Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A – Z

Coastal Cities, Towns, Villages A - Z

There are currently 29 locations in this directory beginning with the letter R.
Rackwick, Hoy, Orkney Islands
The small settlement of Rackwick lies on the western side of the island of Hoy – it is a remote crofting township consisting of several scattered farmhouses and cottages. It is located within a slice of Hoy’s incredible scenery – large hillslopes surround three of its sides, within an impressive and serene glacially-carved valley. Rackwick is bordered by a bay on its western side, with a shoreline made up of a sandy beach that gives way to a sheer and towering cliff to its south.

Rampside and Roa Island, Cumbria
The small village of Rampside is located around 5 km (3 miles) to the south-east of Barrow-in-Furness, on the southern side of the Furness Peninsula. It is a quiet village that overlooks Morecambe Bay, a vast tidal inlet that separates part of Cumbria from north-western Lancashire. A small pub named The Concle Inn is located in Rampside, along with an unusually narrow lighthouse. A short causeway links the village to Roa Island, a tiny isle that holds a number of terraced cottages and a Victorian-built watch tower. A summer weekend ferry service links Roa with Piel Island, upon which stands Piel Castle, the ruins of a 14th-Century fortress.

Ramsgate, Kent
Ramsgate is a picturesque seaside resort town located on the east coast of Kent. It features a grand Victorian seafront that curves around a large cove, with many large townhouses and other buildings looking out to sea. Hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops can be found both on the seafront and in the town centre behind it – these are popular with visitors, and add to Ramsgate’s traditional charm. The Royal Ramsgate Marina occupies the cove – it is a popular destination for yachts and other pleasure boats – with a ferry port situated to the east. The town also includes a great portion of sandy beaches, in particular the Ramsgate Main Sands, which stretch north-eastwards from the marina up towards the town of Broadstairs during low tide. The sands are overlooked by impressive Victorian-era holiday villas that face directly onto the North Sea. The Ramsgate Tunnels are also situated here – a series of abandoned railway tunnels and a large underground air raid shelter network.

Ratagan, Highland
The quiet hamlet of Ratagan is placed on the southern shore of Loch Duich. It is made up of a few cottages, and a youth hostel that is popular with walkers and hikers. Ratagan offers some extremely spectacular views of the Scottish Highlands, with impressive peaks towering over the loch, including the 841 metre (2,759 foot) high Sgùrr an Airgid. The hamlet is surrounded by large spruce and fir forests, which add to the wild landscape of the area.

Ravenglass, Cumbria
Placed at the intersection of three scenic estuaries, the village of Ravenglass is located within the Lake District National Park. The main road running through the village is flanked by traditional terraced cottages, many of which have beautiful front gardens covered in a variety of different plants. National Rail services stop at Ravenglass, as well as the south-western terminus of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway that runs further into the Lake District. The exterior walls of a Roman bath house are located next to the village, down Walls Drive. A Roman fort once stood in the village, with some of its earthworks still visible in places. A large nature reserve is located just to the west of the village, placed on large sand dunes bordered by estuaries and the Irish Sea.

Ravenscar, North Yorkshire
Placed within a spectacular landscape of towering cliffs that sweep down from the North York Moors to the raging sea, the village is Ravenscar is an amazing place to visit. Placed on top of 200 metre (650 foot) high cliffs, Ravenscar offers a great view across Robin Hood’s Bay, with Ness Point to the north-west, and the rugged coast to the south-east. Today it is home to the grand 18th Century-built Raven Hall Hotel, along with a collection of cottages. During the Victorian era, large plans were made to construct a resort town here; roads were laid, and a railway was built to Ravenscar, but the enormous height of the cliffs from the beach turned away potential house-builders, and the project was scrapped. The railway is long gone, but Ravenscar lives on as a great place to visit.

Reay, Caithness
The small village of Reay lies just to the south of Sandside Bay, an appropriate name for the bay due to its lovely golden sand, backed by a row of dunes. The village is split into two adjacent clusters of cottages and bungalows. Sandside Head – a rocky promontory – is located near the village. An old harbour named Fresgoe is placed along the side of the headland, providing a safe haven for boats.

Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey
The small hamlet of Red Wharf Bay is located on the western side of the large sandy bay of the same name, on the north-eastern side of Anglesey. It is a small settlement made up of little more than a row of cottages of bungalows, although a pub named the Ship Inn and a row of modern houses. The village overlooks both the bay, with the coastal hills that make up the eastern tip of Anglesey meandering off into the distance. A campsite and caravan park are located behind the village.

Redcar, North Yorkshire
The seaside town of Redcar lies on the northern coast of North Yorkshire, with the sprawling North York Moors to the south and the industrial town of Middlesbrough to the west. The town itself is a small but rather bustling resort, with a recently refurbished promenade that borders a nice sandy beach. Various buildings overlook the North Sea, including a large amusement arcade, an art deco cinema and the Redcar Beacon – a 25-metre-tall lookout tower that provides views of the surrounding area. A boating lake also lies just east of the town centre. Redcar is also great for its abundance of sandy beaches – as well as the sandy shore that borders its promenade, large expanses of sand protrude from the town on both its western and south-eastern sides. This includes the South Gare Beach, which stretches from the town towards a breakwater that forms the eastern side of the Tees Estuary. Backed by a row of sand dunes, this is an ideal place for walking.

Restronguet Passage, Cornwall
Restronguet Passage is a quiet coastal hamlet that is surrounded by some beautiful scenery. It is placed on the southern side of Restronguet Creek, an inlet that branches off from the Carrick Roads, and offers great views across the water, with many small yachts dotted about the creek. The Pandora Inn, a lovely thatched country pub, is placed on the quayside.

Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan
Located on the southern side of the coast of Glamorgan, Rhoose is a suburban-type settlement, with a few shops and a pub, although a holiday park is located to the west of the village. It is within easy reach of the shore, which consists of a rocky beach made up of large pebbles, and is flanked by a low cliff made up distinctive horizontal layers of rock. A small headland extends out into the Bristol Channel; named Rhoose Point, it is one of the most southern parts of Wales.

Rhoscolyn, Holy Island, Anglesey
The small village of Rhoscolyn is situated on the southern side of Holy Island. It is a rather scattered settlement, consisting of a few cottages and farmhouses, as well as a pub and restaurant named The White Eagle. Rhoscolyn is surrounded by some dramatic coastal scenery, with sheer cliffs close to the village that include numerous inlets and caves, and several rocky islands that lie just off from the coast. However, a large bay is located just to the south of the village, which is headed by a lovely arch of white-hued sand. A bunkhouse and a large camping and caravan site are placed next to the village.

Rhosneigr, Anglesey
Rhosneigr is a village that is located on the south-western edge of the Isle of Anglesey. It is a bustling settlement, with a small village centre where a few shops, cafes and pubs can be found. It is popular with visitors and holidaymakers, as evidenced by the large number of caravan parks in the vicinity of the village – it is easy to see why, as lovely sandy beaches surround both Rhosneigr on two of its sides. Sand dunes also flank the village, and a small lake is situated just to its east.

Rhossili, Gower Peninsula
Located in the south-west corner of the Gower Peninsula, Rhossili may be a small valley, but is popular due to its spectacular surrounding scenery. It is situated only a mile from the tip of Worms Head, a large rocky headland that includes two tidal islands that can be accessed twice a day. Being perched on the top of a cliff, Rhossili provides a great range of viewpoints. In particular, the view to the north of the village across Rhossili Bay, where the slopes of Rhossili Down descend gracefully to the shore, which is a lovely sandy beach. Many footpaths and tracks cross the wild landscape that surrounds the village. Rhossili itself is a rather small village, with a hotel, bar and restaurant, a gift shop and a couple of cafes. A youth hostel is located just outside of Rhossili, close to a hamlet named Middleton. More info here.

