Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A – Z

Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A - Z

There are currently 68 locations in this directory beginning with the letter A.
Abbotsbury, Dorset
Abbotsbury is an incredibly picturesque Dorset village, nestled in a valley around a mile from the sea. Lovely stone-built cottages line the streets that run through Abbotsbury, and a few cafes and a pub are located here. The famous Dorset writer Thomas Hardy set much of his work in the county – various film adaptations of his books have included Abbotsbury. The village is associated with a great deal of history, including the remains of an abbey founded in 1044, and the 14th century St Catherine’s Chapel, which sits on a hill overlooking the surrounding landscape. Abbotsbury is also surrounded by pleasant scenery – a subtropical garden is situated just outside of the village, and a wide range of exotic plant and tree species grow here. It is also located on Chesil Beach, and at the western end of a 13 km (8 mile) long tidal lagoon named The Fleet.

Aberaeron, Ceredigion
With a population of less than 1,500, the town of Aberaeron feels a lot more like a large village, with a small network of streets flanked by terraced 19th Century buildings. Aberaeron is well-known for its picturesque townhouses, which are painted in a variety of pretty colours, and overlook a large harbour filled with small boats. It is a popular tourist destination, with a small selection of restaurants, cafes, pubs and shops located here. The Harbourmaster Hotel, painted in a nice purple-blue colour, overlooks the harbour and the sea. A few independent craft shops are also located here, many of which are situated in a craft centre on the southern part of Aberaeron. The village is surrounded by pleasant scenery, with a sandy and pebbly beach located adjacent, and cliffs situated to the south-west.

Aberarth, Ceredigion
Aberarth is a rather pretty village nestled at the mouth of a river valley, on the banks of the Afon Arth, just before it flows into the sea. Traditional stone-built cottages Afon Arth make up much of the village, which are interspersed by narrow streets that wind around the houses. The Wales Coast Path runs through Aberarth, and links the village with a pleasant stony beach.

Abercastle, Pembrokeshire
Abercastle is a small and picturesque hamlet that is located at the head of a sheltered rocky cove. A few stone-built cottages make up much of the hamlet, and a patch of sand makes up the shore during low tide. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path runs through Abercastle and above the cliffs on either side of the hamlet, meandering around numerous rugged inlets and past several small rocky islands. Careg Sampson, a 5,000-year-old Neolithic burial chamber, is located just to the west of the hamlet, and is accessible via a footpath.

Abercorn, Lothian
The hamlet of Abercorn is located within a beautiful natural landscape, surrounded by lush woodlands and large fields, and placed just to the south of the Forth estuary. It is also situated within the Hopetoun Estate, close to an incredibly grand stately home named Hopetoun House. The hamlet is made up of a few houses and a stone church, parts of which were built in the 12th Century. A footpath winds down from the hamlet to the edge of the firth, where a network of paths provides great opportunities for walking through the coastal woodland. This can include following the shore to the village of Blackness, 3 km (2 miles) to the west.

Aberdaron, Gwynedd
Aberdaron is a pretty village that is located close to the tip of the Llyn Peninsula. A collection of traditional stone-built cottages makes up much of the village, along with several cafes, a restaurant and a hotel situated next to the shore. Aberdaron is surrounded by some pleasant scenery – it is nestled at the foot of a small valley, with a stream running through the village. A long sandy beach borders the village, providing views across Aberdaron Bay.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
The port city of Aberdeen is located in north-eastern Scotland, around 150 km (90 miles) to the north of Edinburgh. It is a rather bustling city that attracts many visitors – Aberdeen is a large commercial centre, and has a great deal of history associated with it, including its well-regarded university. With a population of around 200,000, it is the third most populous city in Scotland.

Large areas of industrial docklands border the mouth of the River Dee. They are a relic of Aberdeen’s once-roaring fishing and shipbuilding industries, which have declined over the past few decades. However, the North Sea oil industry, and the ferry terminal, manage to keep the docklands alive today. At the mouth of the Dee, on the northern side of the river, stands Footdee, a small neighbourhood that sits at the end of Aberdeen’s Harbour. It consists of quaint townhouses and cottages that were constructed in the 19th Century to house Aberdeen’s fishing community, and is well-worth walking around to see what traditional life was like for those living on the coast.

A long sandy beach borders Aberdeen, stretching from Footdee in the south up towards the River Don. This is backed by as well an extensive esplanade – a large road flanked by large patches of coastal greenery, and a large golf course. Attractions for tourists include Codona’s Amusement Park, with its large array of funfair rides and arcade machines, and a series of adjacent cafes, restaurants and takeaway food venues. An Art Deco building named the Star Ballroom is also located on the esplanade, and regularly hosts events such as music concerts.

