Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A – Z

Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A - Z

There are currently 34 locations in this directory beginning with the letter D.
Dalchalm, Highland
The small village of Dalchalm lies a mile to the north of Brora. The village is made up of a row of houses – however, a beautiful beach of golden sand, which also passes Brora, runs past Dalchalm as well.

Dale, Pembrokeshire
The pretty village of Dale is located on the southern side of Marloes Peninsula, nestled in a valley around 3 km (2 miles) to the north of St Ann’s Head. A few cottages overlook the sea, facing onto the scenic cliffs and coastal hills that make up the southern side of Pembrokeshire. Dale is a quiet village, with a pub, a local heritage centre and a handmade crafts and jewellery store located here. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path passes through the village, linking Dale up with the surrounding coastal landscape, which includes patches of lush woodland that extends down to the shore, and a series of rugged cliffs.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth is a small seaside town that is situated on the River Dart, just north of where it meets the open seas of the English Channel. It is set within the scenic South Devon countryside, with open green fields and luscious woodland flowing down the slopes of the Dart valley to the river’s edge. Dartmouth is rather historical, filled with many narrow streets and alleys that wind their way through the town. A large number of Dartmouth’s buildings are Medieval or Tudor in age, such as Saint Saviour’s Church, which dates back to 1335. This also includes many of the buildings that are situated close to the sea front, and overlook the harbour, including the Royal Castle Hotel, built in 1639. Markets are frequently held within the town, particularly during the summer months. Partly due to being located on a large flooded valley, Dartmouth is also a popular sailing and yachting hub, with many boats moored onto jetties on either side of the river.

Dawlish Warren, Devon
Located around 2.5 km (1.5 miles) to the north-east of Dawlish, the village of Dawlish Warren is famous for its large beach, and extensive shore of pleasant sand that reaches up to the mouth of the River Exe. Backed by a row of sand dunes and a nature reserve, the beach is a rather nice part of South Devon’s coast. It is ideal for families, with an amusement arcade, a small fun fair and a restaurant located close to the beach. The Silly Goose pub, and a couple of fish and chip shops, are situated in the village centre. A series of large holiday parks surround Dawlish Warren, making this a rather bustling place during holiday season.

Dawlish, Devon
Situated on the South Devon coast around 15 km to the south of Exeter, Dawlish is a traditional seaside town, filled with lightly-painted 18th-Century townhouses, that is centred on a wide village green known as The Lawn. A tree-lined stream named the Dawlish Water runs alongside the green and into the English Channel. Numerous independent shops and pubs are located in the town, including the South Devon Inn and the Dog House Inn. Dawlish is unusual in that it has a railway station directly adjacent to the seafront, with the South Devon Railway Line dividing the beach from the town. Widely considered to be one of the most scenic railway lines in the country, it runs along the coast from the cathedral city of Exeter to the market town of Newton Abbot. A sandy beach borders Dawlish, and around 2 km to the north of the town is Dawlish Warren – an impressive beach of sand and dunes.

Dawlish british seaside town

Photo: GBC

Deal, Kent
Deal is a charming seaside resort town that is located on the east Kent coast, around 12 km to the south of Broadstairs, and 10 km to the north-east of Dover. It is the first town-sized seaside settlement to the north of the White Cliffs of Dover – on a clear day, France can be seen in the distant horizon. Its town centre includes a long brightly-painted terrace that overlooks the promenade – this includes townhouses, pubs, traditional hotels and shops, many of which date back to the 18th Century. The impressive Royal Hotel is also located directly on the seafront. Deal Castle is another highlight – this is a 16th-Century artillery fort used to protect against the threat of invasion. Like many seaside towns, Deal also has a pleasure pier that was built in 1954, and a long shingle beach.

Deal, Kent, English Coast

Photo: GBC

Deganwy, Conwy
Although Deganwy is considered to be more of a town, its small size means that it feels much more like a village. Located on the eastern side of the estuary of the River Conwy, it offers some great views, with tree-covered hills on the other side of the inlet, the towering coastal peak of Penmaenbach to the west, and the Isle of Anglesey on the horizon. Many sea-facing townhouses, as well as a parade of mostly independent shops, are located in Deganwy. A sandy beach is located next to the village centre, whereas a large marina filled with yachts and sailboats is placed just to the south of Deganwy.

