Re-energise with a spring break on the English Coast!


Re-energise with a spring break on the English Coast!

For nature-lovers, now is the time to head to the English coast – where flora and fauna are in their element, with seabirds diving and nesting, cliff-tops carpeted in coastal flowers while the waters teem with a diverse choice of sea-life. And best of all, it’s now easier to book your break with England’s Coast, a one-stop online platform allowing you to discover the country’s rich coastal variety and create your ideal spring getaway.

“The English coastline is spectacular throughout the year but never is it more captivating than spring when clifftops burst into life with flowers and birds migrate back from the winter,” says Samantha Richardson, director of the National Coastal Tourism Academy which is delivering England’s Coast.

“There are top bird-watching spots all around the coast and no-one is more than 70 miles from the shoreline so it’s the perfect way to get back to nature.”

If you’re visiting Yorkshire this year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cleveland Way in the North York Moors National Park, you’ll be spoilt for choice on this 109-mile route weaving through spectacular coastal scenery and heather moorland. Pick out the yellow and red of bird’s foot trefoil and the dense bobbing pink heads of thrift. Important seabird nesting colonies can be found nearby, such as Cowbar Nab at the historic harbour port of Staithes. The town’s cliffs bubble with vegetation, with scores of different mosses, lichens and grasses.

W:\NCTA\Discover England Fund Round 2\PR\Press releases\2019\May\2-north-york-moors.jpg

North York Moors National Park

If you plan a visit in late summer, the waters off Whitby attract a variety of sea life as vast shoals of herring migrate inshore to spawn, attracting sharks, birds and thousands of seals. There’ve been increasing numbers of minke, fin, sei, and humpback whales sighted along with white beaked and bottle nosed dolphins.

Some 70km further south, around Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve, Yorkshire, is one of England's premier seabird watching spots. The RSPB [Royal Society for the Protection of Birds] runs a reserve here with safe viewing platforms, where you can see up to 200,000 birds at the height of the breeding season, including stiff-winged fulmars and kittiwakes, easily identified by their wing tips, which look as though they have been dipped in ink.

W:\NCTA\Discover England Fund Round 2\PR\Images\Nature\RSPB Bempton Cliffs - New Roll up viewpoint (002).jpg

Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve

These cliffs are also a great place to see spring and autumn migrations of birds such as wheatear (look out for the male with its ‘robber mask’ of a band across its eye).

The Norfolk Broads are magical in spring, when their waters come alive with ducks and frogs (and hungry herons looking for a tasty snack). The broads are shallow lakes which arose from peat diggings in medieval times and were flooded during the 14th Century as sea levels rose. Together with the rivers, marshes and fens, they blend with wildlife and distinctive buildings to make an outstanding landscape.

Without doubt, one of the keynote signs that spring has arrived, is the return of swallows from their winter sojourns in Africa. One of the first places they make landfall in England is around the English Riviera, Torbay and along the coastline of the South Hams, to the east of Plymouth. Make for any headland here, either at dawn or just before dusk, and you can see them make landfall in April. Ravenously, they muster the energy to pirouette in mid-air and feed on midges to restock their energy after their epic migrations.

This stretch of the coast is also a good place to enjoy the red-veined Darter, a reasonably regular migrant dragonfly, as well as the blue-tailed Damselfly, which can be spotted around the whole coastline from late spring to early autumn.


For more information and images please contact Sheron Crossman, England’s Coast Marketing & Communications Manager

Notes to editors: England’s Coast is funded by VisitEngland’s Discover England Fund project and delivered by the National Coastal Tourism Academy

Our Partners:


About the Discover England Fund

  • In November 2015, the Government announced a £40 million Discover England Fund; an unprecedented opportunity for English tourism. The Fund aims to deliver world-class bookable tourism products joined up across geographies and/or themes; including integrated transport solutions to provide an end-to-end customer experience.
  • The Fund supports the growth of one of England’s most successful export industries, inbound tourism. Tourism is an industry that delivers jobs and economic growth across the English regions – contributing some £106bn each year to the economy and supporting 2.6 million jobs.
  • The Fund supported a number of pilot projects in year one (2016/17) that tested product development approaches. In years two and three, 2017-19, the fund will support:
    • A number of large-scale collaborative projects to be delivered over the two year period 2017-2019 that will create a step-change in bookable English tourism product for international consumers,
    • A smaller funding pot for new one year pilot projects (in year two), and
    • Continuation funding for existing year one projects that demonstrated early learnings (in year two).

About VisitBritain/VisitEngland

  • VisitBritain/VisitEngland is the national tourism agency – a non-departmental public body funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS)

Working with a wide range of partners in both the UK and overseas, our mission is to grow the volume and value of inbound tourism across the nations and regions of Britain and to develop world-class English tourism product to support our growth aspirations. For further information and to access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics visit www.visitbritain.orgor and