England Coast Path gets a new section over the White Cliffs of Dover


A new stretch of the England Coast Path which takes in the White Cliffs of Dover and the place Julius Caesar landed in Britain has been launched.

The first section of the round-England coastal path to be opened in the South East gives walkers the chance to enjoy 66 miles of new and improved national trail in Kent and Sussex.

A man and a woman walk through a stile (Stuart Cox/National Trust)

The route - which runs between Camber, East Sussex and Ramsgate, Kent - includes wildlife-rich Dungeness and Pegwell Bay, the supposed landing site of Caesar at Walmer and Napoleonic Martello towers along the coast near Dymchurch.

It is part of a 2,700 mile path that will run around the entire English coastline by 2020, making it the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world, the trail's creators, government agency Natural England said.

Much of the path adopts existing routes - but gives walkers improved signage and rights to explore beaches, cliffs and dunes to the coastal side of the route.

The white cliffs of Dover from the sea (John Miller/National Trust)

Natural England chairman Andrew Sells described the creation of the England Coast Path as "the most significant rights of way project for a generation".

Speaking at the opening of the new section, he said: "This beautiful and iconic stretch will allow walkers to enjoy amazing views, fabulous wildlife and places with significant cultural and historical value - all from a high-quality footpath.

Environment Minister Therese Coffey said: "We have already opened up miles of coastal paths across the country, allowing thousands of people to explore and enjoy our spectacular coastline.

"The White Cliffs of Dover are one of our country's most iconic and instantly recognisable landmarks, and with none of us living further than 75 miles from the sea - many much closer - opening this path will allow more people than ever before to experience this national treasure first-hand."

(John Miller/National Trust)

The new route will also allow cross-Channel visitors to step off the ferry at Dover or Ramsgate and straight onto the England Coast Path.

It is hoped, from the experience of other parts of the country, that the national trail in Kent and Sussex will boost the local economy.

Figures from the South West Coast Path suggests the national trail is worth £400 million to the region's economy, equating to £630,000 per mile.