Dinas Dinlle, Gwynedd
The small village of Dinas Dinlle is placed on the coast of Gwynedd, between the Menai Strait and the Llyn Peninsula. A beach of large pebbles makes up much of the shore, providing impressive views of the towering Yr Eifl mountains, which loom above the sea to the south. With a large campsite and caravan park, and a couple of hotels, it is popular with holidaymakers during the summer months. The remains of an Iron Age hillfort are placed on a low hill to the south of the village.

Dingwall, Ross and Cromarty
Placed at the western tip of the Cromarty Firth, Dingwall is a charming market town of traditional stone-clad buildings, some of which are a few centuries old. A high street forms the centre of the town, flanked by a range of shops – both chain and independent stores – and a handful of cafes and restaurants. A large town hall, dating back to 1745, is placed on the high street, and includes a museum that features displays and artefacts about the town’s history. Ferry Road links the town with the edge of the firth, where a patch of quiet grassland provides great sweeping views of the channel, with rolling hills that slope down to the water’s edge, and the distant peaks of the Scottish Highlands visible to the north.

Dittisham, Devon
Placed on the southern side of the River Dart estuary, Dittisham is a relaxing village surrounded by the tranquil countryside of South Devon. Along with many old cottages, a hotel and pub named The Red Lion Inn can be found in the village centre. The eastern end of Dittisham brushes up against the estuary, with a jetty that provides passenger ferry services across the water, and a row of lovely cottages that face onto the river. The Ferry Boat Inn, an old tavern, can be found here. The village is an ideal base for walks along the estuary, which itself is a quiet drowned river valley flanked by wooded hillslopes, and through the rural landscape.

Dornie, Highland
The small village of Dornie is placed on the eastern side of the shore, where Loch Alsh, Loch Long and Loch Duich meet. It is a pleasant former fishing village, of traditional cottages placed neatly along the shore. However, Dornie is rather overshadowed by the dramatic scenery that surrounds the village, with grand Highland peaks that slope up majestically from the sides of the lochs. The village is also famous for Eilean Donan Castle, a reconstructed Medieval fortress that sits on a rock just to the south of Dornie. It is famous around the world, and is said to be the most photographed castle in Scotland.

Dornoch, Highland
Dornoch is a very picturesque town with a village-like charm to it. Scores of historical stone-built buildings lines many of its winding streets – many of these are townhouses and rows of terraced cottages. The town is famous for its former cathedral, which dates back to the 13th-Century, and a grand castle, which was built in around 1500, and is used today as a hotel. The local area is filled with great scenery, including a vast sandy beach to its east, which is flanked by a large system of sand dunes, and is within easy reach of the town.

Dover, Kent
Situated on Kent’s southeast coast, the town of Dover is well-known for its port, its rich history and its distinctive chalk cliffs. It is known as the ‘Gateway to England’ due to its major ferry port, which links Britain with both Calais and Dunkirk on the European Mainland, and is one of the world’s busiest maritime passenger ports. The town is also home to a cargo port, and a cluster of marinas. An esplanade is sandwiched between the ports, backed by large townhouses and apartments, and flanked in part by a shingle beach. Dover is a bustling town, with a high street lined with shops, and a range of cafes, restaurants and pubs situated in the town centre.

Dover is also famous for its history, with the 11th-century Dover Castle perched above the town on the clifftops – it is open to the public, showcasing its Medieval history and the important role it played as a defence during World War Two. In the town centre, the Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery exhibits the town’s rich heritage, and the remains of a wooden boat thought to be around 3,000 years old. The world-famous White Cliffs of Dover are placed to the east of the town, with parking available next to the National Trust visitor centre. A footpath runs along the clifftops, providing great views across the English Channel – France is visible on the other side on the clearest days.

Dover Port Kent UK

Downderry, Cornwall
The pretty village of Downderry stretches along the Cornish coast, flanked by coastal hills to the north and the English Channel to the south. Below a row of low cliffs, a beach of pebbles makes up much of the upper shore – however, the tide recedes to reveal large outcrops of rock that are interspersed with rockpools and patches of sand. As its name suggests, the Inn On The Shore pub and hotel includes a decked beer garden that overlooks the beach.