Aberdeen is home to two universities, the oldest of which was formed in 1495. Appropriately named the University of Aberdeen, it is placed in a beautiful part of the city, with cobbled streets and buildings made of granite stone that look like they are from a picture postcard. The main university buildings are incredibly grand, with the beautiful Elphinstone Hall and King’s College Chapel forming the centrepiece of the campus.

Aberdeen is a rather bustling city, with a large shopping centre, and a wide range of cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from. It is also home to a large Maritime Museum, a glass-fronted building that is located on a street named Shiprow, and showcases the city’s maritime heritage. An art gallery, a grand 19th century building, is also placed in the city. The Aberdeen Science Centre, situated on Constitution Street, houses a collection of interactive science exhibits and workshops.

Looking out onto the North Sea, Aberdeen is one of the larger coastal towns in Scotland. Despite its industrial dockland parts around the mouth of the River Dee, Aberdeen has some rather scenic coastal features. One of these is Footdee, a small neighbourhood that sits at the end of Aberdeen’s Harbour – it consists of quaint townhouses and cottages that were constructed in the 19th Century to house Aberdeen’s fishing community. A long sandy beach borders Aberdeen, as well as an extensive esplanade that links Footdee in the south with the mouth of the River Don in the north. Attractions for tourists include Codona’s Amusement Park, with its large array of funfair rides and arcade machines, and a series of adjacent cafes, restaurants and takeaway food venues. Other attractions include the Star Ballroom, an Art Deco building that hosts events such as music concerts.

Aberdesach, Gwynedd
Aberdesach is a small hamlet located close to the start of the Llyn Peninsula. A few bungalows make up the settlement, which is bordered by a beach of large pebbles. The beach provides amazing views of the coastal peaks that border the northern side of the Llyn Peninsula, including the Yr Eifl mountains. A car park is situated next to the beach.

Aberdour, Fife
The charming village of Aberdour is renowned for its 13th-Century castle, the remains of which are located just next to the village centre. A collection of stone-clad cottages and townhouses make up much of Aberdour, with many flanking either side of the main road that runs through the village. Aberdour is located within some rather pleasant natural scenery, with the scenic bays and headlands that border the Firth of Forth to the south. Patches of woodland and heathland are located on Hawkcraig Point, which provides great views across the Forth. Two beaches flank the headland – Black Sands and Silver Sands. More here.

Aberdyfi, Gwynedd
Aberdyfi is a picturesque village placed on the northern side of the River Dovey (Afon Dyfi) estuary, built up against the steep slopes of south-western Snowdonia. A row of beautiful pastel-coloured townhouses lines the waterfront, facing the estuary, whereas cottages and independent shops flank Aberdyfi’s streets, adding to its 18th Century charm. Numerous guest houses and bed and breakfasts are located in the village. A long beach extends from the west of the village, stretching back to Tywyn and beyond – a row of sand dunes also borders the shore, along which runs the Wales Coast Path. A network of footpaths crosses the hills behind the village, providing amazing views of the Dovey estuary, and the surrounding landscape.

Abereiddy, Pembrokeshire
Located on the northern side of the St Davids Peninsula, Abereiddy is a small hamlet that includes a pleasant sandy beach that is flanked by rugged shores and cliffs. A handful of rustic stone-built cottages make up much of the hamlet. A disused slate quarry, nicknamed the Blue Lagoon due to minerals in the rock which have turned the water turquoise, is located to the north of Abereiddy. A rocky promontory extends out into the sea, providing excellent 360-degree views of the surrounding coastal landscape.

Aberffraw, Anglesey
The village of Aberffraw is located at the head of a small estuary, just north of where the Afon Ffraw flows into the open sea. It is a fairly quiet village made up of small terraced cottages, along with a general store, Post Office and country pub. It is located on the western side of the river – by contrast, the eastern side consists of a large system of sand dunes named Tywyn Aberffraw, which is a designated nature reserve. A footpath connects the village with a sandy beach that borders the sea.

Abergele and Pensarn, Conwy
The connected towns of Abergele and Pensarn are situated on the north coast of Wales. Abergele is a traditional small market town, with its high street placed around a kilometre from the Irish Sea. It has a parade of shops, including an assortment of cafes, restaurants and pubs. The 15th Century-built Gwrych Castle sits on a hillslope to the west of the town, overlooking the coast. Pensarn is situated directly along the shore – it is a quiet seaside town, with a small amusement arcade and several cafes along the seafront and in the town centre. A beach of shingle and sand stretches next to Pensarn, and brushes up along the northern side of Abergele. The views from the beach are impressive, with large hills to the south and west of the town, including the Little Orme peninsula in the distance.

