Britain has the most beautiful coastline, offering some incredible views – it is something we should all be proud of. As a country, we enjoy the freedom to roam and explore these unique landscapes and seascapes.
In 2021, the England Coast Path plans to join the gaps between the long-distance footpaths and improve existing trails.
This hasn’t been an easy task so far, it has involved a lot of red tape, persuading many property owners to agree to walkers crossing their land.
When it’s completed, it will be the longest coastal path on the planet. Given the size of our little island, that’s a pretty impressive accomplishment.
Along the walks, see historic villages and towns, as well as the stunning beaches — featuring creamy sand and pebble coves.
This beautiful coastline offers an glimpse of our rich seafaring and smuggling history, our castles and forts, our myths and legends, our wildlife and our people. Here are ten of the best summer coastal walks...
1. Eastbourne to Cuckmere Haven - South Downs meets the sea
This ten-mile East Sussex walk starts at Eastbourne Pier. Promenade the smart seafront then join the South Downs Way.
There are views of Beachy Head, and when you reach the infamous spot, there’s another stonking vista — the iconic Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, gleaming white against the sea. While you cross them, spot birds and butterflies and inhale the scent of herbs.
Cuckmere Haven, where the Cuckmere River meanders into the sea, is a delightful place to end the walk.
2. Studlands Bay to Old Harry Rocks - dazzling Dorset
For a quick escape, walk one mile along the Studland Beach sand dunes trail to the spectacular chalk stacks known as Old Harry Rocks, from Knoll Beach car park.
The path wiggles through dunes and past heathland awash with purple heather and yellow gorse.
Old Harry Rocks rise from the sea at Handfast Point and mark the end of the Jurassic Coast.
3. Trevose Head to Treyarnon Bay - peachy beaches and views
Start at Cornwall’s Trevose Head for the lighthouse and 80ft-wide blowhole, then set off on this 5.5-mile wander along the South West Coast Path.
The area is steeped in myth and legend and has some of the county’s most spectacular beaches, from rocky coves to sandy sweeps, such as Constantine Bay and Booby’s Bay (named after a seabird).
Keep an eye out for dolphins and seals.
4. Cleveleys Beach - Blackpool’s arty side
Cleveleys Beach, near Blackpool, has a lot to offer.
The Mythic Coast art trail — aka The Sea Swallow — is a series of sculptures based on local fact and folklore.
The best selfie spots are next to the exquisite metal giant shell or stone ogre.
5. Walney Island - in full bloom
This Cumbrian island connects to the mainland by a bridge. Migrating birds often touch down among the marshes and reed pools, so this is prime ‘twitching’ territory.
Plant life is rich, with carpets of wildflowers in the summer.
Views across Morecambe Bay and to the Lake District fells are spectacular.
6. Craster to Bamburgh - castle to castle
Cute Craster, known for its kippers, is the starting point of a 13-mile walk along the Northumberland Coast Path.
From here the route reaches Embleton Bay’s wonderful beach, and the ruins of 14th-century sea fortress Dunstanburgh Castle. The route continues to Beadnell, with its wild sands.
At Seahouses, spot the Farne Islands offshore, plus the castles at Lindisfarne (Holy Island) and Bamburgh. After Seahouses, the path diverts slightly inland, but if the tide is out, skip it and walk the last bit via the beach.
7. Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay - literary legends
Bram Stoker found inspiration for his famous novel ‘Dracula’ while staying in historic Whitby, with its atmospheric Abbey ruins.
That’s where this walk begins, before striking off for seven miles of the Cleveland Way towards the old smuggler’s haunt, Robin Hood’s Bay.
It’s a pretty route, hugging the cliffs on undulating headland. It takes you past Whitby lighthouse and disused alum pits, too.
8. Chapel St Leonards to Mablethorpe - lovely Lincs
This ten-miler, a new stretch of the England Coast Path, opens-up an unspoilt part of Lincolnshire.
At Chapel St Leonards, the architecturally engaging North Sea Observatory is partially reopen, with cafe takeaways.
From here, beaches are protected as an important bird habitat. Between Wolla Bank and Mablethorpe look for branches poking up at the shore’s edge. A submerged prehistoric forest, which once stretched to the Continent, can sometimes be seen at low tide.
9. Aldeburgh to Thorpeness - Suffolk sculpture
This easy stroll starts on Aldeburgh’s beach, first passing Maggi Hambling’s famous scallop shell sculpture, dedicated to former local Benjamin Britten.
Rare flowers such as yellow horned-poppies and sea peas have pushed up through the shingle alongside the path.
Thorpeness was created as a fantasy holiday haven. While there, circle around the 60-acre Meare, a lake with ornamental gardens.
Most visitors, rather than following the coast path back, head to the RSPB North Warren Nature Reserve to see dragonflies, bitterns, and nightingales.
10. Deal to St Margaret's Bay - white cliffs view
Genteel Deal is where this walk of just over five miles begins. Enjoy the seafront view from the pier before hitting the England Coast Path.
It passes Walmer Castle, one-time residence of the Duke of Wellington, before ducking down to Kingsdown with its pub on the beach — closed right now, so bring a picnic. The views over the White Cliffs of Dover are mesmerising.
At St Margaret’s Bay, look out for the two white villas on the beach, once belonging to Noel Coward and Ian Fleming.
- Source: Dailymail.co.uk