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Best Coastal Family Hikes in the UK

17 December 2022

During the pandemic, with the difficulty of travelling further afield, many people have gained a renewed appreciation for the beauty of our countryside and coastal walking routes. We may not have the balmy temperatures of Spain but our higher rainfall at least ensures we have lush, verdant vegetation. We also have some truly stunning coastal walks that have not always been given the appreciation they merit. We have made a list of five of the very best to walk with the family.

White Cliffs of Dover

Truly one of the most iconic and well-loved parts of the UK, the White Cliffs of Dover have featured in songs and ballads for centuries. They are the first point you see on the English mainland approaching by sea from France and are beloved for being the first point of “home” soil. They are also stunningly beautiful white chalk cliffs and have a variety of brilliant coastal walking trails. The kids will be thrilled to see ponies grazing along the walking route and there will be plenty of sea birds taking to wing, so keep a close eye on your sandwiches! 


Burg, Isle of Mull

The trip to the Isle of Mull is in itself spectacular. Mull is one of the islands that makes up the Inner Hebrides, off the West Coast of Scotland, and Tobermory is a picture postcard village of painted houses that doubled as Balamory in the children’s TV series of the same name. 

The Burg coastal walk, while quite challenging for children, should be perfectly doable, and will feel very worthwhile when they see the wild deer and goats grazing peacefully or running skittishly away from them. There are also ancient fossils just waiting to be discovered by curious hands and the views from Mull are nothing short of breathtaking. 

Whitehaven, Cumbria

The coastline around Whitehaven in Cumbria is particularly picturesque and the walk from there to St Bees along the coastal paths will challenge most kids and even some adults, but the payoff in terms of wildlife and natural beauty cannot be overstated. Puffins, terns and guillemots are all to be spotted on this walk, and Whitehaven itself has a fascinating history to explore. 

St Lawrence, Isle of Wight

When talking about coastal walks, it makes sense that some of the best ones are on islands, and St Lawrence on the Isle of Wight is no exception. This two mile walk from St Lawrence to Niton affords stunning views across the Solent and of the craggy rocky outcrops which characterise the island. As coastal walks go, this is a relatively easy one and the children should manage without too much bother in most conditions barring torrential rain. 

Old Harry Rocks, Dorset

There aren’t many outcrops of land that are named after pirates but Old Harry Rocks is supposedly one of them. They are meant to be named for a legendary local pirate called Harry Paye. He was reputed to be the Robin Hood of the high seas and was famed for his generosity to the people of his home town of Poole. 

This walk provides the chance to see spectacular views over the sea and the white chalk cliffs, which are very reminiscent of Dover. The view looks over Studland Bay and four miles of golden sand on the beach below. 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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