Aberlady, Lothian
Aberlady is a small village situated around 22 km (14 miles) to the east of central Edinburgh. A pretty, tree-lined high street runs through the centre of the village, flanked by picturesque cottages and townhouses. The Old Aberlady Inn is also placed here, serving as a restaurant, a pub and a hotel. A large estuarine inlet separates the village from the Firth of Forth to the north. Luffness Castle – a grand stately home – lies less than a mile to the east of Aberlady.

Aberporth, Ceredigion
Aberporth is a charming village that is located in north-western Ceredigion, placed at the head of an idyllic bay. Although the bay is flanked with wild and rugged coastlines on both sides, it is filled with a large patch of fine golden sand, a Blue Flag award-winning beach that is popular with visitors. The village itself is a pretty collection of cottages and bungalows, which are interspersed by patches of lush greenery. A pub and restaurant, which is appropriately named The Ship Bar and Grill, is located on the seafront. A few cafes, shops and a wide range of guest houses and holiday cottages can be found in Aberporth.

Abersoch, Gwynedd
Located on the southern side of the Llyn Peninsula, Abersoch is a bustling village that is popular with visitors during the holiday season, who are attracted to its surrounding sandy beaches and beautiful scenery. A series of shops, including independent stores, are located in the centre of the village, along with a few pubs, restaurants and cafes. Borth Fawr, a lovely beach of smooth sand, is placed next to the village, and is host to both a sailing and a yacht club. Many guest houses and holiday lettings are available in Abersoch, and several camping and caravan sites are dotted just outside of the village.

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Aberystwyth is a town that is probably most famous for its university, regarded as one of the most prestigious educational institutions in Wales. It is also a rather popular holiday destination – located on the coast of west Wales, it includes a promenade that curves around a large bay, and a town filled with three or four-storey townhouses, independent shops, and other amenities that one would commonly find in a seaside town. These include the White Horse Hotel, made up of both a traditional guest house and a pub/restaurant. A great deal of history can be found in the town, such as the ruins of Aberystwyth Castle, which date back to the late 13th Century. A sandy beach curves around the bay, flanked by a large promenade and a row of beautifully-painted townhouses. The town is rich with tourist attractions – as well as a small pier and amusement arcade, a funicular cliff railway runs from the bay to the top of Constitution Hill, which overlooks the town. Spectacular views of the surrounding area are provided from the top of the hill – a camera obscura is also located here. More here.


Achiltibuie and Polglass
Like nearby Polbain, the linear conjoined villages of Achilitibuie and Polglass also face the Summer Isles, a small archipelago perched just off from the mainland. Despite its small size, this is the largest settlement for miles around, and so therefore contains a primary school, café and a Post Office amongst its cottages and bungalows. More here.

Achintraid., Highland
The hamlet of Achintraid is located at the head of Loch Kishorn, overlooking the spectacular mountains of the Applecross Peninsula, the towering peaks interspersed with large glacially-carved U-shaped valleys. A row of cottages makes up Achintraid, which curves around a small bay that is flanked by a pebbly shore. It is a quiet and serene place, with scenic woodland covering the hillslopes down to the water’s edge.

Achmelvich, Highland
Like Clachtoll, Achmelvich is also renowned for its lovely beach – a beautiful Blue Flag Award-winning arc of sand flanked by outcrops of granite. Although Achmelvich is a small hamlet, it is popular with visitors, and a campsite, youth hostel and a selection of holiday homes are located in and around the settlement.

Aignish, Lewis, Outer Hebrides
The small village of Aignish lies on the Eye Peninsula, next to the narrow strip of land that links it with the rest of Lewis. Consisting of a collection of cottages, a row of low cliffs separates the village from a small strip of sand and rocks that makes up the beach below. The natural landscape of the area is rather pleasant, with large patches of grassland surrounding the village. The coast of Lewis can be seen across the bay, meandering around headlands and inlets.

Aird of Sleat (or ‘Aird’), Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye’s most southerly settlement, the Aird of Sleat is a small hamlet on the Sleat Peninsula. It is placed on the side of a coastal hill, close to the Point of Sleat, the island’s southernmost tip. Located amongst some rather wild scenery, the hamlet sits perched above the waves below, offering impressive views of the Sleat Peninsula, the Isle of Eigg out to sea, and the Scottish Mainland to the south east. Aside from a handful of cottages, the hamlet is also home to Aird Old Church Gallery, an art studio and shop located at the end of the country lane which runs through the settlement. A foot-only track provides an ideal hiking trail, connecting the hamlet to the Point of Sleat headland.

Aird Uig, Lewis, Outer Hebrides
The small village of Aird Uig is located on the western side of Lewis, with a nearby coastal landscape that is dominated by large cliffs and narrow inlets. Looking to the north-west from the lane that runs through the village, one can see the cliffs towering over a collection of rock stacks, and the islands of Seanna Chnoc and Bearasaigh in the distance. The cliffs contain a number of caves, although these can be submerged during high tide. The village was once home to a radar site operated by the Royal Air Force and NATO, located on Gallan Head just to the north of Aird Uig.

