Malham Cove & Gordale Scar
OS GetOutside Champion, Scott McAlister, explores Malham Cove and Gordale Scar in the Yorkshire Dales, voted in at number 3 on ITV's Britain's favourite 100 walks.
We spoke to our OS GetOutside Champions about their favourite places in Britain to watch sunset. It was hard to choose a favourite so here’s ten of the best sunset views with details on how to get there.
There’s some fantastic places across the nation to go and watch sunset. Admire it from a hill, across the ocean or through woodland trees; there are so many options. Just step outside!
For those seeking an extra special sunset, pack your OS picnic blanket and some snacks and check out these outstanding sunset views across Great Britain below.
Fan Frynych hosts the perfect location for a peaceful sunset experience. It is the neighbouring peak to one of the most visited areas in the Brecon Beacons National Park, although it sees just a fraction of the number of visitors as nearby Pen-y-Fan. This circular route takes you on a gradual ascent to the summit of Fan Frynych (629m), where you will be welcomed by an Ordnance Survey trig pillar decorated with the Welsh Dragon. As you start to walk uphill the views immediately open up. Look out at the patchwork of fields, farm holdings and the bumps of hills dotted around the landscape. These sweeps towards the north to reveal Sennybridge military training area and the Cambrian mountains in the far distance.
OS EXPLORER MAP OL12 Route in OS Maps
I love watching the sun sink into the sea and the Blue Lagoon, at Abereiddy, is one of my favourite places for amazing sunsets – the view south to St David’s Head is incredible. For an easy walk, park your car in Abereiddy and walk up to the Blue Lagoon and back, a round trip of just one mile. The Blue Lagoon is a former flooded slate quarry and in the summer, it attracts cliff divers and people Coasteering. Come sunset you may have it all to yourself to enjoy the most spectacular of sights. There's the option of turning your sunset stroll into a longer 4.5 mile circular walk - highly recommended.
This longer route takes in the Wales Coastal Path, past beautiful beaches and hidden inlets. You’ll see remains of the industrial heritage, including a former railway, workers cottages and slate quarries. The route starts and ends at the village of Porthgain, further up the coast, which boasts two great places to eat and drink – the famous Sloop Inn, that dates from 1743 or the Shed Bistro, which has won awards for its seafood. There’s a car park in the middle of the village. Whatever time of year you visit, it’s a very special spot.
With boats, beaches and even a lighthouse, Portpatrick has everything you would wish to find in a small seaside town. Once a hub for journeys across the Irish Sea to Belfast, this now sleepy place will have you feeling relaxed almost as soon as you step out of your vehicle. The Mull of Galloway has an exposed coast, but its seas are warmed by the Gulf Stream, perfect for dipping your toes or even taking a wild swim. Don’t forget your OS towel! This short coastal walking route takes you along the start of the 214-mile Southern Upland Way. It may well tempt you to wander further but make sure you are back at Portpatrick to enjoy the sunset, either from the beach or from the comfort of one of the local hostelries.
Route in OS Maps OS EXPLORER MAP 309
There is absolutely no better way to end the day than with an epic sunset. My favourite? It's a difficult choice, however, I would have to say that the most awesome sunset I have experienced would have to be at Sandwood Bay, Lairg. This was my absolute highlight of the Cape Wrath Trail! I had dreamed of reaching Sandwood Bay for so long and not because it’s one of the most incredible beaches, but because I knew the following day, I would reach the Cape Wrath Trail finish line. When we got to the beach it was a night I will never forget; the sun was shining, there was no midges and it was just incredible.
It was so good to just pause for a moment. Despite the sun's rays I had so many goose bumps, as the emotion ran through me knowing I was so close to completing the Cape Wrath Trail! It’s definitely my highlight from the trip and a night I won’t forget forever! The route, for me, came after walking around 200 miles of the Cape Wrath Trail. However, anyone can reach this beautiful spot very easily from Blairmore. From the car park, stroll along the 4-mile track to the beach where you will be rewarded with the most amazing sunset.
