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The England Coast Path - Top tips and information

As 2023 is the Year of the Coast there’s much to celebrate! Here we highlight some of the best parts of the Path, whether for an hour or two or a full-on hike, get out and explore!

Significant stretches are now open to the public in Cumbria, Norfolk, Dorset, Kent, Somerset, Yorkshire, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Lincolnshire, the Tees Valley, Essex and London.

Vast stretches of the England Coast Path are being opened up; on completion it will be arguably the longest and most challenging National Trail at more than 2,700 miles, passing through some of our finest countryside and coastal locations.

It offers new stretches of the coast never before seen and, with the South West Coast Path Association is celebrating 50 years of trailblazing in 2023, there has never been a better time to get your walking boots on!

The latest section of the 2,700-mile England Coast Path National Trail opened in February, taking in parts of the Lake District National Park and Duddon Estuary.

The Cumbria Coast Path section takes in part of the Lake District National Park and Duddon Estuary and showcases an incredibly varied landscape, offering fabulous, uninterrupted views out across the Irish Sea. 

Visitors can walk through extensive beaches and dunes, taking in the golden Duddon sands, vast areas of wildlife-rich saltmarsh, and the historic town of Millom. The famous Lake District mountains are also visible from the route, whilst the distinctive pudding-bowl fell of Black Combe keeps a close watch over the whole stretch.

Key visitor highlights of the 11-mile stretch include:

  • Shaw Meadow and Sea Pasture SSSI at Silecroft, part of the Lake District National Park and the UK’s most northerly lowland heath famous for its summer orchids.
  • Hodbarrow Lagoon RSPB Reserve, a former iron mine famous for its rare nesting seabirds and sea wall walk.
  • Millom town, with its industrial, architectural and literature heritage – the poet Norman Nicholson lived in Millom and Wordsworth’s Duddon Sonnets include the area.
  • The coastal railway, enabling linear walks along this stretch and much of the existing Cumbrian England Coast Path.
  • Increased accessibility for all-terrain wheelchairs and walkers with reduced mobility, thanks to improvements in infrastructure.

In Northumberland, the Coast Path starts in the pretty village of Cresswell at the southern end of Druridge Bay it then hugs the Northumberland Coast taking in the fishing town of Amble and the villages of Warkworth, Alnmouth, Craster and Seahouses before reaching Bamburgh, a village dominated by the mighty Bamburgh Castle.

Key visitor highlights:

  • Druridge Bay, backed by a string of nature reserves, home to a huge array of birdlife, Coquet Island is an RSPB nature reserve
  • Towns of Amble and Warkworth with fine medieval castle and 11th century church
  • Craster, home to the famous Craster kippers!
  • Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh Castles
  • Views out to the Farne Islands, home to thousands of grey seals
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed, featuring winding alleys, Elizabethan Walls and iconic bridges
The England Coast Path - Top tips and information The England Coast Path - Top tips and information
The England Coast Path - Top tips and information

Further south, England’s Coast Path takes in some lovely nature reserves

At 84 miles long, the Norfolk Coast Path covers some stunning areas along Norfolk’s coastline. Stretching all the way from Hunstanton in the west to Hopton-on-Sea in the south east, you’re spoilt for choice for things to see along the trail.

Key highlights:

  • Hunstanton featuring iconic red and white stripey cliffs, thanks to the Cretaceous rock
  • Wells-next-the-Sea, a great stop-off and a port for more than 600 years
  • Blakeney, a pretty coastal village, and Blakeney Point, an important breeding home to seabirds and grey seal colonies
  • Sheringham, a popular resort, while Sheringham Park is not-to-be-missed, a beautifully designed landscaped garden 
  • West Runton, here the West Runton Mammoth, an extinct species twice the weight of an African elephant, was discovered in 1990
  • Cromer: famous for its delicious crabs and the church of St Peter and St Paul which boasts the tallest tower in the county
The England Coast Path - Top tips and information
The England Coast Path - Top tips and information The England Coast Path - Top tips and information

From the sand dunes of Camber to the white cliffs of Ramsgate, the England Coast Path in Kent is a delight to walk, whether it’s the full length or a smaller section of it.

Key highlights include:

  • Dungeness, home to rare birds and wildlife and three lighthouses at Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch
  • The Martello Towers and pretty market town of Hythe, packed with independent boutiques, tea rooms and cobbled alleyways
  • The iconic chalk White Cliffs of Dover, which tower over the Channel with heights up to 350 feet, relax on Dover’s seafront
  • Take in the heritage and natural beauty of Deal and Sandwich in White Cliffs Country, enjoy some of the best birdlife in Kent on the mudflats
  • Ramsgate, the endpoint of this stretch, featuring the UK’s only Royal Harbour and scores of places to eat and stay

Brighton to Eastbourne: This coastal walk covers two major Sussex settlements. At just over 26 miles, the walk is the length of a marathon. It offers some of the best coastal scenery in the country, with pretty beaches and spectacular cliff tops.

Key highlights:

  • Brighton, a coastal city packed with attractions including Brighton Pier, and the historic Lanes, filled with boutiques and restaurants
  • Seaford Head is the best spot to enjoy views of the majestic Seven Sisters white cliffs
  • Seven Sisters Country Park, this stretch is one of the most iconic seascapes in the UK and features unique wildlife, with the Cuckmere River meandering through the Park
  • Beachy Head, the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain at 530 feet, offering stunning coast views
  • Belle Tout Lighthouse, perhaps Britain’s most famous inhabited lighthouse
  • Birling Gap is a beautiful and tranquil enclosed pebble beach set below the dramatic backdrop of the Seven Sisters cliffs
  • Eastbourne, a wonderful Victorian seaside resort with pier and bandstand, home to numerous galleries including the Towner Art Gallery

For further information and updates on the England Coast Path National Trail keep an eye out for future blogs!