The UK's 'Brown Flags' - the beaches with the poorest hygiene rating

Scarborough South Bay
Scarborough South Bay -Credit:Peter Harbour

The worst beaches for swimmers this year have been named in a new study. High levels of bacteria such as e-coli from sewage and other waste have been discovered in the sea at number of popular tourist destinations.

These beaches were rated poor based on readings taken during the warmer months of the year - from May 15th to September 30th. During these months the sea is more likely to be clean, as rain in the winter leads to more stuff overflowing into the sea.

The data comes from the Environment Agency, which monitors the level of bacteria in the sea. The 'Brown Flag' awards have been handed out to the UK's worst beaches by Holiday Park Guru, which looked at the EA data to find the worst beaches across the UK.

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Holiday Park Guru said: "Swimming in the sea is a high priority for us on holiday – but I want to be the only thing floating. And so, in an effort to highlight England's beaches that you might want to avoid...we are proud to present the first ever Holiday Park Guru Brown Flag Awards.

"We've spent hours analysing official Environment Agency water quality data to select the ‘winners’. We plan to make this an annual event and have even offered to send tasteful brown flags to the worst beaches, so they can warn swimmers."

The UKs worst beaches

  1. Porthluney in Cornwall

  2. Southsea East in Hampshire

  3. Saint Mary’s Bay in Kent

  4. Littlestone in Kent

  5. Blackpool North in Lancashire

  6. St Annes North in Lancashire

  7. Heacham in Norfolk

  8. Weston Main, Weston Super Mare Sand Bay and Weston Super Mare Uphill Slipway in Somerset

  9. Dunster Beach in Somerset

  10. Bognor Regis, Aldwick, in Sussex

  11. Tynemouth Cullercoats in Tyne and Wear

  12. Scarborough South Bay in North Yorkshire

  13. Bridlington South Beach in East Riding of Yorkshire