GLORIOUS Dorset beaches have been celebrated in a prestigious worldwide competition.

Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth and Sandbanks in Poole were ranked 9th and 10th in the UK respectively in the TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice awards.

Weymouth came second in the UK and also featured in eighth place in the European rankings.

“These awards recognise the best in the UK and worldwide, based on the reviews and ratings from travellers around the globe,” said James Kay from TripAdvisor.

“What we may lack in all year round sun, the UK more than makes up for in gorgeous coastline scenery.”

Councillor Lawrence Williams, Bournemouth’s cabinet member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “We are delighted with the fantastic news that Hengistbury Head has been named as one of the top ten beaches in the UK.

“As a Special Area for Conservation, it is a stunning location for visitors and residents.

“The beautiful beach here complements Bournemouth’s seven miles of award winning beach which make the town a brilliant beach destination for all ages.”

Cllr Xena Dion, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for the Natural Environment, Borough of Poole, said: “Our beaches are an extremely important part of our environment and are a major attraction for visitors.

"We work very hard to maintain our beaches to a high standard and it is fantastic that Sandbanks has been recognised as one of the country’s top 10 beaches in what is a very influential website."

Woolacombe Beach in Devon took the title of number one beach in the UK and was also named fourth best rated beach in Europe and thirteenth best rated in the world.

For the second year running, Baia do Sancho in Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha, an archipelago with UNESCO world heritage status, has been crowned the number one beach in the world.

A bay of crystalline water and soft white sand, the beach is surrounded by towering cliffs covered by vegetation that attracts a multitude of exotic wildlife.

List of the top 10 beaches in...

...the UK

1. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Devon
2. Weymouth Beach, Weymouth, Dorset
3. Rhossili Bay, Rhossili, Swansea
4. St. Brelade's Bay Beach, St. Brelade, Jersey
5. Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall
6. Perranporth Beach, Perranporth, Cornwall
7. Fistral Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
8. Luskentyre, Isle of Harris
9. Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth, Dorset
10. Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset


1. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy
2. Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Spain
3. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Greece
4. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Devon, United Kingdom
5. Iztuzu Beach, Dalyan, Turkey
6. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras, Cyprus
7. Cala Rossa, Favignana, Italy
8. Weymouth Beach, Weymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom
9. Eggremni Beach, Lefkada Greece
10. Playa de Bolonia, Tarifa, Spain

...the world

1. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
2. Grace Bay, Providenciales
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
13. Woolacombe Beach, Woolacombe, Devon, United Kingdom