Aith, Mainland Island, Shetland Islands
Aith is a small village placed at the head of a large inlet named Aith Voe. Despite its small size, it includes a couple of schools, a leisure centre, a general store and a Post Office, due to it being the largest settlement in what is a rather remote area. The village has managed to keep a small fishing industry going, and thus a marina is located along the shore, which is filled with both fishing and pleasure boats.

Aldingham, Cumbria
Aldingham is a village on the southern coast of Cumbria, facing onto Morecambe Bay. It is a rather serene village, surrounded by trees and bordered by a shingle beach. Despite its small size, with only several cottages located here, a large church forms part of the village – St. Cuthbert’s, part of which dates back to the 12th Century. A grand manor house, built in the Gothic style, is situated in the centre of Aldingham, and is used today as a nursing home.

Allonby, Cumbria
Placed on the remote northwest coast of Cumbria, the seaside village of Allonby is bordered by a lengthy sandy beach, and is made up of a collection of terraced cottages and other buildings. The beach provides views across the Solway Firth, with the mountains of southwestern Scotland clearly visible when the weather is pleasant. A few caravan parks border the village, often filling with holidaymakers during the summer months. A fish and chip shop named The Codfather is located in Allonby, along with a hotel, restaurant and bar named The Ship Hotel.

Alness, Ross and Cromarty
The small town of Alness can be found close to the northern shore of the Cromarty Firth. A charming town of stone-built cottages and townhouses, a high street runs through Alness, flanked by a range of shops and a couple of cafes. The Station Hotel, a pretty restaurant, bar and hotel, is situated near the eastern end of the high street. Alness is known for its whisky-producing Dalmore Distillery, which is placed on the banks of the Cromarty Firth, and is open to visitors. The views across the firth are rather beautiful, with the slopes of the Scottish Highlands to the north, and the rolling hills of the Black Isle peninsula to the south.

Alnmouth, Northumberland
Once a port, the village of Alnmouth boomed as a holiday resort during the Victorian era. A collection of grand stone-built townhouses runs along the seafront, adding to the village’s charm. The high street, which runs up from the beach, forms the centrepiece of Alnmouth, and is flanked by traditional stone-built townhouses, shops and several traditional pubs and inns. The village is located within one of Northumberland’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and unsurprisingly, the scenery surrounding Alnmouth is incredibly tranquil and scenic. The western side of the village provides great views across the estuary of the River Aln, whereas a beautiful sandy beach borders the sea on Alnmouth’s south-eastern side. Also, the woodland and grassland of nearby Alnmouth Common provide great opportunities for walking.

Altandhu, Ross and Cromarty,
The small hamlet of Altandhu overlooks a small bay, flanked by a rocky coast and an island named Isle Ristol, which is used as a nature reserve. Despite Althandu’s small size, a camping and campervan site is located in the hamlet. A traditional bar and restaurant named the Am Fuaran Bar is rather cosy inside, and includes an outside seating area that looks out onto the rocky bay.

Am Baile, Eriskay, Outer Hebrides
The village of Am Baile is the largest settlement on the small isle of Eriskay. Spread out along the island’s north-western corner, the village is placed on a lovely grassy slope that glides down gently to a beautiful beach of white-coloured sand. When the sun is out, the white hue of the sand just beneath the waves gives a water a beautiful turquoise colour, one which would be expected in the Mediterranean. A small rocky cove is located next to a part of the village named ‘Haun’. Am Baile itself is home to a pub, a post office, and several cottages which are used as holiday lettings.

Amble, Northumberland
Situated on the southern side of the mouth of the River Coquet, Amble is a small fishing village filled with terraced seaside cottages and a few seafood restaurants, amongst other features. Even to this day, the village retains some of its industrial heritage, with several small warehouses lining part of the seafront. However, the town is currently going through a bit of a regeneration – a small marina is located just to the west of the village centre, and is overlooked by a series of modern apartments. Amble Harbour Village also contains a series of modern and wooden retail ‘pods’ – built in the last 10 years, with the aim of attracting visitors. The sandy Little Shore beach borders the east of Amble and faces onto the North Sea – it is bordered by a series of pastel-coloured beach huts. With an annual puffin festival, Amble is a seaside village with a great amount of character.

Amlwch Port, Anglesey
Amlwch Port is a coastal village on the northern side of Anglesey. As its name suggests, it grew in size as it formed the port of the town of Amlwch, mainly due to its narrow inlet that acts as a harbour. A range of boats, including some fishing craft, still use the port today. Both the village and its larger town have a great industrial heritage – during the 18th and 19th Centuries, a deep copper mine extracted many tons of the metal. A visitor centre features exhibitions about its once-roaring copper industry. The village centre includes a few streets lined with terraced cottages, including a few takeaway food options and a pub named The Liverpool Arms.

