Britain's beaches have had one of their best years in a quarter of a century of the Good Beach Guide, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has said.
Across the UK, 461 beaches were given the top "recommended" award for having excellent bathing water quality in the guide, the third highest number in the guide's 24-year history, and a significant increase on last year.
Some 42 more bathing spots reached the top grade in 2011 than in 2010. But 46 failed to meet even the basic standards of water quality set in European law 35 years ago, a slight increase on last year's figure of 41.
And with stricter standards coming into force from 2015 - but being monitored from next year - the society raised concerns that almost double the number of beaches could fail in the future.
Blackpool's south and central beaches, St Andrews' east sands, the beach at Aberdyfi, Gwynedd, Wales, and Lyme Regis's church beach were among the coastal stretches which failed the current tests for water quality.
But Bude's Summerleaze beach and Par, both in Cornwall, managed to turn around their fortunes, going from failing the standards last year to being "recommended" this year.
Other top quality beaches recommended by the Good Beach Guide include Polzeath and Newquay in Cornwall, Bognor Regis in West Sussex, Sheringham in Norfolk, Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Portobello central beach in Edinburgh, and Portrush in Antrim, Northern Ireland.
The MCS grades 758 beaches around the UK and the Channel Islands, with the cleanest spots given the "recommended" status. Beaches which meet the higher quality level under current EU rules are given the "guideline" grade, while those which reach the mandatory minimum levels are given a "basic pass" and those that do not meet the standards are classed as failing.
Rachel Wyatt, MCS coastal pollution officer, said: "The next few years are critical as the quality of the UK's bathing waters can play a vital role in the economic recovery of our traditional seaside resorts.
"Making sure their local beaches are ready to comply with the revised Bathing Water Directive is a huge opportunity for local authorities and chambers of commerce to attract increasing numbers of tourists to the UK's coastline."