Which are the most fascinating coasts in the UK and why? The UK is filled with history and culture and the coastal areas are no different. So lets dig a big deeper into the most interesting coastal areas in the UK…
- 15 Most Fascinating Coasts in the UK
- 1. Portstewart Strand – Possesses the Tallest Dunes in Ireland
- 2. Blackpool Sands – Boasts Britain’s Tallest Man-Made Structure
- 3. Sandwood Bay – Best Known for its Am Buachaille
- 4. Lunan Bay – A Designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
- 5. Seven Sisters – A Popular Filming Location
- 6. Bamburgh – Associated with Grace Darling (A Legendary Heroine)
- 7. Formby – A Home to Unique Red Squirrels
- 8. Tresco – Boasts the World’s Famous Abbey Gardens
- 9. Rhossili – The Longest Beach in Wales
- 10. Shanklin – Well Known for Its Coastal Caves
- 11. Sandsend – Features a Historic Mulgrave Castle
- 12. West Lulworth – Famous for Its Iconic Durdle Door
- 13. Porthcurno – Well-Known for Its Historic Minack Theatre
- 14. Watergate Bay – One of the Top Surf Beaches in the World
- 15. Dungeness – Brags the Largest Shingle Beach in Europe
15 Most Fascinating Coasts in the UK
With that said the coasts in the UK are home to world-class surf spots, invigorating hikes, tropical paradises, inspiring ancient architecture, and much more.
So, if you’re searching for the most interesting coastal areas in the UK, this write-up is exclusively for you. Here, we will uncover 15 of the best coasts in the UK to enjoy fun outdoor activities and share some fascinating facts associated with them.
Our list of the 15 most fascinating coasts in the UK includes the following places:
1. Portstewart Strand – Possesses the Tallest Dunes in Ireland
Located in Northern Ireland, Portstewart Strand is one of the most wonderful coasts in the UK, offering fantastic photo opportunities to tourists.
The tallest dunes on the coast are heaven for butterflies and wildflowers. An intricate network of these dunes in Portstewart provides tourists with an elevated vantage point to gaze out across the sparkling blue water of the Atlantic Ocean.
Portstewart also boasts a magnificent 2-mile-long Strand Beach too, which is possessed and cared for by the National Trust. The blue water and frothy shores of the coast make it a worth-visiting destination in the UK.
Portstewart Strand has also been ranked 99th in CNN’s World’s 100 Best Beaches. The coast also holds the prestigious Blue Flag grading for its cleanliness and highest water quality. The ideal coastal location of the Portstewart offers great opportunities for water-based activities, such as sailing, paddle boarding, and surfing.
2. Blackpool Sands – Boasts Britain’s Tallest Man-Made Structure
Blackpool Sands is one of the most beautiful coasts in the UK, located in Dartmouth, Devon. Like Portstewart Strand, this coast also holds Blue Flag Status for meeting environmental management, safety, and water quality standards.
The Blackpool Tower here is the tallest man-made structure in Britain. In 1889, the magistrate of Blackpool, John Bickerstaffe, participated in the Great Paris Exhibition. John was so impressed by the structure of the Eiffel Tower that he commissioned the Blackpool Tower to be built on his return.
This 518 feet and 9 inches tall tower is home to several attractions, including Blackpool Tower Circus and Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
Blackpool Sands is a part of the South West Coast Path, one of the longest walking trails in the UK. The coast also possesses a sandcastle water park with the world’s longest indoor roller coaster water slide called the Master Blaster.
3. Sandwood Bay – Best Known for its Am Buachaille
Sandwood Bay features a 1.5-mile wide pinkish sand, backed by impressive sea stacks and dunes. The coast is located in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, an amazing destination for tourists and locals alike.
Sandwood Bay receives a lot of sea breeze from the mighty North Atlantic, giving its cliffs a rugged look and foaming its blue water. Am Buachaille (a majestic rock stack that stands in the ocean) is one of the greatest wonders you will find in Sandwood Bay.
Am Buachaille is a popular subject for hikers and photographers for its steep slopes and pyramid-shaped peaks. Due to its cinematic appeal, this rock stack has been featured in a famous movie, “Skyfall ”.
