Stay fit in retirement: our top 3 coastal walks in the UK

Our coastlines are one of the most revelatory habitats on Earth, which is why they are the perfect place to clear your mind and enjoy a few hours of being enchanted by the power of nature. So many things invite us into the present moment; the sound of the crashing waves; the feel of sand between your toes; the cackling flight of seagulls, and the taste of the moist, salty air which lingers long after you leave.

There’s a real beauty in enjoying these landscapes during the colder months for a brisk walk with family and friends. The coastline is yours in the winter, after a long summer of populated beaches and the hubbub of snapping up any sunshine that the British weather system is willing to loan to us. So, you get to luxuriate in exclusive access to the most beautiful nooks of the shoreline – you just need to remember to wrap up warm, fill a flask and make the most of the daylight hours. Here's a handful of our favourite coastlines for a brisk walk on the majestic British Isles…

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Home of the last remaining pier in Yorkshire, and packed full of nostalgic Victorian charm, it’s no wonder that Saltburn beach has found itself as ‘The Best Beach in the UK 2021’. Its beach is glorious, and we highly recommend accessing it via the Victorian cliff lift, which can only be one of a handful left in the country. Walk along the stunning sandy beach and then retreat through the Valley Gardens, a magnificent spot with a delicious little tearoom nestled inside for a warming pitstop of cake and cocoa.

Argyll

Walking in Argyll’s wonderful winter landscape is quite simply a magical experience. After a cold, crisp and brisk walk, you’ll be treated to a spectacular early sunset. Something striking and not too strenuous is the coastal climb through the woods at the bottom of Beinn Lora near Oban. For experienced hillwalkers and those wanting a real challenge, there’s the option to take a path up to the grassy summit of Beinn Lora, with its breath-taking views down Loch Etive to Ben Cruachan.

Gower Peninsula

Dubbed by Dylan Thomas as “one of the loveliest sea-coast stretches in the whole of Britain”, it’s easy to understand how the Gower Peninsula has inspired many a writer. It’s full of rugged beauty, boasting miles of stunning scenery that’s hard to capture through a lens. In places, the walking can be a little challenging, but it is worth the effort. The serenity of Rhossili Bay in the winter months is infectious and will be somewhere you’ll visit  more than once!

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