Downies, Aberdeenshire
Made up of a few cottages and bungalows, the village of Downies rests on top of the cliffs that overlook the North Sea. The eastern end of Downies Road, which runs through the village, provides amazing views of the coastal landscape to the north, with the rugged shore and grass-covered slopes winding their way into the distance.

Drinishader, Harris, Outer Hebrides
Drinishader is a hamlet that lies on the western side of Loch An Tairbeart, a vast coastal inlet that stretches from Tarbet all the way out to the open sea that divides Harris and the Isle of Skye. It is placed in a rather serene location, with coastal rolling hills that reach down to the water’s edge, and a few scattered islands situated in the loch. A hostel named ‘No. 5 Drinishader’ is located in the village, as well as a shop selling Harris Tweed and knitwear items, and an art gallery named the Ardbuidhe Cottage Gallery.

The remote village of Drumbeg is located on a hill overlooking Eddrachillis Bay, a vast tidal inlet in northwest Scotland. A viewpoint and car park provides great views of the coastal landscape, with rocky hills that slope down to the water’s edge, along with a small archipelago. Since Drumbeg is located to the west of the Scottish Highlands, the surrounding area is made up of rolling hills covered in pockets of heathland, woodland, and a small lake named Loch Drumbeg. A selection of paths and tracks provide opportunities for walking and hiking within the beautiful landscape. A series of white-painted cottages, along with a hotel, make up the village.

Drummore, Dumfries and Galloway
The southernmost village in Scotland, Drummore is located on the eastern side of the Rhinns of Galloway. It is situated around 6 km (4 miles) to the north of the Mull of Galloway, the southern tip of the Rhinns Peninsula, and the southernmost point of Scotland. Drummore itself is a rather quiet and pleasant village – it is placed on the edge of sandy bay, and is bordered by a small harbour. A row of terraced cottages faces onto the shore, along with a traditional pub named the Ship Inn. Queen’s Hotel, a tourist information centre and a general store are also located in the village.

Druridge, Northumberland
A row of stone-built cottages makes up much of Druridge, a small hamlet located just inland from the North Sea. The extensive sandy beach that arches around Druridge Bay passes the village, bordered by a scenic sand dune system that is great for walking. The area surrounding Druridge is rather rural, adding to the peaceful tranquillity.

Dumbarton, West Dunbartonshire
The town of Dumbarton sits on the northern side of the Clyde Estuary, around 21 km/13 miles to the west of central Glasgow. It has a rich industrial heritage, with shipbuilding, glassmaking and whisky production once being key industries in the town, but these have largely declined in the past few decades. The River Leven flows into the Clyde at Dunbarton; small boats sit along its banks, with patches of grass and numerous trees lining the river. Levengrove Park – a large open space – borders the Clyde, providing great views of the hills on the southern side of the estuary. However, the seafront is dominated by a much larger feature – Dumbarton Rock. This is a large rocky hill, derived from a long-extinct volcano, which last erupted 300 million years ago. Medieval remnants of Dumbarton Castle sit on top of the hill, a prime location due to the steep sides making the summit virtually inaccessible.

Dunbar, East Lothian
The picturesque town of Dunbar sits on the coast of East Lothian, overlooking the North Sea. It is a rather historical town, packed with traditional stone-built cottages and townhouses that centre around a wide high street. A 16th Century harbour lies on the north-western side of the town, along with an old battery that was built in 1781. The ruins of a Medieval castle overlook the harbour. Dunbar is popular with visitors not only for its history, but also for its surrounding scenery – although the coastline to the north of the town is characterised by a series of low cliffs, a small beach borders its eastern side. To the west of Dunbar is a much longer sandy beach, which curves around Bellhaven Bay. The scenery here is much quieter and more tranquil, and is backed by John Muir Country Park, named after the influential naturalist who was born in the town.

Dunbeath, Highland
The quiet village of Dunbeath is located close to the mouth of Dunbeath Water, a small river that runs off from the large hills to the west. Part of the village lies close to Dunbeath Bay, with its arched pebble beach and grass-covered hillslope contributing to the pleasant natural landscape. Another section sits on a hill overlooking the river and the bay, and along with a collection of cottages and bungalows, is also home to a Post Office and general store. A local heritage museum can also be found in the village.

