• The 33-mile (53-kilometer) route from Shoreham-by-Sea to Eastbourne, which connects the west with East Sussex, is the first complete stretch of England’s coastal trail in Sussex to open.

  • This new section, the 17th complete section to open, will be part of England’s 2,700-mile coastal road, which will be the longest walking route in the world.

  • The itinerary includes coastal cities, stunning sea views with iconic white chalk cliffs and rural landscapes created as a result of meeting the South Downs Sea.

Spring has come with a new trail for Sussex residents and guests. The new section of England’s coastal trail will help connect people with nature and provides many opportunities for health and well-being.

A 33-mile (53-kilometer) hiking trail that includes part of South Downs National Park, along the west and east coasts of Sussex, as well as coastal waterfront and nature reserves, was opened today by Natural England.

This route will eventually help connect the entire coastline of the country in one long way. The walk will take people through some of England’s finest landscapes, as well as the many coastal towns and ports that have shaped this island nation. And for the first time in the history of footpaths, legal public access rights will be secured on typical coastal land, including beaches, dunes and cliffs, allowing pedestrians to access places they have never been before.

Jim Seymour, manager of Natural England, said:

This trail covers iconic white Cretaceous cliffs and sea views, the South Downs National Park with its abundance of wildlife and popular coastal towns.

At a time when the benefits of connecting with nature are clearer than ever, it’s great that we are discovering this stretch of 33-mile walkway through the South Downs and along the east and west coasts of Sussex.

Recently with my family I personally felt the value of walking this section of the route, and I look forward to exploring this new route in more detail, now that it is open, during my next trip.

This new route encompasses many unique environments. Departing from Shoreham-by-Sea, you cross the mouth of the Adur River. Here on salt marshes and gleys it is possible to see migratory bog and waterfowl. Other attractions include the old lighthouse in Shorham Harbor overlooking its maritime use, including unique floating floating dwellings, traditional boats and large commercial vessels as they pass through Shorham Harbor.

The trail leads to the Howl Esplanade on the road to Brighton, where you can see the remains of West Pier and see the Brighton Lookout Tower i360 – the tallest building in Sussex. Walk along the bustling promenade on Brighton Quay to the Palace Pier and then past Brighton Pier. Here you can walk the Undercliff Walk all the way to Saltdin (there is also the opportunity to take a route on top of a cliff).

Reaching the chalk top of Saltdin Rock, the walk will take you to Pishaven and on to Newhaven. In Newhaven you can visit several nature reserves, including the local Castle Hill Preserve and the Westowar Reserve. Note the many wildlife, including migratory and nesting birds such as the little white-tailed deer and fulmar, wildflowers, including footstools and thrift, and many butterflies and insects.

Newhaven also has historic sites, including World War II cannon points and 19th-century Newhaven Fort. Near the harbor from the promenade offers magnificent views of fishing and tourist boats and large ferries Newhaven-Dieppe, which dock here.

East of Newhaven the trail goes first around the lowland Gulf of Seaford, including Tide Mills to the Esplanade of Seaford, before reaching the Sussex Heritage Coast at Seaford Head. This famous and well-known stretch of coastline along the Sussex coast includes the iconic Cretaceous cliffs of Sephard Head, Seven Sisters and Beachy Head, where South Downs National Park meets the sea.

Along the way, you pass Kukmir Haven, which is a popular place for hiking, dog walking, bird watching, beach visits and photography, as it offers amazing views of the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters and the meandering of the Kukmir River.

On the east side of the mouth of the River Kukmir is the Seven Sisters Country Park at the Exit, where the coast of England joins the existing South Downs Way national trail. It follows a trail to the top of a cliff along the Seven Sisters, Birling Gap, Belle Tout, Beachy Head and Eastbourne.

Beachy Head is another world-renowned site for both locals and guests, with stunning sea views along the coast towards Hastings and on a clear day towards Dungeness and inland across the South Downs to Firl Beacon.

This stretch of England’s coastal trail ends at Eastbourne Pier, where you can walk along the seafront promenade in this popular coastal town.

Andy Le Gresley, chairman of the South East National Partnership for Highways, said:

This new 33-mile stretch of England’s coastline is fantastic news for visitors to the beautiful and diverse Sussex coast.

The trail connects several iconic places in Sussex with a high-quality walking route with well-marked signposts. Educators can enjoy the unique diversity of urban and suburban coasts, as well as the combination of different landscapes and views – from steep hills to light promenades.

This new stretch of trail is also an important link in the south-east coast of England. Upon completion all the way to the south-east coast will provide a new route for pedestrians running from Shoreham-by-Sea to London’s Bexley district.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the local authorities and Natural England staff for their many years of hard work and dedication to designing, negotiating and building this wonderful new stretch of coastline.

Additional information

You can find images for section sections here.

The 33-mile (53-kilometer) route will be part of The coastal path of England – The 2,700-mile walking route and England’s newest National Trail, which is currently being developed around the entire English coast of Natural England.

Natural England worked on the Shorham-by-Eastbourne site with a wide range of partners and landowners: Adur County Council, Shorham Port Authority, West Sussex County Council, East Sussex County Council, Brighton and Hove City Council and Howt National Council. Park administration.

Our proposals were submitted to the government in September 2018 and approved in December 2019.

This area is easily accessible by public transport, and along the trail there are many places where you can treat yourself to accommodation.

The Maritime and Coastal Access Act 2009 obliges the Secretary of State and Natural England to provide a long-distance footpath around England’s open coast, and the right of public access to a wider area along the way for people to enjoy. Natural England works all the way along the coast. Map with work schedule here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/england-coast-path-overview-of-progress.

In addition to new sections of the trail, there are improvements to existing access along the coastline that:

  • identify a clear and continuous walking route along this part of the coast, bringing some sections of the existing coastal trail closer to the sea and connecting some places together for the first time
  • allow the route to “roll back” when the coastline is blurred, shifted or slippery, resolving long-standing difficulties in maintaining a continuous route along the coast

For more information, visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/england-coast-path-improving-public-access-to-the-coast and www.nationaltrail.co.uk/.

The Village Coderecently updated, is the official guide on how to enjoy nature and respect it and the people who live and work there.

Find out more about this stretch of England’s coastline and natural England on our social media channels: https://twitter.com/naturalengland (@NaturalEngland), https://twitter.com/NESussexandKent (@NESussexandKent) www.instagram.com/naturalengland/, https://www.facebook.com/naturalengland.


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