With glorious sunshine and soft golden sand against your feet, you could be forgiven for thinking this is somewhere tropical and much closer to the equator. Tynemouth Longsands is a beautiful mile long stretch of beach in North East England. It is a popular surf destination and has an English Heritage site at one end of the coastline. For great views, walking, soaking up sun during summer months and hitting the surf, there is no better place.
It's easy to fall in love with white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, and endless blue skies, but there's something to be said for the black sand, jungle-covered beaches of Colombia's northern Pacific coast. Lined by mountains covered in thick vegetation, crisscrossed by cool rivers, and dotted with rocky outcrops, the warm, clear waters of the Pacific sparkle under the powdery black sand, reflecting the deep greens of the virgin jungles behind it. It feels like the end of the world, with cities a faraway, faded memory, erased by the warm, salty breeze, the constant rain that washes everything clean, making the jungle come alive.
The shores of Simpang Mengayau lie at the northern tip of Borneo, around a three and a half hour drive from the slow fishing village of Kudat. Relatively unspoilt, this beach feels like a real secret spot on your Malaysian travels - you won't find it on the regular 'Best Beach' lists. Local kids play football and body board in the waves and the sunsets are spectacular, especially if you've lit a beach fire and have a few cold drinks with newfound friends....!