Next year marks the completion of the England Coastal Path. Once completed you will be able to walk around the entire coast of England and Wales exploring some of the most beautiful parts of the UK. This summer, we embarked on our own tour of the British seaside taking in six different stops along the coast. We love the seaside and hopefully by the end of this post, you will too.
1 SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, ESSEX
The first stop on the tour was to see my family in Southend. Southend used to be one of the most visited seaside resorts in the UK. Today it is a shadow of its former self and not the best place for a weekend away. However, the crowds still flock to its pier which is the longest pier in the world extending 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary. Other seafront attractions include the theme park Adventure Island and the Cliffs Pavillion theatre.
2 MARGATE, KENT
The second stop of our tour took us to Margate. Another town steeped in history as a seaside resort, Margate has had some recent investment to try and encourage tourists to come back to the town. Once famed as the location of the famous Jolly Boys Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses, Margate now has some new favourites. The Turner Contemporary Gallery has recently opened on the seafront and Dreamland, the old amusement fair, re-opened in 2017 after a £25million revamp. During our trip we stayed in a beautiful apartment on the seafront but we’re not sure that we would go back any time soon. While Margate is definitely up-and-coming we didn’t feel like it was quite there yet. The high street is very run-down and it was very busy with stag and hen parties at the weekend.
3 MUMBLES, WALES
Our third and possibly favourite stop of the tour was a stay with some friends on the south coast of Wales in Mumbles. We got the train to Swansea where our friends picked us up and drove us to Rhossili Bay for a long walk along the coast and back along the beach. This is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to and we can’t recommend this part of the world enough. Mumbles itself was a very pleasant base for the weekend and a special mention should go to Boo’s Kitchen which is a fantastic spot for brunch, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian.
4 BRIGHTON-UPON-HOVE, SUSSEX
Brighton is one of our favourite cities in the UK. Being only an hour by train from London, we find ourselves visiting Brighton whenever we have a spare weekend. Although it might not have the most beautiful coastline, there is something for everyone in Brighton. We particularly like wandering around the various independent shops and coffee houses in the Lanes. Brighton is also one of the best places in the UK for vegans and we would highly recommend visiting Terre a Terre for dinner. The Flour Pot Bakery also deserves a special mention for breakfast on the seafront.
5 PERRANPORTH, CORNWALL
We have already written about how we ended up in a caravan in Cornwall but our trip to Perranporth also formed part of summer British seaside tour. It was my first visit to Cornwall and it certainly lived up to its reputation. The views around Perranporth are absolutely stunning and we loved exploring the coast along the coastal path and sunbathing on the beach. Only 20 minutes from Truro, this is a great place from which to explore Cornwall.
6 EASTBOURNE, SUSSEX
The final stop on our tour of the British seaside was inspired by my favourite travel writer, Bill Bryson. Having read his book ‘The Road to Little Dribbling’, I was inspired to walk along the south coast to see the Seven Sisters. The Seven Sisters are a series of stunning white chalk cliffs just outside Eastbourne. As Eastbourne is easy to reach from London, we visited for the day earlier this year getting the train to Eastbourne and then a bus out to Birling Gap. The walk back along the coast to Eastbourne was incredible even if the weather was appalling. I guess you can’t do a tour of the British seaside without a little bit of rain!
Where should we go next on our tour of the British seaside? Do you have a favourite spot on the coast? Let us know in the comments below.