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Woolacombe in Devon named as one of the best beaches in Britain, Europe and the world

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Next time you're looking for a fabulous beach, you won't have to travel too far afield. 

A host of British beaches have been named among Europe and the world's best, according to a new TripAdvisor poll.

The travel website draws together millions of reviews to form lists of the leading beaches in UK, the Europe and the world for 2015.

Woolacombe in North Devon (pictured above) has come out trumps this year, ranking as the finest beach in Britain, the fourth best in Europe and the 13th best in the world.

A surfing hot spot, Woolacombe boasts three miles of golden sands flanked by the Woolacombe Downs. The unspoilt stretch of coastline spans the area between Baggy and Morte Points, and has a remote, bohemian air to it. Watersport enthusiasts are drawn by the unbroken Atlantic breakers which pound its shores. 

One TripAdvisor fan described it as "three miles of heaven. In wild weather, it is beautiful. In good weather, it is a delight".

Porthminster Beach, St Ives, UK

Porthminster Beach in St Ives

The dreamy Porthminster Beach in Cornwall, is another British beach that's celebrated in the poll.

Rated as the UK's fifth best beach, and among the top 20 in Europe, travellers are struck by the beauty of this golden crescent of sand in the seaside haven of  St. Ives. With magnificent views across to Godrevy Lighthouse, the muse for Virginia Woolf’s famous novel To the LighthousePorthminster has a tropical feel to it, thanks to a smattering of palm trees and clear, excellent quality waters. 

Other beaches that make up Britain's top five include Weymouth in Dorset, St. Brelade’s Bay in Jersey and Wales' Rhossili Bay -  the remote and magnificent "supermodel of British beaches" that stretches past the legendary sea serpent-shaped Worms Head on the most westerly tip of Gower. 

 

Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa, Italy

Rabbit Beach in Lampedusa, Italy

Leading the charge for Europe's best beach is Spiaggia dei Conigli (or "Rabbit Beach") on the island of Lampedusa, just off the coast of Sicily. There are, sadly, no rabbits but the cove is something of an animal lover's paradise, thanks to the loggerhead turtles that go there to lay their eggs, along with the dolphins that are often spotted offshore. And the beach, also ranked the third best in the world, is only accessible by boat - meaning the crowds are kept at bay.

According to TripAdvisor, the honour for the world's best beach goes to the glorious Baia do Sancho on the Fernando de Noronha archipelago in northeast Brazil. Nestled within cliffs covered in lush tropical vegetation, the only way to get to this pristine shore is via boat or a lengthy climb down a rickety ladder stairway. 

It's worth the trek, though, with a peaceful expanse of sand, sparkling emerald waters and gorgeous coral reef for snokelling. 

"As you walk through a small trail, you can't imagine what awaits you. The heavenly view seems like a mirage," reads one glowing review. 

Come see more about the world's leading beaches, below. 

Baia do Sancho beach in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Baia do Sancho beach in Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

TripAdvisor 2015 Poll

The top ten beaches in the UK

1. Woolacombe Beach, Devon

2. Weymouth Beach, Dorset

3. Rhossili Bay, Swansea

4. St. Brelade’s Bay Beach, Jersey

5. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall

6. Perranporth Beach, Cornwall

7. Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall 

8. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, Scotland

9. Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset 

10. Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset 


Elafonissi Beach in Greece; the third best in Europe

Elafonissi Beach in Greece; the third best in Europe

The top ten beaches in Europe

1. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

2. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

3. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece 

4. Woolacombe Beach, Devon 

5. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey 

6. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras, Cyprus 

7. Cala Rossa, Favignana, Italy 

8. Weymouth Beach, Dorset 

9. Eggremni Beach, Lefkada Greece 

10. Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa, Spain 


Whitehaven Beach in Australia; one of the world's finest

Whitehaven Beach in Australia; one of the world's finest

The top ten beaches in the world

1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

2. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Caribbean

3. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

4. Playa Paraiso Beach, Cayo Largo, Caribbean

5. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain

6. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles

7. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

8. Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Caribbean

9. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Australia

10. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece

Photos: ThinkStock

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