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Some of the less well-known coasts boast lovely scenery, both on the coast and inland. The Northumberland coast is a real hidden gem, with its string of coastal castles, lovely open sandy beaches and cosy pubs and restaurants. If you are interested in watching coastal activity, there's no better place than Poole Harbour in Dorset, where you'll see ferries and merchant ships, sailing dinghies and opulent yachts in a lovely heathland setting. Just along the coast in Hampshire, the Solent too is a mecca for shipping of all kinds.
There are 55 seaside piers in Britain, many of which are open to the public, and some retain an 'end-of-the-pier' show! The National Trust has numerous coastal properties, and indeed owns a great deal of the coast in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. There are quieter parts of the coast, like Fife and Argyll in Scotland, where beauty combines with solitude to bring a sense of peace. And there are wilder coasts, the Orkney and Shetland Islands and the north Highlands. Or Moray and Aberdeenshire, where your trip would be incomplete without a visit to a distillery.
If it's culture youâ€™re after, how about the Tate Gallery in St Ives, Cornwall, or the new Turner Gallery at Margate in Kent? How about a visit to the Edinburgh Festival, or a Highland Gathering, or the National Eisteddfod of Wales being held in the Vale of Glamorgan in August 2012?