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Best Coastal Towns in England

England has a long and varied coastline with many charming towns and villages. Some popular coastal destinations in England include Brighton, Cornwall, the Cotswolds, and the Isle of Wight. 

These towns and villages offer a range of activities and attractions, from historic landmarks and picturesque beaches to bustling markets and lively entertainment. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-filled trip, there are plenty of coastal towns in England to choose from.

Devon

Noss Mayo from Newton Ferrers in Devon

known for its stunning landscapes and rich history. There are many things to see and do in Devon, making it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.

One of the top things to do in Devon is to visit the Jurassic Coast. This UNESCO World Heritage Site stretches for 95 miles and offers breathtaking views of the coast and the sea. Here, you can explore fossil-rich cliffs, secluded coves, and bustling seaside towns. You can also take part in a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and watersports.

Another popular attraction in Devon is Dartmoor National Park. This vast expanse of moorland is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, and offers plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking, and horse riding. You can also visit the historic ruins of Dartmoor Prison, which was used to house prisoners during the Napoleonic Wars and the First World War.

If you’re interested in art and culture, then a visit to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is a must. This museum is home to a wide collection of art, natural history, and cultural objects, and offers a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of Devon.

For a more laid-back experience, you can spend a day at one of Devon’s many beaches. The county is home to some of the best beaches in the UK, with golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of space for swimming, sunbathing, and other activities. Some of the best beaches in Devon include Blackpool Sands, Woolacombe Beach, and Exmouth Beach.

Finally, no trip to Devon would be complete without trying some of the delicious local food and drink. The county is known for its fresh seafood, cream teas, and locally-produced cider and beer. You can sample these treats at one of the many cafes, pubs, and restaurants that dot the landscape.

To start planning your own custom tour of Devon, get in touch with our experts below.

Cornwall

Cornwall Coast, England, Tours

One of the top things to do in Cornwall is to visit the Eden Project. This environmental attraction is home to a vast array of plants from around the world, and offers a unique insight into the relationship between plants, people, and the planet. You can explore the tropical Biomes, which house thousands of exotic plants, and learn about the role that plants play in our lives.

Another popular attraction in Cornwall is the Tate St Ives. This modern art gallery is home to a wide collection of works by some of the most famous artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, including Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, and Ben Nicholson. You can also visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which is located nearby and offers a fascinating insight into the life and work of this pioneering artist.

If you’re looking for a more active experience, then you can visit the South West Coast Path. This 630-mile trail offers stunning views of the coast and the sea, and offers plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking, and birdwatching. You can also visit one of Cornwall’s many beaches and take part in a range of watersports, such as surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

For a taste of Cornish culture, you can visit the historic town of St Ives. This charming town is home to a thriving arts scene, with galleries, workshops, and studios dotted throughout the town. You can also visit the St Ives Museum and discover the history and heritage of this unique part of Cornwall.

Finally, no trip to Cornwall would be complete without trying some of the delicious local food and drink. The county is known for its fresh seafood, pasties, and locally-produced cider and beer. You can sample these treats at one of the many cafes, pubs, and restaurants that dot the landscape.

In short, Cornwall has something for everyone. Whether you’re an art lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing holiday, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in this beautiful part of England.

Cotswolds

bridge over the river in the Cotswalds with stone cottage in background.

One of the top things to do in the Cotswolds is to visit one of the many charming villages that dot the landscape. These villages are known for their honey-colored stone buildings, thatched roofs, and pretty gardens, and offer a glimpse into a way of life that has changed little over the centuries. Some of the most popular villages to visit in the Cotswolds include Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Chipping Campden.

Another popular attraction in the Cotswolds is the Cotswolds Wildlife Park and Gardens. This family-friendly attraction is home to a wide range of animals, from lions and leopards to meerkats and monkeys. You can also explore the gardens, which are home to a diverse array of plants and flowers.

If you’re interested in history and heritage, then a visit to the Cotswolds is a must. The area is home to many historic landmarks, such as the Roman ruins of Chedworth, the medieval castle of Sudeley, and the Elizabethan manor of Broughton Castle. You can also visit one of the many museums in the Cotswolds, such as the Cotswolds Motoring Museum and the Cotswolds Farm Park.

For a more active experience, you can take part in one of the many outdoor activities that the Cotswolds has to offer. The area is home to miles of walking and cycling trails, as well as a range of water sports and adventure activities. You can also visit one of the many gardens and parks in the Cotswolds, such as Hidcote Manor Garden and Westonbirt Arboretum.

Isle of Wight

tourists walking along coast on Isle of Wight.

One of the top things to do on the Isle of Wight is to visit the Needles. These three distinctive stacks of chalk are located on the westernmost tip of the island and offer breathtaking views of the coast and the sea. You can take a chairlift ride to the top of the cliffs and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Another popular attraction on the Isle of Wight is the Isle of Wight Zoo. This family-friendly zoo is home to a wide range of animals, from lions and tigers to meerkats and monkeys. You can also visit the African Village, which offers a glimpse into the daily life of a traditional African community.

If you’re interested in history and heritage, then a visit to Carisbrooke Castle is a must. This medieval castle was once the prison of Charles I, and offers a fascinating insight into the island’s rich history. You can also visit Osborne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which is located nearby.

For a more active experience, you can visit one of the many beaches on the Isle of Wight. The island is home to some of the best beaches in the UK, with golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and plenty of space for swimming, sunbathing, and other activities. Some of the best beaches on the Isle of Wight include Sandown Bay, Shanklin Beach, and Compton Bay.

Brighton

Brighton Pier and people on the beach.

Brighton is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city located on the south coast of England. It is known for its lively atmosphere, diverse culture, and beautiful setting, making it a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Here are some of the best things for tourists to do in Brighton:

Royal Pavilion: This exotic palace was once the pleasure palace of King George IV, and offers a fascinating insight into the life and times of this flamboyant monarch. You can explore the opulent rooms, admire the Oriental-inspired architecture, and learn about the history of the palace.

Brighton Pier: This historic pier is a landmark of the city and offers a range of activities and attractions, from amusement arcades and fairground rides to food and drink outlets. You can also visit the Sea Life Centre, which is located nearby and offers a glimpse into the underwater world.

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery: This museum is home to a wide collection of art, natural history, and cultural objects, and offers a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of Brighton. You can also visit the North Laine, a vibrant and bohemian area of the city that is home to many independent shops, galleries, and cafes.

Green Spaces in Brighton: The city is home to many parks and gardens, such as the Royal Pavilion Gardens and Preston Park, which offer plenty of opportunities for walking, running, and picnicking. You can also take a stroll along the promenade and admire the views of the sea and the city.

Local Food and Drink in Brighton: The city is known for its fresh seafood, locally-produced beer and cider, and traditional Sussex fare, such as the famous Brighton rock. You can sample these treats at one of the many cafes, pubs, and restaurants that dot the landscape.

In short, Brighton has something for everyone. Whether you’re an art lover, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a lively city break, you’re sure to find plenty of things to do in this vibrant and diverse city.

Our Coastal Town Experts

From the picturesque beaches of Cornwall and the scenic landscapes of Devon, to the historic landmarks of the Isle of Wight and the vibrant culture of Brighton, there is a coastal town in England that will suit every taste and interest. 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach holiday or an adventure-filled trip, these towns and villages offer a range of activities and attractions that are sure to impress. So why not plan a trip and experience the best of what England’s coast has to offer? You’re sure to have a memorable and enjoyable time.

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