Dunbeg, Argyll and Bute
Located around 4 km (2.5 miles) to the north of Oban, Dunbeg is a village that overlooks Dunstaffnage Bay. The Scottish Association for Marine Science is based just outside the village, well-located as it is close to the wild coastal fjords, steep cliffs and shallow bays that surround much of western and north-western Scotland. The Ocean Explorer Centre is situated next door, and showcases a number of exhibits related to the sea and marine conservation. Dunstaffnage Castle, a fairly well-preserved 13th-Century fortress that was built by the Campbell Clan, is placed on a rocky headland that juts out into the sea.

Dundee, Angus
Scotland’s fourth-largest city, Dundee is located on the northern banks of the Tay estuary, in the south-western corner of Angus. With a population of around 150,000, it is a large commercial centre, and includes a dynamic waterfront area that is currently being regenerated, and a great deal of arts and culture-related attractions. In 2014, the United Nations recognised Dundee as the United Kingdom’s first UNESCO City of Design, due to its contributions to several fields, including medicine, comics and video games.

Once a roaring city of industry, like many places in Scotland, this has declined in the city over the past few decades. As a result, the waterfront area has undergone much regeneration in recent years, with modern-day apartments now standing where wharves once looked out over the Tay, and an events venue and a row of shops now flanking the main dock. A recent addition to the waterfront is the V&A Dundee, which opened in 2018 – the first branch of the V&A museum outside of London, it features a range of design-related displays and exhibitions. The RRS Discovery, the ship which carried explorers Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic, is also situated on the waterfront, along with a promenade that faces onto the Tay.

Dundee has a rather lively city centre, with a wide range of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants that flank its streets. Large buildings clad with stone, as is often the case in many of Scotland’s towns and cities, make up much of central Dundee – many of them are Victorian in age, owing to the city’s rapid growth during the 19th century. Dundee is rich in arts and culture, with a range of venues and attractions located in the city. Caird Hall, a large concert auditorium, overlooks the City Square – it includes a grand neo-classical façade made up of large columns. The McManus Art Gallery & Museum, a striking Victorian Gothic building, is also located in the city centre – it includes eight open galleries that showcase art, along with historical and environmental exhibitions that relate to the city and the surrounding area. A science centre and a contemporary art gallery and cinema are also situated in the city.

In addition, Dundee is home to a university, which is often ranked as one of the world’s top 300 universities, and within the top 30 in the United Kingdom – its main campus is located just to the west of the city centre. As expected, it is a popular university, with students travelling from the rest of the country, and even from other parts of the world, to study here.

Dungeness, Kent
A series of wooden houses and cabins makes up the small hamlet of Dungeness, which sits at the south-easterly tip of a vast shingle headland, which carries the same name. It is a rather interesting settlement, in large part due to the quirky and rustic nature of its small dwellings, many of which are placed along a small road and function as either rental cottages or guesthouses. Around 30 of its houses are made from old railway carriages. However, the hamlet also lies in the shadow of a nuclear power station, contributing to the unusual local landscape. The Old Lighthouse and the southernmost section of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway lie within Dungeness.

Dunnet, Caithness
The quiet village of Dunnet is made up of a collection of cottages and bungalows, as well as the Northern Sands Hotel. It is located within a rather scenic area, with Dunnet Head to the north of the village, and the lovely golden sands of Dunnet Beach to the south. The beach curves around a large bay, bordered by a row of sand dunes. With such a beautiful natural landscape, the area is great for walking, with paths along the coast and on to Dunnet Head.

Dunoon, Argyll and Bute
Dunoon is a small resort town placed on the eastern side of the Cowal Peninsula, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. It sits amongst some rather beautiful scenery, with the forested hillslopes of the peninsula’s interior just to the west of the town, and the large hills of Inverclyde on the other side of the firth. Dunoon grew in popularity as a holiday destination during the 19th Century – therefore, many of its buildings are Victorian in age. This includes Dunoon Pier, with its Victorian timber-framed waiting room perched at the end. The remains of Dunoon Castle, first recorded in the 12th Century, sit atop a small hill – a manor house was built in the same area in the 1820s, and is now open as a museum. A number of Victorian villas, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts can be found in the town, particularly along the seafront. A road runs along the coast from Dunoon up towards the village of Hunters Quay, bordered by a rocky beach – this makes for a rather scenic drive, providing impressive views across the Clyde.

