There’s nothing better than visiting the coast for a day out. The advantage of living in the UK is that wherever you live, you’ll be able to reach coastal points whether you’re in the mainland or further afield. Although the weather might not always be tropical and we often fall short of catching rays by the shore; the sound of the waves crashing upon the eroded rocks, the calling of seabirds and the fresh sea air gracing your face is just some of the reasons why we love being by the sea. We also reminisce about coastal walks, they remind of us of our childhood and days out growing up. Full of adventure, mini golf and 99’s with raspberry sauce – what’s not to love? We would recommend you Google ‘coastal walks near me’ if you’re unsure of where the closest is to you. Now that we’re able to travel again, try going further to somewhere you haven’t been before. You may find hidden gems or a stretch of a secluded beach which looks untouched and may possibly carry on and on for miles. From Cornish clifftops to Scottish porcelain sands, please read on for the top 10 best coastal walks.
Find a coastal walk near you
1. Botany Bay Broadstairs
Botany Bay is situated within Kent’s northernmost point of seven bays in Broadstairs on the south east coast of England. “It was named after Botany Bay in Australia as local smugglers were caught on the beach and deported to Botany Bay, hence the name.” states The Beach Guide. Featuring large chalk cliffs and a 660ft long sandy white beach, Botany Bay is quieter than most of Kent’s other beaches and is known for walking, wild-swimming and exploration of the rocks. For the adventurers out there, the bay is great for surfing, kayaking and canoeing and if you come into trouble, lifeguards are on duty to help keep you safe. Unfortunately, if you plan to take your dog with you they are banned in the daytime from May through to September. Did you forget to pack your foldable camping chair? Not to worry, the bay has deck chair rental service. Slow down and take it all in – you wouldn’t want to miss a thing here.
2. Mill Bay Salcombe
Mill Bay is a secluded privately owned beach great for young families and dog owners at the mouth of the Salcombe estuary. Golden sand, clean safe swimming with many rock pools to explore; a swim set, pair of aqua shoes and bucket and spade are a must for your little ones. The walking trail has plenty of moderate hills which takes around 1-2 hours to complete and paths can get muddy so we would recommend walking boots or shoes to help keep your feet comfortable and dry. We would also recommend taking care when walking above the cliffs. If you take your dog, please be aware of livestock.
3. Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is around 4 hours to complete which starts and finishes at the station car park. Legend has it, Robin Hood encountered French pirates who came to pillage the fisherman’s boats and the northeast coast. The pirates surrendered and Robin Hood returned to loot the poor people in the village that is now called Robin Hood’s Bay. Great for coastal walks, nature lovers and people fascinated with history. The 6 mile walk from the Bay to Maw Wyke follows the well-signposted Cleveland Way National Trail on the outward part. No walking poles or accessories are needed to complete the walk, just one steep climb up through the caravan park before you reach Maw Wyke. On the way back, the track is a lot flatter so you will be accompanied with horse riders and cyclists. We would advise that your dog be on a lead when you’re by the cliffs and passing by animals and cyclists.
4. The Jurassic Coast Dorset
You’re a fan of the film, now to visit Dorset for the real thing! Well, not quite the real thing… but its close and it should definitely be on your list of things to do. It stretches for 95 miles between Old Harry Rocks at Studland Bay in Dorset to Exmouth in East Devon, great for long walks and fossil hunting with the kids.
5. St Abb’s Head Eyemouth
St Abb’s Head is a rocky promontory by the village of St Abbs in Berwickshire, Scotland, and a national nature reserve administrated by the National Trust for Scotland. You’ll need your walking boots or walking shoes for this one as the terrain underfoot can often be quite uneven and rocky. Pack a picnic and enjoy the open air and spectacular sea views of this remote and wild clifftop. Discover wildlife from a vantage point and watch as thousands of seabirds glide gracefully to the rocks where nests can be found. Be in awe over the crystal clear turquoise waters and stop to take in the beauty of your surroundings. If you head further inland to the Mire Loch, you’ll be in search of swans, ducks, and butterflies. You may even come across Scottish wildflowers which are spotted in clusters among the grassland.
6. Luskentyre Beach Isle of Harris
Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides is famed for its fine silver sands, crystal clear water and unbelievable coastal views. Home to two celeb ponies who feature on photographs all over Instagram and postcards across the country, people who visit from afar often refer to the ponies as mythical mascots of Scotland. The Isle of Harris has around 20,500 people however, when you visit you’ll probably have the stretch of beach to yourselves. You will wonder for hours along the coastline taking in your surroundings and capturing each moment either by photographic memory or by camera. “It’s little surprise that Luskentyre has been rated one of the world’s top beaches, surpassing the Virgin Islands and some of the finest beaches in Italy and Spain” States Hidden Scotland.
7. Anstruther Beach
Anstruther is a small coastal town in Fife, Scotland located on the north-shore of the Firth of Forth. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a relaxing slow pace coastal walk. Founded as a fishing village, Anstruther is a quaint and picturesque coastal walk also home to several fish and chip shops.
8. The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher is one of Ireland’s top attractions located at the southwestern edge of the Burren region in Country Clare, Ireland. They run for about 9 miles and at their southern end they rise 120 meters (390ft) above the Atlantic Ocean. You don’t appreciate the extent of the cliffs until you see them up close. You may recognise the Cliffs of Moher from screen as they have been featured in classic films including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Leap Year and The Princess Bride. Not only a spectacular sight, the area is protected for birds and wildlife since 1979 and is home to 35 different species of birds. We would definitely recommend to take binoculars with you so that you don’t miss any sightings! If you prefer to cycle rather than taking the car or public transport, the routes along the cliffs have made it into the top 10 greatest cycling routes in the world.
9. Kilkee Cliff Walk
Kilkee Cliff is in County Clare, Ireland that allows you to walk 3.5km along a stunning paved trail beside the coastline without having to worry about it being overcrowded or expensive. If you prefer having more space to yourself to explore, Kilkee coastal walk is ideal for you. Suitable for all skill levels whether you’re hiking, walking or running, we would recommend dressing for all weather conditions with extra layers packed away so that you’re able to adjust accordingly. Start the route at the Diamond Rocks Café at Kilkee’s West End and follow the cliff paths. Along your way, you will encounter a shipwreck site of Intrinsic Bay, the Diamond Rocks that glitter in the sunshine and a scenic Foonagh Bay. We would also visit the cliff viewpoint 5.5km west of Kilkee.
10. Marloes Peninsula Coastal Walk
The Marloes Peninsula Coastal Walk is a 4 miles loop trail located near Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire in Wales featuring moderate to rugged paths with some gradient steps. The walk takes around 2 hours so plan to bring some water and plenty of snacks to keep you going! Dogs are welcome and it’s recommended that they get kept on a lead while passing by livestock. The views of the Pembrokeshire coast are remarkable with wildlife being predominant in this area including seals, seabirds and porpoises.
What equipment do you need for coastal walks?
Depending on what coastal walk you’re doing, whether you’re a beginner looking to tackle a walk on a continuous flat path or if you’re more advanced looking to go cross country up hill, we have everything you need and more to be prepared.
- Walking boots/ walking shoes
- Walking socks
- Walking poles
- Rucksacks/ bagpacks
- Waterproof jackets
- Packaway jackets
- Base layers
- Walking accessories