The opening of the England Coast Path means that anyone will be able to walk and wild camp along the entire 3,000-mile length of the English coast. As well as being a remarkable national achievement in itself, this new national trail is a hugely exciting prospect for all walkers, campers, fans of the coast and the outdoors.
In 2018 Stephen Neale spent months surveying the proposed route of the path, and from that experience has written a fantastically detailed and rich guidebook covering the route itself, along with everything from the best places to swim, hunt for fossils and eat seafood to hidden away beaches and canoeing spots. The bulk of The England Coast Path is divided up into the 16 coastal counties and features 1,000 places to see, explore, camp and adventure around the coast. Each place has map coordinates, basic directions to it from the path and a short description. Walkers can either visit specific places or link highlights together, walking between them along the path.
The England Coast Path is a true embodiment of our national character – at a time when all things English are so often seen in a negative light, this is a wonderful success story. Environmentalists, volunteers, social campaigners, land owners and politicians have all come together to create a 'ninth wonder of the world'. This path represents what makes England so great: a little bit mad, a little bit proud; but mostly a celebration of this nation's most precious asset: the wild coast.
Stephen Neale is a travel writer. He spends his spare time camping, canoeing, fishing, and sailing an old, inflatable Henshaw Tinker dinghy around the creeks of Essex. Born in Southend-on-Sea in 1964, Stephen grew up crabbing and shrimping in the Thames Estuary, before graduating to a career as a window cleaner in 1980 with a 1st in being lazy and bored at school. A circumnavigation of the global backpacking circuit between 1985-90 convinced him to return to full-time education, and a career in journalism. He worked in regional news for 20 years winning several national journalism awards before becoming a writer.
"A very welcome and absorbing book on a long-anticipated and inspiring project which brings us closer to nature. The England Coast Path will leave a positive and lasting legacy for the nation; the story of its creation is almost as inspiring and refreshing as a stroll along the path itself."
– Tom Fewins, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
"I would encourage anyone with an interest in our open spaces and the campaign for access to read Stephen Neale's England Coast Path"
– Kate Ashbrook, chair of the Ramblers