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12 August 2022

Cumbrians to benefit from new National Trail Coast-to-Coast route

Cumbria County Council are pleased to learn that Natural England have granted the already popular Coast-to-Coast route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire as a new National Trail.

The new status for the 197-mile route will bring with it £5.6m of upgrades which includes funding set aside to develop a community engagement programme and maximise economic and health benefits for local people and businesses.

When a route such as this becomes part of the internally recognised National Trail family, it means certain standards must be met. Therefore, the investment will include a range of measures such as making sure the path is accessible for people with different abilities, improved waymarking and signage, shorter circular mapped routes along the trail and adding the route to the Visit Britain and National Trail’s website to drive more visitors to the area.

The enhancements will be undertaken over the next three years with the upgrades therefore expected to be completed and open in 2025.

Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport said: “This announcement is great news for Cumbria, both for our residents to be able to access high quality walking routes and in terms of the tourism benefits it will bring. The county council’s countryside access team have been heavily involved in progressing this with Natural England and other partners and I’m delighted to see their hard work come to fruition.

“People living in Cleator Moor, Egremont and Kirkby Stephen will be within just 5km of this new route which will provide a real boost from a health and wellbeing perspective and also to the local economy.”

The upgrade to National Trail status will see the route recorded on Ordnance Survey maps in its entirety for the first time. The route was first devised by Alfred Wainwright, a renowned fell walker and author, with his guidebook to the route published in 1973. The route immediately gained a strong following, becoming one of the UK’s most popular long-distance walks.

Today, the long-distance route noted by Wainwright for its scenic beauty passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors crossing through three National Parks and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The path remains popular with walkers and international tourists and is currently walked in its entirety by around 6,000 people every year, generating approximately £7 million for the local economy, despite its unofficial status.

On the Coast-to-Coast path walkers can traverse through high fells, heather moorland and heath. The route also encompasses some of England’s richest history - from iron age hillforts to medieval castles and the village of Ingleby Cross, which is thought to date back to the 10th century.


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Cumbria County Council are pleased to learn that Natural England have granted the already popular Coast-to-Coast route from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire as a new National Trail.