14 of the best coastal walks in the UK

The United Kingdom boasts some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the world, so naturally, it’s the ideal destination if you’re seeking scenic coastal walks. With so many fantastic locations around the island, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to the best coastal walks in the UK.


From rugged cliffs and sandy beaches to picturesque fishing villages and towering sea stacks, the UK's coastline is packed full of unique landscapes to explore on foot. Are you interested in seeing the Cornish coastline up close? Or maybe you want to take in all that Dorset has to offer? Or is the Isle of Wight the spot that’s beckoning you? Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual stroller, these coastal walks promise unforgettable experiences and stunning views. So, let’s get right into the 14 best coastal walks in the UK.

The top coastal walks in Cornwall

If we’re talking about coastal walks in the UK, Cornwall is a great place to start! A peninsula in the southwest of England, this location is renowned for its dramatic coastline and charming seaside towns. Let’s look at some coastal walks in Cornwall, offering the perfect blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage:

The Lizard Peninsula Circular Walk image

The Lizard Peninsula Circular Walk

This seven-mile circular route takes you through the Lizard Peninsula, the most southerly point of mainland Britain. The walk showcases some of the UK’s most stunning coastal scenery, including towering cliffs, hidden coves, and the iconic Lizard Lighthouse.

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Along the way, you'll also pass through charming fishing villages and enjoy views across the English Channel, so you can see a bit of the fishing culture that’s at the heart of Cornwall.

There are many places to start this walk, since it’s circular, but Kynance Cove is the most ideal beginning spot – which is also only around a 45-minute drive away if you’re staying at St Ives Bay Holiday Park.

An image of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall.

Booby's Bay Walk

The Booby's Bay Walk is a roughly 4-mile circular route near Tintagel, offering stunning coastal views and a glimpse into Cornwall's rich history.

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One highlight of this walk is the breathtaking Booby's Bay, a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters and dramatic rock formations. Not only that, but you'll also pass by the legendary Tintagel Castle – believed to be the birthplace of King Arthur – so you could even mark an extra experience off your holiday itinerary.

What’s more, Tintagel Castle is dog friendly, so it’s great if you want coastal walks that your pup can enjoy too!

Fowey Hall Walk image

Fowey Hall Walk

The Fowey Hall Walk is a five-mile circular route that starts and ends at the historic Fowey Hall Hotel. If you want to explore some picturesque towns in Cornwall, then this walk won’t disappoint, as you’ll get to see the charming town of Fowey.

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You’ll also be treated to views along the scenic Fowey River and across the dramatic cliffs of the Cornish coastline, so you can get some memorable photo moments with the whole family.

Cubert Wildlife Walk image

Cubert Wildlife Walk

This four-and-a-half mile circular walk takes you through the Cubert Common and along the rugged coastline near Newquay. The Cubert Wildlife Walk offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as opportunities to spot a variety of coastal wildlife. So, if you want to see some seabirds, seals, and even dolphins, this is one of the best coastal walks in Cornwall for you.

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Also, if you’re driving from Newquay Bay Holiday Park, you’ll only be around 20 minutes away from the starting point of the walk at West Pentire.

Porthcurno to St Ives image

Porthcurno to St Ives

This 12-mile linear walk along the South West Coast Path is a true gem for coastal walk enthusiasts. The route takes you from the stunning Porthcurno Beach, past the iconic Minack Theatre carved into the cliffs, and through the charming fishing villages of Porthgwarra, Porthchapel, and Sennen Cove.

Minack Theatre

You certainly have to be looking for an active break since, depending on your preferences, this walk may take you more than one day to complete.

You could opt to stay in St Ives as your base and then gain transport to Porthcurno and walk back to St Ives along the walk.

Must-visit Dorset coastal walks

Located in the southwest of England, Dorset is also known as the stunning Jurassic Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re exploring this stretch of coastline, then there are some Dorset coastal walks which should be on your radar for your break away:

Seatown to West Bay image

Seatown to West Bay

This six-mile circular walk along the Jurassic Coast takes you from the charming village of Seatown to the bustling seaside town of West Bay.

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You’ll see plenty of fantastic sights along the way, including a walk past the iconic Golden Cap, the highest point on the southern coast of England. Here, you’ll get panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coastline.

The walk also takes you through the picturesque villages of Charmouth and Eype, where you can explore the fossil-rich beaches and even enjoy some local seafood to refuel you on your walk.

Old Harry Rocks Walk image

Old Harry Rocks Walk

The Old Harry Rocks Walk is a moderate three-and-a-half -mile circular route that takes you through the iconic chalk stacks of Old Harry Rocks – one of the most photographed landmarks on the whole Jurassic Coast.

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This is one of the best Dorset coastal walks that also allows you to explore the charming village of Studland and its sandy beaches.

Also, if you’re staying at Swanage Bay View Holiday Park, you can reach the start of this walk in around 15 minutes by car.

Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door image

Lulworth Cove to Durdle Door

Are you eager to see Dorset’s famous landmark? If so, then this two-mile linear walk should be one of the top Dorset coastal walks on your holiday to-dos.

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The walk will take you from the iconic Lulworth Cove to the equally famous Durdle Door. Along the way, you'll pass by the stunning rock formations of Stair Hole and Man O' War Beach—a beach you’d be wise to stop and admire for some time on your walk.

There are also plenty of ways you could turn this into a circular walk, with many optional routes to loop around. However, this simple linear walk is the easiest choice.

