A headland is a coastal landform, a point of land usually high and often with a sheer drop, that extends into a body of water. It is a type of promontory. A headland of considerable size often is called a cape.[1] Headlands are characterised by high, breaking waves, rocky shores, intense erosion, and steep sea cliff.

Headlands and bays are often found on the same coastline. A bay is flanked by land on three sides, whereas a headland is flanked by water on three sides. Headlands and bays form on discordant coastlines, where bands of rock of alternating resistance run perpendicular to the coast. Bays form when weak (less resistant) rocks (such as sands and clays) are eroded, leaving bands of stronger (more resistant) rocks (such as chalk, limestone, granite) forming a headland, or peninsula. Through the deposition of sediment within the bay and the erosion of the headlands, coastlines eventually straighten out then start the same process all over again.

List of notable headlands


Cape Malabata Lighthouse
Cape Malabata, Morocco



Beachy Head and Lighthouse, East Sussex, England - April 2010 crop horizon corrected
Cliffs at Beachy Head, England
Land's End - geograph.org.uk - 171343
Land's End, England

North America

Oahu from air2
Hanauma Bay and Koko Crater at Koko Head, O'ahu Island, Hawai'i, USA
Point Reyes National Seashore PORE2141
Point Reyes, California, USA
View from North Head Lookout - panoramio
Sydney Heads, NSW, Australia




United States

South Cape Bay 2
South West Cape, Tasmania



New Zealand

Cape Horn, Chile

South America

See also


  1. ^ Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, 1984, pp. 80, 246. ISBN 0-14-051094-X.
Alexandra Headland, Queensland

Alexandra Headland is a coastal suburb of the Sunshine Coast Region, Queensland, Australia, located in the Maroochydore urban centre between Maroochydore CBD and Mooloolaba.

The suburb consists of several restaurants, a bowling alley, resorts and the shortest beach in the Maroochy district. The Alexandra Headland Surf Life Saving Club has a building next to the beach.

The headland was once known as Potts Point, named after overseer John Potts employed by William Pettigrew who lived on the land from the year 1880 to 1890, when it was used to transport timber between Cotton Tree and Mooloolah River by bullock.

Ancon (Pontus)

Ancon or Ankon (Ancient Greek: Ἀγκών) was a populated places of ancient Pontus, on the Black Sea and on the coast road east of Amisus. It was on a headland and bay both of the same name. It is mentioned by Gaius Valerius Flaccus in his Argonautica, after the Iris, as if it were east of the mouth of that river. Apollonius Rhodius simply speaks of it as a headland.Its site is located at mouth of the Yeşilırmak (the ancient Iris) in Asiatic Turkey.

Cape Fear (headland)

Cape Fear is a prominent headland jutting into the Atlantic Ocean from Bald Head Island on the coast of North Carolina in the southeastern United States. It is largely formed of barrier beaches and the silty outwash of the Cape Fear River as it drains the southeast coast of North Carolina through an estuary south of Wilmington. Cape Fear is formed by the intersection of two sweeping arcs of shifting, low-lying beach, the result of longshore currents which also form the treacherous, shifting Frying Pan Shoals, part of the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Dunes dominated by sea oats occur from the upper beach driftline back to the stable secondary dunes, where they mix with other grasses such as saltmeadow cordgrass and panic grass, as well as seaside goldenrod, spurge and other herbs to form a stable salt-tolerant grassland.

The Cape Fear estuary drains the largest watershed in North Carolina, containing 27% of the state's population.

Giovanni da Verrazzano, the Italian explorer sailing for France, made landfall after crossing the Atlantic at or near Cape Fear on March 1, 1524.

The name comes from the 1585 expedition of Sir Richard Grenville. Sailing to Roanoke Island, his ship became embayed behind the cape. Some of the crew were afraid they would wreck, giving rise to the name Cape Fear. It is the fifth-oldest surviving English place name in the U.S.Cape Fear was the landing place of British General Sir Henry Clinton during the American Revolutionary War on May 3, 1775. The 1962 film Cape Fear and its 1991 remake were set at Cape Fear.

Coastal landforms of Ireland

Ireland is an island surrounded by water, with a 7,500 kilometres (4,700 mi) coastline. This list catalogues about 400 of the coastal landforms of the island including bays, estuaries, harbours, headlands, and many others. Most offshore features such as islands, stags (stacks), and rocks are omitted but are presented at List of islands of Ireland. A list of beaches is available at List of beaches in Ireland.

Some landform names appear more than once and an analysis of duplicate names follows the table.

Des Headland

Desmond Edmond Headland, Jr (born 21 January 1981) is an Australian rules footballer currently playing for Subiaco in the West Australian Football League and a conservative political candidate. He plays as a half-forward flanker or midfielder. Headland was selected with the first overall draft pick in the 1998 AFL Draft by the Brisbane Lions. He had a 166-game Australian Football League career, playing for Brisbane and Fremantle.

Dungeness (headland)

Dungeness (UK: ) is a headland on the coast of Kent, England, formed largely of a shingle beach in the form of a cuspate foreland. It shelters a large area of low-lying land, Romney Marsh. Dungeness spans Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, the hamlet of Dungeness, and an ecological site at the same location. It lies within the civil parish of Lydd.

Flamborough Head

Flamborough Head () is a promontory, 8 miles (13 km) long on the Yorkshire coast of England, between the Filey and Bridlington bays of the North Sea. It is a chalk headland, with sheer white cliffs. The cliff top has two standing lighthouse towers, the oldest dating from 1669 and Flamborough Head Lighthouse built in 1806. The older lighthouse was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1952 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.

