Off Duty: A few of your favourite beaches

To mark the start of our glorious summer, GP launched an appeal last month to ask you to tell us the best beaches you have had the privilege of visiting.

The replies showed that many of you have travelled to far-flung places to feel sand between your toes, but what delighted us was the number of responses that hailed beaches from the British Isles as some of the most perfect on earth.

Thank you to all those who responded. We thought Dr Simon O'Hagan from Londonderry in Northern Ireland picked a great one. His favourite beach is not far from him, over the border at Portsalon, County Donegal, Ireland. His comments really captured the essence of this wonderful coastline:

'The main beach in Portsalon goes on for miles. It has a small strip of water running through it into the sea, which the kids love to paddle in. There is a great pub close by with a smaller beach right next to it, which means that you can buy a beautiful pint of cold Guinness and bring it on to the beach. Paradise indeed.

'It is certainly one of the most relaxing places I have been to - I think of it as a place to escape from the daily turmoil of general practice because it is only about an hour's drive from where I work. Check it out - you will not be disappointed.'

Other recommendations included:

Dr Jim Lawrie, a GP in London, needs only to travel to the Isle of Wight to find his best beach, at Compton Bay.

Berkshire GP Dr Niall Riddell suggests Parr Beach in St Martin's, on the Isles of Scilly.

Dr Bharat Thaker from South Oxhey, Hertfordshire, recommends the remote islands and beaches of the Maldives.

Dr Allan Harris, a GP in York, favours Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire.

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