IT’S official – Bournemouth has the best beach in the UK.

The resort came top in a list of the top ten UK beaches in a survey by the TripAdvisor company, and even proved a match for the Costas and the Canaries by coming fourth in a list of Europe’s top sands.

Dorset fared particularly well in the UK list, with Swanage named as the ninth best beach and Weymouth claiming the number eight spot.

The second best UK beach was St Brelades in Jersey, with Woolacombe in Devon coming third.

The top European beach was Oludeniz in Turkey, while another Turkish beach, Icmeler, took second place and Puerto Alcudia in Majorca came third.

TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said: “These awards recognise the UK’s and Europe’s best beach destinations, according to those that really matter – travellers themselves.

“Bournemouth has long been a popular seaside resort and recent investment in the area has clearly paid off.

“Not only has it been named the UK’s best beach destination, up from third place last year, but it’s also ranked ahead of almost every Mediterranean beach destination.”

Mark Smith, director of Bournemouth Tourism, said, “We’re absolutely thrilled that Bournemouth has been voted the best beach in the UK.

“There’s no doubt that the seven-mile sweep of sandy beaches draws visitors of every age here year round, and to have topped the poll not only in the UK but also to be the only British beach in the European top 10 is fantastic.

“With a huge choice of seafront accommodation and restaurants, a line-up of the best beach huts in the country and plenty of water sports, we offer something special for every taste and interest.”