Coastal

Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritage
Find places to visit in Britain by name, location, type of attraction, or other keyword.

This listings directory of over 950 entries is being phased out.
It now excludes places and things of interest in North East  and North West England.
These can be found in ABAB’s Places.
Places to visit in Yorkshire  are currently being moved to ABAB’s Places.

Tap/Click ‘find listings’ for a detailed search – or just have a browse. 

ORFORD NESS

Orford Ness is Europe's largest shingle spit, approximately 10 miles long running between the River Alde and the North Sea in Suffolk. It is an internationally important area of shingle habitat, home to a huge variety of wildlife, much of it fragile and precious. It was also used for secret military testing and experimentation, including for aircraft, radio, radar, ballistics and atomic weapons, since the First World War until after the Cold War. Limited access is available via National Trust Ferry from Orford.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Orford Quay
Orford
County
Suffolk
Post Code
IP12 2NU
Main Historic Period
Modern
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Orford Castle, Havergate Island (RSPB)
Primary Management
National Trust
PEMBROKESHIRE COAST NATIONAL PARK

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park covers an area of 240 square miles (621 kilometres) along a 260 mile (418 kilometres) coastline in South-West Wales.  It was established in 1952 and the highest point is Foel Cwmcerwyn at 1758 feet (536 metres).

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is unique in that it is predominantly, but not exclusively, coastal.  But, in addition to high rugged cliffs and broad, sandy, beaches, it does include woodland and inland hills.  Along the 186 mile (299 kilometres) long Pembrokeshire Coast Path you will spot seals, dolphins and basking sharks, as well as seabirds.  There are prehistoric tombs, Iron Age hill forts, numerous castles and Britain’s smallest city, St Davids.  The park includes a marine nature reserve, 6 national nature reserves and 75 Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

Principal settlements include St Davids and Tenby.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority
Llanion Park
Pembroke Dock
County
Pembrokeshire
Post Code
SA72 6DY
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Primary Management
National Park
POLPERRO

The pretty Cornish village of Polperro has been a fishing port since at least medieval times and a magnet for visitors, including artists, for as long as anyone can remember. Narrow streets between quaint old flower-decked cottages mean that tourists are not able to drive their cars to the harbour, but there are carriages available – and boat trips too, when you get there.  The village’s name probably derives from the old Cornish ‘porth’ for ‘harbour’ and means ‘harbour of a man called Pyra’, but what is certain is its notoriety for smuggling in the 18th and 19th centuries – which has contributed to a rich folklore and is illustrated in the Polperro Heritage Museum of Smuggling and Fishing overlooking the harbour.  Pilchards, apparently, were once a particular speciality for Polperro’s fishermen, while other members of the family were employed in processing them.  It is still a working fishing port as well as a popular tourist destination.  There is an annual Art Festival in June and the village has a renowned Fishermen’s Choir.

NB Don't rely on your Sat Nav - park outside the village and walk or take a carriage to the harbour.

Region/Nation
County
Cornwall
Post Code
PL13 2RB
Main Historic Period
All
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Polperro Heritage Coast
Primary Management
Local Authority
PORTSMOUTH CITY WALLS

Portsmouth was for generations the most heavily defended town in England. The city, unsurprisingly, developed round its port and naval facilities. Whilst the original harbour and military base was located around Portchester, where the Romans built a fort, by the medieval period the major settlement was at the harbour mouth, the area now known as ‘old Portsmouth’. Here, and at various points eastward along the seafront, are the scattered remains of fortifications, some of which were in use from the 14th century as defence against French attacks, right through the Tudor period, when Henry VIII built Southsea Castle, to the Second World War. Also along the sea front are many memorials that give hints of Portsmouth’s maritime heritage. There is free access to many of these fortifications, possibly best starting off near Portsmouth’s Broad Street, where the 15th century Round and Square Towers are situated. Under parts of the walls, where ammunition was once stored, are cafes and pop-up galleries. There are fine views of the harbour and sea traffic from the walls here - and the Round Tower is the place for front-row views of major ships entering or leaving port.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Broad Street
Old Portsmouth
County
Hampshire
Post Code
PO1 2FS
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Garrison Church, Southsea Castle, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Primary Management
Local Authority
ROBIN HOOD’S BAY

Robin Hood's Bay is a picturesque bay and fishing village on the Heritage Coast of the North York Moors. The old village, located at the bottom of a steep cliff (be prepared for tired legs) is popular with day-trippers as well as those on holiday and is the eastern end of Wainwright's 190 mile Coast to Coast walk. There is a sandy beach, rock pools to explore and fossils to discover, with photogenic colourful cottages, cobbled streets and alleyways, cafes, pubs, a museum and local walks.
The village is at least medieval and by 16th century was a substantial settlement, more important than neighbouring Whitby. By 18th century it is reputed to have been the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire coast and fierce battles would take place between locals and government excise men. There is said to be a network of tunnels under the houses.

