The England Coast Path is an exciting project that will give walkers improved access to our wonderful and varied coastline. With so many coastal train stations, this is going to be great news for train adventurers.
Where is the England Coast Path?
Imagine being able to walk all the way round the coast of England without diverting from the water. Well that’s what the England Coast Path is aiming to allow you to do. If it succeeds, we’ll have a walking route that’s at least 4,500 kilometres long. If you didn’t stop walking, that would take you around fifty non-stop 24hr days to complete.
But what about the Welsh and Scottish borders?
You’re right of course. England isn’t an island so you can’t walk directly around its coast. Once it’s complete though, the England Coast Path will join up very nicely with the Offa’s Dyke path on the Wales/England border and the proposed Scottish Coastal Way. Which will hopefully one day follow the mainland coast of Scotland.
Brilliant! Sgoinneil! Gwych!
Open sections of the England Coast Path
The England Coast Path isn’t complete yet but sections are starting to open around the country. The route will include existing rights of way plus some new access areas. Lots of people are working very hard to make this happen, many of them are volunteers.
How will I find the England Coast Path on the map?
You can see how the new coastal margin access land looks by checking out the latest Ordnance Survey maps in the right areas (the easiest way to do this is to subscribe to the OS Maps app, which gives you detailed mapping for the whole of Great Britain).
The blog below will help you find the coastal margin in more detail but you’re looking for pink areas with a darker pink border.
Adventure by train along the England Coast Path
As we’re all starting to realise, travelling by car to reach our walking destinations isn’t the most sustainable of options. It’s also important to remember that not everybody has a car. The good news is that the England Coast Path is already accessible by train.
Can I walk the England Coast Path by train?
Yes! Keep reading! We have three walks from train stations, two of which are station-to-station walking routes. These will give you a taste of open sections of the England Coast Path. So, sit back in your seat, enjoy the ride, and have a good journey.
You might even spot where you’ve just walked on your return train trip.
Weston-super-Mare to Burnham-on-Sea
The England Coast Path is going to have plenty of station-to-station routes. This one’s a great example of a piece of coastline you might not have previously thought of exploring. It’s a long walk for a day walk (25k) but it has hardly a hill if you miss out Brean Down, which is worth an explore in its own right.
Start station: Weston-super-Mare
End station: Highbridge & Burnham
Walking route: England Coast Path – Weston to Burnham
Details: Mostly flat, plenty of beach walking, enjoy wading birds and fabulous light. For a shorter option, head along the seafront from Weston’s Grand Pier, then up onto Brean Down. Loop back to Weston Station when you’re ready.
Skegness to Anderby Creek
This linear walk might best be undertaken in winter. Not only will you avoid the crowds from the holiday parks that sit alongside the beach, you’ll get the best opportunities to admire expansive cloudscapes and flocks of seabirds.
With such a long stretch of England Coast Path available, you could stop and turn around just about anywhere. But if you’ve got the energy to walk the 14 km to Anderby Creek (and back unless you catch the bus) you might be pleased you have. It’s home to the world’s first cloud-spotting cloud area, the Anderby Creek Cloud Bar.
Walking route: England Coast Path – Skegness to Anderby Creek
Details: This one’s even flatter than the Weston-super-Mare section. With a total of 53 m of ascent, you’ll have plenty of energy to admire the landscape. Oh, and visit the loo, if that’s important to you, this walk has plenty!
Whitehaven to St Bees
You might know Whitehaven as the start of the famous C2C challenge cycling route. You’ll eventually be able to walk to Roker Beach (the end of the C2C) via the England Coast Path (plus the Offa’s Dyke Path) but that would perhaps have even more hills than the inland route straight across.
Instead, why not head south on an England Coast Path station to station route from Whitehaven to St Bees. When you get there, you can admire the start of Alfred Wainwright’s more famous Coast to Coast walking route, which is about to become our newest National Trail. If you want to carry on walking inland, it will take you around a fortnight to get to Robin Hood’s Bay.
Start station: Whitehaven
End station: St Bees
Walking route: England Coast Path – Whitehaven to St Bees
Details: Whitehaven Station is almost on top of the England Coast Path so it makes an excellent starting point. Although this is still a relatively low-level walk (maximum elevation 112 m), it does have a few ups and downs, which might have you turning back at the halfway mark (North Head).
Don’t forget your binoculars to enjoy the views from the RSPB bird hides at St Bees Head.
A more sustainable route to adventure
If you decided to walk these sections, you might notice how vulnerable our low-lying coasts are to rising sea levels. If we all made a few small changes to the way we use energy, we might not be too late to save some of these precious coastal environments.
Adventuring by train is more sustainable than taking the car. It can also be a lot more fun. I’ve spent 2022 finding out how many of my usual outdoor adventures I can enjoy by train.
I haven’t found one I can’t do yet!!