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In 1965, the National Trust launched Enterprise Neptune, a nationwide fundraising campaign to highlight the importance and fragility of Britain's coastline. The Trust now looks after and makes accessible over 700 miles of coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In The National Trust Book of the Coast, evocative essays (on wild swimming, butterflies and beachcombing) and personal stories (including a day in the life of a National Trust ranger) capture the unique character of Britain's shores, past, present and future.
As well as a homage to Britain's best-loved beaches, this is an up-to-date practical guide for anyone keen to discover the coast, from the eerie romance of Northumberland's dunes to the dramatic landscapes of Giant's Causeway. Each location includes suggestions for local accommodation, walking, wildlife to spot and local National Trust properties to head to once you've shaken the sand from your shoes. There's nothing quite like a day by the sea – and it's never been easier to plan the perfect coastal getaway.
Clare Gogerty is the former editor of Coast magazine and writes about UK travel, homes and interiors.