Alert

Updated 4th February 2021

Part of this route, near at the eastern end of Samphire Hoe has eroded from the cliff fall on 3rd February. Part of the England Coast Path that runs along the edge of the cliff between Round Down and Shakespeare has collapsed and is no longer useable. It is extremely dangerous.

For your safety, if you are local and visiting the cliffs for your exercise please can you maintain a safe distance from the cliff edges and follow any local signage that is in place.

Please also be prepared when out walking currently. The ground conditions remain very wet and poor, therefore please keep to the Public Rights of Ways and follow the Countryside Code – Click here to view quickly.

London to the sea - newest section of path is now open.

Walkers can follow a continuous route from Woolwich to the sea on the Isle of Grain

This 49 mile (79km) stretch joins Grain – on the Isle of Grain – with the Woolwich foot tunnel. From Woolwich a new section links up with the Thames Path, creating a continuous, way-marked route from the source of the Thames, Gloucestershire, through the centre of London, to the sea. This new section of national trail, from London to Grain, will allow walkers to enjoy fantastic views, while taking in the natural and cultural heritage of this uniquely diverse and fascinating stretch of the coast.

From Woolwich the route follows closely along the south bank of the Thames. The river has long been a busy port, as numerous wharves and jetties – many of them redundant – will testify. In places, new stylish residential developments – with wide promenades, benches, and trees – are springing up to replace derelict industrial sites. Elsewhere, the route passes numerous heritage sites, including the impressive Woolwich Arsenal with a long history of providing armaments and ammunition for the British army and navy. But this is also a working landscape and interspersed with historic sites are busy wharves, industrial complexes, the magnificent Queen Elizabeth II Bridge, and at Swanscombe: the largest pylon in Europe.

And there is no shortage of wildlife, even close to the centre of London on some of the more industrialised sections. At low tide a wide variety of birds can be seen feeding on the mud, and it is not unusual to see the occasional grey seal hauled up on one of the many small beaches. Heading eastwards towards the Isle of Grain the industrial landscape fades away. Industrial heritage is replaced by long stretches of remote grazing marsh, and between the Napoleonic fort at Cliffe and the village of Allhallows there is nothing but wildness – twelve miles of sea, sky, and grazing marsh.

Read more in these media articles The Guardian, Kent Online.

Map Grain to Woolwich

The Lonely Planet ranks Kent's Heritage Coast as one of the world’s best regions to visit in 2022

Kent’s Heritage Coast has won international recognition as the 4th region on Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2022. Kent was the only UK destination to feature and was selected for its unique experiences, ‘wow’ factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practices.

Visit the News Page to read more on this fantastic news!

 

Trail Information

Find useful facts and learn more about the England Coast Path in the South East below. Select the blue tabs below for more details.

About the Trail

The England Coast Path is a new walking route that will follow the entire coast of England. For the first time people will have the right of access around all our open coast. This includes – where appropriate – any land, other than the trail itself, which forms part of the Coastal Margin. The path is being opened in sections but will, when completed, be the longest coastal path in the world. It will be a National Trail.

At the moment you can only walk some sections. The open sections are shown on the interactive map. As new sections open they will be added to the website maps. You can also see open sections and find out about progress on other sections on the gov.uk website.

In the South East, the following sections are open to the public (as of March 2021):

  • Camber to   Folkestone
  • Folkestone to   Ramsgate

Exploring the Trail

The England Coast Path has been created under new legislation. In parts it follows existing public rights of way, but many sections are completely new and use a new right of access. Because of this it has different rules to public rights of way. Please make sure you obey any on-site signage.

In most places you don’t have to stick to the path. Land to the seaward side of the trail, shaded pink on Ordnance Survey Maps is Coastal Margin. Much of this land has public access. Although you have the right to explore away from the path please use common sense – the England Coast Path includes land that is steep, unstable and not readily accessible. Just because the maps says you can go there doesn’t mean it is safe to do so.

What is special about the Trail?

The England Coast will be the longest coastal walking route in the world when it is complete.

The England Coast Path is much more than just a path. It has been created under new legislation. It allows access to the coast including the cliff tops and the beach. Everything to the seaward side of the path is designated as Coastal Margin. This gives you the right to walk off the path. You can see where this land is – it is shaded pink on the 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps.

But, although the land is shaded pink, you don’t have the right to walk everywhere – the Coastal Margin includes land:

  • where access rights don’t apply, for example cropped land, buildings and their curtilage (the land immediately surrounding them), and gardens. This land is called ‘excepted land’. You don’t have the right to walk on excepted land. You can see a full list of excepted land here.
  • that is subject to local restrictions including many areas of saltmarsh and mud flats that are not suitable for public access.
  • that is steep, unstable and not readily accessible.

How does the England Coast Path relate to other National Trails?

In some places the existing National Trail, or part of it, will become part of the England Coast Path as well, for example the South West Coast Path, Norfolk Coast Path and the coastal part of the Cleveland Way. In this case you will see signs on the ground for the existing Trail, but also some ‘part of the England Coast Path’ signs.

There are benefits to the existing National Trails becoming part of the England Coast Path as it makes it much quicker for the Trail managers to resolve any problems due to erosion. It also means that you are able to walk in the Coastal Margin.

You might find in some places the line of the existing National Trail is different to the line of the England Coast Path – in that case you can choose which one to take.

Holiday Inspiration

Visit our Walking Holidays Page for holiday inspiration for the England Coast Path – South East.

Latest News

Visit our News Page for the latest interesting and exciting news on the England Coast Path.

The England Coast Path - Camber to Folkestone

Click the play button to see the highlights of The England Coast Path - South East

History, heritage and hidden gems

Discover something new to explore every step of the way, from natural icons and historic attractions to coastal towns and villages…

Create your own trip

Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.