It’s safe to say Cornwall is world famous for its beaches, but Scotland? Compared to their south west rivals, Scotland’s beaches definitely fall more into the under the radar category. Here at Snaptrip, we already consider ourselves connoisseurs of the stunning seaside destinations that exist north of the border, so we decided it’s time to launch our official investigation: which of these two parts of the UK definitively has “the best beaches”? Let’s find out!
We started by looking at the stone cold facts about both areas. Cornwall boasts over 250 miles of coastline including over 300 beaches, while Scotland has a estimated 8,197 miles of coastline and so many beaches we can’t even find a definitive number! Considering Scotland’s coastline is over 3000% longer than Cornwall’s, it is safe to guess Scotland also has more beaches. Now, before anyone complains that Scotland is a country and Cornwall is a county, we’ve taken this into consideration, but it still doesn’t stop most people assuming that Cornwall is the obvious beach destination of the two.
Next we looked for some expert opinions to help us decide our winner. We found that Keep Britain Tidy and Keep Scotland Beautiful both run their own Beach Awards each year so we dived into their press releases to examine the statistics. Cornwall has 14 beaches with Seaside Awards while Scotland has 59. Both awards are dished out for beaches that are clean, safe and part of a well managed coastline. The award in England also looks at how attractive beaches are while the Scottish award also assesses access to facilities and how well the needs of beaches users are met. Scotland has 300% more awards for its beaches than Cornwall, and so once again – there can only be one winner!
Quantity and cleanliness of beaches ticked off, we wanted to understand which beaches would have the most comfortable climate. We fired up Wolfram Alpha (the computational knowledge engine) and set to work with our queries. Amusingly, the current temperature in Scotland is actually a degree higher than in Cornwall, but that wouldn’t be fair – everywhere is allowed an off day every so often. Looking back over the average weekly mean temperatures for the last five years shows us that (unsurprisingly) Cornwall consistently has the better weather.
You can present as many statistics and measurements as you want but we decided to put the power in the people’s hand, which is why we asked the general public, “Which of these beaches do you prefer?”. We pitted pretty pictures of of Scottish and Cornish beaches against in a survey taken by 100 UK residents. The result? An impressive 82% of respondents went for the Scottish beach over its Cornish opponent. There was some variation between the genders, with 80% of female respondents voting for Scotland vs 84% of male respondents. Looking at age also reveals some interesting preferences: with 94% voting for Scotland the 18-24 year olds certainly made their favourite clear. Amongst 55+ respondents Cornwall fared a lot better, picking up 36% of the vote.
So, after looking at lengths of coastline, numbers of awards won, average temperatures, and conducting our own survey there can only be one winner!
Overall Winner: Scotland
p.s. As you can probably guess, we love Scotland and Cornwall equally, for their beaches, culture and wonderfully friendly locals.
Welcome to Scotland
The Seaside Awards
Keep Scotland Beautiful
Wolfram Alpha Temperature data
Images used in survey: Scotland: Silver Sands of Morar. https://www.instagram.com/p/BU6GOrxhznA/?taken-at=264027594
Cornwall: Fistral Beach. https://www.instagram.com/p/BXL6BiCl-D9/?taken-at=1824951501164769