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6 Beautiful British coastal walks you must experience

6 Beautiful British coastal walks you must experience

Britain’s coasts boast some spectacular views—and what better way to see them than by foot? Here, some keen ramblers reveal their favourites

Across the Norfolk Coast Path

As suggested by Reader's Digest travel editor Cathy Adams

A walk along the beautiful Norfolk Coast Path

To reach many of the secluded beaches in Norfolk, you’ll have to trek through the tall pine forests towards the sea, but the reward at the end is well worth it. Our travel editor chose a walk that starts at a beach, which is itself over
a mile from the road. 

“Wild Burnham Overy Staithe is windy and rugged, and home to more than a few boats,” says Cathy. “Thanks to the vast flatness of the north Norfolk coast, all you’ll see is a huge expanse of cornflower-blue skies bracketed by the wild greenery of the coast. Walking this stretch of the Norfolk Coast Path—through Holkham, with its huge sandy beach—will take you past salts marshes, sand dunes and only the occasional other walker. Low tide is when the walk is at its most picturesque, and big skies mean big sunsets.” 

The Norfolk Coastal Path stretches 45 miles, and can of course can be walked in small chunks over days, weeks or even years.


Along the Jurrassic Coast

As suggested by Rambler's Nicky Phillpott

A walk along the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

The Jurassic coast, which runs through Dorset and East Devon, is spectacular, with rugged cliffs, sweeping beaches and magnificent rock formations. On this figure-of-eight walk, you’ll see a bit of everything.

Setting off from the Anchor Inn in Seatown, you’ll walk to the highest cliff on the south coast, rising between Lyme Regis and Bridport, before enjoying the spectacular views from the top. 

“On a clear day you can see as far as Start Point in Devon, across the Chesil to Portland Bill,” says Nicky Philpott of the Ramblers. “Take time to head down to St Gabriel’s Mouth, where you’’ll find a secret smugglers’ beach.”


Across Marloes Sands 

As suggested by Elly Hannigan of Ramblers Cymru

Walking Marloes Sands

“The reason I first set out to do this walk is because I really wanted to see seals,” says Ramblers Cymru’s Elly Hannigan. “It’s absolutely amazing to look down at the pretty, secluded, rocky shores and see seal pups resting while seals play in the water.”

This circular walk, which starts at Marloes Sands, a vast sandy beach on the south coast of Wales, treats you to the very best of the wildlife found in this area. As well as seals, which are easiest to spot in later months, walkers might see birds of prey and puffins, who inhabit the peninsula.

As you head off from the car park and around the coast line, you’ll be treated to stunning views, grazing livestock, vast meadows and captivating geographical features. You can even take
a dip on one of the sandy beaches.


Along the Seven Sisters

As suggested by Sarah Brealey, member of Metropolitan Walkers

Walking along the Seven Sisters county park coast line

This walk along the coast line at Seven Sisters country park on the south coast has it all: white cliffs, a lighthouse and scenic rolling hills.

“Actually, there’s seven of the hills, hence the name,” says Sarah Brealey, a member of the walking group Metropolitan Walkers. “Each hill is achievable in stature, but collectively more than enough to give you a feeling that you’ve earned your pint (or ice-cream, or tea and cake) at the end.”

The Sisters are a series of chalk cliffs, which form part of the sprawling South Downs, and views from the top are breathtaking. “The Seven Sisters are easily accessible from London,” says Sarah, “but they feel a world away.” It’s a regular destination for the Metropolitan Walkers.


Across Llanddwyn Island

As suggested by Walking Britain's Lou Johnson

A walk across the beautiful coast line of Llanddwyn Island

“My favourite walk beside the sea is to Llanddwyn Island (Ynys LLanddwyn) located in south-west Anglesey,” says Lou Johnson, the founder of Walking Britain.

“The walk, which is short and easy, includes a section of sandy beach, a rocky headland, historic ruins and great views of Snowdonia across the Menai Strait. Given the right weather conditions you also get to feel the power of the sea as waves crash against the rocky promontory.

“The start of the walk is hidden in trees and the walk slowly unfolds as you make progress towards the headland, with its former lighthouse standing sentinel over the seascape spread out before you.” 


Through the Balranald Nature Reserve, Nort Uist

As suggested by Walking World's David Stewart 

A walk through Balranald nature reserve, Nort Uist

“There’s so much coast to the UK with so much variety—all appealing in its own way. But the west coast of Scotland is my favourite coastal area of all,” says David Stewart of Walking World.

“The Balranald Nature Reserve on the western tip of North Uist epitomises the elemental nature of this coastline. It’s not classically picturesque or even particularly spectacular, but it has a raw beauty, often enhanced by being bathed in a soft, fine light,” David adds. 

North Uist in the Outer Hebrides is an island with a population of just 1,300. The ferry ride alone from Skye is perfect for spotting birds and seals—the island is Europe’s largest breeding colony, and the coastline is simply beautiful.

Says David, “Gaze out west into the prevailing wind and you’re very aware that there’s nothing but sea between here and North America.”

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