BOURNEMOUTH beach has been named the best in the UK – and the fifth best in Europe.

It was also named the 14th best beach in the world in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, ranking above beaches in locations world famous for their miles of golden sands and crystal clear waters, including the Seychelles, Australia, Turkey and Sicily.

TripAdvisor said: “Bournemouth’s seven mile stretch of sandy beach has something to offer everyone with its traditional seaside attractions, famous beach huts for hire, water sports and stunning views of the Isle of Wight and the Purbecks. The bay also boasts its own micro-climate, giving it some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK.”

Hengistbury Head was named the seventh best beach in the UK, while Weymouth took fifth place.

Councillor Pat Oakley, Portfolio Holder for Tourism in Bournemouth, said, “We’re delighted and honoured to top the TripAdvisor list.

“We’re especially thrilled with our international ranking. As the UK’s Best Seaside Town, we’re immensely proud to offer world class beaches on British shores without the need to travel abroad.”

Hayley Coleman, TripAdvisor spokesperson, said: “Year after year UK beaches continue to beat many others located in exotic destinations around the globe, proving that it’s not just good weather that makes a cracking beach.

“Even with the lack of hot weather that the UK is known for, our beaches still stand up as some of the best rated in the world – and all right on our doorstep.”

Scotland’s Luskentyre, on the Isle of Harris, was voted second best beach in the UK and 16th in Europe, while Rhossili Bay, located in Swansea County, Wales, came third in the UK and 25th in Europe.

La Concha Beach in San Sebastian was named the best beach in Europe, while Grace Bay in Providenciales, the main island of Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, is the best beach in the world.

The winning beaches are chosen based on the quality and quantity of traveller reviews and ratings for beaches on TripAdvisor gathered over a 12-month period.