Rhu, Argyll
The leafy village of Rhu lies just to the west of Helensburgh, on the northern side of Rhu Bay. A collection of large houses and villas, many of them Victorian in age, makes up a fair share of the village. It is a scenic place, with the waterfront providing pleasant views across Gare Loch, to the hills of the Rosneath Peninsula on the other side. A marina filled with sailboats is located next to the village, and a selection of guest houses and hotels can be found here. These include the large Rosslea Hall, which is placed within a large manor house that overlooks the loch.

Rhyl, Denbighshire
Rhyl is a vibrant resort town that borders the Irish Sea on the coast of North Wales. It grew in popularity with tourists in the Victorian era, hence the 19th Century townhouses that overlook parts of the seafront and fill much of the town centre. A large swathe of tourist attractions is lined along the promenade, including a newly refurbished and rather modern pavilion theatre, an open-air events and concert arena, an aquarium and a small funfair. A large sandy beach stretches along the coast, although much of it is submerged during high tide. A wide range of independent shops and chain stores are located in the town, especially long the High Street which links the promenade with the railway station. Numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants can also be found in Rhyl.

Roag, Isle of Skye
Located only 4 km (2.5 miles) to the south-east of Dunvegan, the small and scattered hamlet of Roag overlooks the head of Loch Bracadale, a vast bay in western Skye. Although there are no cliffs here, the shore close to the hamlet is rather rocky, with a series of pebble beaches that curve their way around several inlets. Looking southwards, one can view the tall cliffs of Idrigill Point towering over the loch. Although there is no road access, a 7 km (4.5 mile) long foot-only track links the hamlet with the headland, and makes for a rather pleasant coastal walk, taking hikers through forests and above the cliffs to Idrigill Point.

Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire
Robin Hood’s Bay is a fishing village located on the north-western edge of the bay of the same name. It is an incredibly picturesque village, filled with tightly-packed buildings – many of them at least a few centuries old – that spill down the side of a hill to the water’s edge. Several narrow streets and alleyways twist their way through the village, including New Road, which is flanked by a number of family-run gift shops, craft shops and cafes. Traditional pubs are located here, including The Laurel Inn, Ye Dolphin and The Bay Hotel – the latter is placed directly next to the shore. More here.

Rock, Cornwall
The charming village of Rock is placed on the edge of the Camel estuary, where it faces onto the port town of Padstow. Despite its name, the village is bordered by an overwhelmingly sandy shore, with the best beach located to the north-west of Rock. It is considered to be a rather exclusive village, with many villas and apartments built along the leafy streets – nicknamed by some as ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’, the village is popular by many wealthy people, including members of the Royal Family. A golf club and many swanky hotels and guest houses are located in Rock, along with a pub named The Mariners, which sits on the seafront, overlooking the estuary. A passenger ferry service connects the village with Padstow.

Rockcliffe, Dumfries and Galloway
The small village of Rockcliffe is located less than a mile along the coast from Kippford. Arched around a small rocky bay, Rockcliffe is made up of a collection of cottages and larger houses, some of which are built up on a hillslope that overlooks the water. The village is surrounded by some great scenery, with the waters of the Rough Firth bordering the village, Rough Island placed just off from the coast, and the Solway Firth visible in the distance to the south. The remains of a 5th-Century hill fort named the Mote of Mark is located just outside of the village. More info here.

Rodel, Harris, Outer Hebrides
The small village of Rodel lies close to the most south-easterly tip of Harris. It is surrounded by some rather wild scenery, with the rocky coast of Loch Roghadail to the west of the village, and the large peaks to Harris to the north. The 16th Century-built St Clement’s Church (or Tur Chliamain), which was founded by the 8th chief of Clan MacLeod, is located in the village. A collection of cottages and farmhouses make up much of Rodel, with a small harbour placed along the shore.

Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire
Rosehearty is located on the northern side of Aberdeenshire, around 7 km (4 miles) west of Fraserburgh. A small harbour borders the village, which remains a working fishing harbour to this day. With a cluster of distinctive stone-built houses, and a patch of grass overlooking the sea, Fraserburgh is a rather pleasant village. A stony beach extends for around half a mile to the east of the town. The western side of Fraserburgh provides great views across the Bay of Lochielair, with the wild cliffs of northern Aberdeenshire in the distance.

