Incredible pics show off dreamy coastlines around the world from rugged Britain to tropical gems

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THE tranquil sound of the waves, fresh sea air to fill your lungs and the feel of sand between your toes – there’s nothing quite like being beside the sea.

But how do our great British beaches fare when it comes to the tropical glories that line the edges of Thailand, or the jagged rocks of the Faroe Islands?

Photographer David Ross has collected snaps of the most beautiful coastal scenery across the world as part of his new book, Coast.

Legzira Beach, Tiznit, Morocco

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A stark reminder of the fragility of coastal scenery: this massive arch, formed of red sandstone resting on a base of granite and for long a feature of Legzira and an attraction for visitors, collapsed abruptly in September 2016, cutting the beach in two. Its neighbour, seen through the now-vanished arch, still survives[/caption]

‘La Portada’, Antofagasta, Chile

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These 50m (164ft) high cliffs are formed of layered sandstone laid down in the Miocene and Pliocene eras, set on a base of dark Jurassic rocks, and topped by a thick covering of fossilized shells from an ancient sea-bed. With minimal rainfall, this is one of the driest areas on Earth.[/caption]

Madeira

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Marking the eastern end of Madeira, the Ponta de São Lourenço cape terminates a narrow peninsula of volcanic rock with spectacular cliffs on each side. It is home to many species of seabird as well as the world’s rarest seal, the monk seal or seawolf, which can sometimes be seen below the cliffs.[/caption]

Persian Gulf

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Strategically placed on the Strait of Hormuz, the entry into the Persian Gulf, the Musandam Governorate is separated from the rest of Oman by the United Arab Emirates. These sharp crags look like a glaciated landscape but the mountains are caused by tectonic action, with the Arabian plate gradually pushing under the Eurasian plate, creating a fjord-like coastscape.[/caption]

France

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‘Calanque’ is the name given to the steep-sided narrow inlets made by the sea into limestone cliffs on the Provençal coast between Marseille and Cassis. The combination of white cliffs and deep green water is striking. With no topsoil, the rock surface is home to many specialized plant species, and the inaccessibility of cliff nests encourages rare birds.[/caption]

Faroe Islands

Federica Violin/Dreamstime

Vágar is the third-largest of the Faroe Islands and this waterfall on its western side is its most famous scenic attraction, spilling 60m (200ft) from the clifftop into the sea. At times of high wind, so much spray is blown upwards as to make it seem that gravity is being reversed.[/caption]

Corsica

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On the southern tip of Corsica, the old citadel and some of the houses of Bonifacio find themselves ever closer to the receding cliffs. Offshore stacks show how much has been eaten away by the sea in recent centuries. The cliffs themselves are formed of sandstone layers, laid down on an ancient seabed.[/caption]

Hatago Iwa Rock, Noto Peninsula, Ishikawa, Japan

Sean Pavone/Dreamstime

On the eastern shore of the Sea of Japan, these rocks are considered a sacred place in the Shinto cult, and many legends have grown up about them. The linking rope between the small shrines on each rock, known as a shimenawa, indicates a holy place.[/caption]

Javier Cruz Acosta

Javier Cruz Acosta/Dreamstime

Lightning flashes usually occur on the outer edges of tropical storms. Intensive bursts of lightning closer to the centre are considered by some scientists to herald an intensification of storm conditions, though evidence also suggests that they may signal a lessening of intensity. Much research is going on in this field.[/caption]

Pinnacle Rock, Bartolomé Island, Galápagos Islands

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Hardened lava from a volcanic period some two million years ago forms a distinctive tilting spike. Beneath it, Galápagos penguins breed and human visitors enjoy snorkelling.[/caption]

Rai Leh Beach, Krabi, Thailand

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Cut off by limestone bluffs from the main resort, Rai Leh Beach is accessible only by boats, of which there are many. Rai Leh is really a peninsula jutting into the Andaman Sea, with four beaches separated by promontories, but this scenic spot is by far the most-visited.[/caption]

Acadia National Park, Maine, USA

Geoffrey Kuchera/Dreamstime

The varied rocks of this mountainous island are a guide to the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates and to geological history in general. Beginning as sands and mud on an ocean floor close to the Equator, they solidified, were plunged deep into the planet’s crust, thrust up, carried northwards, buried under ice caps and exposed once again.[/caption]

Hualien, Taiwan

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Hualien’s name refers to ‘eddying waters’ at the base of the grand mountain slopes that form the central part of Taiwan’s eastern coastline. A spectacular road twists and tunnels along a man-made ledge. The slope continues under the water, to a depth of around 4,000m (13,120ft).[/caption]

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

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Bird-haunted, and rising to 214m (702ft) on Ireland’s south-west coast, these layered rocks – sandstone, siltstone and shale – were deposited in a vast river system more than 300 million years ago. The wave-line shows where eroded debris lies just below the surface[/caption]

Northumberland, England

Michael Conrad/Dreamstime

Bamburgh sums up much of earlier English history. It was the capital of Bernicia, an early kingdom of Anglo-Saxon migrants to Britain. A castle was built here by the Normans in 1086 as a defence against the Scots. It was a strongpoint in the 15th century Wars of the Roses. The present structure is a 19th century ‘restoration’.[/caption]

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia Smelov

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In Russia’s far north-east, Kamchatka is a wild and rugged landscape with much live volcanic activity, making it a land of ice and fire in winter. This view, on the eastern coast, looks over cliffs of tuff (hardened volcanic ash). Thinly populated by people, the peninsula has one of the world’s highest populations of brown bears.[/caption]

Le Morne, Mauritius

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Only visible from above, this phenomenon looks like water pouring downwards below the sea’s surface. In fact, it is sand washed by currents off the island’s coastal shelf and falling into the depths of the Indian Ocean.[/caption]

 

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