England’s most polluted beaches revealed including Watcombe and St Mary’s Bay - full list

Here are some of the England’s most polluted beaches according to TimeOut.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

If you are planning to go to the beach this summer for a swim, you may want to think again as the water could contain significant amounts of pollution (yes, we are talking about excrement as well), which might potentially ruin your experience.

According to a new interactive map by a national newspaper as published by travel magazine TimeOut, prospective swimmers can simply type in their postcode to find out whether their local coastline is safe. The map details pollution levels and its swimming status as well as swimming advice.

Topping the list is St Mary’s Bay in Kent, which was hit with a year-long ‘do not swim’ warning due to a huge spike in faecal matter discovered in the water. The beach has also been classified as ‘poor’ by the Environment Agency last year as the river takes drainage from the surrounding marshland, which includes agricultural runoff and private sewage effluents.

Second place goes to Bognor Regis in West Sussex, which the Environment Agency has also classified as ‘poor’ last year. According to the agency’s investigation over the past few years, the surface water drainage is suspected of being a significant source of contamination to the bathing water.

A spokesperson said: “The investigations have involved sampling the numerous surface water outfalls to the beach during wet weather events. Some of the samples were analysed using a DNA identification technique that helps to show whether sources of pollution are human or animal. This helped us to identify and resolve misconnections to the foul sewerage system.”

Recently, some water companies were hit with significant fines for discharging raw sewage into Britain’s rivers. Anglian Water, a water company, was forced to pay £510,000 in January after dumping 23 hours’ worth of untreated water into a river, killing around 5000 fish.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Water providers have been accused of pouring pollutants into British rivers more than 372,000 times, according to The Guardian. Even Blue Flag Beaches, which are known for being the cleanest and safest in the UK, have not been spared the sewage dumpage.

UK’s most polluted beaches revealed - full list

  • St Mary’s Bay, Kent
  • Bognor Regis, West Sussex
  • Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach, Dorset
  • Watcombe, Devon
  • Dunster Beach, Devon
  • Instow, Cornwall
  • Rock beach, Cornwall
  • Ilfracombe, Devon
  • Burnham Jetty North, Somerset
  • Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay, Somerset
  • Weston Main, Somerset
  • Wolvercote Mill Stream, Oxfordshire
  • Blackpool North, Lancashire
  • Wharfe at Cromwell, Yorkshire
  • Tunstall, Yorkshire
  • Scarborough South Bay, Yorkshire
  • Bridlington South Beach, Yorkshire
  • Tynemouth Cullercoats, Tyneside
  • Heacham, Norfolk
  • Allonby South, Cumbria
  • Silloth, Cumbria
  • Clacton, Essex