Coastal

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Arnside, Cumbria

Arnside was a tiny fishing village until it grew as a holiday destination in Victorian times. It is located on the estuary of the River Kent on the north-eastern corner of Morecambe Bay, within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is predominantly residential. There's a small pier, a collection of shops and cafes, a couple of pubs and easy walks along a modest promenade with lovely views of the Cumbrian mountains. The tides at Arnside go out a long way, and turn very quickly creating a tidal bore when the water floods back. It is also highly dangerous to venture onto the sands. Nearby Arnside Knott, a limestone hill, provides woodland and open hillside walks and is famous for its views over Morecambe Bay - and its butterflies and flowers. On the Silverdale side of Arnside Knott is Arnside Tower, a Pele tower built as a defence against border (Scottish) raiders. The railway (Furness Line) between Lancaster and Carlisle via Barrow-in-Furness crosses the River Kent via the Arnside viaduct.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arnside
County
Cumbria
Post Code
LA5 0HE
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Arnside Knott, Levens Hall, Carnforth, Kendal
Primary Management
Local Authority
ARNSIDE KNOTT

A limestone/sandstone hill offering grassland, meadow and woodland walks, with great views over the Kent estuary and Morecambe Bay. Famous for wildflowers and butterflies. Nearby Jack Scout's cliffs are good for bird watching and sun sets. Limited parking. Signposted from Arnside.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arnside
County
Cumbria
Post Code
LA5 0BP
Main Historic Period
N/A
Tip/Nearby
Arnside, Sizergh Castle, Morecambe
Primary Management
National Trust
BEACHY HEAD

Beachy Head is a famous chalk headland and landmark, immediately to the west of the town of Eastbourne. There are fine views and walks along the cliffs, approx 500 feet above sea level. There is parking nearby and at Birling Gap further along the coast. Beachy Head has an interesting history and was used as a listening and lookout post during WW2. The cliffs are, however, extremely dangerous and the area has a high death-rate, through a combination of foolish accident and, unfortunately, suicide. Beachy Head lighthouse began operating in 1902.

The post code below is for the nearby pub.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Nr Eastbourne
County
East Sussex
Post Code
BN20 7YA
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Eastbourne, Seven Sisters Country Park
Primary Management
Local Authority
Blakeney

In the Middle Ages, the small village of Blakeney was a thriving port handling exotic products like spices. Silting of the harbour changed its fortunes and it’s now an attractive tourist destination and a good base for exploring north Norfolk. It is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Norfolk Coastal Path passes through the village and the whole area is a magnet for walkers and wildlife lovers. The harbour and surrounding marshes are owned by the National Trust and is a nature reserve. Within the village are the remains of the medieval Blakeney Guildhall, the twin-towered medieval St Nicholas church as well as pubs and restaurants. The largest seal colony in England can be visited by boat to Blakeney Point, which (with restrictions to protect wildlife) can also be walked to from nearby Cley-next-the-Sea. Samphire is grown on the point and, as well as seals, ringed plovers, oystercatchers, brent geese and common teal can also be spotted.

Region/Nation
County
Norfolk
Post Code
NR25 7NE
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Nature reserve, seal spotting, Holkham Hall, Castle Acre...
Primary Management
Local Authority
BOSCASTLE

Picturesque ancient Boscastle perches on the side of a small valley in north Cornwall. It is possibly best known for its long narrow harbour, a natural inlet at the mouth of the River Valency, protected by two stone harbour walls built in 1584 by Sir Richard Grenville. It is packed with history, from the remains of the castle that gives it its name – Boterelescastel (1302), to its old fishermen’s cottages. It has an industrial past, but is now a destination for tourists who come for its potteries, art galleries, the Museum of Witchcraft, views – and walking; the South West Coastal Path runs through Boscastle. It has associations with Thomas Hardy, who met his first wife, Emma Gifford, while working as an architect on the nearby church of St Juliot. Boscastle is ‘Castle Boterel’ in his 1873 novel, ‘A Pair of Blue Eyes’. Beneath Penally Point is a blow-hole known as the Devil's Bellows, which sometimes blows a horizontal spout of water halfway across the harbour entrance.

Severe flash floods in 2004, and to a lesser extent in 2007, turned roads into gushing torrents and caused considerable damage.

Most of the land is owned by the National Trust.