Amroth, Pembrokeshire
The small village of Amroth is located in south-eastern Pembrokeshire, close to its border with Carmarthenshire. It is a rather picturesque village, with a row of cottages painted in pastel colours that face onto the beach, and a cosy stone-clad pub named the Amroth Arms. It is surrounded by some lovely scenery, with wooded coastal slopes that reach down to the shore, and a pleasant sandy beach. When the tide is very low, large numbers of tree stumps emerge from the waves – these are the remains of a petrified forest that has been dated back to around 5,000 ago, when the sea level was a little lower than it is today.

Anderby Creek, Lincolnshire
The small hamlet of Anderby Creek is rather popular with visitors, attracted to the pleasant natural landscape of the area. A long expanse of sand, bordered by a lush row of shrub-covered dunes, borders the hamlet. However, the coast is rather peaceful here compared to locations to the south. More here.

Angle, Pembrokeshire
The small village of Angle is located near the southern side of the Milford Haven Waterway, on the western edge of Angle Bay. It is a quiet village that is mostly made up of cottages and bungalows, along with a country pub named the Hibernia Inn. A 19th Century fort and battery is located to the north of the village, on top of a cliff that overlooks the Milford Haven Waterway – today, it is open as a museum. The shore of Angle Bay consists of mudflats – however, a fine sandy shore is located to the west of the village, at West Angle Beach.

Anstruther, Fife
Anstruther is a traditional Scottish coastal town that has a long history of being a fishing port. It is the largest community on the East Neuk of Fife, a section of the Firth of Forth’s coastline where it meets the North Sea. A row of quaint townhouses overlooks the seafront and the harbour opposite, whereas the town centre is filled with old stone buildings that flag twisting narrow streets. These include many picturesque cottages, independent shops, and a range of bed-and-breakfast style hotels and guesthouses. Although Anstruther’s fishing industry unfortunately dwindled during the 20th Century, the town is home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, which showcases its fishing heritage. A large range of traditional fish-and-chip shop takeaways and restaurants can be found in the town, particularly along the sea front.

Anthorn, Cumbria
The small village of Anthorn lies on the northern bank of the River Wampool estuary, within an environment of extensive marshland, tidal sands and large mudflats. Anthorn owes much of its existence to a Naval air station which closed in 1958 – however, the village has remained during the decades since. It is split into two parts – an older row of cottages that flanks the estuary, and a 20th-Century housing estate that was constructed to serve the air station.

Located on the western side of the peninsula of the same name, the village of Applecross (or Shore Street as it is known locally) is popular with visitors, despite its small size. The landscape and tranquillity of the surrounding area, including mountains, coastal woodland and the large Inner Sound to its west, attract people to this corner of Scotland, particularly during the summer months. The village is located on the side of a sandy bay, with a Heritage Centre, a 15th-Century chapel and a lovely walled garden located nearby. The Applecross Inn – a small pub and hotel – overlooks the shore, with a campsite placed next to the village.

Appledore, Devon
Appledore is a charming seaside village that sits on the side of the Torridge Estuary, directly opposite from Instow. It is a village of narrow streets that wind their way around quaint cottages, running down a hillslope to a large quayside. The waterfront is flanked by a series of colourful townhouses that face onto the Torridge. Appledore is renowned for its rich maritime history – it is built on fishing and boat building, and still clings onto these industries today. The North Devon Maritime Museum is located in the village, showcasing the heritage of the village and its surrounding area. Appledore is also home to a craft shop, several cafes, fish-and-chip shops and a few pubs. The Seagate bar and hotel is situated on the sea front, facing onto the estuary.

Arbroath, Angus
Like many towns on the eastern coast of Scotland, Angus has a rich heritage of being a fishing port. The town’s most famous product, the Arbroath Smokie, is line-caught smoke-cured haddock that is produced by several family-run smokehouses found around Arbroath Harbour. Unfortunately, the fishing industry has declined here over the past few decades; today, a marina sits within Arbroath Harbour. The old town centre hugs the coastline for around 600 metres/660 yards to the east, filled with traditional stone-built townhouses and cottages. A few pubs and cafes are dotted close to the shoreline, such as the Old Brewhouse. A large patch of green grass lines the shoreline to the west of the town; here, the Signal Tower Museum can be found. This showcases history relating to the Bell Rock Lighthouse, which stands next to the shore, and was constructed more than 200 years ago.

Ardaneaskan is a rather remote Scottish village surrounded by woodland and rocky shores. Located at the end of a quiet country lane, it overlooks Loch Carron, with the grand peak of Càrn a’ Bhealaich Mhòir and the lovely coastal woodland towards Duncraig Castle placed just across the water. Ardaneaskan itself is a small village of mainly cottages, with a few bed and breakfast-style guesthouses located here.

