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And with May marking National Walking Month in the UK, there’s no better time to safely celebrate some of the fantastic coastal walks dotted across our network. Here are five of our favourites:
Scarborough is a stunning seaside town with an intriguing Victorian heritage. The main attractions are undoubtedly the town’s two sandy beaches, both of which are linked together by Marine Drive. This wide promenade skirts around the headland and is a lovely location for a bracing seaside stroll.
Begin your walk at North Bay Beach and head south around the coast. Don’t forget to look up as you walk to see the magnificent remains of Scarborough Castle or spot seabirds nesting along the cliffs. And you might just be lucky enough to glimpse porpoises swimming in the waves.
Once you reach South Bay Beach, you’ll be able to enjoy some fresh fish and chips or visit the old-fashioned Harbour Bar for a delicious ice cream sundae.
Edinburgh is packed with history, culture and unique Scottish flavour. And being located on the Firth of Forth’s southern shore means you’re not too far from the sea. With that comes some fantastic coastal walking options if you want to find a little peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Head to the north of the city, to the port area of Leith to enjoy a stunning coastal walk to Portobello Beach. There’s a path that runs from Leith to Portobello and takes just 15 - 20 minutes to walk, and the stretch of golden sand you’ll find on arrival is well worth it.
In the summer there’ll likely be buskers and volleyball on the beach, while if you fancy stretching your legs a little more, there’s a 2.7 mile walking route around Portobello. This takes in the Town Hall, the Promenade, a range of historic Georgian houses and Portobello High Street.
In Redcar Sands, you’ll be able to embark on a leisurely stroll right along the sand all the way to Saltburn – a coastal town famous for its small pier and vintage funicular tramway.
Marske-by-the-Sea is roughly the halfway point between the two towns and a lovely place to catch your breath or enjoy a drink outside a local café. One local landmark you won’t want to miss once you reach Saltburn is the Saltburn Valley Gardens. It’s located near the top of the tramway and features enchanting forests, manicured gardens and incredible views across the sea.
When you plan to walk the Redcar to Saltburn beach route, just remember to check the tides before you go as certain sections of the beach can get quite narrow at low tide.
OK, while not technically on the coast, Liverpool’s waterfront is pretty close to where the mighty River Mersey meets the sea. And it’s an ideal location for a long stroll.
The best place to begin your walk has to be Liverpool’s world-famous Albert Dock. It’s just seconds from some of the city’s most iconic structures – think the Liver Building and the space-age Museum of Liverpool. You can check out the historic dockyard buildings and then head south down the river. The trail stretches on for several miles and takes you past Otterspool Promenade; a leafy park with a kids’ playground and a café.
Choose to turn back the way you came at Otterspool or do a loop back round to the city centre via Sefton Park and Princes Road. The latter takes you past some of Liverpool’s beautiful Victorian houses and leads you directly into the historic Georgian Quarter.
In Cleethorpes you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to seaside strolls. For a walk away from the hustle and bustle of the town, venture south to the RSPB Tetney Marshes. The protected area is awash with wild wetlands home to all manner of birdlife. You can also stroll down to Fitties Beach, a huge sandy stretch featuring undulating dunes and epic views across the North Sea.
You can reach Tetney Marshes by foot from the centre of Cleethorpes. There are coastal pathways which take you along Cleethorpes Beach’s Central Promenade and past pretty Cleethorpes Boating Lake.
Remember to follow current government guidelines. If you need to travel, make sure you keep safe onboard by social distancing from other passengers, wearing a face covering and only travelling if you’re completely symptom-free.