Our top coastal running spots

Forget the treadmill, these coastal runs will really take your breath away. Whether you run for fitness, inspiration, or to get away from it all, Britain’s coast is a runner’s paradise. Countless miles of trails lay waiting to be explored with wildlife around every corner, not to mention those views. By taking your trainers to some of the places we look after, you’ll also be making a valuable contribution to their conservation.

The beach at Woolacombe, North Devon.

Baggy Point, Devon

Run north from the popular surf beach of Croyde and you’ll discover one of Devon’s best-kept secrets. The headland of Baggy Point, with its high cliffs and expansive views of the North Devon coastline, is a real haven for wildlife.

Footprints on the beach

Brean Down, Somerset

Run out along Brean’s 1.5 mile peninsula and you’ll take in panoramic views across the Bristol Channel to the Holm islands and South Wales beyond. If you get there early enough, you’ll see the sun rise over the Mendip hills and strike the rising mist, filling the downs with light.

A view of Gribbin Head, Cornwall taken from Coombe

Gribbin Head, Cornwall

Head east from the National Trust car park and discover the wild countryside and hidden coves that inspired Daphne Du Maurier’s legendary novels. At Fowey, you can circle back over grasslands filled with wild flowers or, for a longer route, continue up the estuary.

The hills above Heddon's Mouth near Lynton, North Devon in summer

Heddon Valley, Devon 

Hidden in the West Exmoor coast, Heddon Valley lies between the towering cliffs of Hangman Hills and the tree-backed cove of Woody Bay. Open moorland, woodland waterfalls, and an ever-changing seascape are just some of the highlights that make it a must for runners.

Old Nick's Ground, near Old Harry Rocks, at sunset, in the Purbeck Countryside, Dorset.

Jurassic Coast Devon and Dorset 

Runners are spoilt for choice along this 95-mile stretch of World Heritage coastline. From the clifftop paths around Burton Bradstock and Exmouth to the long beaches of Branscombe and Ringstead Bay. Who knows, you might even find a few fossils on your circuit.

People walking through Sheringham Park in Norfolk

Sheringham Park, Norfolk

Running from Souter Lighthouse over the grassy cliff tops, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the North Sea’s many winged residents. Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Cormorants, Shags and Guillemots can all be seen diving into the sea, nesting in the limestone cliffs, and filling the sky. With 1000 acres of landscaped park and woodland gardens to discover, Sheringham Park has a huge choice of running trails. If your legs can handle it, we recommend finishing with a climb up the tower, which has the best views of North Norfolk’s coastline and countryside.

Looking along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path at Stackpole.

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

On a run along Stackpole’s eight miles of coast, you’ll find a landscape that alternates between cliffs and coves, rolling dunes and hidden bays. Head inland around the Bosherston Lakes and you’re also likely to spot otters, water birds and dragonflies playing among the lilies.

Marsden Rock at Marsden Bay, Tyne & Wear.

The Leas, Tyne and Wear

Running from Souter Lighthouse over the grassy cliff tops, you’ll find yourself surrounded by the North Sea’s many winged residents. Kittiwakes, Fulmar, Cormorants, Shags and Guillemots can all be seen diving into the sea, nesting in the limestone cliffs, and filling the sky.

Looking over the town and the wind farm beyond on the Whitehaven coast, Cumbria

Whitehaven, Cumbria

Run along the cliff tops of the Whitehaven coast towards St Bees head and you might spot some of the puffins, guillemots and razorbills that live here. In early summer, wild flowers also carpet the coastline, filling it with colours and scents.