The cliffs provide nesting sites for many thousands of seabirds, and are of international significance for their geology.

Headland Estate

The Echo's Hill or Headland Estate is a residential area of Hartlepool, County Durham, which is situated in the North East of England.

The Heugh Battery, one of three constructed to protect the port of Hartlepool in 1860, is located there along with a museum. It made the headlines in July 1994 in connection with the murder of Rosie Palmer, a local toddler.

Headland Municipal Airport

Headland Municipal Airport (FAA LID: 0J6) is a city-owned, public-use airport located two nautical miles (4 km) northeast of the central business district of Headland, a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States.This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 and 2009–2013, both of which categorized it as a general aviation facility.

Headlands and bays

Both headland and bay are two coastal features that are related and often found on the same coastline. A bay is a body of water—usually seawater (salt water) and sometimes fresh water— mostly surrounded by land, whereas a headland is surrounded by water on three sides. Headlands are characterized by breaking waves, rocky shores, intense erosion and steep sea cliffs. Bays generally have less wave activity and typically have sandy beaches. Headlands and bays form on discordant coastlines, where the land consists of bands of rock of alternating resistance that run perpendicular to the coast.


Kızılliman (literally" Red harbor") is a Mediterranean headland in Turkey known for the ruins of ancient stone quarry Melenie.

The tip of the headland is at 36°04′11″N 33°04′43″E to the west of Tekmen town. Administratively, it is a part of Bozyazı ilçe (district) of Mersin Province. The length of the headland is about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi). Its distance to Bozyazı is 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) and to Mersin is 202 kilometres (126 mi).

The ancient quarry Melenie is on the headland. The stone material of the quarry is a type of stone more malleable than the other type of stones around like slate or shale. In the ruins there are partially shaped stone blocks which give the impression that the site was aboandoned in a hurry.

Lützow-Holm Bay

Lützow-Holm Bay is a large bay, about 220 kilometres (120 nmi) wide, indenting the coast of Queen Maud Land in Antarctica between Riiser-Larsen Peninsula and the coastal angle immediately east of the Flatvaer Islands. It was discovered by Captain Hjalmar Riiser-Larsen in two airplane flights from his expedition vessel, the Norvegia, on February 21 and 23, 1931. The name honours Commander Finn Lützow-Holm of the Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service, a pilot for Captain Riiser-Larsen on the Aagaard in 1935.


A peninsula (Latin: paeninsula from paene "almost” and insula "island") is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding water is usually understood to be continuous, though not necessarily named as a single body of water. Peninsulas are not always named as such; one can also be a headland, cape, island promontory, bill, point, fork, or spit. A point is generally considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape. A river which courses through a very tight meander is also sometimes said to form a "peninsula" within the (almost closed) loop of water. In English, the plural versions of peninsula are peninsulas and, less commonly, peninsulae.

Pentire Head

Pentire Head (Cornish: Penn Tir, meaning "headland") is a headland and peninsula on the Atlantic coast in North Cornwall, England, UK and is about one mile square. The headland projects north-west with Pentire Point at its north-west corner and The Rumps promontory at its north-east corner.

Russian Doll (TV series)

Russian Doll is an American comedy-drama web television series, created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, that premiered on February 1, 2019, on Netflix. The series follows a woman who repeatedly dies and relives the same night in an ongoing time loop. It stars Lyonne, Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Charlie Barnett, and Elizabeth Ashley.

On June 11, 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season. Its first season received thirteen Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Lyonne.

Stack (geology)

A stack or sea stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, formed by wave erosion. Stacks are formed over time by wind and water, processes of coastal geomorphology. They are formed when part of a headland is eroded by hydraulic action, which is the force of the sea or water crashing against the rock. The force of the water weakens cracks in the headland, causing them to later collapse, forming free-standing stacks and even a small island. Without the constant presence of water, stacks also form when a natural arch collapses under gravity, due to sub-aerial processes like wind erosion. Erosion causes the arch to collapse, leaving the pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast—the stack. Eventually, erosion will cause the stack to collapse, leaving a stump. Stacks can provide important nesting locations for seabirds, and many are popular for rock climbing.

Isolated steep-sided, rocky oceanic islets, typically of volcanic origin, are also loosely called "stacks" or "volcanic stacks".

The Rumps

The Rumps (Cornish: Din Pentir, meaning fort at Pentire) (grid reference SW 934 810) is a twin-headland promontory at the north-east corner of Pentire Head in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.

The promontory is formed from hard basaltic rock (see also Geology of Cornwall) and projects north into the Atlantic Ocean. Its headlands lie east-to-west. A small offshore island named The Mouls lies off the eastern headland; the western headland is named Rumps Point.

Access to The Rumps is via the South West Coast Path from Polzeath or by an inland public footpath from the car park at Pentire Farm. The entire Pentire headland, including The Rumps, is under the stewardship of the National Trust. Sightseeing boat tours regularly sail around The Rumps from the nearby port of Padstow.

Trevose Head

Trevose Head (Cornish: Penn Trenfos, meaning farm of the wall's headland) (grid reference SW853764) is a headland on the Atlantic coast of north Cornwall, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) west of Padstow. The South West Coast Path runs around the whole promontory and is within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Trevose Head Heritage Coast. In clear weather, visitors to Trevose Head can see virtually the whole length of the north Cornwall coast; to the north, the view extends beyond the Cornwall county boundary to Hartland Point (40 miles), Devon; to the south, it extends beyond St Ives to the headland at Pendeen Watch (35 miles).



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