The UK’s best coast and countryside walks

Head to the UK coast and countryside for amazing walks along headlands, across cliff tops and through a wonderful array of landscapes. These are some of our favourite routes for your holiday.


Bedruthan Steps and Porth Mear Cove

Approximately seven miles from Hendra Park, this National Trust walk follows the North Cornwall coast and offers views of the cliffs above Bedruthan Steps and sheltered Porth Mear cove.


Hayle’s King George V Memorial Walk is easy on the legs and runs alongside the Copperhouse Tidal Pool, which is home to a rich variety of birdlife. The trail, about three-quarters of a mile long, goes through land which was landscaped and planted as part of Hayle’s Millennium Project and won gold in the South West in Bloom competition. The route is closed to vehicles on Sundays so you can enjoy a stroll without the traffic.

Cliff walks around St Agnes

There are several pretty cliff walks around St. Agnes, about 12 miles from Perran Sands Park.

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Torridge Estuary Rail Trail

The Torridge Estuary Rail Trail follows the Tarka Trail between Instow and Bideford. A good plan is to start at Bideford, catch the bus from here to Instow and walk back. Alternatively, it is possible to start the trip from Barnstaple – if you do, get the bus from Barnstaple to Instow, walk to Bideford and then take the bus back to Barnstaple.

Since the route is along a former railway, it is also suitable for use by cyclists, wheelchair users or as a pushchair walk. The Promenade offers a superb view of the Torridge Estuary, joined by its ‘twin’ the Taw from the right, and across the river to Appledore.

Labrador Bay RSPB Reserve

This brand new nature reserve near Shaldon is great for watching wildlife – you could see cirl buntings and peregrines, butterflies, grasshoppers and crickets, and there are wonderful flowers and fungi to see too. This is a well-known beauty spot with stunning views over Lyme Bay, but there’s more to it than just a view – habitats here include coastal cliff top, woodland, scrub, low-intensity arable and semi-improved grasslands.

Exmouth to Budleigh Salteron

The scenery from Exmouth to Budleigh Salteron is superb with high red cliffs, good beaches and, in spring, the gorse bushes in flower are very pretty. There’s an easy start, with a flat walk along the promenade through Exmouth, then, depending on the tide, you may be able to walk along the beach to Sandy Bay, though you may have to climb Orcombe Point. From Sandy Bay there is a steep climb followed by a slow descent into Budleigh Salterton. There is some walking adjacent to the road in Exmouth.

Kingswear to Brixham

This walk follows the Southwest Coast Path from Kingswear to Brixham. Enjoy South Devon’s coastal scenery and take the opportunity to visit the Dart Estuary and the harbour at Brixham.

Near Paington and Brixham

Set off in Paignton at the long sandy beach and follow the coast path past the pier and the harbour, and then climb to Roundham Head. From there it is a descent through gardens into Goodrington Sands, round the beach at Goodrington and past Saltern Cove into Broadsands (a blue flag beach).

The route eventually leads to the pretty beach of Elberry Cove, where the path then winds through woods before emerging at the edge of Brixham harbour, with its imposing breakwater.

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Maldon via Beeleigh Abbey

A circular walk from Maldon town centre takes you through the countryside to the ancient hamlet of Beeleigh. The route passes Beeleigh Abbey (not open to the public) and Beeleigh ‘Falls’ before skirting Maldon golf course and taking the sea wall path to Fullbridge.

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Kessingland Beach

The area extending from the Stour estuary in the south to Kessingland in the north is an outstanding low-lying coastal landscape of astonishing variety. Shingle beaches, crumbling cliffs, marshes, estuaries, heathland, forests and farmland make this a special area of outstanding natural beauty.

Felixstowe Beach

Enjoy a wide range of countryside, wildlife and heritage when you walk from Felixstowe. Highlights include the Suffolk Cast Path, the Stour and Orwell Walk (along beautiful estuaries), and the Sandlings Walk (Sandlings Heath)

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Great Yarmouth

Follow the two and a half mile marked route from The Jetty, which is just by the Marine Parade. The route follows public footpaths and is accessible for wheelchair users.

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This 10-mile circular walk from Mablethorpe North End car park passes through Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve and along several public footpaths. This is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the nature reserve and lovely views over the sands and surrounding countryside.

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Hull to Keyingham

This is an enjoyable, flat and easy countryside linear walk along the disused Hull to Withernsea railway line. Eight miles long, the route stretches from Hull (Southcoates Lane) to Keyingham, via the historic town of Hedon.

Bridlington to Filey

This 20-mile headland walk from Bridlington to Filey takes you along the coast to Flamborough Head and the bird reserve at Bempton. There are spectacular views and a choice to finish at Filey or to connect with the Cleveland and Wolds Way national trails at the Brigg.

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North East

Berwick Cliffs

Walk along the highest cliffs in Northumberland and enjoy spectacular views of the clear waters below – the seabed is visible on calm days. Start at Berwick and follow the coastline towards Marshall Meadows and the Scottish border.

Hadrian’s Way

Walk the exciting route of Hadrian’s Way, following 12 miles between Segedunum Fort at Wallsend and the Tyne Riverside Country Park at Newburn. For much of this route’s length, you’ll follow the banks of the River Tyne.

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North West

Hurst Grange Park, Blackpool

In the centre of Penwortham you will find the largest park in this area, Hurst Grange Park. Hurst Grange covers approximately 15 hectares and is one of the three most prestigious parks within the Borough of South Ribble. The River Ribble offers tranquil scenery for a very pleasant walk. Dogs are allowed provided they are kept under control.

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Mount Snowdon

Snowdonia National Park provides many challenging walks, the pick of which are on Mount Snowdon itself. It can be tough going but the reward is to stand on the highest point in England and Wales and take in the astonishing views all around. There are lots of routes to the summit, with varying levels of difficulty.

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Brean Down

Brean Down is an excellent National Trust route with rare wild flowers growing on the limestone headland. This coastal peninsula is nearly 100 metres high and juts out into the Bristol Channel.

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Studland to Old Harry

This easy walk takes you from Studland to the famous landmark of Old Harry – the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The route is mostly flat, although there is a short section near the start where the ground is uneven and there is a slight incline.

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The Solent Way

The 60-mile route links Milford-on-Sea with Emsworth Harbour, following the Hampshire coast and passing through the New Forest. Along most of this walk there are views of the beautiful Isle of Wight, just a few miles off the Hampshire Coast.

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Isle of Wight

River Yar

There is an easy walk along the estuary of the River Yar and you can choose to continue along the flat river valley or walk up to Alton Down to finish your stroll on the cliffs at Compton Bay.

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Hastings to Rye

There are plenty of rewarding views on this walk, even if there are some steep climbs along the route from the cliff-top start. After Pett Level the terrain becomes easier and leads you up through the New Gate into Winchelsea, a good place to stop for something to eat and drink. Suitably refreshed, you can press on to the Look Out, offering panoramic views across the whole of Romney Marsh and the Kent Downs beyond. From there it is down and along to Ferry Bridge, following an easy flat route northeast to Rye.

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The Reculver Towers

This route to Reculver via the beach and back along the cliff top is a bracing two to three-hour walk. The scenery is varied and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the wildlife and plants along the way.

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Quinag Mountain

Quinag in Sutherland is a remote, ice-scoured peak. The cliffs are steep and the spine-back ridge provides spectacular views for keen walkers. Although the summit is at 808 metres, with the car park at 250 metres it is not so daunting. It is a testing walk but the landscape is ancient and magnificent, well worth the effort.

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