‘Forget Miami, Edinburgh has the best beach’: Irvine Welsh and others on their favourite coastline

From solitary dips to teenage trysts, Irvine Welsh, Sebastian Barry, Kamila Shamsie, Cerys Matthews and Emma Jane Unsworth tell the stories behind the beaches they love

Cousteau country: scuba diving in Papua New Guinea

With a new film about Jacques Cousteau to be released, the Walindi Plantation Resort, the dive centre and institute he inspired, is still the first word in marine conservation

Southend-on-Sea: the arty way is Essex

Paul O’Grady obviously hasn’t visited Southend for a while … The resort where the East End still goes for old-fashioned seaside fun now has a thriving arts scene, too

Marshes, mud flats and migrating birds on Denmark’s Wadden Sea

A futuristic thatched visitor centre is the latest focal point in Denmark’s Unesco-listed coastal national park, perfect for twitchers, cyclists and oyster lovers

Hut stuff: Bournemouth’s new beach lodges

The seaside resort has re-imagined the classic British beach hut as a chic bolthole that makes for an idyllic family break