Opening the Northumbrian sections of the England Coast Path

Nuala has played a key role in opening her local stretches of the England Coast Path

I became involved with the Ramblers because of my parents.  My father was footpath officer for the Ramblers in Shropshire, and later in Hexham, Northumberland. I am a member of Hexham Ramblers and regularly walk with the Tyneside Ramblers as I live in Newcastle.  I am a walk leader and also an access officer, working to open up more places to walk.  That includes opening our local section of the England Coast Path. 

Opening the Northumbrian sections of the England Coast Path 

We launched the first Northumbrian section of the England Coast Path at Seaburn on 14 April 2014. When the path is complete, it will join the coastlines of England and Scotland and will link up with Scottish coastal routes including the Berwickshire Coastal Path and John Muir Way, that crosses central Scotland.   

The route of the England Coast Path through Northumbria has now all been approved. The remaining Northumberland stretches are due to be opened over the coming year.  That will give us even more access to be able to walk uninterrupted along the coast. But the path is already making a difference to our coastal access here. There’s a good section near Newbiggin-by-sea, where you can now enjoy wonderful, wild views that weren’t accessible before.  

A view along small grassy cliffs above the sea

Varied landscapes and wonderful views 

The Northumbrian section of the England Coast Path is very varied.  There are urban sections around the estuaries of the River Wear in Sunderland, and the River Tyne at South Shields and Tynemouth.  And there are wild sections along the beaches and sand dunes of the Northumbrian coast. 

One of my favourite parts of the Northumberland coast is at Ross Links. It’s really wild, with miles of white sand and amazing views across to Lindisfarne. There’s so much bird life there.  I think it’s the wide-open views that draw us to the coast and make walking there so special. You see stunning views for such long distances out to sea, completely uninterrupted.  

A man speaking with two women outdoors
Lord Gardiner (left) speaking with Nuala (right) and Gemma Cantelo, then Ramblers Head of Policy and Advocacy at the opening of the South Bents to Amble stretch of the England Coast Path

Opening the coast to more people 

Because of the pandemic people were looking for places to visit in the UK and they have discovered what a beautiful place Northumberland is.   Thanks to the England Coast Path I think even more people will gravitate towards our wonderful coastline and all it has to offer. People also love the challenge of a long-distance path and what could be more exciting than walking the world’s longest continuous coastal trail!  

A group of people walking along a path that curves along the coast
Nuala (right) walking with fellow Ramblers members

Celebrating Great Britain's coast 

Join our Coast Path Countdown as we work to connect all sections of the England Coast Path to create routes right around Great Britain.