The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Britain’s shore winners
ENGLAND is dotted with unexpected and dazzling seaside gems. Here KATIE ROWE tours some of the finest…
CLIFFTOP CULTURE IN CORNWALL
HIDING among Cornwall’s sandy beaches and celebrity chef-run seafood restaurants is the Minack Theatre. Its clifftop setting above the rolling Atlantic means the view is just as dramatic as the open-air performances. Regular family storytelling events, Verdi’s La Traviata, Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island are just part of the line-up for the 2017 season. If you can’t attend one of the shows, stop by the cafe for a Cornish cream tea and those spectacular vistas.
BEACH FOOD IN KENT
THe Dungeness Snack Shack in Romney Marsh is proof that you don’t need a deep wallet or fancy restaurant to enjoy quality seafood. The menu changes depending on the catch, hauled in daily by the Hut’s two boats, but you can usually expect some form of fisherman’s roll and lobster and crab rolls. Something that doesn’t change is the view out to sea and the cafe’s strong emphasis on sustainability and unpretentiousness.
VeNTuRe six miles north of the buzzing museums and galleries of the city’s thriving historic waterfront and you’ll find a wide, sandy beach filled with figures gazing out to sea. This is Crosby beach, the permanent home of Antony Gormley’s art installation Another Place. Here, 100 lifesize cast-iron statues are scattered across a two-mile stretch of sand. The tide obscures and reveals the figures as it ebbs and flows, and the effect is both beautiful and a little bit eerie.
HOLY ISLAND IN NORTHUMBERLAND
THIS county’s coast is guarded by a series of dramatic castles, including impressive, dune-fronted Bamburgh and ruined Dunstanburgh, but Lindisfarne on Holy Island is surely the most mysterious. Built in 1550, it stands on a rocky outcrop on the island, which was once home to St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Gospels. In fact, this tiny tidal island was one of Anglo-Saxon england’s most important centres of early Christianity.
As you cross a causeway over the North Sea to reach it, you’re following in the footsteps of pilgrims who have made this same journey since the 6th Century.
VINTAGE RAILWAY IN DEVON
THe Dartmouth Steam Railway follows the spectacular english Riviera ‘Geopark’ coastline between Paignton and Kingswear. Stay in one of Blue Chip Holidays’ cottages or lodges in Paignton and spend some time on the town’s soft, sandy beaches before boarding this heritage steam train.
Fans of Agatha Christie should hop off at Greenway Halt to see the queen of crime’s Devon hideaway, and marvel at the ocean panorama as you chug alongside the beach at Goodrington Sands.
Disembark at Kingswear for meandering streets and friendly pubs, or take the foot passenger ferry across the River Dart to Dartmouth.