Route in OS Maps OS EXPLORER MAP 446
Taking in a short section of the North Down’s Way national trail and the Pilgrim’s Way, this gorgeous short circuit takes you to one of the top viewpoints in the Surrey Hills. St Martha’s Hill provides far reaching views - absolutely ideal for sunset and sunrise. Walk up the sandy path to the summit and you’ll find St Martha’s Church which was built during the Norman period. There has been a church on this site since Saxon times and local parishioners continue to walk to the top every Sunday. It’s said that on a clear day you can see eight counties from this beautiful hill.
To visit Bat's Head, avoiding the popular (and very busy!) car park at Durdle Door, start at the Ringstead National Trust car park. This 6.6 mile loop will take you just short of Durdle Door itself, but by no means are the views any less impressive. The coastal section of the loop follows the South West Coastal Path which is clearly signposted, and the inland section takes you through peaceful farmland. There are a couple of rather testing, but doable, hills including one at Bat's Head where you can take in spectacular views of the Jurassic coastline. This spot is particularly good for sunset and sunrise.
Durdle Door is only a mile away and visible from the top of the headland. We enjoyed a camp stove dinner of curried couscous here at sunset on a bank holiday weekend. Despite the busy weekend and the proximity to Durdle Door, we only saw one other person. Look out for Bat's Hole (under Bat's Head). It's a small arch formation in the rock, similar in appearance to Durdle Door. Out at sea you can spot other rock formations unusually named; the cow, the calf, the blind cow, and the bull. This is a peaceful scenic walk with plenty of photo opportunities.
Route in OS Maps OS EXPLORER MAP OL15
Park in either the Earnslaw car park or if full, Upper Beacon Road at Upper Wyche. It's a lovely short one mile walk from the car park to the beacon. Just follow the main path north. It's very obvious footpath but it does split near to the top. At you head over Summer Hill, keep right at the junction and follow the footpath up the side of Worcestershire Beacon. To your right you'll see all of Worcester, Malvern and Pershore. Looking to your left (west) you'll see Hereford and if the weather is clear you can see Wales too!
Look out for Hay Bluff, an obvious sloped mountain on the horizon. The sun will set in this direction. As you near the top, there are a few rocks underfoot. Take care here. At the summit you'll find an OS trig point and a large beacon. Enjoy the beautiful 360' view on a clear evening. The sunset casts multiple colours across the entire sky in all directions. Watch as all the little village lights turn on beneath you as they get ready for bed in the valleys below. Your walk down is simply the same way you came up.
This is a sunset with a difference! Enjoy a magical sunset paddle on a stand up paddle board (SUP). For this spot, find easy access to the canal next to Quarry Road bridge, with space to pump up your SUP board if you've got an inflatable. Hop onto the canal and head north, initially passing pretty back gardens before glimpsing country fields beyond the over hanging trees as you reach the edges of the city. As the canal snakes left the Lune Aqueduct is revealed with views down over the river Lune below. This is a lovely easy sunset paddle without having to travel far at all. Head back the way you came with the light fading behind you as the city lights gently begin to replace daylight. If you keep going and double the distance you'll head towards the coast. You can make it as long or short a paddle as you like.
Route on OS Maps OS EXPLORER MAP OL41
A classic walk in Northumberland National Park to enjoy the north face of Hadrian's Wall. This 4.8 mile route initially takes you north of the Roman frontier with spectacular views of the wall cresting the great Whinsill Crags. To reach the perfect spot to witness sunset, allow 1.5 hours of walking to get onto Highshield Crags which, overlook the majestic Crag Lough. Enjoy panoramic views all around as the sun sets, before a short walk west along the wall back to Steel Rigg car park.
Time this walk well and you will be rewarded with a stunning sunset over the River Deben and Martlesham Creek. This 6.2 mile / 10km walk starts outside of Woodbridge Station, where is plenty of parking, and circles around Martlesham Creek and the Deben Estuary. The terrain is easy but the views are stunning with big skies and colourful reflections. Keep an eye out and you might be lucky enough to see barn owls hunting, searching for their prey along side the creek. For the best sunset, ensure you're on the east side of Martlesham Creek. Here you'll have views back to Martlesham boat yard and Woodbridge, including the famous Tide Mill.
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