Sandwood Bay has a great association with ghosts and legends. Locals of this bay claim that mermaids can also be sighted at this beach
4. Lunan Bay – A Designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Nested between Aberdeen and Dundee, Lunan Bay is one of the pink-tinted coasts in the UK. The dramatic Angus coastline of Lunan Bay has attracted many tourists throughout the ages. The coast is a Designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its unique ecological, biological, and geological features.
The extensive dunes of Lunan Bay are ecologically valuable for supporting biodiversity and stabilising shorelines. In addition, the bay provides nesting and feeding grounds to a variety of birds, making it a designation for SSSI.
Red Castle (aka Castle of Inverkeilor) is one of the amazing landmarks of Lunan Bay. This stunning castle was built during the 12th century but still reflects the wonders of historic architectural work.
Lunan Bay always grabs the attention of filmmakers due to its scenic beauty. In 2015, the bay was featured in a famous movie, Macbeth.
5. Seven Sisters – A Popular Filming Location
Seven Sisters are a stunning series of chalk sea cliffs spanning over 8 miles. The name of the coast is derived from seven elms planted with a walnut tree at their centre in an area known as Page Green.
The chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters have been featured in many renowned films, including Harry Potter and Robin Hood. These chalk sea cliffs have a distinctive white appearance. With an average height of 120 metres, Seven Sisters chalk cliffs provide impressive views of the English Channel.
This coast is a part of the Sussex Heritage, which reveals the multiple layers of history and archaeology.
6. Bamburgh – Associated with Grace Darling (A Legendary Heroine)
Bamburgh is mainly famous for its historic Bamburgh Castle, built on a majestic rocky perch overlooking the North Sea. Being one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK, it offers breathtaking views of the Northumberland coastline.
Bamburgh is also associated with Grace Darling, who was a famous heroine of the Victorian period. She achieved great fame for rescuing the survivors from a wrecked merchant ship with the help of her father. Grace received an award of £50 from Queen Victoria with a personal letter of thanks for her heroic act.
You can visit Bamburgh Beach to enjoy the dramatic views of the Bamburgh Castle and Frane Islands. It is surprisingly photogenic and has been featured in many films, including Elizabeth, The Devils, and Mary Queen of Scots.
7. Formby – A Home to Unique Red Squirrels
Formby is one of the most charming coasts in the UK, located in Merseyside. This coastal area possesses Britain’s best dunes. Moreover, Formby’s pine woodlands and dunes are home to unique red squirrels and natterjack toads, which are hard to find in other parts of the world.
Red squirrels have a distinction for being acrobatic in their movements. Like skilled jumpers, they can leap up to 6 metres between trees.
Formby Golf Club is another greatest attraction for locals and tourists. The club hosts several tournaments and championships, including Curtis Cup.
8. Tresco – Boasts the World’s Famous Abbey Gardens
Tresco is a tropical island gateway located in the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall. The white sandy beaches of this area give tourists a perfect opportunity to enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery.
Tresco has a distinction for being the largest privately owned and family-run island in Britain.
This region features the Abbey Garden, a world’s famous botanical garden spanning over 6.9 hectares. The garden is used to cultivate exotic plants from around the world. Surprisingly, You will find more than 20,000 plants in this garden.
Because of its stunning beauty and design, the Abbey Garden has received numerous awards, including the Green Flag Award, a recognition given to well-maintained gardens and parks in the UK.
Tresco can be your dream destination if you love watching birds of different species.
9. Rhossili – The Longest Beach in Wales
Rhossili is a perfect location for legendary family adventures. Nested in the heart of Swansea, Wales, the area is one of the most photogenic coasts in the UK. The shores take on a soft pink glow as the sun sets, making Rhossili a magical destination.
Rhossili Bay is the longest beach in Wales, spanning over 2.8 miles along the western coastline of the Gower Peninsula. The bay possesses Gower’s most famous landmark, Worm Head. Also, the Atlantic Swell of the area offers several opportunities for watersports. The sandcastle builders will surely get something valuable from the golden sand of the Rhossili.
