Victorian hotels. It also has a 19th-century pier and a 1930s bandstand.

The town performed very well in the attractions, scenery and value for money categories (4/5) and was given three stars for its beach.

The Which? locations within driving distance of Surrey ranked in sixth to tenth position are listed below.

6. Broadstairs, Kent

Broadstairs beach was ranked a strong 4/5 for its beach
(Image: Wayne Starr/Daily Star)

Distance: One hour and 25 minutes’ drive from the Caterham area.

Score: 72

7. Whitstable, Kent

Distance: One hour’s drive from the Caterham area.

Score: 71

8. Brighton, East Sussex

Brighton beach
Brighton was ranked 2/5 for value for money but 4/5 for attractions on offer
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)

Distance: 45 minutes’ drive from the Horley area.

Score: 70

9. Barton on Sea, Hampshire

Distance: An hour and a half’s drive from the Farnham area.

Score: 67

10. Herne Bay, Kent

Distance: One hour and five minutes’ drive from the Oxted area.

Score: 66

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