England’s south coast is a magnet for sun seekers. With 300 miles of stunning coastline and temperatures often being as much as 10⁰C higher than in the north, it’s no wonder that visitors and holidaymakers flock to this part of the map each summer. Even as we move into autumn, the warmer weather tends to linger here, thanks to the region’s proximity to mainland Europe.
But even when the cooler temperatures arrive, the south coast is still wonderful to visit, thanks to its many sights and attractions. Whether you take a trip in the summer or journey south in the winter, there’s sure to be something to keep you entertained.
If you’re planning your stay on the south coast, here are some places to visit and things to do.
The south coast.. for history lovers
Do you love to go back in time? There are plenty of opportunities for history buffs to spend some time imagining what life was like before in the region.
To totally indulge in English history, head to Hastings. This is where one of the most significant events – the Battle of Hastings in 1066 – took place and is filled with relics from that time. Most prominent of these is the ruins of Hastings Castle.
If you enjoy delving into our nautical past, both Portsmouth and Plymouth have a rich maritime heritage. Plymouth is where you can find out more about the Mayflower, which set sail from the docks here in 1620 on a mission to find the new world which we now know to be America.
In Portsmouth, there’s the National Museum of the Royal Navy and the impressive HMS Victory, Lord Nelson’s famous warship used in the Battle of Trafalgar. During the battle, the Vice-Admiral died onboard, making the moored ship to be one of the most famous in British naval history.
Portsmouth is also home to the Mary Rose, King Henry VIII’s flagship that was sunk during the Battle of the Solent. Today, a huge conservation effort is underway to restore the Tudor ship.
The south coast.. for beach lovers
Those who love to be beside the seaside can enjoy a paddle at Brighton. This pebbled beach is a tourist hotspot and the pier has all the hallmarks of a traditional British seaside resort. As well as the candyfloss and amusements, you’ll find a buzzing nightlife here.
If you’re planning a night out away from London, Brighton is ideal. You can go out with friends, blow away the cobwebs along the waterfront the next day, then head on the train back from Brighton to Gatwick.
Bournemouth is another glorious beachside resort in the region. Here, you can take a stroll along the Victorian pier, take a boat trip along the coast, or take up some water-based activities at Poole Harbour.
The south coast.. for nature lovers
While you’re in the south, take a trip to the White Cliffs of Dover. Their striking colour is formed by the chalk that make up the cliffs and this National Trust site offers walks and an abundance of wildlife for you to explore.
There’s also the Jurassic Coast. Here, 95 miles of coastline stretch from East Devon to Dorset’s Studland Bay. Take in striking rock formations and stunning sights as you walk this route.
Whatever you long to do while you’re on the south coast, there’s plenty to explore in this region. What’s on your must-do list while you’re here?