Ardentinny, Argyll
The small and remote village of Ardentinny is placed on the western shore of Loch Long, tucked away at the foot of the steep wooded slopes that border the coastal fjord. The village is surrounded by amazing scenery, with fir and spruce-covered slopes that slope down to the shore and the hills of the Rosneath Peninsula opposite. A rocky shore borders the village, with Finart Bay – an inlet bordered by an arch of pebbles – located just to the north. The conifer forests that flank the steep slopes are part of Argyll Forest Park, which includes a wide variety of footpaths and trails that run up, down and along the hillslopes – some of these start at Ardentinny. A caravan site named Glenfinart Park is situated just outside the village, in the middle of a wide valley.

Ardersier, Highland
The village of Ardersier lies on the eastern side of the inner section of the Moray Firth. Filled with many cottages, it is popular with visitors due to its lovely scenery. The wide firth provides great views of the Black Isle – a peninsula covered in rolling hills – on the other side, and of the Scottish Highlands to the west. A beach filled with sand passes the village. Ardersier is also famous for Fort George – a large 18th-Century fortress – that is still used as an army barracks today.

Ardfern, Argyll and Bute
The village of Ardfern is placed on the south-eastern side of the Craignish Peninsula. It is a rather pretty village, not just for its white-washed and stone-clad buildings, but also for the tree-lined main road that runs through the settlement. The Galley of Lorne Inn, a traditional pub and hotel, overlooks the rocky shore, with great views provided from the beer garden. A store and post office are also located in the village, and a marina named the Ardfern Yacht Centre is placed along the eastern shore of Ardfern.

Ardminish, Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute
The only village on the Isle of Gigha, Ardminish is located on the eastern side of the island. It is made up of a few cottages, a post office and a small church. A short country lane links the village with the island’s ferry terminal, placed at the head of a sandy bay. A seafood restaurant named The Boathouse overlooks the shore. Achamore House, a grand stately home that has been converted into a lovely hotel, is situated to the south of the village, surrounded by a lush woodland. The Achamore Gardens, a well-managed collection of many tree and flower species, can be found within the grounds of the house.

Ardrishaig , Argyll and Bute
The large village of Ardrishaig is placed on the western side of Loch Gilp, a mere stone’s throw away from the town of Lochgilphead. The eastern end of the Crinan Canal meets the coast at Ardrishaig, with sailing boats moored away from the open sea. It is a vibrant village, with two cafes, a post office and a convenience store located here. The Grey Gull Inn hotel and restaurant, a grand white-painted building, overlooks the loch and its rocky shore.

Ardroil, Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Ardroil is a rather scattered village that mostly consists of cottages and a few farmhouses, all sprinkled around the Tràigh Uige bay. It is placed within a rather wild landscape, with rolling grass-covered hills surrounding the settlement, and the grey-coloured hills of Lewis’ interior visible in the near distance. During low tide, the bay retreats to reveal a large stretch of white-hued sand; named Ardroil Beach, it is backed by a row of sand dunes, adding to the area’s beauty. As well as a local museum, a community-run shop and the Uig Sands restaurant, a camping area overlooks the shore.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats, Ayrshire
The conjoined towns of Ardrossan and Saltcoats flank either side of South Bay, on the coast of Ayrshire. Ardrossan contains a large marina that is filled mainly with sailboats – the town has undergone some degree of regeneration in recent years, with modern apartments flanking its sides. The town provides ferries to the Isle of Arran, which is visible from the seafront, and the Kintyre Peninsula. South Bay is flanked by a long beach of golden sand, a slice of greenery and low-lying residential homes. The Lauriston hotel is also located here. Saltcoats is a more traditional town, filled with various townhouses, shops and chain stores, and several cafes. Around 1 km/0.6 miles to the west of Saltcoats, Stevenson Beach and sand dunes line the shoreline, providing great views across the Firth of Clyde.

Arduaine, Argyll and Bute
The hamlet of Arduaine is located on the Argyll mainland, overlooking the scenic Asknish Bay, an idyllic section of coastal woodland that flanks a series of large hills. Although it is placed directly on the A816 road, it is a rather quiet hamlet that is made up of a series of cottages. The Loch Melfort Hotel overlooks the bay, providing great views of the coastal landscape. The Arduaine Garden is located next to the hamlet; it is a colourful botanic garden rich with many different plant species, some of which are rather exotic in nature.

Ardvasar, Isle of Skye
The small village of Ardvasar is tucked away on the southern side of the Sleat Peninsula, just to the south-west of Armadale, a separate village in its own right. Surrounded by woodland and within easy reach of the rocky shore, the village is placed in a rather scenic area. The Ardvasar Hotel, which also includes a restaurant and bar, occupies a traditional white-painted building close to the coast. A few bed and breakfast-style guest houses are also situated in the village.