10. Shanklin – Well Known for Its Coastal Caves
Shanklin holds a top position in the list of the best coasts in the UK because of its traditional pubs and scenic views. Located close to the Isle of Wight, Shanklin is home to ancient coastal caves. In the past, these caves served as shelters for smugglers.
The coastal caves provide an impressive glimpse into the region’s geological history. Shanklin Chine, a pleasant, beautiful, and romantic place away from the hustle and bustle of the seafront, is the most famous cave on this coast.
The coast boasts open green spaces and lovely seasides with fantastic gardens and parks around the town. You can visit Shanklin Rylstone Garden to enjoy the sunshine.
11. Sandsend – Features a Historic Mulgrave Castle
Sandsend is one of the most charming coasts in the UK, located near Whitby in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. With its charming beach cafes, coastal pathways, and a 3-mile-long sandy beach, Sandsend is a wonderful destination for a family staycation.
Mulgrave Castle is an impressive historic structure in the Sandsend, which dates back to the 14th century. Although this castle is not officially open to the public, you can still venture into its 1500-acre woodland. This woodland is only six minutes far from the coastline.
Being a part of the larger Mulgrave Estate, the castle is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The historical significance of the castle makes it a valuable piece of Britain’s heritage.
12. West Lulworth – Famous for Its Iconic Durdle Door
West Lulworth is a beautiful horseshoe-shaped bay located in Dorset. It is a part of the Jurassic Coast (A UNESCO World Heritage Site).
The coast is mainly famous for its iconic Durdle Door, a natural limestone arch. The arch offers several fun activities to its visitors, including coastal walks along the South West Coast Path. It is also an exceptional destination for scuba divers and nature enthusiasts.
Due to its striking beauty, Durdle Door has been featured in many music videos, TV shows, and movies, including Nanny McPhee and Elizabeth.
13. Porthcurno – Well-Known for Its Historic Minack Theatre
Snuck between two mighty granite cliffs, Porthcurno (also known as Port of Cornwall) is one of the most famous coasts in the UK. The granite rocks that turn the beach into a cove give visitors a great place to relax and soak into the sun’s warmth.
The open-air Minack Theatre is the most famous venue in the UK because of its picturesque scenes. The natural stage of the theatre juts out into the ocean.
With the sounds of passing boats and crashing waves, the open-air performances of the artists give visitors an unforgettable experience. Due to its scenic views, the theatre has been featured in a TV series, Poldark.
The stunning coastal walks of the Porthcurno are ideal for exploring rugged cliffs and majestic sea views.
14. Watergate Bay – One of the Top Surf Beaches in the World
Watergate Bay coastline on the North Coast of Cornwall is a slice of paradise for tourists. The combination of golden sand with opal blue water makes Watergate Bay one of the most picture-postcard coasts in the UK.
Watergate Bay is voted one of the world’s top surf beaches for its great surfing conditions. The bay waves ranging from rolling to challenging, are ideal for surfers of all skill levels.
This destination also features a stunning sandy beach spanning over 2 miles, which is a perfect spot for water sports enthusiasts. The bay is also a part of the South West Coast Path, one of the longest hiking trails, covering about 630 miles of coastline.
15. Dungeness – Brags the Largest Shingle Beach in Europe
Dungeness is a historical coastal landscape on the UK’s Southeast Coast. From the Nuclear Power Station and a bird sanctuary to old lighthouses, it is the greatest attraction for visitors.
Dungeness boasts the largest shingle beach in Europe, stretching over 6 miles along the coast. A perfect combination of large and small-sized pebbles gives this shingle a visually striking contrast against the surrounding landscapes. For its unique bird and plant ecology, the area is a fantastic place to spot local wildlife.
Dungeness brags about an amazing coastal garden created by a famous filmmaker Derek Jarman. The rugged stretch of shorelines offers a unique photo opportunity to tourists.
So that sums up our today’s list of the fantastic coasts in the UK. Britain’s coastlines are spotted with numerous holiday destinations and seaside resorts. We hope the facts about the coasts in the UK mentioned here will help you find a perfect spot for your next trip!
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