The huge Islands of Great Britain and Ireland can not be discussed without talking about their coastal areas. The coast means a lot to the English and it is also a major attraction to backpackers. Here we will discuss great coastal attractions of the British Isles. Seas and coasts have exerted big influences on the British culture, histories, eating habits and, most importantly, their leisure activities.
No doubt, you will enjoy backpacking through the beautiful cities on the British Isles. However, what about the coastal areas? Indeed, they offer many more goodies for every tourist and backpacker. Here are the best coastal attractions in the UK.
The Golden Sand Beaches, Bournemouth
Bournemouth is a seaside resort located towards the east of Poole but it is conjoined with Poole, it was established around 1810 making it the oldest in that area. This seaside resort town is located in the county of Dorset, South coast of England. Bournemouth is known for its amazingly stable weather, always warm. A lot of people still practice an active night lifestyle.
Bournemouth boasts of several miles of beaches, of golden sand. Here you see some of the best beaches in the world. These array of beaches include Durley Chine Beach, Alum Chine Beach, Boscombe Beach, and Southbourne Beach.
The Durley Chine Beach is also a great beach for kids, accessible by train from the Bournemouth Pier. It has a traditional pub on the promenade and a café. A short stroll from Durley Chine towards Poole will take you straight to Alum Chine. Alum Chine is known for its beautiful tropical garden. The beach is also a great vacation site for families and children because of its Pirate-themed playground.
Additionally, you can take a train straight from Bournemouth Pier to Boscombe Beach, there are a lot of outdoor activities and sport to do here. The Beach stretches over 1km; twenty minutes’ walk from Boscombe is the Southbourne beach. There is also a lot of refreshment here with ice creams found at the café on the clifftop. There is also a nice golf course here that can be easily accessed by the cliff lift.
Durdle Door, England
On the Jurassic Coast near West Lulworth in Dorset, England, eroded by time and nature is the iconic landmark, Durdle Door, a spectacular natural limestone arch. In the British Isles, the Durdle Door is located in the Lulworth Private Estate, owned by the Welds’ Family. Although it is privately owned, the Durdle Door is open to the public. The arch has formed on a concordant coastline where bands of rock run parallel to the shoreline. The cliffs in this area are subject to occasional rockfalls and landslides because the coastline is generally an eroding landscape. At the base of the chalk cliffs are a number of caves, which have been carved out by the sea.
Also, it is dangerous to enter these caves because of potential cliff falls. In April 2013, a large slide occurred just to the East of Durdle Door, leading to the destruction of a part of the South West Coast Path. Early 19th Century maps, called it Duddledoor. In 1811, the first Ordnance Survey map named it as ‘Dirdale Door’. “Durdle’ is coined from the Old English word ‘thirl’, meaning, “to pierce, drill or bore.” The ‘door’ part of the name is to maintain a modern meaning, referring to the arched shape of the rock.
The beach and roads are usually busy due to tourists and backpackers, but it is much quieter between September and May. The South West Coast Path national trail runs along the clifftop linking Studland in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset. The trail runs 630 miles in total, and it is awesome for hiking as the trail gives a scenic view of the coastline around Durdle Door.
Penmon Point, Anglesey, Wales
This is a fantastic coastline attraction with a lighthouse. It is a pebble beach located around the outskirts of Beaumaris in Anglesey, North Wales. This place is a one-stop point if you are looking for a naturally beautiful vacation destination.
The beach still has its natural touch, from here you can have a great view of the Puffin island, where you can find several species of sea birds, and the Trywn Du Lighthouse, an imposing black and white structure sitting on a rocky, stony outcrop made at the end of the stretch of the pebble beach. The lighthouse was constructed between 1835 and 1838, and it stands 29m tall. The Trywn Du Lighthouse boost of 15,000 Candela lights which flashes every 5 seconds. Its light can be seen from a distance of 12 nautical miles.
You can hike the coastal path which begins from the top of the car park, although, this is not a very interesting route as it crosses fields rather than cliff tops. Also, waiting for you behind the car park is a great café where you can drink like a Welshman.
Old Man of Hoy, Scotland
The word ‘Hoy’ comes from the Norse word for High. The Old man is popular with climbers, and it was first climbed in 1966 by Mountaineers Chris Bonington, Rusty Baillie, and Tom Patey. The Old Man of Hoy is a 449-foot sea stack located close to Rackwick Bay on the West coast of Hoy, a part of the Orkney archipelago, off the North coast of Scotland. The Stack is formed from Old Red Stone created by the erosion of a cliff through hydraulic action in 1750.
The stack is perched on a plinth of basalt rock, and it is one of the tallest sea stacks in the UK. The rock is made up of soft, sandy and pebbly sandstone and harder flagstones, giving the sides a notched and slab-like profile. Also, the stack is separated from the mainland by a 60-meter chasm strewn with debris.