Fantastic coastal walks in the Isle of Wight

Heading over to the Isle of Wight, located off the southern coast of England, this island is a haven for coastal walks. With our list of walks in this destination, you’ll find a diverse range of landscapes and stunning sea views to enjoy on your adventures. Here are our top picks:

Niton to St Lawrence image

Niton to St Lawrence

The four-and-a-half-mile Niton to St Lawrence circular walk takes you along the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, from the charming village of St Lawrence to the picturesque town of Niton, then back to St Lawrence through Whitwell.

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Along the way, you'll pass by the iconic Undercliff, a unique coastal landscape formed by landslides and erosion. If you’re walking with the kids, this could be a great chance to explore some landscapes and learn about the science behind the beautiful coastlines of the UK.

Needles Coastal Walk image

Needles Coastal Walk

The Needles Coastal Walk is a 5-mile circular route that takes you through the western tip of the Isle of Wight, where you’ll find amazing views of the famous Needles Rocks and Lighthouse.

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Along the walk, you’ll also discover the seaside town of Freshwater Bay and the picturesque Tennyson Down, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the island and the English Channel.

If you’re staying at The Bay Colwell, you can reach The Needles Car park in roughly 15 minutes to start your walk.

Down on the Duver Circular Walk image

Down on the Duver Circular Walk

This two-mile circular walk takes you through the picturesque Duver Beach and Nature Reserve, offering picturesque views of the Solent and the mainland coast.

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Along the way, you'll pass through a diverse range of coastal habitats, including sand dunes, salt marshes, and woodland, providing ample opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.

If you’re looking for a coastal walk that encapsulates the beauty, mystery, and hidden treasure of the UK’s coastline, then this is a great choice for you.

Bembridge and Culver Downs Trail image

Bembridge and Culver Downs Trail

The Bembridge and Culver Downs Trail is a six-mile circular route that takes you through some of the Isles' nicest coast and countryside spots.

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The walk offers panoramic views of the Solent and the English Channel, as well as the opportunity to explore the charming village of Bembridge and the iconic Culver Down. The chalk cliff formation is a must-see if you’re making the trip down to the Isle of Wight for your getaway.

Coastal walks to enjoy in Scotland and North Wales

While the southern regions of the UK boast some of the most famous coastal walks, You should also consider the amazing coastal walks found in areas of Scotland and North Wales. Here are a couple that are worth visiting when holidaying in the region:

Rockcliffe to Kippford and Dumfries image

Rockcliffe to Kippford and Dumfries

This five-mile linear walk takes you along the stunning Solway Coast in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The route offers a brisk walk along views of the Solway Firth, as well as the chance to spot a variety of coastal wildlife, including seals and seabirds.

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The walk also takes you through the picturesque villages of Rockcliffe and Kippford, where you can enjoy local seafood and explore the area's rich history.

Plus, if you’re staying at Moffat Manor Holiday Resort, you can reach the start of this walk with only around a 55-minute drive.

Aberdaron Circular Walk, Snowdonia image

Aberdaron Circular Walk, Snowdonia

The Aberdaron Circular Walk is a nine-mile route that takes you through the stunning Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales. Along the walk, you’ll find breathtaking views of the Irish Sea and the opportunity to explore the charming fishing village of Aberdaron.

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This village is known for its unique coastal architecture and rich cultural heritage. Also, don’t miss out on photos of the ancient standing stones or panoramic views of Snowdon, the famous North Wales mountain range and Snowdonia National Park. If you want to see the beauty of North Wales’s coastline, then this walk is ideal for family, solo, or romantic days out.

The best coastal walks in the UK – FAQs

If you want even more information on how you could be spending your next holiday exploring coastal walks in the UK, here are some of our most frequently asked questions:

What defines a coastal walk?

A coastal walk is a walking route that follows the coastline or offers significant views of the sea and coastal landscapes. Coastal walks will often take you along areas such as beaches, cliffs, and headlands, as well as through coastal towns and villages, providing a unique and scenic experience.

How long does it take to walk the South West coastal path?

The time it takes to walk the South West Coastal Path varies greatly depending on your hiking pace and experience. The full 630-mile walk can often be completed in 30 days by fast-paced walkers, but many people choose to do a leisurely pace and complete it in seven to eight weeks.

What are the hardest coastal walks in the UK?

Some of the hardest coastal walks in the UK include the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in Wales, the Cleveland Way in North Yorkshire, and the Arran Coastal Way in Scotland. These walks involve steep climbs, rough terrain, and long distances, making them suitable for more experienced and well-prepared hikers.

What is the most beautiful long distance walk in the UK?

The most beautiful long-distance walk in the UK is often said to be the South West Coast Path. This famous walk stretches 630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset, offering stunning coastal scenery, picturesque villages, and a wealth of natural and historical attractions.

It's time to plan your coastal walks around your UK holiday...

Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or romance, these coastal walks in the UK offer an amazing experience for everyone. From the rugged cliffs of Cornwall and Dorset to the picturesque shores of the Isle of Wight, these coastal walks let you immerse yourself in the stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage of the British Isles.

So, why not plan your next UK holiday around these incredible coastal walks? Find the right holiday park to accommodate your getaway so you can recharge and plan each day for more incredible coastal walks on your trip. With each step, you'll create unforgettable memories and forge a deeper connection with the great outdoors.

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