The UK, renowned for its larger than life cities from London to Bristol to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin, and its breathtakingly beautiful countryside from the Lake District to the South Downs and the Scottish Highlands. But when it comes to coastal towns, the UK delivers in spades. From classic British seaside towns like Margate, Brighton and Bournemouth, to the rugged yet beautiful coastlines of the Scottish Isles, a coastal holiday in the UK certainly provides enough choice and all throughout the year too.
With every coastal town in the UK peppered with hotels and B&Bs ready and waiting to welcome guests from far and wide, it’s more than easy to find yourself a room within walking distance of some of the UK’s best loved coastal areas. In fact, if you get in there early enough you might just find yourself a room with a sea view. Something well worth doing taking into consideration the UK’s somewhat unpredictable weather! Although a rainy, windy day isn’t ideal during a coastal holiday, watching the waves crash against the shore from the warmth and comfort of your room is an exhilarating experience in itself.
Better still, coastal towns in the UK have some of the finest seafood on offer thanks to the abundance of restaurants lined along the shores making the absolute most of the fresh fish caught daily in the Channel and Atlantic. From sweet hand-dived scallops, to the freshest rock oysters and wild Atlantic salmon, the menus available to enjoy on a coastal holiday in the UK are refreshingly luxurious. On the other hand, there’s no forgetting a classic, good old portion of fish and chips with lashings of salt and vinegar to finish - just watch out for greedy seagulls if you’re dining al fresco!
There really is so much to be enjoyed on a coastal holiday in the UK, so much so that it can be hard to know where on earth to begin - especially with so many stunning countries and isles to choose from. That’s why we’ve gathered some of our favourite UK coastal breaks, including a few locations that you can enjoy whilst on one of our UK escorted tours.
The Scottish Isles and Hebrides are without doubt some of the UKs most glorious coastal offerings and of the best ways to explore them is with an island hopping trip. Starting at the Isle of Skye, a true natural wonder thanks to the scenery of some of its most popular locations including the Cuillin Hills and the Old Man of Storr. Benbecula and South Uist boast glittering coasts and turquoise waters inviting those brave enough to dip in a toe - it’s got to be done! Similarly, the Isles of Harris and Lewis offer incredible sprawling sandy coves met with aquamarine shores making this part of the Hebridean coast appear almost tropical. Whether you want to watch the ships coming and out of the bay or perhaps a spot of rock-pooling is an afternoon well spent, a trip to the Scottish Isles is sure to tick the right boxes.
Take a look at our Hebridean Island Adventure escorted tour to find out more about the wonderful stops that you can make whilst island hopping in this truly stunning UK coastal area.
Jersey, or as we like to call it - the sunkissed Channel Isle, might be unassuming in size (even as the largest of the Channel islands) but it’s certainly not to be underestimated when it comes to character. This popular UK coastal holiday hotspot has all that you need for a break by the sea. From the fascinating underworld city of the Jersey War Tunnels to the island’s beautiful capital of St Helier with its quaint, shop-lined streets, Jersey’s coast has a quintessentially British feel to it.
One of the best ways to enjoy the best of Jersey’s coastal scenery is on a coastline boat or cruise trip which we have included as part of our Jersey & St Helier Tour escorted trip, giving guests the chance to admire panoramic views of St Aubin’s Bay and La Corbiere Lighthouse. And if those views aren’t already breathtaking enough, you may even see dolphins or grey seals if you’re lucky - so remember to have your camera at the ready for this coastal trip.
With the likes of Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings all nestled along England’s South East coast, it’s no surprise that these UK coastal towns are visited by millions of holidaymakers year after year. From the historic fisherman’s town at Hastings’ Rock-a-Nore, to Eastbourne’s renowned Beachy Head offering incredible views of the coast and beyond on a clear day, these UK coastal holiday locations alone are enough to bring most to this part of the country. Add in the cultural and colourful melting pot that is Brighton to the mix and we’re onto a winner. From the eclectic and quirky shops of the North Laines, to the seemingly endless antique jewellery shops in the cobbled alleys of the South Laines there’s plenty to explore shopping-wise alone. Take a stroll along Brighton’s iconic pier, stopping for an ice cream or bag of chips along the way and you’ve got yourself a classic day at the English coast. To really take in the best of the coast, take a trip up the i360 tower for a panoramic view of the sea all the way out to France.
The Antrim Coast, home to the world-famous Giant’s Causeway - an awe-inspiring sight of stepping stone-like columns leading down to the dramatic Atlantic. Believed to be the result of a volcanic eruption dating back millions of years, this popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland is worth visiting on its own merit, let alone the fantastic views out to the Atlantic that greet its visitors upon arrival. In fact, all along this wonderful stretch of coastline known as the Causeway Coastal Route makes for a wonderful trip in itself. Starting in historic Belfast, weaving through the picturesque Glens of Antrim with stops at some of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful castles along the way, the Antrim Coast is easily one of the most scenic coastal holidays to enjoy in the UK - which is why we’ve included many of these stops on our Titanic Experience & Belfast City Tour which we thoroughly recommend for experiencing the best of Northern Ireland’s coastline.
It’s not often that coastal towns in the UK can confidently be compared to scenery you’d expect to find in a far-flung exotic destination, yet it’s safe to say that Cornwall is certainly the exception. From the crystal clear shores of Penzance, to the colourful corals and sea life waiting to be discovered in Falmouth and Mawgan Porth, when it comes to coastal holidays in the UK Cornwall has got to make the list. Add in the popular surf spots in Newquay’s Fistral Bay, Polzeath and Perranporth and there’s enough to keep you busy on this UK coastline for at least one trip. Not to mention the iconic cuisine associated with Cornwall, from traditional, hearty Cornish pasties, to scones with jam and Cornish clotted cream, or even a Cornish ice cream which makes for a quintessentially English accompaniment to any coastal walk.
Looking to stay closer to home for your next holiday? Why not take a look at our collection of UK holidays and tours to be inspired by the plethora of historic monuments and scenic views to be enjoyed right on our doorstep.
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