Ardwell, Dumfries and Galloway
The small village of Ardwell is placed on the eastern side of the Rhinns of Galloway, overlooking the vast open waters of Luce Bay. The village is bordered by a pebbly and sandy beach, which offers great views across the bay – the rolling hills of the Machars Peninsula to the east can be seen poking above the horizon. A couple of rows of cottages make up much of the village, a couple of which are available as holiday lettings. A camping and caravanning site borders the shore.

Arinagour,Iisland of Coll
The small village of Arinagour is the main settlement on the island of Coll. It serves as the isle’s port, with ferry services to Oban on the Scottish Mainland, and the neighbouring island of Tiree. Arinagour is placed on the western side of Loch Eatharna, a small rocky inlet on the southern edge of Coll. It is a quiet village, chiefly made up of a line of cosy terraced cottages that face the stony shore. A café, post office and a general store can be found here, as well as the Coll Hotel. A remote settlement, Arinagour – along with the rest of Coll – is great for those who are after a quiet getaway.

Arisaig, Highland
Placed at the head of Loch nan Ceall, the village of Arisaig is made up of a row of traditional cottages that overlook a beautiful rocky bay surrounded by swathes of woodland. Although it is located close to the A830 road, it is a rather quiet place that includes a Post Office, a pub, restaurant and hotel named The Old Library Lodge, and a bunkhouse. Arisaig makes an ideal base for exploring the surrounding coast, with its rocky shores and patches of white-hued sand. More here.

Armadale, Isle of Skye
Located only half a mile to the north-east of Ardvasar, the small village of Armadale is well-known for its ferry terminal, which directly links Skye with Mallaig on the Scottish Mainland. Like Ardvasar, it is surrounded by lush woodland, but is also flanked by a couple of small bays. With trees brushing against the rocky shore, splashes of sand that appear during low tide, and views of the Scottish Highlands to the east, the landscape in and around the village is rather scenic. Armadale Castle, a former seat of Clan Donald, is located just to the north of the village, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. A general store, post office, and a clothing and gift shop can also be found in Armadale.

Armadale, West Lothian
Located next to a lovely bay of the same name, Armadale is a hamlet made up of a few cottages and farmhouses. As with much of Scotland’s coast, the scenery around Armadale is amazing, with great views of the large cliffs and rolling hills of the region provided from the hamlet. A sandy beach is located just to the east of Armadale, and rocky coves are situated just to the north of the hamlet.

Arnol, Lewis, Outer Hebrides
Although much of the village of Arnol is located around half a mile from the coast, the sea is within easy reach, with a small track connecting the coast with the village. Like much of coastal north-western Lewis, Arnol is surrounded by large plains interspersed by small lochs. This includes Loch Arnol, a lagoon that is build up behind the pebbly shore. The Blackhouse Museum, a traditional style of home that consists of a stone wall and a thatched roof, is located in the village. Blackhouses are part of the local area’s heritage, and the museum showcases how people traditionally lived and farmed the land up until the 20th Century.

Arnside, Cumbria
Arnside is a picturesque coastal village in south-eastern Cumbria. It grew in the 19th Century as a holiday resort, and includes a large parade of Victorian-built townhouses and independent shops. The village overlooks the outer reaches of the River Kent estuary, just before it enters Morecambe Bay – the peaks of the Lake District are visible in the distance on the other side, behind the rolling hills of southern Cumbria. Arnside is located next to a series of limestone hills, including the 159 metre (521 foot) high Arnside Knott, placed just to the south of the village. The surrounding landscape is great for walks and hikes, with a network of footpaths and tracks that run through woodlands, over hilly terrain and along the coast of Morecambe Bay.

Arrochar, Argyll
Placed near the head of Loch Long, and within the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, the village of Arrochar is well-known for its spectacular surrounding scenery. A series of rugged mountains known as the Arrochar Alps tower more than 800 metres (2,600 feet) high above the loch – their close proximity to the village means that Arrochar is a popular gathering place for mountaineers. Many of the surrounding slopes are covered in dense coniferous woodland, such as the nearby Ardgartan Forest, which are crossed by various footpaths and trails. The village itself is quite lively, with a couple of pubs, a general store, a fish-and-chip shop and a great range of guest houses and holiday lettings to choose from. Arrochar is located on the A83, and close to the A82 and a railway station, meaning that it is relatively easy to travel to.

