Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A – Z

Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A - Z

There are currently 59 locations in this directory beginning with the letter H.
Halistra, Isle of Skye
Halistra is a small hamlet located on the western side of Skye’s Waternish Peninsula. It is made up of many croft-type farmhouses, as is often the case across much of the island and many other parts of Scotland. Halistra’s location means that it provides impressive views across the loch to Dunvegan Head, a 300 metre (1,000 foot) high promontory that drops almost vertically into the sea. A country lane links Halistra with the stony shore that borders Loch Dunvegan

Hallsands, Devon
Perched on the edge of a cliff, the small village of Hallsands is located in South Devon, just to the north of Start Point. Tragically, much of the original village was lost to the waves in 1917, during a winter storm that eroded away a large chunk of the cliffs – miraculously, no-one was injured, although many of the original cottages and a pub were lost to the sea. Today, all that is left is a series of cottages, many of which are available as holiday lettings. The village is located at the southern tip of Hall Sands, a small beach of sand and shingle. Its remote location means that this is a rather tranquil part of South Devon, and is ideal for walks along the coast and through the surrounding countryside.

Hamble-le-Rice, Hampshire
Hamble-le-Rice is a charming village that is located on the western side of the Hamble estuary. Picturesque cottages line its streets, along with a few quaint pubs, cafes and a small art gallery on the quayside. Thai and Italian cuisine, along with traditional and locally-produced pub food, is available in the village. Hamble-le-Rice is famous for its large marina, which is filled with many yachts and sailboats, and attracts many people from the rest of the UK (and even from around the world) to the village. Three sailing clubs are based here, as well as the headquarters of the Royal Yachting Association.

Hamnavoe, West Burra, Shetland Islands
The village of Hamnavoe sits on West Burra, a small island located just off from the coast of the Shetland Mainland. It is centred around a small harbour, placed at the head of a small rocky bay named Hamna Voe – its sheltered location, away from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, allowed the village to grow into a popular fishing port. Although its fishing industry has since declined, a small number of fishing vessels still sit in the harbour alongside numerous pleasure boats. A collection of cottages surrounds the bay, along with a corner shop on the waterfront. The area is also ideal for coastal walks, with a wide range of great coastal scenery, including a lovely beach of white sand named the Sands of Meal.

Happisburgh, Norfolk
Pronounced ‘Hays-bruh’, the village of Happisburgh sits above a small cliff, overlooking the sandy beach below and the vast waters of the North Sea. It is a rather tranquil village, with picturesque flint-clad cottages and a 15th Century church making up much of the village. The oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia sits close to the coast, with its quaint red and white striped tower. Happisburgh is known for its archaeological importance – in 2010, flint tools discovered to be over 800,000 years old were unearthed here, making this the oldest known place occupied by humans in the United Kingdom.

Picture of Happisburgh Lighthouse

Photo: GBC

Harlech, Gwynedd
Although Harlech contains a population of just under 1,500, Harlech is considered to be a small town – however, it feels much more like a village. It is well-known for its large and foreboding 13th Century castle, which was built by Edward I and sits on top of a large rocky outcrop. Harlech has a picturesque charm to it, with a narrow high street flanked by stone-built cottages, along with a few shops and a bar and restaurant. Much of Harlech is built on a hill, overlooking the vast open waters of Tremadoc Bay, with a number of streets linking the high street with a lovely sandy beach that borders the sea. One of these streets – named Ffordd Pen Llech – is recognised as the steepest signposted road in Britain, reaching a gradient of up to 40% in places. More here.

Harlech Castle

Harlosh, Isle of Skye
The hamlet of Harlosh is placed on a small promontory that juts out into Loch Bracadale. It is a collection of scattered cottages, some of which have been converted into holiday lettings and bed-and-breakfasts, focused around a small inlet named Camas Ban. Dùn Feorlig, the ruins of an Iron Age broch, are located just to the north-east of Harlosh.

Haroldswick, Unst, Shetland Islands
The village of Haroldswick derives its name from King Harald of Norway, whose fleet landed here in AD 875. Like many parts of the Shetland Islands, the village has a strong Viking connection – a replica of a traditional Viking-era longhouse and ship have been constructed just outside of Haroldswick. The Unst Heritage Centre is also located here. The village is surrounded by some rather impressive scenery, with a large inlet that is flanked by hillslopes that slide down to the shoreline. The Hill of Clibberswick is located to the east of the village, bordered by a row of towering, rugged cliffs that include headlands and rock stacks.