Region/Nation
County
Cornwall
Post Code
PD35 0HD
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Saint Nectan’s Glen, Crackington Haven, Tintagel.
Primary Management
National Trust
BROWNSEA ISLAND

Brownsea Island (aka 'Branksea') is the largest island in Poole Harbour (about 1 mile x 1/2 mile) and is primarily a wildlife area of woodland, heath and wetland, home to red squirrels and a variety birds. There are trails and events, including open air theatre and an annual round the island swim. Brownsea was chosen by Baden-Powell to try out his scouting ideas and is also said to have inspired Enid Blyton. Brownsea Castle, originally 16th century, is currently (August 2016) leased to the John Lewis Partnership as a staff hotel and not open to the public. Access to the island is by ferry from Poole.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Poole Harbour
Poole
County
Dorset
Post Code
BH13 7EE
Main Historic Period
N/A
Primary Management
National Trust
CEIBWR BAY

Ceibwr Bay is a relatively remote and tiny cove of rocks and sand hemmed in by tall cliffs. It is not a beach to swim from, but the scenery is wonderful and it is possible to spot dolphins offshore.  The coastline either side is wild and spectacular and it is well worth walking in either direction.  About a mile to the south of Ceibwr Bay is the popular Witches’ Cauldron sea cave.

North east of Molygrove.  There is limited roadside parking on the narrow road near Ceibwr Bay.  Post code approximate.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Ceibwr Lane
Moylgrove
Cardigan
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA43 3BU
Main Historic Period
N/A
Primary Management
National Trust
CLOVELLY

The picturesque and very unusual village of Clovelly, with its distinctly Celtic-sounding name, is situated on Devon’s beautiful north coast.  A little frozen in time, with most of its buildings listed, it has been in private ownership since the time of Elizabeth I and home to the Rous family for over 400 years. A charge is payable for visitor access.  The village is still a working fishing port, clinging to a 400 foot cliff overlooking Bideford Bay. There has been no motorised vehicular access to its steep, cobbled, street since the 1920’s – just donkeys and sledges.   These days, donkeys are used to give children rides – all goods are moved using man-powered sledges.  Access to the village is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Region/Nation
County
Devon
Post Code
EX39 5TA
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Bideford, Hartland Heritage Coast
Primary Management
Private - open to the public
CRASTER

Craster is a small fishing village on the coast of Northumberland, known as a good starting point to get to Dunstanburgh Castle about a mile up the coast, and famous (apparently all round the world) for its kippers (cured herrings). It has an attractive harbour, cafes and pubs and is a good base from which to explore the area. As well as local walks, boat trips are available from the harbour.

The harbour commemorates the death in 1904 of Captain Craster in Tibet. The family have owned property in the area since the 13th century and may have given their name to the village. Craster Tower is an 18th century mansion incorporating a mid-14th century Pele Tower; it is now a residential property.

Stone was mined from a quarry, which is now part village car park and part nature reserve. The remains of a structure used to help load the stone onto ships can be seen on the harbour; the stone was used for kerbstones in London.

There is limited parking – best get there early or travel by ‘bus.

Region/Nation
County
Northumberland
Post Code
NE66 3TW
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Tip/Nearby
Dunstanburgh, Alnwick
Primary Management
Local Authority
DINAS MAWR promontory fort

Dinas Mawr promontory fort is reckoned to date from the Iron Age and was probably the stronghold of a clan leader.  It is situated on the west of the Pencaer Peninsula, generally known as Strumble Head, jutting out into the Irish Sea.  The location is stunning, but not for those of a nervous disposition, especially in bad weather.  Dinas Mawr is accessible along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path or via a footpath off a minor road.  However, laymen will need to look for evidence of the fort.  A ditch is clearly visible on the headland between what were stone ramparts and traces of at least one hut circle can be made out just inside the ramparts.  Most of Dinas Mawr comprises a towering lump of rock, however, with severely restricted space for settlement to the east and the south of the crag; the top, surely, would have been too inhospitable.  Immediately beyond Dinas Mawr is the islet of Ynys y Ddinas.  Though a good defensive position, there is no fresh water and it is speculated whether the fort had some ceremonial or ritual purpose, for it cannot have been of much long-term use, or in the event of a prolonged siege.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Trefasser
Goodwick
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA64 0LR
Main Historic Period
Prehistory
Link to featured article
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Garn Fawr fort, other prehistoric remains and Strumble Head lighthouse.
Primary Management
National Park

This is a growing listings directory – over 950 entries have been listed as of September 2022. 

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