With summer on the way, the warmer weather means it will be a perfect time to head to the beach. While many flock overseas for the sun and sand, as an island the UK is home to plenty of great coastal parts too. For those who don’t fancy sitting on a beach or swimming, there are some great walks to go on which can provide some truly stunning views.
1)The Jurassic Coast - Dorset and East Devon
Characterised by cliffs from the Jurassic, Triassic and the Cretaceous period, it’s no wonder this part of the country has been voted the 5th greatest natural wonder in Britain. The area includes the famous ‘Durdle Door’, an iconic limestone archway in the sea, and Chesil Cove is one of Britain’s three major shingle structures and is a UNESCO world heritage site. With such stunning scenery this place is ideal for a walk and one of the best to venture is around Lulworth Cove. This walk takes you around some great scenery, one of the best parts being the fossil forest which is open to the public in school holidays and most weekends. The forest is known for its petrified remnants of cypress trees which grew in a swamp by a warm lagoon in the Jurassic era, while there is also a great shingle beach and some stunning rock formations.
Located in the south western tip of wales, Pembrokeshire is home to the UK’s only coastal national park. Its beautiful scenery has led to it being a popular filming site for numerous films and television shows over the years, while Tenby provides some of the best sandy beaches in the UK so it’s no wonder that it is one of Britain’s most popular tourist resorts. For avid walkers, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is a famously good spot for hikers of all abilities. For some of the best views in the region, a circuit around St David’s Head is a must, and can generally be done in 3 hours, taking you through a variety of scenery along cliff edges and the coastline. Watch out for plenty of wildlife, with porpoises being a common sight on this walk. You will also find yourself seeing some great historical monuments, such as remnants from prehistoric settlements, the most stunning of which is the Neolithic burial chamber: ‘Coetan Arthur’ which dates back to 3000 years BC. From the wildlife to the history, this walk provides a beautifully well-rounded experience for all to enjoy.
On the opposite side of the UK on the east coast of England is Norfolk, which has for many years been a favourite for holidays, with Great Yarmouth being the most famous. Full of flat expanses of sandy beach, this can be a great part of the UK for the amateur walker. Like Pembrokeshire, there are some great varieties of wildlife, famously seals can be often seen swimming offshore, while there are also a number of sea-birds which reside in the area. For a gentle walk, with a boardwalk option for wheelchair users, a walk around Holkham Beach can be a nice stroll and ranges between 1 mile (on the boardwalk) and 3 miles, anyone who has seen the multi-Oscar winning film ‘Shakespeare In Love’ will recognise the scenery from the film.
Scotland has some truly magnificent beaches and Fife, located on the eastern coast of Scotland facing onto the North Sea, is one of the best examples. Famously, the Fife coastal path has some brilliant scenery, with ruined castles and multiple rock pools to compliment the stunning natural rock formations. One of the greatest places to walk is along the East Neuk of Fife, which has some of the best views and allows you to travel through some beautiful fishing villages.
5) East Sussex and Kent
Perhaps the most iconic part of the great British coast is on the southern-most coast of England, facing onto the English Channel. Kent is home to the cliffs of Dover, a great amount of nesting birds, and numerous walks along the cliffs. Not as famous but still scenic are two sites in East Sussex, Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters. These are both walking hotspots with great views over the English Channel; the climate in this part of the world lends itself perfectly to summer walking too.
If you love walking you will be sure to find some stunning landscapes on a walk in any of these coastal locations, be sure to bring a wildlife guide if you want to learn more about the animals and take a camera as there will be some great scenes you’ll want to take away with you.
Lulworth Cove by: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lulworth_Cove.jpg
Holkham Beach by: Photo by Steve K https://www.flickr.com/photos/16927804@N07/
Cliffs of Dover by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cliffs_of_Dover.jpg