Harrington, Cumbria
The village of Harrington is located just to the south of Workington. It grew in the 18th and 19th Centuries, with shipbuilding becoming its main industry – however, this declined during the 20th Century. Today, Harrington is a fairly quiet village, with cottages, townhouses and shops filling the settlement. A harbour is located next to the village, separated by a breakwater – it is used today as a small marina.

Hartland Quay, Devon
The small hamlet of Hartland Quay is nestled at the bottom of a large coastal hillslope, around 3 km (2 miles) to the south of Hartland Point. Despite its small size, the hamlet is a magnet for visitors, many of whom are attracted to its rocky cove and fantastic scenery. A sandy, pebbly and boulder-strewn beach arches around a series of magnificent cliffs, their distinctive diagonal rock folds reaching from the shore up to the clifftops. A north-facing viewpoint provides amazing views of the rugged coastal landscape, with jagged headlands underlain with rocky outcrops stretching into the distance. The hamlet itself includes a cosy pub named The Wrecker’s Retreat, and the Hartland Quay Hotel.

Hartlepool, Durham
The coastal town of Hartlepool is located on the edge of County Durham. Once a roaring industrial town, a scenic waterfront, having gone much regeneration in recent years, forms part of its seafront. Today, its docks are filled by a large marina, overlooked by a row of cafes and restaurants. Hartlepool is keen to showcase its history, with a museum dedicated to the town’s heritage located on the quayside. A Royal Navy museum is placed next door, where a large warship from 1817 is moored, and is surrounded by a reconstructed 18th-century seaport. Hartlepool is also home to an art gallery, which is located away from the quayside, on Church Street.

A part of the town named The Headland is situated to the northeast of the town centre, on a promontory that juts out into the North Sea – here, a promenade follows the coastline, providing great views across to central Hartlepool and the steelworks of Teesside, with the hills of the North York Moors in the distance. Sandy beaches are located to the north of Hartlepool, at the aptly-named North Sands, and at Seaton Carew, a traditional seaside resort that forms part of the town, and lies to the south of central Hartlepool.

Harwich, Essex
Harwich is an attractive port town located in northeast Essex, on a promontory that divides the Stour estuary from the North Sea. A cluster of 18th and 19th century brick-built townhouses make up much of the town centre, straddling a web of narrow streets, with a large quayside that runs along its northern edge, providing great sweeping views across Harwich Harbour. Passenger ferries directly connect the town with both Shotley Gate and Felixstowe. The Electric Palace, built in 1911, is located in the town – it is the oldest unaltered purpose-built cinema in Britain. Harwich is also home to a local heritage museum, and an impressive early-19th century redoubt fort that is also open as a museum. Dovercourt, a scenic seaside resort, forms the southern part of the town, with a promenade that overlooks a lovely sandy beach. The centre of Dovercourt feels quite village-like, with a cluster of shops, a few cafes, and a couple of pubs and restaurants located here.

Hastings, East Sussex
Hastings is a large seaside town that is situated on the East Sussex coastline. The town has two main parts – a mainly 18th and 19th Century-built town centre, and a much older area named ‘Hastings Old Town’ that is located to the east. A row of impressive Victorian townhouses overlooks the seafront from the adjacent town of Saint Leonard’s through to the centre of Hastings itself. Here, a large wooden pier reaches out into the sea, providing great coastal views. Hastings Old Town is a twisting maze of narrow streets and alleyways that wind their way around many traditional centuries-old townhouses. It is great for wandering around and exploring the numerous picture-postcard streets and historical buildings. Hastings Old Town is overlooked by the 11th-Century ruins of Hastings Castle to its west. On its eastern side, you can either walk up the steep coastal hillside – or take the Edwardian funicular railway – to access Hastings Country Park, which provides fantastic views of Hastings, and across the vast open sea.

Haverigg, Cumbria
Haverigg is a quiet coastal village located in south-western Cumbria, around a mile away from the small town of Millom. A pub named the Rising Sun, a beach café and a hotel are located in the village, which is mostly made up of several streets lined with terraced houses. A lovely beach borders the southern side of Haverigg, backed by a large dune system covered in long, thick grass. A walk along the beach takes you to Haverigg Point, providing views out to sea in one direction, and of the peaks of the Lake District in the other.

