The best seaside destinations in the UK for EV drivers
Planning a trip to the coast this year but you are worried about getting there and back in your electric vehicle? Don’t stress, we’ve created an index to show the UK’s most EV friendly seaside destinations, including the number of charging points, and the cost of parking in each place.
To find the top EV seaside destinations across the UK, we have created an index based on seven different factors:
- Number of EV charging points
- Cheapest EV car park
- Sunshine (hours)
- Average Rainfall
- Average Temperature
- Beach Cleanliness
- Number of Fish and Chip shops
The index focused on 25 of the best-known seaside resorts in the UK. After combining all the data, each destination was given a score from 1-25 in each category – the highest number coming out on top.
So which beach location is the best to visit by EV?
The South Coast of England featured heavily in our list, and this is perhaps no surprise, with nearly two thirds (62%) of seaside day-trippers, heading to a beach in the south.
1 – Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Portsmouth, with the seafronts of Old Portsmouth and Southsea came out as the UK’s most EV-friendly seaside destination. Here there are 37 different EV charging points an offer, and you can even park for less than £1 per hour at Victory Retail Park.
You won’t be short of parking, and neither will it break the bank, but Portsmouth also has some of the best weather amongst the country’s seaside destinations and food options are aplenty, with 38 fish and chip options on the Portsmouth coast.
2 – Bournemouth, Dorset, England
Staying in the South of England, the popular seaside destination of Bournemouth came second place in our index. Here there are 28 EV charging points and with some costing just over £1 (£1.12 per hour), it is a great location to visit with an electric vehicle.
With average temperatures in August reaching 22°C and plenty of sunshine hours (208), the weather should also be on your side when visiting the popular ‘clean beach’ destination.
3 – Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
Planning a seaside trip to the east coast in an EV? The lovely seaside resort town of Great Yarmouth should be high on your list.
There is easy access to the glorious sandy beaches and 22 EV charging spots from as little as £1 per hour. Nice weather and 57 different fish and chip options also means that it is perhaps no surprise that Great Yarmouth made the top three EV friendly seaside destinations.
4 – Margate, Kent, England
Weather is always a big factor when visiting the beach for the day and Margate is one of your best options. Our research found it ranks top for the average maximum temperature in August (22°C), has the least rainfall of any seaside destination in our study (just 50mm on average in August) and has 225 hours of sunshine throughout the month.
With 20 EV charging points, a high beach cleanliness score and over 20 fish and chip shops to choose from, it is certainly a strong contender for a coastal daytrip in an EV.
5 – Brighton, Sussex, England
The popular seaside resort of Brighton is extremely friendly when it comes to EVs. There are 46 different charging stations on offer and EV car parking from just £1.60 per hour, meaning you will have plenty of charge for your journey home.
Especially popular amongst Londoners, Brighton beach has a four-mile promenade to enjoy with 60 fish and chip shops to choose from and expected good weather with average max temperature of 21°C and only 59mm of rainfall in August.
In positions 6-15 were…
- Hastings (East Sussex, England)
- Folkestone (Kent, England)
- Weymouth (Dorset, England)
- Tynemouth (Northumberland, England)
- Skegness (Lincolnshire, England)
- Newquay (Cornwall, England)
- Southend-on-Sea (Essex, England)
- Blackpool (Lancashire, England)
- Exmouth (Devon, England)
- Weston-Super-Mare (Somerset, England)
Tynemouth, which is just eight miles from Newcastle, is most EV friendly seaside destination in the North of England with 36 EV charging spots on offer and some car parks are even free for electric vehicles.
Other popular seaside towns in the north such as Whitby and Scarborough may offer a great number of fish and chip shops, but they are limited when it comes to being EV friendly with very few EV charging points and parking spots. When planning a day out to the Yorkshire East Coast, it is wise to plan your journey with a charging station on-route rather than expect one to be available on arrival.
The Top 10 UK Seaside Destinations for EV Charging & Parking
When focusing solely on the number of EV charging points and the price of parking, these are the top coastal destinations across the UK…
|EV Charging Spots
|Cheapest EV car park (per hour)
|King Alfred – £1.60
|Victory Retail Park – £0.80
|Beacon Street – Free
|Albany Road – £1.20
|Madeira Road – £1.12
|Houndshill Shopping Centre- £1.17
|Fullers Hill £1
|Mill Lane – £1.60
|Civic Centre £1.10
|Bannatyne Health Club – £0.25
All the EV-friendly seaside destinations offer cheap car parks (with EV charging points), only costing around £1 per hour and some locations even less than £1 or free if you are one of the first to arrive!
