Coastal scene on the England Coast Path

Trail Information

The new England Coast Path is being created in sections – you can see a map of which areas are being worked on here.  It will be shown on Ordnance Survey maps and as each section opens we’ll show it on this website. You can see open sections and their relationship to the other National Trails here.

The first section is already open in Dorset – 20 miles (32 Km) long from Rufus Castle on Portland to Lulworth Cove. This section is also part of the South West Coast Path National Trail. This section opened in time for people to view the sailing events in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The next two sections opened in Spring 2014 are on the north east coast in Durham between Hartlepool and Sunderland, and on the west Cumbrian coast between Allonby and Whitehaven.

 

Durham, Hartlepool and Sunderland

The 34 mile (55 Km) Durham Hartlepool and Sunderland section follows the Durham Heritage Coast. This coast was devastated by the mining industry throughout the 20th century.  The closure of the mines in the early 1990s changed the area dramatically, resulting in high levels of unemployment and poverty. However the reduction in industry has had a positive impact on the coast which has been restored through the Turning the Tide Project and now is a rich natural and cultural asset, important to the region’s economy and well being.

Hartlepool has always been an important maritime town and still is to this day. Tourists can enjoy the new marina, the Maritime Experience, and heritage trails around the town.

Sunderland’s history is tied to the sea and ship building. Today the city is popular for shopping and is home to the fascinating National Glass Centre as well as many other attractions, including the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC.

Allonby to Whitehaven

The 22 mile (35 Km) long west Cumbrian section links Allonby to Whitehaven. This coastal region has a fascinating cultural and industrial history. Shipbuilding, coal and iron ore mining, steel making, and chemical manufacture have all been major employers, but little of this remains today. Allonby is an intriguing old Victorian seaside resort with a fine beach, and nearby Maryport and its docks, have several tourist attractions including a Roman museum housing important artefacts with links to the nearby Hadrian’s Wall.

Iron and steel manufacture have always been part of Workington’s heritage, and it was here that the famous Henry Bessemer first introduced his revolutionary steel making process. In recent years, with the decline of the steel industry and coal mining, the town has diversified into other forms of industry.

Further south is Whitehaven. A sleepy fishing hamlet for many centuries Whitehaven grew rapidly in the 17th and 18th centuries to become one of the most important ports in the country. Today Whitehaven is once again thriving. The historic harbour still has its fishing fleet and is also a busy marina for leisure craft. A number of attractions in the town celebrate its rich and varied history.

Where next ?

As new sections open we’ll add the information here, and you’ll start to see new lines appear on the map. If you want to find out more about the process of creating the new rights visit Natural England’s Coastal Access website.

Scenes from the England Coast Path