Dunstan Steads, Northumberland
Dunstan Steads is a small hamlet that consists of a row of stone cottages, and is located close to the Northumberland coast. The name Dunstan Steads is most commonly associated with the lovely beach that Curves around Embleton Bay. Located within a beautiful rural location, it is a beach of light-yellow sand, backed by a system of large sand dunes. The 14th-Century ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle rest on a headland along the south-eastern edge of the bay, and are visible from the beach and the dunes. Limited parking is available here, but there are no public toilets or shops here.

Dunure, Ayrshire
The small village of Dunure is a former fishing port located around 8 km (5 miles) to the south-west of Ayr. It is located on the wild coast of Ayrshire, where large cliffs rise from the sea, and jagged rock stacks are placed along the coastline. A square-sized harbour forms the centrepiece of the village’s waterfront, keeping boats safe from the crashing waves. Two rows of old terraced cottages flank the harbour and the pebbly shore, with a seafood restaurant named The Anchorage located in the village. Dunure Castle, a ruined fortress from the Medieval era, is placed on a small headland, looking out to sea.

Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
The village of Dunvegan is well-known for its historical connections. It is famous for Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod Clan, which was first built in the 13th Century and has been added to several times since. Located almost 1.6 km (1 mile) to the north of Dunvegan, on a rock outcrop that overlooks Loch Dunvegan, both the castle and its walled gardens are open to the public. Large forests and rolling hillslopes border the village; the large flat-topped peak of Healabhal Mhòr is easily visible on the other side of the loch. As well as a handful of hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and a few shops, Dunvegan is home to the Giant Angus MacAskill Museum, dedicated to the tallest Scotsman ever to have lived.

Dunwich, Suffolk
The small village of Dunwich is a rather picturesque settlement, with a row of twee townhouses lining St James’s Street, the main thoroughfare that runs through the village. It has a great history to it – during Medieval times it was a bustling international port, only to lose its prominence in the 13th Century when storm surges and coastal erosion washes much of the old town into the North Sea. A pub named The Ship is located in the village, owing to its heritage. An extensive shingle beach makes up most of the coastline. Dunwich is surrounded by a plethora of beautiful and wild countryside, including the expansive Dunwich Forest, and the National Trust-owned Dunwich Heath, both of which provide great walking and hiking opportunities. More info here.

Durness, Sutherland
The small village in Durness is located around 16 km (10 miles) from Cape Wrath, a famous headland that marks the most north-westerly point of the British Mainland. The natural landscape is incredible – for starters, the village has two beaches to choose from. These are Sango Sands, with its pristine sands punctuated by a series of black rock stacks, and Balnakeil Beach, which is backed by a large dune system. Rolling hills, coastal headlands and small lochs also make up much of the scenery that surrounds the village. Smoo Cave, carved out into the limestone by both stream and sea water, is situated just to the west of Durness. A craft village is also located at Balnakeil, a small hamlet next to Durness, which is home to a large range of local artists and craft businesses.

Dwygyfylchi, Conwy
The village of Dwygyfylchi is surrounded by some lovely scenery that forms the northernmost extent of Snowdonia National Park. It is flanked by a series of towering hills, including the 362 metre (1,187 foot) high Foel Lûs. Not only do the hills provide incredible views of the surround area, but they also include a large network of footpaths and trails, including the long-distance North Wales Path. The surrounding landscape is known for its large number of stone circles and hill forts, some of which date back to the Neolithic era – the remnants of a fort are located on Allt Wen, a hill to the east of the village. Dwygyfylchi itself is a quiet village, which includes numerous holiday lettings and a large golf course. A beach is accessible just to the north of the village, with a footbridge crossing the A55 road.

Dymchurch, Kent
The village of Dymchurch stretches for around 2.5 km (1.5 miles) along the coast, penned in by a pleasant beach of sand to its south-east, and by the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway to its north-west. Although 20th-Century built residential homes make up much of Dymchurch’s edges, a high street lined with old cottages and wooden-clad buildings runs through the village. A small funfair is located in Dymchurch, as is one of Kent’s many Martello Towers – a series of defensive coastal forts that were built during the 1800s.


Author:  Julian Marks