Best coastal walks in the UK
Walking on Britain’s beautiful coast truly is a treat for the senses. There’s nothing like the feel of bracing sea breeze, the sound of crashing waves and the sight of seabirds wheeling in the sky above you. The seaside often brings back childhood memories and is a place where we can make new memories with our loved ones. A walk by the sea is special in all manner of ways.
We’re blessed in Britain to have a coastline that’s open to exploration by each and every one of us. There’s so much to discover on coastal walks in the UK - golden sandy beaches, traditional fishing villages clifftop vistas, dazzling wildlife and historical intrigue. In fact, there’s so much to choose from that we’ve compiled the best coastal walks in the UK below to help you get a grip on what’s on offer. All these routes are within a short drive of our Haven holiday parks, so no matter where you choose for your walking holiday, we’ll have high-quality accommodation ready for you.
Flamborough Head, Yorkshire
Not far from two of our excellent holiday parks - Blue Dolphin and Reighton Sands - Flamborough Head is a scenic promontory on the Yorkshire coast of England. Skirted by dramatic white cliffs (the only chalk cliffs in the north of the UK) that are a haven for seabirds including Atlantic puffins, kittiwakes and gannets, the area makes for a scenic walk with several different routes to try.
The most popular route starts at Danes Dyke and follows part of the Headland Way, a 20-mile long-distance path running from Bridlington to Filey. The walk takes in Flamborough village, the lighthouse and the coastal path between North and South Landing for outstanding views.
Whitehaven to St Bees, Cumbria
Cumbria isn’t only about hills, lakes and valleys, it is also home to a long and diverse coastline. This newly opened stretch of coastal path is 6.5 miles long and while it might be challenging, it is packed with historic heritage. Starting with the charming Whitehaven Marina, there is the ‘Candlestick’- Wellington Pit’s soaring chimney, abandoned mines and quarries, a 12th-century priory and a top-secret World War Two radar station to be seen.
There are many ups-and-downs along Cumbria’s wild coast and the path climbs steeply to St Bees Head Heritage Coast, so make sure to take it slowly and stop by the quiet bays at Saltom, Barrowmouth and Flenswick. When you eventually arrive at St Bees reward yourself with a drink or two at the lovely Oddfellows Arms before catching the train back to Whitehaven.
Ayr to Dunure, Ayrshire
History lovers will go wild for this walk that takes in two castles- Greenan Castle on the way along and Dunure Castle at the end. These two ruined castles are an impressive sight, especially with the crashing sea as a backdrop, a view that stirs up a real sense of emotion.
This might be one for experienced walkers as conditions can get a little difficult, but there’s plenty to reward your efforts - tiny harbours, rugged beaches, and clifftop viewpoints in abundance.
Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle Circular, Northumberland
Cut off from the British mainland, Holy Island (Lindisfarne) in Northumberland is a scenic and mysterious tidal island lying just off the coast. This enigmatic island off Northumberland’s coast becomes inaccessible when the tide washes over its causeway twice a day, so make sure to check safe crossing times for the Holy Island Causeway.
The circular route makes an anti-clockwise circuit of Holy Island, including all the highlights such as Lindisfarne Castle and some wild coastal walking. Our historic Haggerston Castle park is just across the causeway on the mainland, making this walk an ideal day out when you stay here.
Weymouth to Lulworth Cove, Dorset
This 13-mile walk encompasses many different terrains and even a short ferry trip. This walk, starting at Ferry Bridge, will take you to Weymouth Pavilion on the rowing boat ferry, along Weymouth’s seafront promenade, then over spectacular cliffs and past secluded beaches towards the wonderful Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
There are some pretty steep ascents on the way but coastal walks in west Dorset don’t get better than this!
Stackpole & Barafundle Bay Circular, Pembrokeshire
One of the best coastal walks in the UK, this six-mile section of South Wales’ coastal path meanders over magnificent headlands with views down past rugged cliffs to the turbulent ocean below. Along the way you will visit a tiny harbour, a dramatic blue pool, Stackpole Estate and its famous Lily Ponds, before finishing up at the excellent Barafundle beach with magnificent cliffs rising either side.
The walk is mainly flat barring a couple of very short climbs to ascend the cliffs, and at the end you can enjoy a swim before recovering with a drink at the charming St. Govan’s Country Inn. Our Pembrokeshire parks at Kiln Park, Lydstep Beach and Penally Court are just a short drive away, making this walk a perfect addition to a Haven holiday in South Wales.
Doniford to East Quantoxhead Circular, Somerset
This 9-mile stretch of the coast path from Doniford to East Quantoxhead is for keen walkers. It has everything from quintessential English villages to historic churches and pretty wildflower meadows. You will also discover geological marvels such as limestone pavements and red rock formations as well as amazing coastal views.
We recommend this walk for families, and nature lovers staying at our nearby Doniford Bay Holiday Park.
Perranporth to St Agnes
This is a dramatic five-mile walk beginning at Perranporth near our excellent Cornish holiday park, Perran Sands. Walk along the ore-bearing cliffs between Perranporth and St Agnes passing the remains of Nobel's dynamite works, Britain's best-preserved spitfire base and a traditional tin producer that remains active at Blue Hills.
The one-way walk can be made circular via a return bus journey unless you fancy returning via the same route you came.
Six Harbour Villages, Chichester, West Sussex
This is a 10-mile circular walk starting from the car park at Fishbourne Parish Church that goes to Bosham, taking in some of the finest scenery south coast scenery on the way. Cross the channel by ferry to ltchenor and then along to Birdham, Dell Quay and Apuldram, ending up back in Fishbourne.
This walk can be completed any time that the ferry is running (usually daily during the summer months, from Easter to the end of September). Don’t forget that our holiday park at Church Farm is just a stone’s throw away, so base yourself there and enjoy!
Skegness to Mablethorpe Coastal Walk, Lincolnshire
The 16-mile stretch of coastal path from Skegness to Mablethorpe was made open to the public in February 2019. The route encompasses the bustling town of Skegness, rolling sand dunes, clay pits and beaches, in addition the world’s first official cloud watching area at the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar.
This new trail is a gift for walking enthusiasts and instantly became one of the best coastal walks in the UK, so make sure you take full advantage of its opening by planning a day and basing yourself at our Golden Sands and Thorpe Park holiday parks.