Six of Britain's best beaches for trail running

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Check out our feature on coastline running in the February/March 2018 issue of Trail Running. As a preview, here's our pick of some of the best places to go.

Beachy Head, East Sussex 

This is a spectacular run along the iconic white chalk clifftops. You’ll enjoy the springy grass trail and if you feel the urge, you can drop down to the shingle beach. The South Downs Way is also close at hand.

St Andrews, Fife

There are some great trails to run around the golf course here, but if movies are your thing, head to the beach so you can recreate that famous scene from Chariots of Fire where they are all running effortlessly along. We admit it, we tried it, even to the extent of wearing suitably baggy shorts, cotton Ts and Brylcreem. And we can tell you, it’s every bit as uplifting as we’d hoped. 

Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills

This run offers everything you could ever want – hills, a great beach, views to die for, culture, history and superb local cooking to enjoy afterwards. Run along the coast on top of the cliffs and take in the breathtaking scenery of the Causeway and, on a good day, the Scottish coastline. Head inland and you can warm up with a glass of Bushmills.


For what appears to be a rather industrial-looking area, the beaches around the Cardiff Bay, and out to Porthcawl and beyond are truly magnficent. If running on miles of empty sands are your thing, then these beaches have exactly that... and more. Being Wales, there’s also the odd rolling hill and, oh, some weather for a touch of drama if you need it.

Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Beyond the arcades, this seemingly innocuous-looking coastline has a great stretch of beach to enjoy. Be prepared to mix and match a bit of road with miles of off-road, as well as the odd ice cream-loving tourist. We guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

West Runton, Norfolk

Three miles west of the dressed crab and pier of Cromer, the Peddars Way drops onto West Runton beach. Its stretch of silken sands are framed by sheer chalk cliffs, atop which the Peddars Way wends. In winter the crowds disperse and you’ll be kept company by only the most determined dog walker. Keep your eyes peeled for fossils. It was here the 700,000-year-old Norfolk Mammoth was found in 1990. 

The Feb/Mar issue out on January 4.