Oceans, Seas, and Rivers of England


By Glynn Burrows


The Atlantic Ocean is often referred to as The Pond, but it is a pretty big pond in anyone’s mind.

There is only a small percentage of the UK coastline that is on The Atlantic: part of the coast of Northern Ireland, Northern Cornwall & Southern Wales (that part of The Atlantic is called the Celtic Sea), and the West of Scotland all border the Atlantic Ocean and some of those areas are really wild and rugged. There are some beautiful sandy beaches too, so something for everyone.

ON BIG BLEND RADIO: From walking a coastal path to cruising on a narrowboat, Glynn Burrows, owner of Norfolk Tours, discusses the various outdoor adventures to enjoy in England. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on Podbean.


We have a lot more of the coast of the UK which borders seas, with the Celtic Sea, Irish Sea, and North Sea. Finally, we have the English Channel all along the South coast between England and France.

The one thing which most of our North American visitors find amazing, is that no part of the UK is more than seventy miles from the sea. The village that is furthest from the coast is a village called Coton in the Elms in Derbyshire, so that is not the place to select if you want a beach vacation.

If you do want a break by the sea, you really are spoiled for choice, as the UK has over 8,000 miles of coastline. There are over 1,000 islands and about 130 of those are permanently inhabited.  Several of the islands are nature reserves and have restricted access.

It is possible to follow coastal paths and, if you are into long-distance walking, you can walk all around the mainland of the UK in stages. The Norfolk Coast Path is 45 miles, Cleveland Way is 110 miles and Cumbria Coastal Way is 185 miles. There are many other sections, ranging from 11 to 630 miles, so something for everyone!



Now let’s look at rivers. There are literally thousands of rivers in the UK, from fast-flowing mountain streams to lazy babbling brooks, from streams which you can jump over, to wide, mud-banked shipping thoroughfares. Some rivers are tourist hotspots, and some are so well hidden, they are just enjoyed by locals.

In Norfolk, we also have The Norfolk Broads, which are a series of lakes, which are flooded with Medieval peat diggings, connected by rivers. These Broads are very popular for boating vacations, fishing, birding, painting, and walking, so again, something for everyone.

It is also possible to have a floating vacation on many of our rivers, as boat hire is available all over the country. In the Norfolk Broads, we have a wide range of boats for hire, from small cabin cruisers for a couple, to large vessels sleeping up to twelve. In some parts of the country, there are a lot of canals and the Narrowboat is a very popular method of transport available to hire. These barges are very long and narrow and if you do take this type of break, you do need to be reasonably fit, as locks often need to be negotiated!

The fantastic thing about boat travel is that you are surrounded by peace and quiet, with nature right there beside you. Yes, there is the chug-chug of the engine, but, if you moor up and just sit, that is what “getting away from it all” is all about.

Talking of getting away from it all, the UK has some areas of countryside where you can escape from the rat race. Much of Norfolk is classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty and there are many National Parks in the UK too, where the countryside takes precedence over people.

We can offer most types of outdoor pursuits and, even if you want to experience some of the more unusual, I am sure I can locate it for you!

Dog sled adventure trails, grass skiing, hang gliding, parachuting, and mountaineering for the more adventurous and perhaps walking, cycling, fishing, and painting for those of us who prefer a more leisurely approach to life.

If you want to combined tour, I can easily arrange a trip that includes land and water, or adventure and relaxation. Day trips can be taken under sail, with a qualified skipper, so you get all the enjoyment, with none of the work.

As I always say, Norfolk-Tours arranges the vacation you want, so you tell me what you want, and I arrange it.

Glynn provides customized, private tours and helps his clients trace their English family history. Past guests have visited and experienced stately houses and gardens, castles and churches, ruins and villages, birding and wildlife, World War II airfields, and general area taster tours too. Accommodations can be in all types of establishments, from character buildings such as windmills, thatched cottages and castles, self-catering or five-star luxury – just say what you want and it can be arranged. Nothing is too much trouble for Glynn! Visit www.Norfolk-Tours.co.uk


About the Author:

Glynn provides customized, private tours and helps his clients trace their English family history.

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