Unmissable sea views
Living on an island we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to sea views, from wild cliffs and open seas to tranquil beaches and hidden coves. There are endless beautiful places along the coastline we look after to sit and relax, walk or even run with a sea view and we’ve chosen ten of the very finest seascapes.
Part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs, Birling Gap and Crowlink have incredible views along the South Downs, the sea foaming at the base of the dazzling white cliffs while the grass chalkland hills, rich in butterflies and wildflowers, undulate into the distance. The beach at Birling Gap offers an alternative view of the cliffs from sea level and other sights tucked away in the many rockpools found along the shore.
Blakeney Point is a four mile long sand and shingle spit within the Blakeney National Nature Reserve with views into the North Sea, dramatic skies and plenty of opportunities to spot coastal wildlife from seabirds to seals. You can enjoy the landscape on foot, get panoramic views from the Morston Information Centre Observation Tower or take a boat ride from Morston Quay for a perspective from the water.
Cloaked in heather and gorse, Dunwich Heath on the Suffolk coast is a patchwork of colour from June to September. The cliffs are home to sand martins in summer which perform acrobatic aerial displays and on the shingle beach below clumps of sea pea and sea kale grow. To the north you can see Dunwich, known for its lost medieval town, while looking south reed beds and shallow lagoons contrast against the Sizewell power stations.
Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other, for centuries the Giant’s Causeway has captured the imagination of all who see it. Inquiring minds have marvelled at the regularity of the basalt columns’ shape and vastness of their number and while the world-famous stones are an undeniable draw on any visit, climbing the Shepherd’s Steps to the cliff top offers spectacular views along the Causeway Coast.
This stretch of the north Cornwall coast is a great spot for watching surfers and enjoying the views of St Ives Bay. Set out in the bay off Godrevy Head, the Godrevy Lighthouse on Godrevy Island is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. Walking around Godrevy Head, away from Gwithian Beach, you get to a very wild part of the coast dominated by the dramatic coves of the North Cliffs.
The Jurassic Coast covers over 90 miles of stunning coastline and offers an amazing variety of landscapes. Old Harry Rocks is one of the most recognisable landmarks, the chalk formations standing proud at the southern end of Studland Beach. From the great rocky shoulder of Golden Cap you can see across Lyme Bay to Dartmoor on a clear day. Beautiful coastal flowers pepper the shingle at Cogden Beach near Burton Bradstock.
Tennyson Down is a wonderful place for cliff-top walks. There’s a great view of the Needles chalk stacks from the western end of the ridge and in spring and early summer there are beautiful displays of flowers such as primroses, cowslips and sheets of yellow vetches. You can also see peregrines, ravens, cormorants and gulls gliding. The Needles Old Battery tea-room is perfect for a scone with a view and you can borrow binoculars while you're there.
Just a few miles from the border of the Lake District National Park, the Whitehaven Coast is known as the ‘colourful coast’. As well as the towering red sandstone cliffs, from May to July the cliff tops are dominated by a carpet of wildflowers. The coastline offers excellent vantage points in all directions – you can see the Solway Estuary, Irish Sea and Scotland. On a clear day you can even see across to Northern Ireland.
Worms Head is a tidal island at the end of Rhossili Bay. It’s only accessible via a causeway for two and a half hours either side of low tide. Once you’re at the tip of Worms Head you have a 360 degree view of Rhossili Bay, the south Gower coast and across to Devon. The very outer part of Worms Head isn’t accessible between March and mid-August due to nesting birds but the views from the inner head are still breath-taking.
Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast offers far-reaching views out to sea and you can spot seabirds as well as seals and passing ships. The Old Coastguard Station in Robin Hood’s Bay village is a great lookout from the north side of the bay while Ravenscar offers views from the south. Warsett Hill between Saltburn and Skinningrove is well worth the climb for the panoramic views of the coast and surrounding area.