10 of the Best Coastal Walks in the UK

Written by Shayle Follows

The UK is home to some of the most beautiful and dramatic coastal walks. If you love to try new walks we have picked 10 of the best coastal walks in the UK for you to try.

These spectacular walks offer a choice of stunning landscapes along the most incredible UK coastlines. We have picked 10 of our favourite coastal walks in the UK for you to discover on your next walking adventure.

1. Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay, along the Cleveland Way

Moderate | 7 Miles | Take caution with dogs

Cleveland Way coastal walk in the UK

Only six miles from the seaside town of Whitby is Robin Hood’s Bay. This total walkers paradise offers endless opportunities to explore. The bay itself is surrounded by the North York Moors National Park, a park that has a network of nearly one and a half thousand miles of rights-of-way pathways.

The route is approximately 7 miles and takes between 3-4 hours to complete (depending on your pace) with the occasional stop to admire the view and take photos. There are plenty of places to stop, throw down a blanket and enjoy a picnic along this route.

This is not a technical walk and the route is very simple to follow however this is a moderate walk that has uneven terrain at points, there are occasional steep inclines and declines and it can be very slippy in parts. Walking boots/ the correct footwear is essential.

Follow the full route here.

2. White Cliffs of Dover Circular, Kent

Easy | 3.6 Mile Loop | Take caution with dogs

White Cliffs of Dover is a popular UK coastal walk

The White Cliffs of Dover are an iconic landmark with their prominent white chalk face as almost a symbol of home and wartime defence. They have so much to offer, from stunning views and a peaceful walk to an abundance of wildlife, and a wealth of history.

The White Cliffs of Dover Circular is a 3.6-mile circular route that shows off the most beautiful wildflowers and a great walk for all skill levels. It takes approximately 1 hour to complete. This trail is often used for hiking, running, walking and nature trips. Starting from the National Trust which has parking and a cafe for refreshments. This walk takes you to the South Foreland Lighthouse which has a great history to learn about.

Follow the full route here.

3. Whitehaven to St Bees, Cumbria

Moderate | 6.5 Miles | Take caution with dogs

Whitehaven Cumbria offers stunning coastal walks in the UK

The coastline around Whitehaven is so beautiful and the town itself is pretty fascinating, it is inspired by Sir Christopher Wren’s reconstruction plans for London after it was ravaged by the Great Fire in 1666. This is a fantastic walk from the busy harbour, shops and cafes of Whitehaven to the red sandstone village of St Bees.

You can start your walk from either St Bees or Whitehaven, the 6.5-mile coastal path takes 3 to 4 hours to complete due to the up and down nature of the headland.

This is an exhilarating coastal walk that requires good walking boots/appropriate footwear and a moderate level of fitness. If you’re a bird lover you have to keep your eyes peeled as black guillemots, puffins and terns are often spotted along this stretch of coast.

Follow the full route here.

4. Old Harry Rocks Circular, Dorset

Easy | 3.5 Miles | Take caution with dogs

Old Harry Rocks Circular Coastal Walk, Dorset

We have to mention Old Harry Rocks and the white chalk stacks. This cliff-top walk is a fantastic way to take in the Jurassic Coast. Visiting in Spring and Summer is really special as you can expect to see distinctive, and rare, pink pyramidal orchids.

Starting from the South Beach car park. This is a relatively easy 1 – 2 hour walk that boasts stunning views and bracing sea air. This is a great route to take the family for a day out and it’s dog friendly too, as always along the coast take caution.

Follow the full route here.

5. Formby Point via Sefton Coastal Path Loop Trail, Merseyside

Easy | 2.6 Miles | Dog Friendly

Formby Merseyside coastal walk in the UK

A lot of my childhood was spent searching for red squirrels in the woodland then heading to the beach to play and explore the sand dunes at Formby Point in Merseyside. It is a spectacular expanse of beach, sand dunes and pines perfect for a coastal walk.

