More than 50 English beaches have met tough new EU standards to receive Blue Flag awards for 2013.
And a further 113 beaches in England are clean enough to get Seaside Awards (formerly Quality Coast Awards).
The results were announced by Keep Britain Tidy which administers the Blue Flag and Seaside Awards schemes in England.
The Blue Flag 55-beach total for 2013 is down on the 79-beach total for last year but beaches this year were subject to much tougher standards. They had to meet a new "excellent" standard required under the new EU Bathing Waters Directive.
Beaches also had to provide information to beach users advising where they can obtain real time information on discharges from nearby combined sewage overflows, if that discharge could temporarily affect the bathing water quality.
The region with the most Blue Flags this year, with eight, was Thanet in Kent, whose resorts include Margate and West Wittering. The Dorset regions of Poole and Bournemouth had four Blue Flags, as did Torbay in Devon and the Isle of Wight, which also had 13 Seaside Awards.
Other well-known beaches which were awarded Blue Flags this year included Central Beach in Skegness, Lincolnshire; Lowestoft South Claremont in Suffolk; Martello Bay at Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, and Whitby in Yorkshire.
Keep Britain Tidy operations director Richard McIlwain said: "It is fantastic news for everyone who loves visiting the seaside that so many beaches' places will be flying a flag that guarantees the public the best facilities and the cleanest beaches this summer."
He continued: "We campaign to improve the quality of our local environment and we know that communities up and down the country love their beaches and understand what an asset they are for their towns' economies.
"We also know that cleaner beaches can be a focal point for stronger communities. Holidaymakers and daytrippers want to visit clean, safe beaches and the sight of the Blue Flag or Seaside Award flying gives them the reassurance that they will."