Brits warned to stay away from 83 beaches due to sewage being dumped into nearby waters - including Britain's 'best'

15 March 2023, 12:44 | Updated: 15 March 2023, 13:49

One of the beaches affected by sewage dumping is Gorleston Beach in Norfolk (L)
One of the beaches affected by sewage dumping is Gorleston Beach in Norfolk (L). Picture: Alamy/Sewage Pollution Alerts
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Brits are being urged not to swim at nearly 100 beaches after heavy rainfall caused sewage to be discharged into waters.

Campaigners Surfers Against Sewage have warned that swimming in these areas could cause illnesses from bacteria in the water.

There are 83 beach hotspots that Brits are being urged to avoid, including Gorleston Beach in Norfolk, which was recently named the 'best' beach in the country on TripAdvisor.

The beach, which was also named number 12 in Europe, was slapped with a warning by the charity.

It read: "Gorleston-on-Sea became popular in Edwardian times and is still a busy seaside resort. A number of sewer overflows discharge into the River Yare that flows to the sea at the northern end of the beach."

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There's a number of popular beaches on the list, including Southend Jubilee Beach, Sheerness, Folkestone, and Brighton.

Blackpool, Whitstable, Scarborough, Whitby and Seaham are also all on the list.

Southend Jubilee Beach
Southend Jubilee Beach. Picture: Getty

Some 400,000 discharges of untreated sewage into UK rivers took place in 2020, according the Surfers Against Sewage, as well as more than 5,000 into coastal bathing waters.

The Labour Party has also accused water companies of failing to tackle growing sewage in UK waters.

Jim McMahon, Labour's environment spokesman, said: "Labour will put a stop to this disgraceful practice by ensuring there can be enforcement of unlimited fines, holding water company bosses legally and financially accountable for their negligence, and by toughening up regulations that currently allow the system to be abused."

It comes after data from the Environment Agency showed since 2016, raw sewage has been released into the UK waters for a total of 9,427,355 hours. 

There has also been a 2,553 per cent increase in the number of monitored discharge hours between 2016 and 2021.

Full list of Britain's polluted beaches

Gorleston Beach in Norfolk
Gorleston Beach in Norfolk. Picture: Getty
  1. Dhoon Bay
  2. Spittal
  3. Warkworth
  4. Amble Links
  5. Druridge Bay North
  6. Druridge Bay South
  7. Blyth South Beach
  8. Tynemouth Cullercoats
  9. Seaham Hall Beach
  10. Seaham Beach
  11. Seaton Carew North
  12. Redcar Coatham
  13. Redcar Granville
  14. Redcar Stray
  15. Marske Sands
  16. Saltburn
  17. Whitby
  18. Scarborough North Bay
  19. Scarborough South Bay
  20. Bridlington South Beach
  21. Heacham
  22. Gorleston Beach
  23. Southend Three Shells
  24. Southend Jubilee Beach
  25. Sheerness Canterbury
  26. Minster Leas
  27. Leysdown
  28. West Beach, Whitstable
  29. Tankerton
  30. Herne Bay Central
  31. Herne Bay
  32. Sandgate
  33. Hythe
  34. St Marys Bay (Kent)
  35. St Leonards
  36. Bexhill
  37. Normans Bay
  38. Pevensey Bay
  39. Seaford
  40. Saltdean
  41. Brighton Kemptown
  42. Brighton Central - Brighton
  43. Hove Lawn
  44. Littlehampton
  45. Bognor Regis East
  46. Bognor Regis (Aldwick)
  47. Pagham
  48. Langstone Harbour
  49. Eastney
  50. Southsea East
  51. Stokes Bay
  52. Ryde
  53. Seagrove
  54. St Helens
  55. Bembridge
  56. Whitecliff Bay
  57. Yaverland
  58. Sandown
  59. Shanklin
  60. Lee-on-Solent
  61. Hillhead
  62. Cowes
  63. Gurnard
  64. Colwell Bay
  65. Totland Bay
  66. Pentewan
  67. Dunster North West
  68. Weston Main
  69. Weston-super-Mare Sand Bay
  70. Wharfe at Cromwheel - Ilkley Bathing Water
  71. Southport
  72. St Annes
  73. St Annes North
  74. Blackpool South
  75. Blackpool Central
  76. Blackpool North
  77. Bispham
  78. Cleveleys
  79. Fleetwood
  80. Morecambe North
  81. Walney Biggar Bank
  82. Walney Sandy Gap
  83. Walney West Shore