Want to spy the rarest sea creatures? Wander the lesser-trodden pathways atop imposing mountainous clifftops? Or see London in a new light? Whether it’s on foot, by bicycle, or even out on the water, there no limits on how visitors can experience Britain’s coastline.
For castles and coves head to… the England Coast Path
Visitors can grab their hiking books and walk the world’s longest managed coastal path in 2020. Discover sunlit sandy beaches, crumbling castles, friendly fishing villages and picture-postcard countryside scenery on a route that rambles from the Scottish to the Welsh border. Catch a glimpse of Antony Gormley’s iconic ‘Another Place’ statues – 100 cast-iron men that line Crosby Beach’s yellow sands, and explore Morecambe Bay, the largest stretch of mudflats in Britain, catching a glimpse of the crystal-clear waters and flower-strewn valleys of the Lake District en route. Eat fresh seafood in traditional coastal cottages and explore the medieval fortress of Bamburgh in the north east, or see rare British wildlife in the Broads National Park’s winding waterways. All that and we haven’t even mentioned the southern sections of the path, where bustling ports and towns meet spectacularly rugged cliffs, otherworldly coves and solitary lighthouses on routes that meander from the Norfolk coast to London, Kent, Dorsey and beyond.
For bike riding and British bands check out… the Isle of Wight
Fans of bike riding and famous bands can jump on a ferry or hovercraft into Cows to discover the Isle of Wight, a scenic gem on England’s southern coast. Gaze out over the distinctive chalk stacks known as the Needles at the western point of the island, or explore its quiet country lanes and cycling routes on a bicycle. With purpose-made tracks, challenging bridleways and a number of countryside byways, the island has 200 miles of paths that can be explored on two wheels, many of which follow its rugged and constantly changing coastline. Planning a visit in June? Music lovers get can their fix of top tunes and island life at the Isle of Wight Festival - a weekend of rock, pop and dance featuring some of the biggest names in the industry – 2019 saw Bastille, Biffy Clyro and George Ezra take to the stage, and 2020 promises to be just as impressive.
For whisky, whales and city wildlife go… island hopping
From the craggy cliff faces and golden sands of Anglesey to the winding roads of the Isle of Man, Britain’s islands offer even more of an insight into the nation’s eclectic coastline. In Scotland spot puffins, dolphins and even the occasional whale in Mull, alongside a colourful spectrum of houses in Tobermory. See the famous Harris Tweed being weaved and uncover unique island cultures in the Outer Hebrides, and explore the history of the MacRae Clan at majestic Eilean Donan castle on the Isle of Skye, before visiting one of the nation’s many thriving distilleries to sample a wee dram or two. Looking for city sights? Venture up the River Thames to London to see the skyscrapers, green spaces and the city farm on the Isle of Dogs, wander the South Bank for delectable street food and let the Illuminated Bridges art project shine a light on the city like never before.
For northern city sights and Pennine delights paddle…the Coast to Coast Canoe Trail
See Britain’s waterways from a new perspective along the first ever Coast to Coast Canoe Trail that links Mersey and Humberside. Following the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the Aire and Calder Navigation, the 261-km route could take kayakers between five and eight days to complete – although there’s no obligation to do it all! Journey from Goole to Bootle, gliding through the rolling Pennine Hills and towns and cities including Leeds, Blackburn, Wigan, Burnley and Bradford, as well as more than 100 locks on the way.
For Celtic creatures and cinematic features discover… the Year of Scotland’s Coasts & Waters
In 2020, Scotland’s coasts and waters will be celebrated with a year-long programme of events that showcase the amazing array of aquatic things to see and do across the country. In recognition of the lochs, rivers and canals that have helped to shape the nation’s history, visitors can partake in a wealth of experiences from boat trips and adventure sports to wildlife watching and diving with basking sharks. See playful bottlenose dolphins in Aberdeen during DolphinFest 2020, explore Scotland’s shores in cinematic style at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and dive into the country’s maritime history on an exploration of Scotland’s many islands and waterways – all while enjoying legendary local cuisine and hospitality.
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