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The England Coast Path – your adventure starts here!

We love the outdoors, and are very excited about this new Great Walks on the England Coast Path book.

This beautiful book is packed full of amazing photography, Ordnance Survey map extracts and route descriptions. The handpicked selection of 30 walks range from 6 to 28 miles from around the coastline and all can be accessed by public transport. This book will inspire you to get out and explore the coast and will make a wonderful gift.

Author Andrew McCloy has stopped by to tell us more about his book and his fascination with this exciting National Trail.


Read on to win fabulous prizes in our England Coast Path giveaway

So we all like to be beside the seaside, but did you know that soon walkers will be able to step out on a continuous path around the entire coast of England - all 2,800 miles or 4,500km of it.

The ambition of creating a new National Trail around the whole shoreline means that, when it opens in 2023, the England Coast Path (ECP) will be longer than all the other 15 National Trails in England and Wales combined. It’s been ten years in the making, with the first stretch between Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour unveiled as long ago as 2012 in time for the London Olympic sailing events, but as more and more sections are opened and waymarked the choice of quality coastal walks steadily multiplies.

Staithes on the Cleveland Way National Trail

"As an introduction or curtain-raiser to this epic trail, I’ve chosen a selection of 30 of the most interesting, attractive and exciting day and weekend coastal walks for my new book, all of them open and walkable now. They include some old favourites based on existing routes like the South West Coast Path, including the Land’s End peninsula, Woolacombe Bay, Start Point and the Jurassic cliffs around Lulworth in Dorset. A weekend section of the Cleveland Way between Scarborough and Staithes, the bird-rich marshes of north Norfolk and the rollercoaster chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters and Beachy Head on the South Downs Way are all sensational National Trail coastal stretches featured in my book.

However, I was really keen to also explore some of the lesser visited parts of the English coast, since the real value of the England Coast Path is that it will open up quieter and less well known locations that are every bit as interesting to explore and rewarding to walk. So I deliberately chose coastal walks that sample the peaceful creeks of Essex, County Durham’s limestone cliffs, the largely overlooked coastline of Cumbria, Chichester Harbour’s leafy reaches, Spurn Head, Dungeness, Sefton’s gorgeous beaches and the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay.

Staithes on the Cleveland Way National Trail

There’s another reason why the England Coast Path is such an important new route. Unlike most other National Trails, this continuous and waymarked route is accessible from major population centres, and indeed goes right into cities like Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol and even London. It means that a lot of people will be able and indeed encouraged to explore their local coast on foot; and in many instances this will involve using public transport. Indeed, I made a point of plotting as many walks as possible that could be walked using bus and train connections, and there are several routes in my book that are specifically designed to be station to station walks, including St Bees Head in Cumbria and the Sefton coast between Southport and Crosby.

What is also very clear is that the ECP offers a huge variety of coastal walking experiences and there’s a day out beside the sea to suit everyone’s taste and ability. For the seriously energetic I profile the exhilarating clifftop switchback between Hartland Quay and Bude in north Cornwall, as well as a yomp along Exmoor’s high and plunging shoreline from Lynton to Combe Martin. There are much gentler clifftop outings around Cornwall’s Lizard peninsula and Flamborough Head in North Yorkshire, perfect for a stimulating family day out; or for a gentler day still head to the lovely wooded shores of Chichester Harbour or the low shoreline of north west Lancashire around Lancaster. For out-of-the-way choices I’ve picked Northumberland’s ‘castles coast’ between Craster and Bamburgh, a circuit of Walney Island on the largely undiscovered Cumbrian coast at Barrow, and the quiet reedy marshes at Orford in Suffolk. Or, for a really different coastal walking experience, let me guide you around the remarkable shingle foreland of Dungeness in Kent; the thin sandy spit of Spurn Head jutting out into the mouth of the Humber; or a tidal walk from The Wirral across to the little-known Hilbre Islands.

Orford Ness
Spurn Point
Flamborough Head

Great Walks on the England Coast Path front cover
Great Walks on the England Coast Path inside page
Great Walks on the England Coast Path inside page
Great Walks on the England Coast Path inside page

It’s not just about distance, of course, but for a sense of perspective the completed England Coast Path will dwarf all-comers, both domestically (it will be three times longer than the conventional Land’s End to John o’Groats route) and also abroad. Although there are plenty of wilder, longer and more arduous international trails, the ECP will eventually be the longest coastal walking trail anywhere in the world. And, for the seriously intrepid, if you add the Wales Coastal Path for a continuous walk around the entire coast of England and Wales, from Gretna Green all the way round to Berwick upon Tweed, it’s something in the region of 3,665 miles or 5,899km!

Man and dog on the beach

Ultimately it doesn’t matter how far you walk, since the magic is simply stepping out beside the sea for a unique walking experience. Maybe it’s the constant rhythmic movement of the waves or the play of light on the water; perhaps it’s how all our senses are engaged, from the crashing noise of the waves and screams of the gulls, the salty smell of seaweed and the crunch of shingle beneath our boots or the smooth sand felt out by our toes. Most of us have deep-seated memories of the coast going back to childhood holidays or excursions; and as an island nation our relationship with the sea is deep-rooted. It’s certainly a special place to walk and the new England Coast Path National Trail is about to unlock so many more walking opportunities."

Great Walks on the England Coast Path North East page

This large-format guidebook incorporating stunning photography presents 30 of the most accessible and varied stretches from around the England Coast Path, England's longest National Trail and the worlds longest coastal path.

This is a truly gorgeous book of 30 walks on the England Coast Path. Written by well-respected author Andrew McCloy it includes full details of 30 walks, along with sections of Ordnance Survey maps and lots of fascinating information.

Great Walks on the England Coast Path by Andrew McCloy is published by Cicerone at £20 and features a selection of 30 day and weekend walks.

To find out the latest progress on the England Coast Path visit the GOV.UK website.

To find out more about the England Coast Path and view the open stretches on a map visit the National Trails website.


Want to win a copy of Great Walks on the England Coast Path?

To be in with the chance of winning a copy of Andrew's book, a Love the Outdoors Buff and a Love the Outdoors mug we want to know:

When did the very first section of the England Coast Path open?

Email your answer to no later than 12pm on 31st October 2022. The first 3 correct entries "pulled out of the hat" will receive a free copy of Great Walks on the England Coast Path written by Andrew McCloy, along with a Love the Outdoors Buff and a Love the Outdoors mug.

Terms and Conditions apply. To read them please click here.

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