Aside from climbing the Old Man, there is a classic walk on Hoy. This is a clear coastal path uphill from Rackwick to the Old Man of Hoy. The path is 9.25km hike and it has an elevation of 220.meters. You can also continue along the coast to the imposing cliffs at St. John’s head, the highest vertical cliffs in the UK. Although the path becomes progressively rugged and waterlogged, it will be an awesome experience for determined backpackers.
Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland
This is a beautiful and smart seaside resort town located on the Isle of Bute. Rothesay is a beautiful town with a lot of Victorian heritage and graced with the lovely Rothsay bay. Rothesay is the principal town on the Isle of Bute, it can be reached by ferry from Wemyss Bay. During the Victorian era, Rothesay was able to evolve into a big tourist destination.
One of the tourist attractions in Rothesay is Mount Stuart, a 19th-century mansion, with a Gothic look. It is the ancestral house of the Marquesses of Bute. The building was designed by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson during the late 1870s. Additionally, this historical building is rated as an ‘A’ category building. Another thing Rothesay is famous for is the Kingarth Standing Stones, a mysterious, lovely stone circle located opposite Bute Corfield, surrounded by wood. Although currently, most of the trees have been cleared and you can have a direct view of the stones. This is a simple but beautiful place to take a walk.
The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
The Wild Atlantic Way is a tourism trail on the West Coast and some parts of the North and South coasts of Ireland. The trail is 2,500km long and it passes through nine countries and three provinces. The Trail is divided into Northern Headlands, Surf Coast, Bay Coast, Cliff Coast, Southern Peninsulas, and Haven Coast.
Northern Headlands: The headlands are the rocky and remote beauties of the Wild Atlantic Way. Here you get to see the Northern Lights in the skies. The island also houses one of the highest cliffs in Europe, the Slieve League Cliffs.
Surf Coast: If you are looking to ride the waves, head from Mullaghnor to Downpatrick, then to Yeats Country and beyond.
Cliff Coast: Enjoy the scenic view of the moon-shaped islands caved by the Ice Age. The cliffs of Moher here is 214 meters high and are home to over 20 species of seabirds.
Southern Peninsulas: Encounter the Blasket Islands here. The Blasket Islands are a group of Islands rich in history, accessible by boat from the Dingle Peninsula.
Beachy Head, East Sussex
Beachy Head is a chalk headland situated close to Eastbourne, immediately east of the Seven Sisters, East Sussex, England. The cliff is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, with a height of 162 meters above sea level. Its height has made it one of the most common suicide spots in the world. Additionally, you can also view the South East coast, from Dungeness in the East to Selsey Bill in the West, from the peak of the cliff.
The name Beachy has nothing to do with the word ‘beach’. It was gotten from an original French words ‘beau chef’ which means ‘beautiful headland’.
The chalk was formed in the Late Cretaceous epoch, between 66 and 100 million years ago, when the area was under the sea. Wave action contributes to the erosion of cliffs around Beachy Head, which experience frequent small rock falls. The view you get from Beachy Head Cliff is awesome and unique; you won’t get it anywhere else.
Salt Burn-by-Sea, North Yorkshire
Salt Burn-by-Sea is a seaside resort town in Redcar and Cleveland, North Yorkshire, in the British Isles, 12 miles South-East Hartlepool. This coastal resort in the British Isles provides a lot of Victorian beauty and warmth. It harbors the last pier in Yorkshire. Salt Burn-by-Sea is the home for a lot of water sports and delicious food. Salt Burn spreads East to West and runs along the Marine parade. Also, there’s the Skelton Beck which goes through the woods of Valley Garden.
Around the Hunt Cliff is Salt Burn Cliff Lift; a water-powered cliff lift. In 2011, the lift received a £30,000 refit which was the first carriage offsite haul in two decades. The lift now has an intercom system allowing communication between passengers and the driver. This cliff lift leads to the town from the pier and it is the most popular tourist attraction in Salt Burn.
The Salt Burn pier is the last pier in Yorkshire and an amazing place with Victorian charm. The Pier is 1500ft long, but after many years of not being renovated, the pier now measures half of its original length.
Cliff tramway is also a convenient route constructed to make moving up and down the 120ft cliff easier for the ladies and younger ones. This then helps waft people down the cliff. There are also bathing machines below the cliff.
The British Isles features more than 5,000 Islands alongside Great Britain and Ireland. For every backpacker, the beauty of the British Isles is best traced to the British Isles coastal areas. Also, traversing the coastal areas of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland will give you unparalleled access to the picturesque landscape and panoramic view of some of the most beautiful places on the surface of the earth.