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England Coastal Path
Photograph: Shutterstock

England is getting the longest coastal path in the world

The new hiking route will run along the entire length of the English coastline

Ellie Walker-Arnott

We can’t wait to get out exploring again once it’s safe to do so, and this new hiking route has just jumped to the top of our post-lockdown list.

The England Coast Path is a new walking route, slated to be completed in the next couple of years, which will take hikers along the entirety of the English coastline. At 2,800 miles long, it’ll be the longest coastal walking route on the planet when it’s finished. 

The route will link up some already existing stretches of seaside paths (like the South West Coast Path, which runs from Minehead in Somerset, through Devon and Cornwall to Poole in Dorset), improve others and in some places create brand new routes for hikers to appreciate the country’s really very pretty coastline. 

England Coastal Path
Photograph: Shutterstock

When completed, the route will be England’s longest and most challenging national trail – and incredibly diverse. It’ll pass through seaside towns and major cities, by flat white beaches, sand dunes, high chalk cliffs, rugged, rocky coastline and evidence of the the country’s industrial heritage. 

Hikers that complete the entire route will get to spot world-famous sites like Durdle Door and the Jurassic Coastline, Dungeness’s shingle beach, Dover’s white cliffs and the Norfolk Broads National Park, plus coastal castles, ruins and islands just off the coast. Seaside towns like Margate, Brighton, St Ives, Newquay, Whitby, Skegness, Cromer, Scarborough and Blackpool are also on the route.  

Staithes, Yorkshire
Staithes, Yorkshire Photogrpah: Jason Batterham/

‘England’s wonderful coastline is a national treasure. Our flagship England Coast Path is taking people through some of the finest and most important landscapes in England, opening up access to historic landmarks, natural wonders and breath-taking scenery, enabling more visitors to experience, recognise and value the benefits of our environment,’ said Natural England's Chair, Tony Juniper. 

The route was set to be completed by 2021, which Natural England have dubbed the ‘Year of the English Coast’. But the project has taken longer than anticipated. In January 2020, around 60 per cent of the trail was accessible, and Natural England now hope to have commenced work on all remaining stretches of the route by the end of next year. 

We’ll be ready to hit the trail as soon as we can. It’s the perfect way to use up all that annual leave we’re (hopefully) about to roll over. 

Love hiking? This new walking route links up all of Italy’s national parks

Check out the most beautiful national parks in the UK. And these great UK beaches too. 

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