England’s South Coast is an area of unparalleled natural beauty, and an absolute must-visit holiday destination for those seeking a domestic trip away. Enjoying near-Mediterranean weather in the summer months, there is much to see and do on the coast – so much that it’s hard to narrow down exactly where to go. Here are five jewels of the South Coast, from tourist traps to areas of outstanding natural beauty.
Camber Sands, Sussex
Camber Sands is an idyllic beachside location in East Sussex, boasting calm seas, long stretches of quiet shoreline and a sand dune system which has frequently been used as a desert location for countless UK film productions. Camber Sands is a popular summertime destination for holiday-goers, who flock from across the country to see the dunes, the inspiring Camber Castle ruins and the rare wildlife at the nearby Rye Harbour Nature Reserve.
Lulworth Estate, Dorset
Lulworth Estate is over 12,000 acres of private land in South Dorset, which also encompasses 5 miles of the famed Jurassic Coast – one of the biggest historical draws to the South Coast. Despite the private ownership of the land, Lulworth Estate is completely open to visitation and tourism, allowing holidaymakers access to quintessential natural monuments, such as the Durdle Door limestone arch and the eponymous Lulworth Cove.
Exmouth is another Jurassic Coast location, marking the start of the 95-mile stretch of coastline with Orcombe Point. Exmouth is so named for its location at the estuary of the River Exe; it is a vibrant coastal town with more than 2 miles of beautiful beach-land, as well as a busy port and active fishing community. Come for the landscape, and stay for the excellent local cuisine! Exmouth is a short hop from Dawlish, another quaint coastal town well worth the jaunt.
Old Portsmouth Beach, Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the largest destination on our list, being a coastal city with myriad locations from which to choose. It is one of the most popular destinations on the Southern Railway, and for good reason; here, we’ve chosen Old Portsmouth Beach as representative of the city’s coastal life, owing to its situation in Portsmouth Harbour, extensive shingle beach and view of the Isle of Wight. This beach has a beautiful promenade, as well as an Old Town to explore and connections to all manner of pursuits across the shore.
Hengistbury Head, Bournemouth
Hengistbury Head is a must-visit for history enthusiasts and conservationists alike. It is a sandstone headland home to palaeolithic settlements and Bronze Age barrows, as well as a nature reserve boasting over 700 species of moth and some of the rarest flora in the mainland. Warren Hill is the highest point of the headland, offering unparalleled views of Bournemouth and the extended coastline. Less of a tourist trap than others, Hengistbury Head is the perfect place to enjoy the South Coast in all its natural grandeur.