Coastal scene on the England Coast Path

Things to do

The new coastal path provides plenty of opportunity to explore, and unlike the other National Trails you don’t always have to stay on the path. New OS maps will show where the new right of coastal access exists – in these areas you can explore on the coastal side of the path, although there are some places you can’t go. To see up to date maps of where you can go visit the Gov.uk website.

You are responsible for your own safety. Just because there is a right of access to cliff tops it doesn’t mean they are safe – be sensible! Some coastal habitats are very sensitive to disturbance, if there are signs saying you can’t explore please take note and keep away. You also can’t enter into anyone’s garden (or house for that matter!), or walk on cropped fields even if they are within the area marked as coastal access. Please also obey Ministry of Defence signs – for obvious reasons!

Please also keep an eye on the tide. In some places you will have to follow a different route at high tide - you can find tide times here.

However you can explore beaches, dunes, cliff slopes and rough grassland. You can stop to picnic, admire the view, or follow the path around the coast.

Brean Down to Minehead, Somerset

This section takes in 58 miles of the beautiful and diverse coast of Somerset. This section includes miles of golden sandy beaches and dunes and extensive wetlands with excellent birdwatching. It takes you along gently undulating fossil cliffs and past bays with stunning views. You'll pass through the historic port of Watchet. The stretch from Blue Anchor runs near to the West Somerset Steam Railway and into Minehead where it joins the South West Coast Path.

Sea Palling to Weybourne, Norfolk

The coast is beautiful here, with long sandy beaches. There's history to explore, 800,000 year old flint tools have been found here and the famous West Runton Elephant Fossil. Or you can enjoy the villages, walks, and of course try Cromer crab.

Weymouth

Weymouth is famous for its beautiful sandy beach which slopes gently into the sea making it perfect for families. It's the ideal place to enjoy a day of sun and swimming and of course, the sand is perfect for making sand castles. If your sandcastles are in need of a bit of inspiration you could visit Sandworld and see the amazing sand sculptures on display. 

When you have had enough of sand you could explore the lovingly restored Nothe Fort with its stunning view across the Jurassic Coast (quick look for fossils on the way). No trip to Weymouth would be complete without a visit to Portland, via the natural phenomenon of Chesil Beach with its new visitor centre. There are great walks to experience on Portland with fantastic views all round. 

Durham, Hartlepool and Sunderland

The scenery and wildlife make this coast special. The area is famous for its wildflowers.  If you're looking to explore the section in the North East make sure you don't miss out on the retro Lickety Split Creamery in Seaham for the best ever icecream sundaes!

It’s not all flowers and ice cream though, there are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the area’s industrial past including Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience, the Heugh Battery Museum in Hartlepool or the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.

Allonby to Whitehaven

Did you realise you can visit one the largest Roman sites in northern Britain on this stretch of coast? The Senhouse Roman Museum at Maryport is dramatically situated on the cliffs and well worth a visit.  Or you can just enjoy the excellent beach at Allonby.

Scenes from the England Coast Path