New stretch of King Charles III England Coast Path between Ramsgate and Whitstable now open

The route runs from Ramsgate to Whitstable Photo Natural England

The newest section of the King Charles III England Coast Path between Ramsgate and Whitstable has been completed and officially opened by Natural England today (October 25).

The route is 25 miles long and forms the latest stretch of what will be a 2,700 mile King Charles III path. The opening of this stretch marks completion of 1,000 miles of the route so far.

It includes the 19-mile coastline around Thanet, the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in Britain and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

The route will eventually help connect the country’s entire coastline into one long National Trail. The walk will take people through the many coastal towns, cities and ports which have shaped this island nation.

Excitingly for the first time in the history of public access, legal rights of public access will be secured to typical coastal land including beaches, dune and cliffs, allowing walkers to access some places they’ve never been before.

‘Exciting’

Jim Seymour, Natural England Deputy Director said: “It’s really exciting that this spectacular coastline with it chalk cliffs, wintering birds and popular seaside towns, takes the completed path to 1,018 miles.

“At a time when the benefits of connecting with nature are clearer than ever, it’s fabulous that so much of the King Charles III England Coast Path is open for people to enjoy.

“This stretch should also benefit the local economy in north east Kent by bringing walkers past the many local businesses on this route; to shop, for refreshments and to stay.”

The stretch starts in Ramsgate and takes you past the entrance to the wartime tunnels as you walk beside Ramsgate Main Sands. Following the Grade II listed cliff stairs up to the clifftop, you pass the rock gardens and then go through the King George VI Memorial Park with its 19th Century Italianate Glasshouse and tearoom, and where you will hear the ring-necked parakeets.

Viking Bay Photo Peter Brown

Along the chalk clifftop to Broadstairs, part of the longest continuous stretch of coastal chalk in Britain, you can see France across the channel on a clear day. At Broadstairs you pass the promenade overlooking Viking Bay and go downhill towards the harbour. Here you will see Bleak House, Charles Dickens’ holiday home, sitting above the clifftop. At Broadstairs Harbour you could spot turnstones, a bird well known to this part of the coast, which return each winter.

Stone Bay Photo Jane Wenham-Jones

Carrying along the undercliff promenade beside Stone Bay beach, one of Thanet’s  award winning beaches, the trail goes up to the clifftop again. You walk along the clifftop and will see the lighthouse built in 1691 as you near Joss Bay.

Photo Natural England

There is a new footpath as you reach Kingsgate, and you will see Kingsgate Castle and Kingsgate Bay with its majestic chalk arch. The path then follows the clifftops towards Botany Bay, famous for its chalk stacks.

Photo Natural England

The path continues to Margate, passing Turner Contemporary and Dreamland, and then on to Westgate and Birchington and the Northern Sea Wall. This stretch is flat bordered by shingle beach and grazing marsh and you can see coastal and marshland birds including marsh harriers.

Westgate by @margatesunsets

New fencing has been installed around the saline lagoons next to the sea wall to provide safer nesting and roosting spaces for birds such as avocet and ringed plover. And newly installed information panels help identify the wildlife. You then you go past Reculver Towers, one of the earliest Roman Forts built against Saxon raids.

Between Reculver Country Park towards Herne Bay, the path follows clifftop grassland which provides spectacular views out to sea. Sand martins that nest in the holes in the cliffs at Bishopstone can be seen flying above the path.

Herne Bay Photo Natural England

The trail then reaches Herne Bay with its historic pier, picturesque seafront, and distinctive 80-foot Victorian clock tower. Continuing past Tankerton, and the pretty multi-coloured beach huts, you arrive at Whitstable, a  seaside town, famous for its oysters.

Whitstable Photo Natural England

Clair Bell, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services said: “The opening of the Whitstable to Ramsgate stretch, the latest section of the King Charles III England Coast Path, provides further opportunities for Kent residents and visitors to access the outdoors and connect with the wealth of nature and heritage on their doorstep. It also provides the opportunity for businesses to promote their offer to users of the National Trail.

“This section of the coast offers some of Kent’s finest beaches and heritage including Botany Bay, the remains of St Mary’s Church at Reculver, the Royal Port of Ramsgate and the Turner Contemporary gallery at Margate. There are a host of opportunities and interesting diversions for residents and visitors alike. The commencement of access rights offers the chance to explore new areas of the coast, boosts the local economy and contributes to the health and well-being of residents.”

18 Comments

  1. Ooh, must check out the new path at Kingsgate. Ramsgate to Margate is always a great winter walk – apart from the lack of toilets that forces everyone to pee in hedges!

  2. Natural England were trying to open a car park and an office at the Lizard in Cornwall, they make loads of cash out of these ventures. If you visit Bodiam Castle and use the public footpath which my Father has been using since he was a child, you can walk around the grounds within inches of the Moat for free. The people that run the office will tell you not to use it, but you have a legal right to, same with Canterbury Zoo, there is a public footpath that runs around the boundary which can bring you closer to the animals, again free. Same with Stone Henge a path runs around it from the rear entrance from the main road, again free.

  3. Walk has always been possible .
    How much did new signage cost ?
    No provision of lavatories .
    Well done KCC another discovery of something that ha always been there – keep selling off the council tax payers silver !

    • Did have to make a new footpath on the stretch from Joss Bay to Kingsgate Bay as a continuation of the shared path there. Meant taking out shrubbery and laying down a path that doesn’t seem to have been finished with a top surface fit for purpose. Cyclists have to leave the path and head into the traffic as the new stretch if pedestrians only.

      • No it hasn’t I always do the walk from Broadstairs to the Light House at Stone Bay. It’s still the bit of foot path that ends in the road until the Captain Digby Pub.

  4. Once again the usual negative commentators putting out coast down this has been possible without the help of natural England and KCC I hope now we don’t need another costly coastal trail that some want to waiste town deal money on something that already exists litterly around the Thanet viking trail no harm in a name change signage costs very little we on the Margate town team provide money towards this kind of thing it’s called wayfaring finger posts heritage signs around Margate I wish these people would stop moaning who’s miss pink let readers know who you really are hiding behind aliases

  5. I’ll have to take a walk to see the “new footpath as you reach Kingsgate” as for years I’ve been walking this area and there has long been a footpath from Joss Bay to Kingsgate Castle on the opposite side of the road to the housing – most of it hidden from view from the road.

    • Jane,
      previously part of the walk had to be on the road. No longer, it runs by the golf course for the new bit on the corner.

      • It literally took YEARS to do this, as the gold course objected. That’s why other sections were opened so much sooner.

  6. I would advise anyone walking the stretch between Broadstairs and Margate to walk pretty quickly during the autumn / winter months due to the fact Thanet Council close all the public toilets for months along the route.

    Still, got to pay for those 10% Councillor pay increases somehow eh ?

Comments are closed.