Coastal walks: beautiful and scenic routes

A bracing sea breeze, waves crashing against the rocks and soaring seabirds are just some of the reasons we love to walk by the sea. This unforgettable selection of coastal walking trails has it all – golden sands, clifftop views, dazzling wildlife and fascinating historical stories.

A walk by the sea is special in all sorts of ways. Coastal places often remind us of childhood and are where we make new memories with loved ones. Your efforts are always rewarded with an incredible view, a wildlife sighting or the discovery of an unusual rock formation. Check out the best places near you below.

We've also teamed up with our partner Cotswold Outdoor to help give you some useful walking tips and keep you prepared for your next coastal adventure.

Find a coastal walk near you

Smugglers, shipwrecks, battles, storms – our shores have so many stories to tell. Whether you’re looking for a clifftop hike, or gentle ramble along the beach, here are some of the best routes to explore.

North of England

Northern Ireland
Giant's Causeway

Coastal walks in Northern Ireland 

For dramatic coastal views, it’s hard to beat Northern Ireland. You could head to Murlough National Nature Reserve, which stretches out at the foot of the looming Mourne Mountains or head north to Giant’s Causeway with its other-worldly rock formations. Listen to the crashing waves and feel revived.

South of England

Walker enjoying the view from Dinas Oleu, Wales

Coastal walks in Wales 

It’s possible to walk along the entire coast of Wales, so where better to go for a seaside stroll? With your help we look after a tenth of the 870-mile coast path, including the heath-covered Marloes Peninsula with its resident seals, and Rhossili Bay.

" It’s clear that there is something special about the coast. It's a place to escape, that can allow people to boost their mood, relax and sleep longer."
- Eleanor Ratcliffe, environmental psychologist

Go on a coastal walk with Lizzie Daly

You're invited to join us and wildlife presenter Lizzie Daly on a refreshing coastal walk at Sandymouth in Cornwall. Our video will transport you to this wild stretch of coastline, where you’ll enjoy clifftop views, spot seabirds and discover how we work to stem the tide of plastic pollution.

Want to take the same trail as Lizzie? Sandymouth to Duckpool coastal walk

Top tips for a coastal walk

We've teamed up with our exclusive walking partner Cotswold Outdoor to make sure you're well prepared for a day of walking near the sea. Darren Johns, assistant store manager of the Cotswold Outdoor store in Truro, shares his top tips for getting the most out of walking at coastal places. 

Our work with Cotswold Outdoor

As our exclusive walking partner, Cotswold Outdoor supports our work to look after special outdoor places for everyone to enjoy. Cotswold Outdoor gives us funding to help care for walking trails so more people can access the countryside.

Keeping our coast clean

In the summer months, up to 100 bin bags of rubbish can be filled in a single weekend at Dovedale in the Peak District. While at Formby in Merseyside, cool boxes, chairs and glass bottles have been known to cover the beach. A swathe of plastic rubbish gets washed up on the shores of Sandymouth beach in Cornwall every week.

We all love escaping to the sea. But the nature that coastal places connect us with is constantly under threat from plastic pollution. As well as spoiling the beauty of landscapes such as these, litter can also be extremely dangerous for wildlife which can easily become entangled or mistake it for food. It can also act as fuel for wildfires.

If you do have a picnic or produce any other litter during your visit, please keep hold of it until you find a bin, or take it home with you.

We need your support

Footpaths allow us to access the landscapes we love but looking after them is tough and costly work. Remote locations, rough terrain and poor weather conditions often mean that it can take a full day to repair about two metres of stone-pitched footpath in an upland area. And at a cost of up to £180 per metre, it's expensive too. 

  • £4 could repair and maintain one metre of a coastal path
  • £25 could buy a tonne of stone needed to surface paths and prevent erosion from rainfall
  • £50 could pay for two minutes of helicopter flying time to move bags of stones to the paths that need fixing

Your support is more important than ever as we come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus - thank you.

Help look after the places you love 

With your help, we can continue carrying out vital work to restore footpaths and make sure future generations can enjoy the beauty of coastal places. Your support means more now than ever.