Having lived in the UK briefly and travelled there probably 40 to 50 times, England never disappoints. Whether it be history, quaint villages, or the beach and the coast England has it all. And coastal Southern England is magical. There are countless beautiful travel destinations along the coast of southern England: cities and seaside resorts with great cultural offerings, dreamy villages with winding streets, beaches for swimming and long walks on the beach, breathtaking scenery with rocks and cliffs and fascinating landscapes. So it makes sense to set up camp for a few days in a place that is as beautiful as possible, from where you can easily visit all the sights you have put on your itinerary. So here are some of the most beautiful coastal towns in southern England that should definitely be on your itinerary.
Bournemouth is one of the most popular seaside resorts in England. It is ideally located: right on the English Channel and close to the New Forest National Park, making it a perfect base for a mix of city and culture, nature, beach and sun. Because: Bournemouth claims to have the most hours of sunshine in the country! A truly unbeatable argument for visiting the city.
The beach, which stretches directly under the rocks, has attracted many famous visitors. Known for its Victorian architecture, Bournemouth offers numerous tourist attractions and is a lively city that thrives on life. It is also an excellent base for sightseeing in this area, with Stonehenge, Winchester and Salisbury all less than an hour’s drive away.
Are you looking for a lively, hip city with bathing opportunities and fantastic cultural offerings? Then Brighton is the place to be! Even Londoners are drawn to the English seaside resort at the weekends because you can be there in no time by train or car.
Brighton has enjoyed great popularity as a seaside resort since the days of George IV in the 18th century. The Royal Pavilion for which Brighton is so famous also dates from this period. But the numerous museums and galleries in Brighton and Hove, which now practically belong to Brighton, also attract visitors. It is also worth taking a stroll through The Lanes, the former fishing district, in whose winding streets and alleys many shops, cafés and bars have now settled.
In the southeast of the country, there is another seaside resort that is one of the most popular seaside resorts in England: Eastbourne. Looking at the sights in the area, it is immediately apparent that the city is the ideal place to set up camp and explore the area for a few days. First of all, Eastbourne has everything one needs to relax locally with its wide beach, pier, pubs and numerous hotels. And then it can start. The Long Man of Wilmington, Charleston Farmhouse, Bateman’s or Pevensey Castle: they are all just a short drive from Eastbourne.
Eastbourne is also at the gateway to the South Downs National Park, and this is where the South Downs Way begins, a hiking trail that Eastbourne includes Winchester in the county of Hampshire. It’s also close to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters Country Park, the spectacular white cliffs that line the coast (more on that below). Eastbourne is also in the middle of what is known as 1066 County, not far from Hastings and Battle, where the decisive battle in William the Conqueror’s conquest of England took place in 1066.
The idyllic port town of Falmouth is located directly on the bay of the same name, into which the river Fal flows. It is located on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, where Lizard Point, the most southerly point in Great Britain, is located. Falmouth with its charming little cottages dotted along the harbour and bay, has small streets, many cafes and restaurants and is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the day. There are a few small museums, and also a historic castle, Pendennis Castle, which has a twin castle in St Mawes opposite Falmouth. Falmouth has the third busiest natural port in the world and has long been the base for the UK parcel service and its connection to the world outside the country.
Nestled on the Medway, the small town of Rochester undoubtedly charms visitors. With its half-timbered houses and small shops, cafes and restaurants lining the High Street, it offers a truly fabulous English flair. There’s also plenty to see: the country’s second oldest cathedral is in Rochester, a castle with the country’s highest keep that dates back to Norman times, and you can explore the country’s historic shipbuilding heritage in neighbouring Chatham. Finally, Rochester has many buildings that made their way into the novels of Charles Dickens, who made his home here.
With its cobblestone streets, small lanes and half-timbered houses, Rye is one of the most beautiful medieval towns in England – almost straight out of a picture book. Rye was once part of the powerful Cinque Port Confederation and had an important port. So you can learn a lot from those days during a visit or just stroll through the place and enjoy the atmosphere.
Cornwall itself is worth a trip anyway. But among the destinations in this breathtakingly beautiful area, the small town of St Ives, in the far north-west of Cornwall, should not be missing. It attracts numerous tourists every year, which is not particularly surprising as it is one of the most picturesque places in Cornwall. Several golden yellow beaches belong to the place, around which there are fantastic hiking opportunities along the coast. Above all, however, St. Ives has been an artist haven, actually since the beginning of the 19th century when William Turner found his way here. So lived in St. Ives many British modern artists, and even today you can still stumble across small galleries at every turn, and you can even look over the shoulders of the artists at work there once a year. The Tate Gallery in London has also opened a gallery here, the Tate St. Ives.
Torquay is arguably the place to be for those heading to Devon in the area of England known as the English Riviera. And the region does not bear its name without reason: the climate here is so mild that palm trees and exotic plants thrive. Torquay alone has no fewer than 20 beaches stretching over 35 km! With many sights and tourist attractions such as the Dartmouth Steam Railway, Babbacombe Model Village, Kent Cavern and such interesting destinations as Dartmouth, Totnes and the Greenway in close proximity, one could easily spend an entire holiday here.
There are many wonderful seaside resorts that Englanders head to during the summer. Typically, many people in the USA do not associate England with heading to the beach, but surprises await those that take the plunge.