Rosemarkie, Highland
The village of Rosemarkie lies just to the north-east of Fortrose; it is a rather quiet village, with a collection of cottages and houses. Its short quayside curves around part of Rosemarkie Bay, offering amazing views across the Moray Firth, with rolling hills on the other side, as well as the coastal hills of Black Isle directly to its north. A sandy beach makes up the shore. Rosemarkie is well-known for its collection of impressive Pictish stones, which are thought to have been carved during the 8th and 9th Centuries, and are displayed at the Groam House Museum, located on the high street.

Rottingdean, East Sussex
The picturesque village of Rottingdean is filled with centuries-old townhouses and cottages, with a number of small streets and alleyways that wind their way around rustic buildings. A rather pleasant village green, filled with a duck pond and overlooked by the Plough Inn pub, forms the centre of Rottingdean. Some of the village’s dwellings are covered in flint, a distinctive feature found with many of Sussex’s traditional buildings. A high street runs through the centre of the village, which is situated in a small valley within the rolling hills of the South Downs.

Runcorn Cheshire
Runcorn is a large town in Cheshire, located along the southern side of the Mersey estuary, and on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. It is a rather varied town, with an old coastal area, and a large ‘new town’ that was constructed during the second half of the 20th century. The oldest part of Runcorn is placed directly alongside the Mersey and the ship canal, and includes a collection of Georgian and Victorian townhouses, a cluster of shops, and the stone-built All Saints Church. A grassy waterfront area – known as Runcorn Promenade – provides great views across the ship canal, the Mersey estuary, and of the grand Silver Jubilee Bridge, which allows traffic to cross the water channels. A few cafes, restaurants and pubs are situated in the town, along with a performing arts theatre named The Brindley. Wigg Island, a patch of green parkland, is located to the northeast of the town centre, and provides nice walks along the bank of the Mersey.

Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire
The scenic village of Runswick Bay sweeps down the coastal slope to the rocky shore, set among a series of beautiful woodlands and large cliffs. A collection of charming stone-built and red-roofed cottages make up the village, interspersed with narrow, winding streets. A sandy beach arches around the bay, which the village takes its name from, adding to the impressive tranquillity of the area.

Ryde, Isle of Wight
Ryde is a small resort town that is situated on the north-eastern side of the Isle of Wight, facing onto the Solent. Like many of the Isle of Wight’s seaside towns, Ryde has a rather traditional and Victorian feel to it, which is no surprise considering that most of the town was built during this time. It is a town that is packed with many early 19th Century buildings, including various cafes, pubs and traditional hotels. A particular highlight is the Royal Victoria Arcade – an incredibly ornate building that houses numerous independent shops. The seafront is rather picturesque, with a long row of impressive three or four-storey townhouses that overlook the sea. Patches of greenery lie adjacent to Ryde’s sandy shoreline, along with a small funfair and an ornate pavilion. Ryde Pier extends from the promenade – the oldest pleasure pier in the world, it hosts a catamaran ferry terminal, with services running between Ryde Pier and the British mainland.

Rye Harbour, East Sussex
Not to be confused with the town of Rye (located around 3 km (2 miles) inland), Rye Harbour sits close to the mouth of the River Rother. It is a rather quiet village, with terraced cottages and weatherboard townhouses lining most of its few streets. A pub named William the Conqueror, its name owing to the area’s Norman connection, overlooks the harbour, which is a wooden jetty. A Martello Tower – a disused fortress dating back to the early 19th Century – is placed directly to the south of the village. More info here.

Ryhope, Tyne and Wear
Although Ryhope is one of the larger villages on this list, it retains a rather village-like feel to it. A main road runs through Ryhope, flanked by several small shops, while a pleasant village green and a War Memorial form its centrepiece. The large Albion pub and restaurant is also located here. A small pathway links the village to the shore – a pebble beach bordered by a series of low, meandering cliffs. A natural arch has tunnelled through a sea stack, cut off from the mainland by the action of the waves.


Author:  Julian Marks