About the Trail
The King Charles III 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 East, the following sections are open to the public (as of July 2022):
- Tilbury to Southend-on-Sea
- Southend-on-Sea to Wallasea Island
- Maldon to Salcott
- Hopton-on-Sea to Sea Palling
- Sea Palling to Weybourne
You can find out more about each of these sections on the Route Description page and you can view the map on the Trail Information page.
Exploring the Trail
The King Charles III 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 King Charles III England Coast Path includes land that is steep, unstable and not readily accessible. Just because the map says you can go there doesn’t mean it is safe to do so.
What is special about the Trail?
The King Charles III England Coast will be the longest coastal walking route in the world when it is complete.
The King Charles III 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 here: Excepted Land.
- 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 King Charles III England Coast Path relate to other National Trails?
In some places the existing National Trail, or part of it, will become part of the King Charles III 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 King Charles III England Coast Path’ signs.
There are benefits to the existing National Trails becoming part of the King Charles III 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 King Charles III England Coast Path – in that case you can choose which one to take.
Visit our News Page for the latest interesting and exciting news on the King Charles III England Coast Path.