Great British Escapes: The coast
Explore the outer edges of our island heritage
Friday 11 May 2012
South West Coast Path
The 630-mile coastal trail from Poole in Dorset around Devon and Cornwall to Minehead in Somerset is arguably Europe's greatest seaside walk. A new website includes short and long hikes, those that pass by pubs or tea rooms along the way, as well as others that are family- or dog-friendly. Its "walk finder" tool for downloading routes provides an interactive map and allows you to create personalised itineraries that can be shared on social media sites. If you're inspired by any of the website's photography, the tool can locate it for you on a map and suggest a walk that would take you there.
South West Coast Path (southwestcoastpath.com), free.
Stade Saturdays, Hastings
Take a stroll along the seafront at Hastings on a Saturday evening to see one of the outdoor arts performances at the Stade Open Space, which opened alongside the new Jerwood Gallery in March. Set around the gallery and the town's fishing fleet, this inspiring space is the location for Stade Saturdays. This is a season of performances running throughout the summer. It will include Pi-Leau, a water-themed street dance spectacle by Dutch company Close Act, on 23 June, and the Hastings Sea Shanty Festival on 21 July.
Stade Saturdays (visit1066country.com), admission free.
Monty Halls' Great Escapes, Devon
Get an expert view of the Devon coast on one of the newly launched tours and courses now available in the Dartmouth area through Monty Halls' Great Escapes. Guided shore walks, wildlife-watching trips, as well as diving and short courses in underwater photography are among the marine-focused activities that have been created by Halls, best known from BBC2's Monty Halls' Great Escape and The Fisherman's Apprentice series.
Monty Halls' Great Escapes (01803 431858; montyhalls.co.uk).
Sea Change at Wyre, Lancashire
Acquire a fresh perspective of the Lancashire coastline from Cleveleys to Fleetwood, the subject of a regeneration project called Sea Change at Wyre. Fleetwood's Marine Hall and its gardens are being revitalised. An observation tower is being constructed at Rossall Point and due for completion by July. Meanwhile, the Mythic Coast is being created, a visual narrative of this shoreline based on published stories and using natural features and public art works along its route.
Sea Change at Wyre (wyre.gov.uk/seachange), admission free.
Luxury Yurts at Priory Bay Hotel, Isle of Wight
Five Mongolian yurts have been pitched in the grounds of Priory Bay country-house hotel on the Isle of Wight. The intimate luxury campsite is set in a woodland clearing and commands views of a private beach and the Solent beyond. Inside, the yurts have been styled with contemporary furnishings, including king-size linen-dressed beds, and each has an en-suite bathroom with overhead shower or rolltop bath.
Luxury Yurts at Priory Bay (01983 613146; priorybay.co.uk), from £200 per night B&B, available until 30 September.
The Hebridean Trail, Scotland
No fewer than seven islands are waiting to be conquered on the Hebridean Trail, an extraordinary mountain-biking holiday in the Outer Hebrides from Wilderness Scotland. The week-long guided cycling adventure covers 175 miles, following mountain tracks and ancient paths through wilderness populated by golden eagles and red deer to call at the islands of South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Berneray, Scalpay, Harris and Lewis.
The Hebridean Trail (01479 420020; wildernessscotland.com), price £995, including six nights' accommodation, most meals, equipment, expert guiding and support vehicle.
Weymouth Sea Life Tower, Dorset
A new tower will cast its shadow across the Festival Pier at Weymouth from July. Take your place in its revolving gondola, which rises more than 170ft in the air to afford spectacular panoramic views of the Jurassic coast, the west Dorset countryside, and the course for the Olympic sailing competitions.
Weymouth Sea Life Tower (weymouth-tower.com), admission £8.
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