Coastal walking

The coasts of the UK and Ireland are beautiful and wild – and there to be explored. Coastal walking is a very safe activity most of the time, but it’s important to be aware of the risks.
A walker on Aberavon Beach
A walker on Aberavon Beach

How to stay safe

  • Be wary of all edges around the sea and waterside. Slips and falls happen in all locations; it is not just high cliff edges that are a risk.
  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Take care when walking in dark and slippery conditions.
  • Always take a means of calling for help.
  • Always check the weather and tides. Getting cut off by the tide is a common cause of lifeboat launches. Look here for further info.

Have you seen our walking maps with safety messages? 

You may have picked up one of our maps in Brancaster - we’re testing a new way to help you walk safely by the water. We also have a digital version of the map with more information, if you’d like to know more.

Our digital walking map of Brancaster will help you stay safe.
Planning a walk in Brancaster? Stay safe by using our map.

Tell us what you think

Did you enjoy using the map? Was it useful? We want to know what you think. If you could spare five minutes to complete our survey, we’d be incredibly grateful.


Figures taken from:

  • The National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID UK) 2011-2015.
  • RNLI lifeboat return of service data UK and Ireland 2015.

Don’t be a statistic

201 uk coastal walking and running fatalities between 2011 and 2015

428 cut-off by the tide rescues in 2015

625 lifeboats launched to walkers and runners in the UK and Ireland in 2015