On The Edge: The Best Coastal Walks in UK

The UK coast has some of the most fascinating paths in the world. Our adventure experts have been exploring some of the best coastal walks in UK to help you find your next walking adventure.

Walking around the edge of the UK gives you an estimated 12,429 km (7,723 miles) of adventure. You take to the heights on cliffs that have been battered by the sea for hundreds of years, to the bays with stories to tell of smugglers and family holidays. You will see lighthouses that have been showing sailors the way for centuries, a plethora of sea birds in their nesting sites and listen out for the bark of the seals and the splash of whales and dolphins. Look for the beautiful plant life in areas that seem so inhabitable. All the time, your senses will be in a frenzy trying to take in the sights, smells and noises that will change depending on which coastal path you are on.

Let’s take a look at some of our favourites so far…

The South West Coastal Path

Spanning 630 miles from Minehead on the Somerset coast to South Haven Point on Poole Harbour, the South West Coast Path is the longest of Britain’s National Trails. We have broken the trail down into sections, making it suitable for a short break or a week’s holiday.

Minehead to Westward Ho!

Take on the first section of the South West Coastal Path from Minehead to Westward Ho! This is a wonderfully diverse stretch, encompassing some of the highest cliffs that Britain has to offer as well as coastal woodland, vast beaches and the sand dunes and wetlands of the estuaries of the Taw and Torridge Rivers. For anyone familiar with Tarka the Otter in the book by Henry Williamson, this section of the path also joins up with the unspoiled countryside of the Tarka Trail. With the remainder of the South West Coastal path also just waiting to be explored, you may just find you keep coming back for more!

Padstow to St Ives:

Walk this breath-taking part of the South West Coastal Path from Padstow to St Ives. One of the gentler sections of this long-distance path, this is truly a walker’s paradise. Walk alongside the beautiful Atlantic with its pristine white beaches and turquoise sea, explore secluded coves and picturesque fishing villages before finishing your walk in the popular Cornish town of St Ives where you can relax and explore everything this laid-back seaside town has to offer.

St Ives to Penzance:

Walk what is arguably the most beautiful part of the South West Coastal Path between St Ives and Penzance. Steep ascents and descents give way to wild and rugged landscapes offering magnificent views over the Atlantic. This section of the path is remote and although walking can be challenging along rough and narrow footpaths, the magnificent views, varied wildlife and the sense of ‘getting away from it all’ is what makes this trip such an epic adventure.

The Jurassic Coast Walk:

Walk this spectacular part of the South West Coastal Path from Lyme Regis to Poole. This section takes you along England’s first World Heritage Site – the Jurassic Coast. In just a few short days you will travel through millions of years’ worth of enthralling history, experiencing incredible geology and amazing scenery. This path is a walker’s paradise, with ascents to rising cliffs and descents to hidden coves. You can do it over 4 or 6 days or take the Challenge and walk the 18km (11 miles) from West Lulworth to Weymouth in a day passing one of the geological highlights of the Jurassic Coast, The Durdle Door.

Long distance walks UK Jurassic Coast

Best Coastal Walks in the North

Maybe, the Northumberland Coast Path, is the best coastal path near you, taking you 100km (62 miles) from Cresswell in the south to Berwick upon Tweed in the north, crossing the tidal causeway to Holy Island en route. You will journey across sweeping beaches with a backdrop of high sand dunes and pass through 2 National Nature Reserves. It will be an historical bonanza of interest covering at least 7000 years of life, something for everyone.

Best UK Coast to Coast Hike

Perhaps you would like to see the coast on both sides of the UK – one at the start of the walk and the other one at the end – we can help there too!

Alfred Wainwrights Coast-to-Coast walk takes you from St Bees in the west to Robins Hood’s Bay in the east in 14 days through three stunning National Parks. Starting beneath the red sandstone sea cliffs of St Bees, you begin a truly spectacular walk traversing the Lake District National Park, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors, finishing on the beach of Robin Hood’s Bay. An achievement to celebrate.


The Southern Upland Way

Scotland’s amazing 15 day coast to coast walk from Portpatrick in the west to Cockburnspath in the east, the Southern Upland Way taks you across some of the most varied and at times, challenging terrain from loch side to sea cliffs, and open moorland with forest trails to drover’s ways. You will experience the rolling hills with the occasional fell, offering some breath-taking views – worth the climb! A great accomplishment when the walk is completed.


We hope this has given your some ideas for your next walking holiday, please get in touch if we can help you plan your trip.