National Geographic Traveller (UK)



It’s hard not to be drawn in by Cornwall’s charm, but there are plenty of unforgetta­ble coastal escapes to try elsewhere in the UK. Words: Connor McGovern

Cream teas, whitewashe­d fishing villages, surfboards, sandcastle­s, a generous slice of Celtic culture… you’d be churlish to deny Cornwall’s unique appeal. After all, our southweste­rnmost county has a special place in many people’s hearts, its awe-inspiring landscapes forever entwined with memories of summer escapes. It’s a long drive for most visitors who flock here in the summer, but the rewards are famously great: that dazzling, turquoise coast; hikes in the grassy, villagedot­ted interior; and some of the finest seafood the nation has to offer.

People decamped to Cornwall in their droves between lockdowns and its popularity sees no sign of waning. So, those after a bracing dose of the British coast might want to try somewhere different. This is a nation shaped by the sea, after all, and there’s no shortage of windswept, culture-soaked coastlines to enjoy. Stray from the South West and you’ll discover picture-perfect villages, blissful beaches, historic sites and brooding landscapes across the country that give Cornwall a run for its money.

Llŷn Peninsula

Clawing into the Irish Sea, this is deepest Wales. A highlight is Braich-y-Pwll, where the land meets the sea with dramatic beauty. It’s the spot where medieval pilgrims once set off to holy Bardsey Island — hop on a seasonal ferry to enjoy the isle’s solitude yourself.

County Antrim

The Northern Irish county has become a byword for the raw, windswept drama of Northern Ireland. Thrill-seekers should head to The Gobbins, an exhilarati­ng cliff path, reopened in 2015 after a 60-year closure, that snakes through tunnels and over bridges.

Northumber­land Coast

Off the beautiful coast of England’s northernmo­st county lies Holy Island (also known as Lindisfarn­e), a tidal isle and

Ramsar wetland site dominated by its ruined priory. The entire shoreline is dotted with similarly historic sites, with Bamburgh Castle perhaps the most spectacula­r of them all.


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