Trail Information

The England Coast Path in the South West offers fabulous coastal walking on England’s most dramatic coastline. Explore long sandy beaches, fishing villages with harbours full of boats, rocky cliff tops and caves with tales of smugglers. Relax over delicious seafood or a traditional cream tea.

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About the Trail

What is the England Coast Path?

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 West, the following sections are open to the public (as of July 2019):

  • Brean Down to Minehead
  • Rufus Castle on Portland to Lulworth Cove

How long is the Trail?

It’s long … really long. It’ll be around 2,795 miles long when it is complete.

Who looks after the England Coast Path?

The England Coast Path is being created by dedicated Coastal Access teams within Natural England working closely with the local authorities. Once sections are open responsibility passes to the local highway authority. This is usually the county council, or unitary authority.

Exploring the Trail

How do I get to the England Coast Path?

It’s easy to reach the South West Coast using public transport.

The world famous Great Western Railway built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel stretches down to Penzance and branch lines head off to many of the resorts along the path – with stunning views from the train it’s a great way to get to the Coast Path.

Many of the towns along the Trail are served by long distance National Express coaches. Local buses run a fairly regular service along most of the coast meaning that there are many sections of the Trail that you can walk in a day without having to retrace your steps.

The nearest airports to the Trail are Exeter and Newquay. Overseas visitors can also reach the Trail by ferry. Brittany Ferries serve Plymouth and Poole.

For public transport information and journey planning visit the Traveline website or call them on 0871 200 22 33.

Where can I stay on the Trail?

There is a good choice of accommodation close to the Trail and it can be viewed here.

In some areas accommodation fills up very quickly in summer. If you are planning on walking sections of the England Coast Path in summer make sure you book your accommodation in advance.

Can I camp along the Trail?

There are plenty of campsites along the Trail and they can be viewed here. If you plan to camp please note it is not legal to wild camp in England or Wales – you will need to stay on official campsites.

Can I get my bags carried or my accommodation booked?

There are several companies that will arrange to move your bags for you, help you plan your trip, or arrange a full package.

You can see baggage handlers here and holiday operators here.

What should I take with me?

We recommend that you take a map and/or guidebook with you, or a copy of the walk leaflet if you are doing a shorter walk. You may also find a compass useful.

If you are walking solo you may want to tell somewhere where you are going as there can be mobile black spots along the Trail. Ensure your phone is fully charged before setting off.

Weather in the UK can be changeable so it’s wise to be prepared. You’ll need good footwear, waterproofs and warm layers. Take plenty of water and just in case, pack a few plasters for your feet. In the summer you may need sun cream.

Will I have mobile phone and internet access?

Phone reception can be patchy along the Trail, don’t rely on being able to use your phone to help you navigate. Wi-Fi is available at some accommodation and pubs/cafés along the route.

Is there signage on the England Coast Path?

The England Coast Path is well signed. Look for the National Trail Acorn logo, and/or signs for the England Coast Path.

Some sections follow long established coastal walks, and may be signed for these walks. In these areas you will usually be following local signs, but will also see signs telling you that the route is part of the England Coast Path.

Can I download a GPX file?

You can download GPX files of the open sections of the Trail here.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

Can I get a guidebook and map for the Trail?

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

Interactive Map

Use the Map Filter to see places to visit and where to stay along the Cotswold Way. View information on the map by ticking the boxes in the Map Filter.

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