Hayle, Cornwall
Hayle is a small seaside town located on the north Cornwall coast. Situated at the head of a tidal inlet named the Copperhouse Pool, Hayle has a twee village-like feel to it, with a stone-clad railway viaduct running through its centre, and a small outdoor swimming pool. The town is mainly known for its beautiful sandy beaches that lie to its north, making up the southern side of St. Ives Bay. The coastline is very impressive, giving wide and picturesque views across St. Ives Bay. Porthkidney and Hayle Beach are the closest to the town, and are great for their beautiful expanses of white sand set amongst a backdrop of sand dunes and a series of rocky cliff formations named The Bluff. The white sand continues along the eastern side of the bay for another 5 km, this time bordering the Towans – a large and wild sand dune system that is great for hiking.

Heacham, Norfolk
Heacham is a large village that is located around 3 km (2 miles) to the south of Hunstanton. A pleasant high street forms the centre of the village, flanked by many townhouses and independent shops. Heacham is a popular destination for holidaymakers, as evidenced by the large caravan parks that flank the outskirts of the village. Both Heacham Beach, which is rather sandy, and North Norfolk’s rural landscape, are a large draw for visitors. Being west-facing, glorious sunsets are often visible from the village.

Hele, Devon (North Side)
The small village of Hele is located in a lovely wooded valley just to the east of Ilfracombe, where it ends at the head of Hele Bay, a beautiful rocky cove with a shingle beach. During low tide, many rock pools emerge on the surface of a rocky outcrop, which borders the sides of the cove. Hele itself is home to a row of cottages, a pub, and a restaurant and café named the Snacking Kraken.

Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute
The lovely resort town of Helensburgh sits on the northern side of the Firth of Clyde, around 34 km/21 miles north-west of central Glasgow. It is filled with many wide tree-lined streets, flanked by beautiful buildings, ranging from Victorian-built townhouses through to large suburban homes. A range of pleasant parks and gardens can be found in and around the town, with Colquhoun Square forming the town’s centrepiece. A long promenade runs parallel to the shore, providing incredible views across the Firth of Clyde, with the hills of Inverclyde to the south. A terrace of townhouses, shops, traditional hotels and a selection of restaurants extends along the sea front; more amenities can be found within the town centre. Helensburgh is situated among some rather impressive landscape features, with Gare Loch and the Rosneath Peninsula to its west, and the giant peaks and waters of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to its north.

Helford Passage, Cornwall
Helford Passage is a small village on the side of the Helford River. It is located directly opposite the main village of Helford, connected to it by a passenger ferry. It is a quiet village, with cottages that face onto the river, and a pub named the Ferry Boat Inn located on the quayside. The South West Coast Path runs to the east of the village, where it passes Trebah, Durban and Grebe beaches – these three hidden coves are strewn with rocks and pebbles, and are flanked by patches of lovely woodland. Glendurgan Gardens – an arboretum and botanic garden containing many exotic plant and tree species – is also located near the village.

Helford, Cornwall
Tucked away around a small, sleepy inlet, the village of Helford is located on the southern side of the Helford River, a large flooded valley that reaches into Cornwall’s interior. It is surrounded by a rather beautiful and serene landscape, with coastal woodland that flanks the shore, and sheltered creeks that can be reached via footpaths. The village itself is a collection of lovely country cottages that includes a general store and a thatched pub named the Shipwright Arms. A passenger ferry service links the village with Helford Passage on the other side of the river.

Helmsdale, Highland
Located at the mouth of the river which shares its name, the village of Helmsdale is a rather picturesque place. Its streets, many of which are arranged on a grid pattern, are flanked by rows of traditional cottages. The area is popular with tourists, and the village contains several inns and guesthouses. A harbour filled with both recreational sailboats and fishing craft is located in front of the village. Helmsdale lies in the shadow of Creag Bun-Ullidh, a large hill that towers to its north, and of the peaks of the north-east Scottish Highlands. The coast to the north-east of Helmsdale is incredibly wild and rugged – it is flanked by the A9 road, which provides some amazing scenery between Helmsdale and the other side of Berriedale.

