The Best Coastal Walks in the UK

Worbarrow Bay on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset, UK

10 Great Coastal Walks to Take

The British coast is a fabulous place to go walking, offering varied terrain, gorgeous views and the invigorating sound and smell of the sea. Some of our UK country houses are based in superb coastal locations giving easy access to a wonderful range of walks. But with so much shoreline to be explored, we’re spoilt for choice with places to walk. To help you out a little, we’ve put together a selection of spectacular walks, from Cornwall and Devon’s well-trodden shores to the wild empty shores of Northumberland.

Our guide to the best coastal walks in the UK, including route descriptions, 3D flyover videos and highlights

A bracing sea breeze, waves crashing against the rocks and soaring seabirds are just some of the reasons we love to walk by the sea. This unforgettable selection of coastal walking trails has it all – golden sands, clifftop views, dazzling wildlife and fascinating historical stories. And to help you visualise the route ahead, click play on the videos and be whisked over the coastal route with our 3D flyover videos - they're almost as good as being there. Well, almost...

North Cornwall – Portreath to Perranporth

Distance: 12 miles (19.5km)
Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In Summary: North Cornwall is justifiably famous for its rugged coastal walks and landscapes. From Portreath to Perranporth you've a great chance to stride out and enjoy one of the best sections of the North Cornwall Coast Path and all that it offers 

Highlight: With glorious sandy beaches and rugged headlands, this is the Cornish Coast at its very best.

South Cornwall – Porthleven to Marazion

Distance: 11 miles (17.5 km)
Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)

In Summary: South Cornwall is similarly spoilt for superb coastal walks. Here, from the picturesque fishing and one-time industrial harbour of Porthleven we follow an outstanding coastline to Trewavas Head before walking to Marazion via Praa Sands, Prussia Cove and Perranuthnoe.

Highlight: Enjoy glorious sea views throughout as we walk through the rich flora of the South Cornwall coast.

Dorset Coast – Old Harry Rocks

Distance: 11 miles (17½km)
Ascent: 1,350 feet (420m)

In Summary: Stretching 95 miles from Devon to Dorset, the UNESCO World Heritage coastline showcases 185 million years of history and the incredible power of the natural world. Here, cross fields and common land to Corfe Castle then follow the fabulous chalk ridge along the spine of the Purbeck Peninsula to Ballard Down and the coast at Old Harry Rocks.

Highlight: Soak up the sea views from the famous chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks, and gaze out towards the corresponding Needles Rocks on the Isle of Wight.

Dorset Coast – Durdle Door

Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In Summary: With stunning scenes around every corner, this is a classic outing. Enjoy a fabulous circular walk above the coast visiting St Catherine’s Church with its beautifully etched glass. Expect some steep ups and downs as you follow the rollercoaster chalk cliffs back towards the natural limestone arch at Durdle Door and finish rock pooling on teh white pebbles of Lulworth Cove.

Highlight: The stunning and strenuous coastal walk along the 'Bottoms' and past Durdle Door.

South Downs – Seven Sisters

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)
Total ascent: 1,150 feet (360m)

In Summary: Follow the South Downs Way from above Eastbourne to Beachy Head. We then follow the glorious coastal path past the Belle Tout lighthouse and over the Seven Sisters to Cuckmere Haven.

Highlight: Look out for the Belle Tout lighthouse, now a private residence. In 1999 it was carefully jacked 17 metres inland, away from the rapidly eroding cliff edge.

Isle of Wight – Tennyson Downs & The Needles

Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Total ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In Summary: As an island, the Isle of Wight is awash with cracking coastal walks. This example ambles over the chalk cliffs of Tennyson Down to reach the Needles and Alum Bay.

Highlight: The commanding view over the Western Solent from the Tennyson Monument. You'll also discover a once-secret rocket testing range, and the area's role in the space race.

North York Moors – Robin Hood’s Bay & Clifftop views

Distance: 12.5 miles (20km)
Ascent: 2,050 feet (640m)

In summary: Running the length of where the North York Moors National Park meets the North Sea, the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast mixes dramatic clifftops with picturesque fishing villages and towns. Follow the cinder track along the top of the cliffs all the way to view historic Robin Hood's Bay, before returning to Whitby along the Cleveland Way with fabulous coastal views.

Highlight: The coastal route and its expansive seascapes are almost overhwleming

Challenge Holidays

North York Moors – Boulby to Sandsend

Distance: 12 miles (19.5km)
Total ascent: 1,900 feet (580m)

In Summary: Start on top of the towering Boulby Cliffs and ffollow the coastal path all the way to Sandsend, taking in the quaint fishing village of Staithes, the sweeping arc of Runswick Bay, and the remote headland at Kettleness.

Highlight: As you approach Sandsend there's a glorious view along the 2½ mile long beach towards Whitby, with the haunting ruins of Whitby Abbey prominent in the distance.

Northumberland – High Newton to Alnmouth

Distance: 12½ miles (20km)
Ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In Summary: With its imposing castles and offshore islands that are teeming with wildlife, the Northumberland coast offers beauty and history in equal measure. Starting at High Newton this grand coastal walk takes in the sweeping arc of Embleton Bay, Dunstanburgh Castle and Craster, before continuing to Alnmouth.

Highlight: A glorious opportunity to see the best of the Northumberland Coast. With luck you may see seals, as well as the rich array of birdlife.

Snowdonia – Along the Coast to Harlech

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)
Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: While better known for its mountains, this section of Wales has wonderful coastal walking as well. Follow the stretch from Llanbedr to Harlech. Our walk takes in the delightful beach at Llandanwg, and the rolling hills above the coast.

Highlight: Visit Harlech Castle which commands a wonderful position overlooking the sweeping sands of Cardigan Bay with the mountains of Snowdonia behind.