Tremendous cliff sides, untamed waves and wild dunes. The British coast is romantic, it’s inspiring, humbling and comforting all at once. If you are travelling to the UK, you cannot miss out on the experience of our beaches.
I grew up near the coast in Newcastle upon Tyne. I have enjoyed many beach holidays throughout the UK. This post will act as an introduction to the coastline. This is why you should add a trip to the British Coast to your bucket list right now.
1. Natural Beaches
It’s to our benefit that beaches aren’t a point of interest for tourists visiting Britain. It means they haven’t been polished like their tropical friends. Nature has been left to do it’s thing and keep ownership of the coast. It’s free for you to explore caves, rock pools and dune sides. Every beach I know of is natural, however if you want the most rugged, quiet beaches to explore I would advise looking into Wales, Scotland and Northern England.
2. Fish and chips
No beach holiday would be complete without at least one lunch at the fish and chip shop. Fish and chips is our national dish. It has grown to feature in menus of all our top restaurants. Though the best place to dine on this beauty will always be by the sea, in a regular, understated chippy.
My personal favourite is from The Fish Plaice, Swanage. It’s an extremely popular, family run shop just next to the quayside. They serve the finest quality fish and chips but maintain the atmosphere, menu and prices of a real British chippy.
When you buy your fish and chips you should also try a battered sausage (my personal favourite) and get some mushy peas and curry sauce to dip your chips in.
3. The pub stop
Is there a truer British experience than stopping in a pub at the end of a windswept walk?
Picture yourself walking in and instantly being welcomed by the crackling wood fire. Covering the walls is photography of the local area from the past few decades. In one corner there is a young couple sat, studying their IOS map, planning the next length of their walk. They’re wearing fleeces and have their dripping raincoats hanging up beside them. In the other corner is a lone man, he has been coming to the pub every evening for his pint of bitter since 1993.
At the bar is the friendly owner. They don’t talk to you like they’re trying to recieve a five star TripAdvisor review, they just speak with you as if you are both human beings. Imagine that. You order yourself the local ale and a packet of hand-cooked, sea salted crisps. You can then enjoy this in solitude whilst protected from the famous British weather.
When I was younger, my friend and I would stay at her shack on the Northumberland Coast. The local pub was called The Ship Inn and it was a perfect, traditional pub. Every day we would count out our pennies and walk along the sand to buy ourselves a small coke each. Occasionally we would treat ourselves to mini milks (the cheapest and most wonderful British ice lollies) and very rarely we would have enough to buy ourselves a portion of chips. I really treasure these memories and they are the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a pub on the coast.
At the shack we also used her kayaks. She would taunt me by rocking the kayak side to side the whole time. We paddled to the rocks that were far out at sea where you could do cliff jumping and seal spotting.
If you are a fan of adventure, you must check out Dancing Ledge, Dorset. Roughly a four hour walk from Swanage, on the Jurassic Coast, lies a rock beach with a pristine natural swimming pool. You walk along the tall green hills to find it and then must clamber down some vertical rocks to reach it. The climb doesn’t seem to stop people from visiting. You will see from the parents climbing down with young children whilst carrying sleeping babies on their back and dogs in their arms. My Grandma managed it with a bad knee too.
There are activities for all levels of craziness. You can jump off the rocks straight into the deep sea, you can stimulate your mind and body with a swim in the pool or you simply relax and take in the energy of the Jurassic Coast.
I am in the midst of writing some more in depth guides to my favourite spots on the British coast. Subscribe so that you are the first to read my travel tips for my home country. It will include stories of my seaside adventures alongside useful information on where to get the best food, drinks, views and adrenaline rushes.
All the love,
Elle on Travel
This was written before Covid 19, however I think it is relevant in these times. It is not currently safe to travel of course and it might not be for a while. However before we are able to travel internationally we will have domestic travel opportunities opening up to us. It will be a time where you can explore you home.
Are you from the UK? Where is your favourite stretch of coast? What are your favourite memories from your past beach holidays? Where would you like to explore once things are safer? Personally I would love to travel to Cornwall and Ireland.