Hemsby, Norfolk
Located on the eastern coast of East Anglia, Hemsby is a small town located around 5 km to the north of Caister-on-Sea. The town is popular with holidaymakers, who are attracted to the sandy beach that borders the entire town. The town itself is rather village-like, with a flint-walled church, a small parade of shops and several country pubs. Many of the attractions geared towards tourists are located in and around the many caravan and holiday parks that separate the village from the coast. These include numerous amusement arcades, restaurants, cafes and a small fun fair. As well as visiting the beach, walking along a section of the Norfolk Coastal Trail, on top of the sand dunes, allows you to take in a slice of the natural East Anglian landscape.

Herne Bay, Kent
Herne Bay is a traditional resort town that is located on the northern Kent coast. A long Victorian promenade borders the town, overlooked by many townhouses that were built during a similar era. As well as the long pebble beach that borders the coastline, the town includes numerous other attractions. A pier extends from the shoreline into the sea, hosting a couple of funfair rides, and numerous stalls selling food and beverages. As well as a series of amusement arcades a large traditional bandstand lies on the promenade, alongside an English country garden-type park. A grand clock tower overlooks the sea – despite being built in the 1830s, its architectural style resembles one used by the Romans. However, despite its attractions, Herne Bay is a fairly quiet seaside town, especially in the coastal suburb of Hampton, which lies to the west of the town.

Herston, South Ronaldsway, Orkney Islands
Herston is a small village overlooking Widewall Bay, on the western side of South Ronaldsay. It consists of a row of cottages, which have a great view across the clear water of the bay, and of the rolling countryside that surrounds it.

Hessle, East Riding of Yorkshire
The town of Hessle lies on the northern side of the Humber estuary, around 8 km (5 miles) to the west of Kingston-Upon-Hull. Despite its location on the edge of the Humber, Hessle feels more like a market town than a coastal port, with a charming high street and a square that form the town centre. Quaint townhouses, shops, a few restaurants and a pub named the Marquis of Gransby line the town’s streets, making Hessle a rather attractive town to visit. A short walk down a small hillslope links the town with the banks of the Humber – a footpath and a quiet street follow the shore, providing great sweeping views across the vast channel. The grand structure of the Humber Bridge looms to the west – when it opened in 1981, it was the longest single-span suspension bridge in the world, and peaks at a height of 155 metres (510 feet). More here.

Hest Bank, Lancashire
Hest Bank is a village that mainly consists of suburban-style housing, with bungalows and larger houses, along with a collection of shops and the cosy Hest Bank pub. Built next to the edge of Morecambe Bay, a long and sandy beach borders the village, which is easy accessed from the main road that runs through Hest Bank. Both the shoreline and the Lancaster Canal towpath provide great walking opportunities.

Heswall, Merseyside
Situated on the western side of the Wirral peninsula, Heswall is an attractive suburban-style town of family homes and bungalows, with a village-like town centre, and several streets that run down a hillslope to the edge of the Dee estuary. A range of shops, cafes and restaurants are located along the high street, and in other parts of the town. Much of Heswall is built on top of a hill, with views provided across the Dee at various points, with the peaks of North Wales visible on the other side. The town is surrounded by patches of open greenery, with the Dales, a nature reserve that is crossed by several footpaths, and a woodland named The Beacons. Heswall Beach is located at the bottom of the hillslope, and lines the edge of the Dee – away from much of the town, it is ideal for quiet walks along the shore.

Heybridge Basin, Essex
The coastal village of Heybridge Basin sits where the Chelmer & Blackwater Navigation canal meets the western end of the Blackwater Estuary. It is a rather pleasant village, with a terrace of traditional weatherboard cottages overlooking the canal, which is dammed by a small lock. Small pleasure boats often line the canal, which is popular with tourists. Two traditional pubs are located in the village – the Old Ship and the Jolly Sailor.

Heybrook Bay, Devon
The village of Heybrook Bay stretches down the side of a coastal hillslope, where it brushes up against a rocky cove. It is a fairly modern village, with homes and bungalows built during the past few decades. Wembury Point, a rugged headland surrounded by tidal rock flats, looms to the east of the village, adding to the area’s dramatic coastal scenery. The Eddystone Inn is built halfway up the hillslope; its beer garden provides great sweeping views towards Wembury Point, and out into the English Channel.

