While I’m not a total beach freak, nor a sunseeker, I do love to be beside the seaside. Over the years I’ve lived in a load of places by the sea (Bangor, Northern Ireland; Ma Wan, Hong Kong; Sydney, Australia; Bournemouth, England etc.). I haven’t really written much about beaches on here though, so here are my top 10 beaches. These places are a relaxing paradise. And by the way – I’m not a weather freak and don’t really care if it’s hot or sunny, so I’m glad to have snowy and wet beaches on this list. To me the colder beaches have more charm in fact.
1. Ballyholme Beach, Bangor, Northern Ireland
A paradise for dog walkers, nature lovers and those that love a view. Ballyholme Beach in the Northern Irish seaside town of Bangor is my favourite. I admit that bias is involved here as I grew up in Bangor and this was my local beach for years, but a recent return to Ballyholme made me realise how fresh, pristine and pretty this place really is. I’ve been to over 80 countries, but no beaches quite beat Ballyholme Beach.
2. Clontarf Beach, Sydney, Australia
Everyone always talks about Bondi, Manly and Cronulla beaches when they think about the beaches of Sydney. I ticked that hat trick off in my early days in the country, and yes I liked them. The thrill of the Nudist Beach at Lady Bay was also tempting, but I’ve gone for Clontarf Beach to represent my Australian travels. It’s more remote, non commercial and slightly inland, meaning the views are not of the ocean, but other parts of Sydney.
3. Zhu Hai Beach, China
My love for backpacking in China is obvious if you check my back catalogue of China posts, and there will be more to come. Zhu Hai offers great beaches and is a world away from your smoky factories and non descript chicken farms.
4. Pocitos Beach, Montevideo
Oh to dreamy Montevideo. If you’ve ever dragged your travelling soul to the Uruguayan capital, you’ll know how cool the beaches are here. I preferred Pocitos Beach of the many I visited in Uruguay.
5. The Beach at Neko Harbour, Danco Peninsula, Antarctica
We visited a load of cool beaches in Antarctica, but I’ve chosen just one on the list. Whalers Bay, Barientos and even Admiralty Bay didn’t make the list, instead I’ve gone for the dreamy beach at Neko Harbour. This was on the Danco Peninsula in mainland Antarctica.
6. Bournemouth Beach, England
This is almost like a “re-entry” for 2014 as I vowed never to return to the beaches of Bournemouth in England. However I used to live and work here. I spent 4 summers selling ice cream by this beach and loved it. It has many memories, good and bad and I re-visited Bournemouth Beach recently and fell in love with it once again. Top 5 things to do in Bournemouth.
7. Kenting Beach, Taiwan
As the sun set on the south eastern tip of Kenting in October 2009, I smiled a real smile once again and was ready to move on with my life. 2009 had been a tough year for me for personal reasons and it was the cheap wine that my travel buddy Natalja and I enjoyed a sunset where I knew I was back – I was becoming a hardcore traveller once again. My visit to Kenting.
8. Ushaka Beach, Durban, South Africa
It would actually be a bit rude of me not to include an African beach as the continent is graced with them. Ushaka beach was the first African beach I ever visited so the memory sticks with me. I wrote about my top things to do in Durban before.
9. Alona Beach, Panglao, Philippines
Alona beach on Panglao Island is simply a paradise!! Rows of bars and restaurants, fresh clear waters and a fab beach make this the place to escape your working life and relax. I wrote about things to do on Alona beach before.
10. Recife Beach, Brazil
I’m really excited about the World Cup this year and will be aiming to visit two new Brazilian cities – Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian beaches are awesome. I headed to Recife with the lads a few years back. Relaxing on Recife beach.
These had me really thinking and it took me a while to condense and whittle down to a top 10 beaches from my travels, but for sure I love these beaches and recommend them.
I have a load of videos of beaches on my Youtube channel should you want to check them out.
Safe travels and relax!!