From dramatic cliff-tops to tiny villages
e’re a bit spoilt for coast heritage in this country – one of the perks of being surrounded by water. From dramatic cliff-tops to tiny villages, we’ve got coastal breaks to match all moods. In fact a third of our coastline now has ‘heritage’ status, thanks to its natural beauty or scientific interest – ensuring it’s protected for the future.
Take Durham’s coastal grasslands for example, which are home to delicate plants like the pretty yellow rock rose and rare birds including the purple sandpiper. Keep an eye out offshore, too, where kelp beds flourish in the clear, clean water, along with harbour porpoises, dolphins and the occasional killer whale.
Meanwhile, down in the south there’s treasure of a different kind on the Jurassic Coast . As the name suggests, this stretch of coastal England is rather old, with pre-historic fossils being almost as plentiful as shells along this 95-mile stretch of Dorset and East Devon . Head out for a stroll along the Beer headland and you’ll come across red sandstone, white chalk, blue sea and green heath – all in the space of one afternoon. Best bring the camera then.
Another area of England that’s renowned for its coast heritage is Suffolk . In the village of Dunwich, it’s hard to believe that this sleepy collection of cottages was once a thriving Medieval port – eroded into the water by the force of the North Sea. However, when nature taketh, it tends to give back somewhere else – in this case at nearby Orford Ness, a remote shingle spit that’s become a haven for wildlife. It also happens to serve some of the finest smoked fish on the planet. Fact.