Heysham, Lancashire
The attractive seaside town of Heysham is located on the side of Morecambe Bay, close to the historic cathedral city of Lancaster and the resort town of Morecambe. It has a quieter feel to it than its surrounding settlements, with a charming village-like centre that is made up of stone-clad townhouses and cottages. Many of its older buildings date back a few centuries, although Heysham has a large suburban area that has been built since the 1930s. The Heysham Heritage Centre, a local history museum, can be found on Main Street, and is housed in a 17th century cottage and barn. A small café and a tea room are located close by.

Heysham is also surrounded by some lovely scenery, with Chapel Hill to the west of the town centre, a coastal hillock that provides fantastic views across Morecambe Bay – the peaks of the Lake District can be seen on the horizon. The hill takes its name from St Patrick’s Chapel, a now-ruined Medieval chapel that overlooks the shore – it is known for its row of stone-hewn graves, which are placed on the surface. To the north of Chapel Hill, the coastal landscape is less dramatic, with a more easily-accessible sandy shore making up the beach.

Highcliffe on Sea, Dorset
As the name suggests, Highcliffe on Sea is perched above a row of cliffs, where it looks out into the wide-open waters of Christchurch Bay. It is a mainly suburban settlement, with bungalows and family homes, and a high street flanked by shops, and a few cafes and restaurants. A few footpaths wind their way down the cliff to the beach, a pleasant shore made up of sand and pebbles. Looking out to sea, Ballard Down can be seen on the horizon to the west, whereas the Isle of Wight can be made out to the east. The iconic Needles rock stacks are easily visible on a clear day. A pretty wooded valley named Chewton Bunny runs from the beach and up along the side of Highcliffe. Also, a beautiful 19th century manor house is located on the other side of the suburb; named Highcliffe Castle, it is open to the public.

Higher Town, St. Martin’s, Isles of Scilly
The principal settlement on St. Martin’s, Higher Town is a small village located on the south-eastern side of the island. It is flanked by two splendid bays – Higher Town Bay to its south, and the larger Lawrence’s Bay to the west. Both are arched by lovely white-hued sand, with a great contrast between the sand and the dark rocky outcrop on the latter. The village itself is quite scattered, and includes a few cottages, a Post Office and general store, and a fish and chip shop located next to Higher Town Bay.

Hightown, Merseyside
Sandwiched between the towns of Formby and Crosby, the village of Hightown is made up of wide, tree-lined streets bordered by large 1930s-built suburban houses. It is a quiet village, with a railway station, and a pub and restaurant. As is common along this stretch of coastline, Hightown is bordered by a long strip of sand dunes, upon which a network of footpaths can be found. This includes the Sefton Coastal Footpath, which runs from Stockport to Crosby.

Hillswick, Mainland Island, Shetland Islands
Hillswick lies on the western side of Ura Firth, a large inlet in the north-western part of Shetland’s Mainland. It consists of a few scattered buildings, including cottages and farmhouses. The Magnus Bay Hotel, a large wood-clad guesthouse with 33 rooms, stands out from the other buildings, overlooking the rugged landscape surrounding the village. A small beach bordering another inlet – Sand Wick – is placed around 200 metres (220 yards) to the west of the village.

Hilton, Highland
The village of Hilton is situated immediately to the north of Balintore, and like its neighbour, is a rather quiet place, with bungalows and terraced cottages making up most of its buildings. A finely-carved Pictish stone slab, dating back to the 9th Century, was discovered just outside of Hilton. Although the original is held in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, a replica is located on the hill overlooking the village. The remains of a 14th Century castle are also located nearby.

Holcombe, Devon
The village of Holcombe is located on the coast of South Devon, sandwiched between the towns of Teignmouth and Dawlish. It sits on a coastal hillslope, and is within easy reach of Holcombe Beach – a quiet stretch of sand flanked by a headland of red sandstone to the north. The village itself includes a pub named The Castle Inn, and the Salty Dog beach café.

Holkham, Norfolk
Holkham is a small village in North Norfolk off the A148 with a beautiful beach, but it has gained fame mainly from Holkham Hall, a gigantic Palladian mansion on a 3000 acres estate with many monuments, also featuring a fastuous marble hall and many symbols of grandeur. The beach also very popular destination and which is backed by pine woods to prevent erosion offers glorious sea views.

Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
The village of Holme-next-the-Sea is a rather scattered settlement, made up of country cottages that straddle several country lanes, stretching from the A149 in the south up towards the beach on its northern side. The landscape is rather rural and wild here, with a large area of coastal grasslands and marshland bordering the village. The extensive sands at Holme Beach are rather wide, and stretch out into the North Sea during low tide. The beach is famous for its discovery of Seahenge, a Bronze Age timber circle, in 1998 – the timber posts were preserved and are on display at Lynn Museum in the Norfolk town of King’s Lynn.

Holmpton, East Riding of Yorkshire

The small village of Holmpton is located around 5 km (3 miles) south of Withernsea. Here, a collection of bungalows and small cottages line several country lanes, which wind their way through the countryside. The coast is located only a stone’s throw away from the village, but access onto the beach is rather poor to a line of unstable cliffs in the way. The village contains an underground nuclear bunker – built during the Cold War, the bunker is now open to the public as a museum.

Holy Island, Northumberland
Located on a small tidal island that shares the names Holy Island and Lindisfarne, the village of Holy Island is a popular tourist destination. This is no surprise as it is a wonderful village packed with picturesque stone-built cottages, a handful of independent businesses, including Holy Island Crafts, and Lindisfarne Scriptorium, which makes and sells religious-themed artwork. Lindisfarne Priory, located just to the south of the village, formed the origin of Christianity in England during the Medieval era – today, the priory is made up of ruins, which are open to the public. A mainly rocky shoreline surrounds the western, southern and south-eastern sides of the village.

Holyhead, Holy Island, Anglesey
The largest town on both the Isle of Anglesey and Holy Island, Holyhead is famous for its ferry service, with the busiest terminal that provides services between Great Britain and Ireland. Although the town is quite industrial, with docks and warehouses bordering the coast, there are also pleasant beaches along the coast, including at Porth-y-Felin, on the western part of Holyhead, and at Penrhos Beach to the east. The town also lies in the shadow of Holyhead Mountain, a craggy 220 metre (721 foot) high hill that provides some great natural scenery, and is ideal for walking and hiking. Holyhead is quite a busy town, with narrow streets lined with old townhouses and terraced cottages, and a range of shops, restaurants and pubs. A maritime museum is located on the coast to the north of the town, just off of Beach Road.

Holywell, Cornwall
Separated from the shore by a large patch of sand dunes, Holywell is a small village located around 6 km (3.5 miles) to the southwest of Newquay. Like much of Cornwall’s northern coast, it is bordered by a stunning beach of golden sand, that arches around Holywell Bay. It is popular with holidaymakers, especially with surfers and swimmers, with a camping and caravan park placed just outside from the village. The Treguth Inn, a thatched pub, and a bar and coffee house, can be found in the centre of Holywell. The South West Coast Path runs through the village, where it travels through the dunes and around Penhale Point, a promontory of rocky cliffs and deep coves.

Hope Cove, Devon
Hope Cove is a pretty coastal village, made up of a few cottages and a pub named the Hope and Anchor. As the name suggests, the village is placed on the edge of a rocky cove, with a patch of golden sand that is exposed during low tide. The sand makes the sea turn a lovely turquoise colour when the sun shines. The village provides great views of the rugged cliffs of Bolt Tail, a rugged headland that stretches out to the south of Hope Cove. Unsurprisingly, the village is popular with visitors during holiday season, with a few holiday cottages located in and around Hope Cove. A small art gallery is also located here.

Hopeman, Moray
Founded in 1805 to rehouse people displaced by the Highland Clearances, much of the village of Hopeman is made up of terraced cottages. It is arranged on a grid-style pattern, which is rare in Great Britain, but is quite common in some of Moray’s coastal settlements. A harbour filled with some fishing craft, but mainly pleasure boats, is located in front of the village. Two beaches of golden sand, peppered with rocky outcrops, flank the harbour, adding to the beautiful scenery of the area.

Hopton, Norfolk
The village of Hopton is very popular with holidaymakers, as evidenced by the abundance of caravan sites and holiday parks that surround much of the settlement. People are attracted to the golden sand that makes up the beaches running alongside Hopton. A small selection of amusement arcades and restaurants are located in the village centre.