Sadly, there is no evidence to link the legendary Robin Hood with Robin Hood’s Bay.

County
North Yorkshire
Post Code
YO22 4QN
Main Historic Period
Victorian
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Handy base for North York Moors
Primary Management
Local Authority
RUNSWICK BAY

Runswick Bay is an attractive bay in North Yorkshire with a small village at the north-west end and a sandy beach to the south-east. It is popular with visitors and once had a thriving artistic community. It's claimed to be perfect for a traditional bucket and spade type holiday - and fossils can occasionally be found on the beach. Originally a fishing village, it was almost completely obliterated by a landslide in the 17th century. The rebuilt village has attractive red-tiled roofs and is almost totally unsuitable for motor vehicles.

Runswick lies on the Cleveland Way trail and is just 5 miles north of Whitby.

County
North Yorkshire
Post Code
TS13 5HT
Main Historic Period
Modern
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
Staithes
Primary Management
Local Authority
SCILLY ISLES

The Scilly Isles, or more properly the Isles of Scilly, are an archipelago of 50+ islands and islets about 28 miles off the south-western tip of Cornwall. There are five inhabited islands - St Mary's, Tresco, St Martin's, Bryher and St Agnes. St Agnes is the most southerly point in the United Kingdom, about 4 miles further south than Lizard Point, the most southerly point of the British mainland. The capital of the Isles of Scilly is Hugh Town on St Mary’s, which is the largest and most populated island. The islands are famously warm, snow and ice being extremely rare, though they do suffer from Atlantic storms. They have a rich and varied history from prehistoric times, were known to the Phoenicians and Romans and are associated with many legends. The economy relies heavily on tourism and the Scilly Isles are a unique and lovely holiday destination. Access is by ferry, fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter; the ferry from Penzance takes about 3 hours.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Atlantic Ocean
County
Cornwall
Post Code
TR21 0LW
Main Historic Period
N/A
Useful Website Address
Tip/Nearby
About 30 miles off the coast of Cornwall
Primary Management
Local Authority
SEALS at BLAKENEY POINT

One of Britain's largest colonies of common and grey seals is at Blakeney Pont, a 4 mile spit that sticks out into the North Sea. It is a national nature reserve, and a favourite spot for birds, native and foreign, as well as seals. Various companies run boat trips to see the seals. The trips last about an hour and tend to depart from Morston Quay.

The link below will take you to one operator - but there are others - no recommendation is implied.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Morston Quay
Nr Blakeney
County
Norfolk
Post Code
NR25 7BH
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Blakeney village, Cley
Primary Management
Other
SEVEN SISTERS

The Seven Sisters are famous chalk cliffs on England's south coast. Within Seven Sisters' Country Park are a series of trails, taking in local views and wildlife, and a variety of outdoor activities are undertaken too. A favourite walk is from the country park following the small Cuckmere River to the beach, or up onto the cliffs. To get the famous view, you need to visit Seaford Head, accessed through the town of Seaford.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Exceat
Seaford
County
East Sussex
Post Code
BN25 4AD
Main Historic Period
N/A
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
Beachy Head
Primary Management
Local Authority
SILVER SANDS of MORAR

The Silver Sands of Morar are on a stretch of coast running along the B8008 road between Arisaig and Morar, part of the old Road to the Isles to Mallaig.  It is famous for its stunning beaches. There are also wonderful views across to the Isles of Muck, Eigg and Rum. The Silver Sands of Morar were featured in the movie, Local Hero (1983).

The post code is for a local golf club.

Region/Nation
Location/Address
Arisaig
Inverness-shire
County
Highland
Post Code
PH39 4NT
Main Historic Period
All
Link to featured article
Tip/Nearby
The A830 Road to the Isles from Fort William is known for its scenery and takes in the Glenfinnan Monument.
Primary Management
Local Authority

If your favourite attraction is not listed yet, and you have a good quality digital photograph of it that you are able to freely send, please get in touch

Scroll to Top