From the azure seas of the south coast to the remote and rugged coastline of Scotland, the UK has some of the most varied and awe-inspiring coastal walks. And it’s not just stunning vistas, the British coastline is home to a wide variety of wildlife, from playful dolphins to stinging jellyfish, sleepy seals to starfish filled rock pools. In fact there are over 1200 different species of plants and animals on the coast waiting to be admired.
St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall
If you’re new to walking holidays in the UK, there’s no better place to start than the nine-mile coastal walk from Lamorna Cove and winding along the South West Coast path, past the ‘prettiest village in England’, the coastal town of Newlyn, and the bustling Penzance, before arriving at the iconic St Michael’s Mount.
Taking around 5 hours, it’s ideal for beginners and can be broken up with mini-stop overs if you’re wanting to explore the South Coast and enjoy time relaxing on the golden sands.
Falmouth to Mylor, Cornwall
Another fabulous walk along the Cornish coast affords walkers stunning views from the clifftops over the English Chanel and has definite Daphne De Maurier Rebecca vibes. Taking around 2.5 hours, it’s the perfect way to spend a morning when holidaying in Cornwall.
Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Bat’s Head, Dorset
Visit one of England’s most striking natural wonders on the 6.1 mile walk along the Dorset Jurassic coastline. Avoid the crowds by heading out early and explore the cliffs and coves beyond before enjoying brunch at one of the beachside cafes. Check out the crystal clear waters of Man O’ War Beach too.
Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire
It’s not just the South coast that has stunning coastal walks, the Yorkshire coast has plenty on offer, including Robin Hood’s Bay. At just under 3 miles, the coastal walk takes you through the pretty (and often at times steep) winding walkways of the coastal village.
With pitched roofs, quaint cottages, and plenty of stops for refreshments it’s an idyllic way to spend a day.
Ardmeanach, Mull, Inner Hebrides
Situated on the western coast of the Scottish island of Mull, lies one of the wildest, rugged, and remote environments in the whole of the British Isles. 11-mile route is not the novice walker. Offering challenging routes, the single-track road winds its way along the southern side of the peninsula along Loch Scridain, where the sea is known simply by the locals as ‘The Wilderness’.
Both the Inner and Outer Hebrides offer stunning scenery but it’s essential to pack accordingly due to potential adverse weather conditions.
Surrounded by Blue Flag beaches, pretty harbours and pastel-coloured houses, the charming seaside towns of Tenby and Saundersfoot are home to plenty of coastal walks. But it’s the hike along the coastal path that really delivers. The 8-mile hike offers picture postcard views throughout.
The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is one of the most iconic sites of Northern Ireland, and offers far more than the legend of Finn McCool. The fascinating 40,000 basalt columns (the result of an ancient volcanic eruption) rise out the sea, creating a unique geometric pattern that looks like a stone forest – and it’s also one of the most breath-taking coastal walks in all of Europe.
Situated in the town of Bushmills, just over an hours drive from Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes the Dunluce Castle and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. The Causeway is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, but hopefully, you’ll find more to discover as you explore and discover.
What to take on UK coastal walks
The UK has an abundance of coastal walks and they’re some of the best in the world. It’s essential to wrap up warm as remote areas will not have phone signal and the weather can change quickly. We’d always suggest people know where you have gone and you do not go too close to the cliff edge.
It’s also essential you know how long circular routes are and be wary of uneven ground. Please be mindful of informational signs and collapsing cliffs due to coastal erosion.
Where possible, you should always take a rucksack with you containing:
- Quality walking boots
- Plenty of water and high-energy snacks (like banana’s, biscuits and chocolate)
- A good quality waterproof jacket for a sudden change in weather conditions (like rain or mist)
Recommended extras for remote areas:
- A comprehensive first aid kit. In addition to the usual supplies like bandages and disinfectant, be sure to include sunscreen and a blister kit in your first aid kit
- A lightweight survival blanket or foil emergency blanket; also called space blankets or Mylar emergency blankets
- A good quality map, whistle and a compass
- Tide tables and torch