The huge UK beach named among best where you could spot turtles

-Credit: (Image: Shared Content Unit)
-Credit: (Image: Shared Content Unit)

As summer inches closer, seaside escapades are on the horizon. Nottingham might not boast a beachfront, but there's an array of sandy destinations you can get to without hopping on a plane first.

North Wales, renowned for its stunning beaches encompassing tiny coves to vast stretches of sand, naturally has some of its seaside enclaves named amongst the best UK beaches.

Gwynedd's Harlech Beach found its place in Conde Nast Traveller's roundup of the 54 top UK beaches, sharing the honour with Llanddwyn in Anglesey. The two coastal hamlets offer entirely different but equally enriching experiences - Llanddwyn is a picture-perfect island beach steeped in folklore and legends, while Harlech seems to unfurl endlessly under the watchful eye of its namesake castle.

The travel magazine bestowed praise on Harlech Beach for its ample spread and amenities, citing: "Harlech beach is huge enough that you'll feel completely alone, despite it being easily accessible with excellent facilities including toilets, shops and parking."

With four miles of shimmering sands, the beach leaves no room for doubt about finding the ideal spot for a picnic blanket and a parasol, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Further enhancing the regal backdrop are breathtaking views of Snowdonia's mountain range in the distance. The beach itself is nestled behind verdant dunes, accentuating its natural charm and untouched aura.

In fact, the beach is a haven for nature enthusiasts. During the summer, leatherback turtles migrate to this area to feed on the jellyfish in the coastal waters, offering visitors a chance to spot these magnificent creatures.

Conde Nast Traveller noted: "One of the beach's major attractions is its clean golden sand, and it's been designated a National Nature Reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest because of its miles of rolling dunes."

The sea here is safe for swimming, though there are no lifeguards on duty, and swimmers should be mindful of the jellyfish.

Just about a kilometre from the beach stands the historic Harlech Castle, constructed in the 13th century by Edward I as a fortress. It has played significant roles in both the War of the Roses and the English Civil War.

To the south of the beach, Shell Island beckons as a popular camping destination during the warmer months. The site spans 300 acres and offers 800 pitches, making it an ideal base for exploring the nearby areas.

Another compelling reason to visit Harlech Beach is its mysterious secret. Beneath the sands lies the wreck of a World War Two American fighter plane, known as the 'Maid of Harlech'.

Although the exact location of the aircraft remains unknown, it has been exposed several times before, first in the 1970s, then in 2007, and again in 2014.

Harlech beach offers ample parking at the pay and display car park located at Ffordd Glan Mor Harlech (LL46 2UG). There are also numerous accommodation options in the vicinity.