Ascog, Isle of Bute
Ascog is a linear village on the eastern side of Bute, around 2 km (1¼ miles) to the south-east of the small town of Rothesay. It is a rather quiet and idyllic village, flanked by coastal woodland that glides down a hillslope to the pebbly shore. A series of residential homes, including a series of Victorian-built villas, face onto the Firth of Clyde, with the hills of Ayrshire on the other side of the water. Ascog Hall (a large manor house) is located in the village – it is situated next to a large Victorian fernery, where a selection of tropical fern and plant species are placed within a glasshouse.

Askam and Ireleth, Cumbria
Askam and Ireleth are two villages that have merged to form a larger settlement, which is located on the western edge of the Duddon Sands inlet. It is a mostly residential place, with a small high street flanked by townhouses and a parade of shops, and many other houses and bungalows. Several country lanes and footpaths connect the settlement to the edge of Duddon Sands, providing great views across the channel towards Black Combe, a 600 metre (1,968 foot) high peak on the other side, behind Haverigg and Millom. A footpath also borders the channel, following the coastline.

Atherington, West Sussex
Atherington is a small hamlet on the edge of the West Sussex coast, sandwiched between Middleton-on-Sea and Littlehampton. Made up of several cottages, it is mainly known for its nearby shore, named Climping Beach, which is a fine stretch of pebbles. Its rural location means that the beach is rather pleasant and unspoilt, and can be quite popular with visitors during holiday season. A beach café is placed by the shore.

Atwick, East Riding of Yorkshire
Located just to the north of Hornsea, and close to the North Sea coast, Atwick is a pleasant village, with old cottages huddled around a village green. The Black Horse serves as Atwick’s only pub, and overlooks the green. The coast is located around 0.5 km (550 yards) to the east – as is typical along this stretch of the East Riding of Yorkshire, a long sandy beach makes up the shore, bordered by a low clay cliff. More here.

Auchmithie, Angus
The small village of Auchmithie is located around 5 km (3 miles) to the town of Arbroath. The village is mainly made up of traditional single-storey cottages perched above a row of sandstone cliffs. A path connects the village with both the stony shore, which arches around a bay flanked by rocky promontories, and a derelict harbour that was once a thriving fishing port. The shoreline provides impressive views of the cliff formations.

Auldhame, Lothian
Although the hamlet of Auldhame consists mainly of a row of cottages and a farmstead, it is known for being close to both Seacliff and Oxroad Bay. Seacliff Bay has a lovely sandy beach that nests within a rather wild landscape, with luscious woodlands bordering the shore, and a series of rocky inlets, including Oxroad Bay, located just to the west. Tantallon Castle – a ruined 14th-Century fortress – sits above the crashing waves, on top of the rocks.

Aultbea, Ross and Cromarty
The pretty village of Aultbea is located within a tranquil landscape. Positioned on the side of Loch Ewe, the settlement curves around a large rocky bay, providing great views of the coastal hills that follow the shoreline to the south of the village. The peaks of the Scottish Highlands can be seen in the distance, with their great peaks visible from here. An area popular with visitors, there is a range of holiday homes in and around the village.

Aust, Gloucestershire
The small village of Aust is placed a short distance from the edge of the Severn estuary, next to the M48 Motorway and Severn Road Bridge. Built in 1966, the bridge was the first road crossing to traverse the Severn estuary, replacing a long-ceased car ferry. Aust is a great example of a contrast between the old and the new; it is a lovely village made up of old cottages and a cosy country pub, yet a modern-day service station is located just a stone’s throw away. A rocky shore borders the edge of the Severn Estuary, placed underneath a cliff made up of bands of red mudstone, black shale and cream-hued limestone. On the top of the cliffs, a lookout point at the service station provides great views across the estuary, and of the giant road bridge.

Avoch, Highland
Located on the western side of the inner section of the Moray Firth, the village of Avoch is a rather pleasant collection of stone-built cottages and townhouses that overlook the firth. The splendid Station Hotel is located in the village. A large marina mainly filled with pleasure boats lies by the village’s eastern end, although some fishing boats still dock here – fishing remains a significant contributor to Avoch’s economy

Ayr, Ayrshire
Away from the warehouses and dock that line the mouth of the River Ayr, the coastline bordering the town of Ayr is rather pleasant. With a 3 km/2-mile-long sandy beach bordering the town, it is little surprise that Ayr grew in popularity as a resort town for holidaymakers during the middle of the 19th Century. Today, it retains much of its Victorian character, with a wide stretch of pristine greenery flanking the esplanade, and a stone-built town tall (Ayr County Buildings) which faces the seafront. It is a vibrant town, with an adventure play park and other amenities in the Ayr Pavilion, and various pubs, cafes and traditional hotels located in and around the town. Ayr is also famous across Scotland, if not internationally, for being the birthplace of poet Robert Burns. Widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland, Burns grew up the suburb of Alloway, around 3km/2 miles to the south of the town centre.


Author:  Julian Marks