Horden, County Durham
Like Blackhall Rocks just to the south, the village of Horden is also separated from the coast by a patch of grass and deciduous woodland. Up until the closure of its colliery in 1987, Horden was a town built on mining, and it is made up of many terraced houses. Cotsford Lane leads from the village to the shore, running down a small valley to the pebble beach. A sculpture of a Tern – a type of seabird – is perched up on a hill, looking out onto the North Sea.

Hornsea, East Riding of Yorkshire
Hornsea is a small seaside town situated on the East Riding of Yorkshire’s eastern coast. It has two main areas – a traditional village-like town centre, and a line of buildings that run along the promenade. The town centre is made up of various centuries-old buildings, each of them built in a style that is rather typical of a picturesque British village. As well as numerous independent shops to visit, there are several cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from, including the Rose and Crown. The promenade is flanked by various buildings, including the Marine – a pub and traditional hotel that overlooks the North Sea. The beach is rather sandy in nature, although pebbles are frequently found here as well. Hall Garth Park is situated in the centre of Hornsea, and a large freshwater lake named Hornsea Mere is located just to the south-west of the town. More here.

Horton (Gower), Gower Peninsula
Placed at the eastern end of a lovely sandy beach, the small village of Horton is located only half a mile away from Port Eynon. It is a pretty village of cottages and large houses that stretch down a hill, looking out into a large bay. Horton is quieter and less bustling than Port Eynon, with a tranquil beach that is backed by sand dunes. A footpath – the Wales Coast Path – runs through Horton, and then meanders along the rugged and rocky coast of southern Gower.

Hoswick, Mainland Island, Shetland Islands
The village of Hoswick sits at the head of the bay of the same name, overlooking the grassy hillslopes that slide down to the water’s edge. The village includes a Visitor Centre, complete with a café, a gift shop and various exhibits showcasing local history and a collection of vintage radios. As well as the Orca Country Inn – a guest house and bar – a working knitwear factory named the Hoswick Woollen Mill is also located in the village.

Houton, Orkney Mainland, Orkney Islands
Located at the head of a small bay, the hamlet of Houton is made up of a few scattered cottages, bungalows and farmhouses. It is flanked by a headland named the Midland Ness to its east, and a small tidal island named the Holm of Houton lies at the front of the bay. The hamlet is sheltered by the Hill of Midland, with peaks to its north. Ferry services linking the Orkney Mainland with a few other Orkney Islands run from here.

Hove, East Sussex
The seaside resort of Hove is located on the south coast of England, historically within East Sussex. Hove is a rather upmarket district that makes up the city of Brighton and Hove. A grand terrace of Georgian townhouses and apartments faces onto the promenade, with a network of tree-lined avenues and large streets that stretch away from the coast, also flanked by early-19th century terraces. Church Road runs through the centre of Hove from east to west – this is where many of the district’s cafes, bars, pubs and fine restaurants can be found, along with Hove Museum and Art Gallery, which is housed in a splendid late-Victorian villa. Chain stores and a collection of independent shops line the sides of George Street, which connects with Church Road. A large promenade separates many of Hove’s buildings from a shingle beach – a long stretch of grass named Hove Lawns runs along the seafront.

Howmore, South Uist, Outer Hebrides
The small village of Howmore lies close to South Uist’s eastern coast. It stretches from the A865 road towards the coast, straddling a country lane that winds through a patch of grassland. A couple of traditional cottages, built with large stones and thatched roofs, are placed along the lane; although they are privately owned, they add to the village’s rustic feel. Howmore is home to a number of ruined churches and chapels; a small youth hostel is also located here. A sandy beach makes up the shore next to the village.

Hoylake, Merseyside
The small seaside town of Hoylake is located on the northern coast of the Wirral Peninsula in the north-west of England. Bordered by Meols to the east, and West Kirby to the south-west, Hoylake is a rather quiet and relaxed seaside town, with a small promenade running along the coastline. The town is rather residential, acting partly as a leafy commuter town for people working in nearby Liverpool. Hoylake has a small shopping street that is filled with various chain stores and independent shops, as well as a few pubs and restaurants. The town is also famous for being home to the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, world-renowned for being on the toughest golf course sin the world. This part of the Wirral is great for taking long walks along the sandy beach – during low tide, the sea recedes, leaving behind a vast expanse of sand flats. However, do take precautions as the tide can come back in with an alarming pace.

