Try out these free walking routes along Britain’s beautiful coastal paths this summer.
It’s the middle of the week and you check the five day weather forecast. For the weekend it’s predicting at least one day of sunshine. Here’s what you can do: pick one of these stunning coastal walking routes and get out and enjoy it.
They’re all free to view and come with a printable OS maps – just register on our website to get started. If you’ve got a smartphone you can also download an app like View Ranger, and use our GPX downloads to follow the route on your mobile. What could be easier?
And if you like these routes, there are thousands more to enjoy if you become a member.
1. Cromer, Norfolk
Length: 13.6 miles
Walking time: 6 hours 30 mins
Starting point: Near the pier, Cromer
Description: This impressive linear walk along the Norfolk Coast Path goes from Cromer to Cley-next-the-Sea, taking in a mixture woodland paths and wonderful cliff top views. Cley-next-the-Sea is a picturesque village with a famous 18th-century windmill and an impressive church, plus a nature reserve loved by bird-watchers. On route you’ll reach the highest point in Norfolk and also have the chance to visit the Muckleburgh Collection military museum.
2. Embleton Bay, Northumberland
Length: 7.7 miles
Walking time: 3 hours 45 mins
Starting point: Craster Tourist Information Centre
Description: A gentle walk along coastal paths crossing low cliffs, sandy beaches and dunes, this circular walk offers the chance to sample the famous kippers at Castor and stroll around the magnificent Dunstanburgh Castle – a ruined 14th-century fortress featured on countless magazine covers and postcards. The finest views are from Embleton Bay – a huge sweep of golden sand and crashing surf backed by a freshwater lagoon. This walk also takes in Newton-by- the-Sea, a lovely isolated 18th century fishing village.
3. Bantham, Devon
Length: 10.6 miles
Walking time: 3 hours
Starting point: Bantham car park
Description: This easy walk takes you along the popular stretch of coastline between Bantham to Bolt Tail, via Hope Cove, along low, grassy cliffs and sandy beaches. Bantham Beach is one of South Devon’s best surfing beaches - it’s also shallow and sandy, so great for kids to paddle in. There are splendid views across Bigbury Bay to Burgh Island, a tidal island that can also be reached on foot at low tide.
4. Cardiff Bay, South Wales
Length: 5.1 miles
Walking time: 2 hours
Starting point: Cardiff Central Railway Station
Description: This walk heads around Cardiff Bay, a beautiful waterfront area built up around a freshwater lake, contained by the Cardiff Bay Barrage. The impressive barrage is more than 1km long and impounds the bay. The views across the Bristol Channel are superb, stretching to Somerset, the Flat Holm and Steep Holm islands. Various landmarks on the route include the Millennium Stadium, the Wales Millennium Centre, the Senedd and the Pierhead.
5. Bedruthan, Cornwall
Length: 10.7 miles
Walking time: 5 hours 30 mins
Starting point: Mawgan Porth Beach
Description: Meandering past a succession of picture-postcard coves, windswept headlands and old-fashioned holiday resorts, this stretch of the coast path running north of Bedruthan ranks among the prettiest in the southwest. This walk includes a Cornish classic: the cliff top vista over Bedruthan Steps, where a rank of colossal, pointed stacks march out of the breakers against a dramatic backdrop of slate escarpments. And if you decide to cut your route short, you can easily kick back and relax on one of the numerous unspoilt beaches.
6. Aberdeen beach, Aberdeenshire
Length: 7 miles
Walking time: 3 hours 30 mins
Starting point: Beach Leisure Centre, Aberdeen
Description: This circular walk takes you around Aberdeen exploring both its Old and New Towns. There’s a lovely, long stretch along Aberdeen Beach, allowing you to soak up the fantastic views along the Aberdeenshire coastline. You’ll also enjoy walking beside the scenic River Don, one of the two rivers that bound this granite city. The route passes many of the city’s most loved landmarks including St Machar’s Cathedral, the Town House, Marischal College and King’s College.
7. Whitby, North Yorkshire
Length: 16.6 miles
Walking time: 8 hours
Starting point: Whitby Bus Station
Description: This linear walk takes you along the attractive and dramatic Cleveland Heritage Coast from Whitby to Cloughton via the old village of Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar, taking in Whitby Abbey and Ness Point. This walk covers one of the finest stretches of the Cleveland Way and includes great views out towards the bay. If the length seems too much for one day, it’s easy enough to break into two, giving you plenty of time time to visit the Abbey and make a weekend of it.
8. Rhossili, Swansea
Length: 4.3 miles
Walking time: 2 hours
Starting point: Rhossili Village
Description: In summer the water sparkles a brilliant blue-green and the sand takes on its radiant straw colour at Rhossili - recently ranked eleventh in a list of the world’s most beautiful coastal locations. The route also takes in the crest of Rhossili Down, studded with prehistoric cairns, burial chambers and breath-taking views from highest ridge in the Gower. Finish this walk off with a lovely dip in the sea.