Thinking about a ‘staycation’ this year instead of going abroad?

When you look for a holiday or a short city break do you consider staying in the United Kingdom?

Most of us Brits think of a way to get to the sun. The hotter the better it seems but do we bypass the natural splendour of our own country doing this? Sure we look at Christmas shopping in Edinburgh or London and have the odd dirty weekend away but do we really think about the stunning coastline here in England, Scotland and Wales for a long break?

This year Coast Radar is going to be focusing on just that – the ‘staycation’.

Did you know that we have over nineteen thousand four hundred miles (19 491) miles or 31,000 km of gorgeous coast line including all our islands?

Nowhere in the UK is the coastline more than seventy miles away making this country an ideal spot for those of us who love beaches, bays, peninsulas, headlands, islands and coves. There are over one thousand islands to be visited but only two hundred and ninety of them are permanently inhabited.

The UK coast offers places of outstanding natural beauty and endless leisure and lifestyle attractions whether it’s a few hours out walking, a short break or a holiday so let’s get to the coast this year!

Here are a few of the coastal hotspots of the United Kingdom for you to explore.

Warkworth Beach, Northumberland

This is a two mile long beach of sand with dunes at the back. Locals say it’s never too crowded but is perfect for a day out walking in the Winter, picnicking, swimming and sailing and kite flying on windy days! There’s even a free car park.

Amusdarach, Inverness

This beach has breathtaking views across to the Isle of Skye and lies just one mile south of Morar. It is a wonderful spot for a walk or a picnic with the family and a bit of exploring too. The sand is white and the sky generally blue!

Reculver, Kent

There are about sixteen miles of flat walking or cycling path just East of Whitstable on the North Kent coast. You can park by the roman ruins and head towards Margate to pick up the path. Stick close to the sea on your left. It’s circular so you have to walk back too! Kids love it as there are good rock pools at Reculver beach and beach huts to store your chairs and picnic in.

St Margaret’s Cove, Cliffe, Kent

You’ll feel like you could stroll over to Calais from here! James Bond was filmed in this part of the country and Noel Coward lived here. The Coastguard is a great pub to people watch from and there’s an eco centre – Pines Calyx – set in acres of gardens opposite a small tea room cum museum.  All very quaint and beautiful!

Rottingdean, East Sussex

Rottingdean lies East of Brighton and is a lovely village set in a dip just above the shoreline. Mentioned in the Domesday book, Rottingdean is famous as a smugglers haunt and Kipling who lived just opposite the village green from 1897 – 1902. The Black Horse Inn comes highly recommended for a pint and the tea rooms do a smashing cream tea and warm, light food in the winter!

Woolacombe Bay, Devon

This is a pristine and superb beach and you can take your dog for a walk on the beach!

Woolacombe Bay Hotel offers lunch and cream teas on the lawns sloping down to the sea which is perfect on dry days – even if you are wrapped up warm! The walks here are good taking you along the sandy beach or on the cliffs behind. The walks vary in length from two miles to eight miles but all are popular and on level stretches so easy enough for everyone.

St Ann’s Head, Pembrokeshire

At the entrance to Milford Haven on the Pembrokeshire coast lies St Ann’s Head. There are lots of little coves here and the walks are magnificent with great ocean views. Head for Dale Village and walk on the coast path past the old fort. The beaches are mostly shingle here but it’s a wonderful spot to walk, picnic, sightsee and enjoy a meal at the Druidstone Hotel near Broadhaven.