Hugh Town, St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly
The largest settlement on the Isles of Scilly, Hugh Town is a charming hive of stone-built terraces, pubs, cafes and independent shops, many of which line the town’s narrow streets. Despite its small size, Hugh Town is rather welcoming to visitors, with a wide range of holiday lettings and a few hotels placed in and around the town. It is also home to the Isles of Scilly Museum, and an art gallery that is situated on Silver Street. Hugh Town is also blessed with having two sandy shores – Town Beach curves past the northern side of the town, and includes a harbour, whereas Porthcressa Beach arches its way along the town’s southern edge, and is the more relaxing of the two. A rocky headland reaches out to the west of Hugh Town, upon which sits the walls and castle of a 16th-century garrison. Named Star Castle, the central fortress is open today as a hotel.

Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire
Set within a wonderful landscape, the hamlet of Hunmanby Gap is mainly made up of a small community of fairly modern bungalows. To the north of them sits a car park – many visitors are attracted to the area for the amazing clifftop landscape, with Flamborough Head far to the south-east, the Filey Brigg headland to the north, and views across Filey Bay out to the vast waters of the North Sea. A footpath takes people down to the sandy beach below the cliffs.

Hunstanton, Norfolk
Hunstanton is a rather impressive Victorian seaside resort town, located on the north-west Norfolk coast, facing onto the Wash. It is a rather relaxed town, with a village feel to it – its town centre is made up of twee townhouses that face onto a village green, overlooking the sea. These include the elegant Golden Lion hotel, built in 1846, and a heritage centre. Many independent shops and tea rooms line the Cliff Parade, which runs parallel to the seafront. The southern half of the town is bordered by a generally sandy beach, which is overlooked by a small funfair. However, the coast becomes rockier the further north you travel, with a line of cliffs bordering the shoreline next to Hunstanton’s northern parts. These cliffs are famous for their distinctive stripy colours, with a white-coloured layer of chalk sitting above dark-red sandstone. To the north of the cliffs, the sand returns – this time with a scenic row of sand dunes.

Hunters Quay, Argyll
Hunters Quay is an idyllic suburban village located just to the north of Dunoon. It grew as a holiday resort in the late Victorian era, with visitors attracted to the lovely scenery that surrounds the village – as well as some rather amazing views across the Firth of Clyde, a series of coastal hills are also placed to the west of Hunters Quay. A series of beautiful Victorian domes and villas overlook the firth, including the impressive Royal Marine Hotel, which was built in 1890 in a Tudor Revival style. A large holiday camp filled with caravans and chalets, named Hunters Quay Holiday Village, is located next to the village. A vehicle ferry links the village to Gourock across the firth.

Hythe, Hampshire
Located on the western side of Southampton Water, the Hampshire town of Hythe boasts a selection of pubs, cafes and restaurants, along with a pleasant shopping street. The promenade provides views across the estuary to the Southampton suburbs of Woolston and Weston – a passenger ferry links Hythe with the port of Southampton, which is located around 3 km (2 miles) to the north. A pier connects the town to the ferry terminal – due to its length, a miniature railway runs along the pier, and remains the oldest continuously-operating public pier train in the world. A large marina village, which is filled with modern houses that are flanked by channels of water, is placed next to the town.

Hythe, Kent
Situated on the south-east Kent coast, Hythe is a small and rather laidback seaside town that includes a Victorian promenade, many independent shops and provides great views across the English Channel. A pebble beach borders the entire town, with various townhouses, and the large Hythe Imperial Hotel, all overlooking the seafront. Various parks and green spaces link the promenade with the centre of the town, which itself is a collection of traditional village-type cottages, townhouses and old pubs, many of which are more than 150 years old. Hythe forms the eastern end of the 45 km-long Royal Military Canal, which links the town with the market town of Rye – this is bordered by car-free tracks that are great for hiking and cycling through part of the stunning Kent countryside. Furthermore, the town forms the northern terminus of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch heritage railway, which connects Hythe with the small coastal village of Dungeness.


Author:  Julian Marks