5 FANTASTIC COASTAL BREAKS
With thousands of miles of wonderfully wiggly shoreline, the UK simply begs to be explored and offers all kinds of coastal breaks. Read on for a few ideas to get you in the mood…
DIVING IN NORTHUMBERLAND
Pull on a wetsuit and head for the Farne Islands off the Northumberland coast. Enjoy close encounters with plump, grey seals affectionately known as ‘inquisitive locals’ – though clumsy on land, they transform into svelte-like creatures underwater. Wreck diving is also popular and numerous wrecks litter the seabed including the 6,810-ton Somali. Do also look out for deep-water anemone, dead men’s fingers and all sorts of crustaceans.
What else? A stunning coastline with AONB status from top to bottom – explore it on foot, by bike or horseback. Golden sand beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, crowned with iconic castles.
FAMILY FUN ON THE YORKSHIRE COAST
Where rolling hills and windswept moors meet rugged cliffs and sea, welcome to a coastline that has it all, including wonderful family resorts with award-winning beaches.
For donkey rides, ice-creams, brightly-painted beach huts and lots to see and do, Scarborough hits the spot, a traditional Victorian resort with a contemporary twist. For spine-tingling vampire fun, Whitby has oodles of Gothic charm, winding, cobbled streets, an imposing abbey and handsome harbour. Or check out charming Filey, with its historic promenade, sea shanty inns and seemingly never-ending sands.
What else? Gorgeous villages like Robin Hood’s Bay, Staithes and Runswick Bay. Mind-boggling scenery and bird life at Flamborough Head. Sensational fish and chips!
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS ALONG THE JURASSIC COAST
Did you know that The Jurassic Coast of Dorset and East Devon sits alongside other show-stopping natural creations like the Grand Canyon and Great Barrier Reef and is England’s first natural World Heritage Site?
Experience this extraordinary Jurassic journey on foot and step back 185 million years as you ramble across the cliff-tops, looking out for dinosaur footprints and many other fascinating fossils like bones, teeth and shells.
Length of coast: 95 miles
Recommended starting point: Charmouth Heritage Coast Centre – guided fossil walks available
Scenic highlights: The perfect horseshoe shaped Lulworth Cove and striking limestone arch of Durdle Door
WHALE WATCHING ON THE ISLE OF SKYE
Connected to the mainland by bridge, this island gem is home to miles and miles of stunning coast and an array of wonderful wildlife, with specially designed tours on offer. Think porpoises, dolphins, seals, all sorts of sea birds, even whales – watching these mighty creatures frolicking offshore is a magical experience.
Other boat trips include scenic and heritage tours, picnics on tiny, remote beaches and activity-based trips combining adventures on land and sea.
Staying on Skye in summer means delightfully long evenings (imagine reading outside until midnight!) and the chance to witness the Northern Lights, when dazzling displays of shimmering light beam across the sky.
Best time to whale watch: June to September
WALKING ON THE GOWER PENINSULA
At 19 miles long and 7 wide, the glorious Gower Peninsula is just the right size to explore on foot. Expect wild flowers and mesmerising views as you follow the coastal path. Not to mention a plethora of pristine beaches, many with Blue Flag status. Don’t miss the magnificent three-miles of sweeping sands at Rhossili – great for families and exercising dogs. Other hotspots include the tidal island of Worm’s Head and Three Cliffs Bay. Or head inland and trek east to west along the Gower Way, with archaeological sites en route.
What else? Learn how to surf at Llangennith. Find fascinating flora and fauna at Llanrhidian Marsh and Whitford Burrows.
Best of all…the National Trust protects much of the peninsula, so The Gower will remain unspoilt and ruggedly beautiful for many years to come!
WHERE TO STAY
For quality, choice and value-for-money you can’t beat a self-catering holiday cottage break. Sykes Cottages offers a great selection of coastal holiday cottages to rent in all of these fantastic areas. Simply decide what you want to do and then find your perfect home-from-home.