A serene Cornwall fishing village has been named the UK’s best coastal destination, beating numerous tourist hotspots.
St Mawes, situated on the sparkling Fal estuary with a population of only 700 people, topped a poll of more than 4,000 readers of Which?, the consumer website.
Each destination was rated for the beach, food and drink, value for money and peace and quiet, among other things, with scores tallied out of 100.
The tiny hideaway scored 85 per cent in the survey, beating honeypots including Brighton at 66 per cent and Newquay which got just 56 per cent.
Situated on the Roseland peninsula, St Mawes features a Tudor castle shaped in a clover leaf, a picturesque harbour front peppered with cottages and is surrounded by towering cliff top walks.
It was among few in the survey to earn a five-star rating for peace and quiet, with other remote resorts including Southwold on the North Sea coast in East Suffolk and the fortress village of Bamburgh, Northumberland, also faring well.
However some more popular destinations ranked well, with Dartmouth, South Devon, placing second with an 84 per cent score. The estuary town is normally flooded with visitors each summer for its famous regatta.
The list was unveiled as holiday destinations in England started to gear up for the summer holidays and an expected influx of visitors, with many Brits ditching overseas travel for staycations.
Languishing at the bottom of the table was the honeypot resort of Skegness, which managed a customer rating of just 44 per cent, scoring one star of five in all categories except its beach.
Childhood seaside favourites Great Yarmouth and Clacton-on-Sea made up the bottom three, both earning a 48 per cent score.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor said: “With many people choosing to holiday in the UK this summer it is a good time to explore parts of the country you may not have considered before and to spread our sandcastles beyond the beaches of Devon and Cornwall.
“As our survey shows, it’s smaller seaside towns and villages with fewer visitors that holidaymakers love.
“Whether that’s hitting the waves in Tynemouth or camping in Criccieth, there are good options for those of us keen to keep our distance from the crowds this year but still want to combine stunning scenery with sumptuous seafood.”