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With 775 miles of coastline in our care we look after smaller, harder to reach and little-known beaches, which are ideal if you’re looking to get away from it all. You’ll find these secret bays and coves perfect for wildlife spotting, a peaceful swim or picnic, or simply soaking in the sea views.
Barrowmouth Bay, Cumbria
The site of a former alabaster mine, Barrowmouth Bay feels like a wild, remote stretch of coastline despite being on the outskirts of the town of Whitehaven. It’s a bit of a scramble down to the beach via the route of the old alabaster mine tramway, but it’s worth the effort to watch the peregrines that nest on the sandstone cliffs above the narrow crescent of sand or enjoy views out into the Irish Sea.
Visit the Whitehaven Coast
Blakeney Point, Norfolk
Blakeney Point is a four-mile spit within the Blakeney National Nature Reserve. At high tide it’s soft shingle and suitable for swimming, while at low tide sand is exposed, making it easier to walk on. In summer it’s home to ground-nesting birds (oystercatchers, ringed plovers and little terns) and in winter to Atlantic grey seals. The Watch House halfway along the spit has historic links with smuggling.
Visit Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Hayburn Wyke, Yorkshire
Accessed on foot from the Cleveland Way, Hayburn Wyke is a special place to spend time and enjoy nature. If you sit on the beach or watch from the cliffs on a still, calm day in spring you might spot passing whales and dolphins. In the surrounding woods it’s possible to see wild deer as well as birds and flowers. The beach also has a twin waterfall, which falls directly onto the rocky shore.
Visit the Yorkshire Coast
Kearney, County Down
A long, narrow road takes you through green drumlins (elongated hills formed by glacial ice) to the charming village of Kearney on the Irish Sea coast of the Ards Peninsula. This traditional fishing village dates back to the early 18th century and its sandy beach has views to the Mull of Galloway and Isle of Man on a clear day. Walk along the coastline and you can spot rare plants such as yellow horned poppies.
Visit Strangford Lough
Lantic Bay, Cornwall
A sheltered sandy beach to the east of Polruan near Fowey, Lantic Bay is a hidden gem accessed via a steep track off the South West Coast Path. It’s well worth the challenging climb for its clear turquoise waters and natural amphitheatre created by the horseshoe cliffs. Pencarrow Head, which forms the eastern edge of the bay, is a great place to look out for seabirds, including peregrines and fulmars.
Visit Lantic Bay and Lansallos
Mewslade Bay, Gower Peninsula
On the other side of the headland to Rhossili Bay, Mewslade Bay is a sandy cove surrounded by limestone cliffs that can only be reached on foot from Pitton. It's suitable for swimming and has views over to Lundy and Devon on a clear day, while at low tide a limestone cave is revealed. It’s possible to spot peregrines, fulmars and choughs, and Mewslade Bay is the only place in the UK you’ll find rare yellow whitlow grass.
Visit Rhossili and the South Gower Coast
Woody Bay, Devon
One of the first stretches of coastline acquired through our Neptune Coastline Campaign, Woody Bay is a secluded pebble beach three miles west of Lynton. Accessed via a steep track, the beach is surrounded by dramatic towering cliffs, which are home to fulmars, razorbills and guillemots, making it an ideal spot for birdwatchers. It’s also a great location for rockpooling, a wild swim or a quiet picnic.
Visit Heddon Valley