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Revealed: the UK beaches with the bluest sea

According to a new study, coastlines in Scotland and Wales apparently have the bluest waters in the country

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton

Spring has officially sprung, which means that the season of beach sunbathing and seaside swims is finally within touching distance. And is there anything better than bathing in crystal blue waters? We think not.

Forget the Mediterranean and the Maldives, you can find gorgeous blue seas right here in the UK. The people at travel agency CV Villas looked at Google Maps screenshots of 200 beaches across the globe and used colour theory to determine which really has the bluest water. Experts found the RGB code (basically a digital code for colours) for each and measured their shade against the world’s bluest blue (YInMn blue).

Low and behold, one Scottish beach placed 11th worldwide, sandwiched between sunny spots in Spain and Croatia. Troon Beach in Ayrshire and Arran is less than an hour away from Glasgow and its waters are apparently just 21.7 points off the truest blue shade.

No other British beach made the list of top 30 bluest worldwide, but CV Villas also put together a ranking of the bluest seas in the UK and Ireland. After Troon Beach at number one came Keem Bay in Ireland and then Llangrannog Beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales. In fact, despite their rainy and grey reputation, Welsh beaches made up half of the UK’s top ten bluest bays. 

Criccieth Beach in Gwnedd came fourth and Achmelvich Bay in Scotland, named one of the best in the world and known for looking like the Caribbean on a good day, came fifth.  

Top ten bluest beaches in the UK and Ireland

  1. Troon Beach, Scotland
  2. Keen Bay, Ireland
  3. Llangrannog Beach, Wales
  4. Criccieth Beach, Wales
  5. Achmelvich Beach, Scotland
  6. Newgale Beach, Wales
  7. Caswell Bay, Wales
  8. Rhossili Bay, Wales
  9. Durdle Door, England
  10. Pedn Vounder, England

Beach days with Time Out

The UK is home to some downright gorgeous stretches of sand – check out Time Out's pick of the very best here, plus our guide to some of the most beautiful hidden gems. And if you want to dip your toes in beautiful azure water, we’ve got a list of the most stunning wild swimming spots, too. 

Did you see that this Manchester rooftop bar has been named one of the best in the world?

Plus: everything you need to know about when and how to see the April 8 eclipse

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