There should be no issue charging your EV vehicle at these destinations, but other coastal destinations do lack EV charging facilities such as St Ives, Torquay, Bamburgh and Salcombe. We would recommend planning your route carefully when travelling to these destinations to ensure you don’t get caught out.
Which seaside destinations have the best weather?
When planning a trip to the seaside, weather is always a crucial factor. We have researched the expected weather in August across the most popular seaside destinations, including average temperatures (°C), average rainfall (mm) and average sunshine (hours):
Top 10 seaside destinations for most sunshine hours:
|Top 10 – Highest Ave Sunshine Hours (Month of August)
Our findings show the weather really is better in the south, especially when it comes to sunshine. All the top ten coastal locations for sunshine hours are situated in the southern counties of England. Although don’t let that stop you visiting beaches in the North, the sun does come out a fair amount in the summer.
Hastings in East Sussex gets on average 50 more hours of sun than the coastal town of Llandudno in North Wales though.
Top 10 seaside destinations for temperature:
|Top 10 Seaside Locations by Average Temperature
Again, the average temperatures are dominated by the southern coastal destinations. However, Skegness makes a surprise appearance ranked sixth. The seaside town located in Lincolnshire has an average maximum temperature of over 20°C (21.3°C).
Top 10 seaside destinations for least rainfall:
|Average Rainfall (MM in August)
A rainy trip to the seaside isn’t for everyone, so take a look at the top destinations where little rain is expected but it is also important to check the weather forecast before you start your journey! Especially if visiting St Ives, as it is the wettest beach in the UK, averaging 108.1mm of rain a month in an average summer.
How to plan your journey to a seaside resort with an EV
When embarking on long journeys to visit the beach, there are a few things you need to be aware of:
- Plan your route – make sure that you take a route to your destination that will have charging stations (have a backup if your first choice is full). To avoid the stress of having less than 10% charge left, we recommend charging with 10-20% left to enjoy a stress-free journey.
- Before you set off – ensure your car is fully charged, you’ve checked your tyre pressure and condition, you’ve topped up your screen wash and you’ve checked for any warning lights.
- Find an EV-friendly destination – finding a charging station or EV adapted car park can be extremely useful. You can charge your vehicle while you enjoy a day out at the beach, and you will have full charge once you are ready to commence your journey home.
- Be mindful of ways your EV battery can lose charge – charging your devices when driving can lead to vehicle battery losses and you should also be mindful of hot summer days. They can cause EV batteries to overheat, so when parking at the beach, a shaded spot is recommended.
Our research has found that the most popular seaside destinations are becoming more attractive to EV vehicle owners. Ten of the destinations have 18 or more separate charging spots and offer very reasonable car parking prices.
Although not every seaside resort in the UK is accommodating for EV vehicles, there are still alternative ways to charge the vehicle on route and this shouldn’t stop your day out.
Moving to an EV can still enable you to go on days to the seaside, travel to work and go about your day-to-day lives.
One of the main worries for people switching to an EV is range anxiety.With government plans to have 300,000 public charging points by 2030 and workplace charging schemes, charging EV vehicles will get even easier.
Our sources and methodology
Sources and methodology
The index focused on 25 of the best-known seaside resorts in the UK. The 25 seaside resorts were selected after desk research into the locations most frequently featured in ‘most popular seaside resort’ lists.
The EV seaside index used eight different sources and created a ranking system based on the results.
Data sources used:
- Number of EV Charging Points: https://www.carwow.co.uk/electric-cars/charging-points – the more charging points the better.
- Cheapest EV Car Park: https://en.parkopedia.co.uk/ – the cheaper the better.
- Sunshine (hours), Average Rainfall, Average Temperature (August only): https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-climate-averages/ – the more sunshine and higher average temperature the better, the lower the total rainfall the better.
- Beach Cleanliness Rating: http://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/ – the higher the ranking, the better.
- Number of Fish and Chip shops: https://www.google.com/ – searched maps by “town name + fish and chips” and noted down the number of results in the city centre. The more results, the better.
After combining all the data sources the towns were ranked from 1-25 in each category.
For example, as the town with the highest average temperature, Margate was awarded 25 points, and the coldest town in Bamburgh was awarded one point. This process was repeated for each data point, and the seaside resorts were then ranked by the highest combined number.