The walk to Formby Point via Sefton Coastal Path is just a 2.6-mile loop trail located near Liverpool. It’s great for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips. It’s a great walk to do with family or friends and enjoy a day out and a picnic.

Follow the full route here.

6. Stackpole Wildlife Walk, Pembrokeshire

Moderate | 6 Miles | Take caution with dogs

Stackpole coastal walk with stunning views

For wildlife lovers, the Stackpole wildlife walk is a total dream. It takes in a diverse range of landscapes. Alongside the dramatic views, you might be lucky enough to spot gannets nesting and feeding off the coast. Chough are also spotted here too.

This UK coastal walk is classed as moderate, good footwear and moderate fitness are ideal. It’s 6 miles in length and takes approximately 4 hours to complete. The walk begins at Stackpole Quay car park. It then follows the coast path to Barafundle. Make sure to pause at the top of the steps to look down on Stackpole Quay, and at the change from limestone to old Red sandstone to your left.

Follow the full route here.

7. Porthcurno to Penberth Cove, Cornwall

Easy/moderate climbs | 3 Miles | Restrictions for dogs

Porthcurno UK coastal walks

There are many routes and coastal walks in Cornwall, it’s difficult to choose just one! Porthcurno to Penberth Cove is quite a popular route and it’s really not difficult to see why. You will wind your way along the cliffs, sandy bays and long-abandoned tin mines.

The route follows the Coast Path to the WW2 bunker overlooking Porthcurno and then follows clifftop paths overlooking Pedn Vounder beach to rejoin the Coast Path near Treryn Dinas. After the hillfort, the route follows the coast path to Penberth Cove. The route follows a footpath up the valley from the cove to Treen and then returns across the fields to Porthcurno.

At Penberth cove there is a dog ban all year on the slipway and fish landing area. There are also paths close to unfenced cliff edges on this walk so take caution.

Follow the full route here.

8. Dunnet Head, Scotland

Difficult | 10.5 Miles | Not suitable for dogs

Dunnet Head coastal walk in Scotland

A more difficult walk for the people who love a challenging hike! Dunnet Head is the most northerly point of mainland Britain., it’s even further North than John o’ Groats. This challenging UK coastal walk approaches it along the top of its sandstone cliffs, a nature reserve brimming with birdlife. It’s so worth the ache for the incredible views, particularly across the sea to Hoy.

The route includes narrow paths in the heather with steep ascents and some quite boggy sections. Much of the route is along unprotected vertical cliff edges therefore great care is needed and the correct hiking footwear and clothing is essential.

It’s best to avoid the winter months as without prior knowledge and great caution this route can be dangerous. You’ll get to hike through patches of heather in summer, while autumn is an excellent time to see migratory birds.

Follow the full route here.

9. Runkerry Trail, Northern Ireland

Easy | 2 Miles | Dog Friendly

Giants Causeway coastal walk in the UK

The Runkerry trail is a great coastal walk to choose if you would like a view of the Giants Causeway and potentially Scotland if you are there and a very clear day, with many local birds to spot along the way. Keep an eye out for breeding skylark, stonechat, linnet and occasional chough.

The trail starts at the Causeway Hotel, where there’s a path on the left side of the building leading towards the cliff path. Turn left and just follow the path towards Runkerry Head. This walk is suitable for those with mobility restrictions, making it great for wheelchairs, prams and young children. With plenty of picnic spots, it’s a great choice for a wonderful day out.

Follow the full route here.

10. Prawle Point, Devon

Moderate | 3 Miles | Take caution with dogs

Prawle Point coastal walk in Devon

This walk is everything you could want from a coastal walk in the UK. It’s full of dramatic clifftop climbs and stunning views of rocky beaches. Make sure to look out for the sunken Demetrios below Signalhouse Point and don’t miss the ancient boundary stones that dot the landscape. You can call in at the Coastwatch visitor centre to find out more about this wild and beautiful landscape.

This walk takes around an hour and 30 minutes and is absolutely breathtaking.

Follow the full route here.