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The England Coast Path

1,000 mini adventures around the worlds longest coastal path - In association with National Trails

The England Coast PathPublisher's Information:
England might not be the largest island in the world, but no other nation has opened so much of its coastline for public access. This book explores the England Coast Path*. finding 1,000 mini adventures to enjoy along its entire route. 

In 2018 Stephen Neale, as a path surveyor, spent months walking the England Coast Path, and in doing so 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 book is divided up into the 16 coastal counties and features 1,000 places to see, explore, camp and adventure around the coast. Each place also 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.

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 multi-award winning journalist and author. He was responsible for assessing an Essex section of the path in liaison with Natural
England on behalf of the Ramblers. He is the author of Camping by the Waterside, also published by Bloomsbury.

*At the time of writing, the England Coast Path is due to formally open in 2021 to coincide with Year of the English Coast 2021. The first section opened in 2012 at Weymouth during the Olympic Games. Many more sections of the path have been opened in the last two years and will continue to open in 2020.

Our Review:
Although this national trail is not yet complete (at the time of writing), the England Coast Path will be the world's longest coastal path. In advance of the completion of the Path, due in 2021, this book provides readers with a wealth of ideas for places to visit along its length now.

The beginning of the book provides an outline of the influence 13 individuals had on the idea and creation of the Path, however the majority of the book is taken up with the details of places to visit on or near the Path.

Your itinerary starts in London, on the South Bank of the Thames, and travels clockwise all the way round the English coast finishing in London again, on the north Bank of the Thames.

There is a chapter for each county section of the path and places of interest are listed in the direction of travel, assuming that you follow the path clockwise.

There are a great variety of places described, ranging from ancient and historical sites, nature and wildlife havens, swimmming spots, lovely beaches, etc.

Each place listed includes a description, directions from the nearest car park, the nearest postcode, and GPS co-ordinates.

Places to eat are also featured, including cafes, restaurants, etc. Hotels, B&Bs and campsites are listed too. The places to eat, and stay, have their addresses and website details given but we think it would have been useful to include phone numbers as well.

The whole book is very well illustrated with stunning colour photos, however we do think it is lacking in one important respect - maps. There is just a single outline map of England, with the coastal counties marked. It would have been useful to have additional maps to assist in route planning and finding the locations. But maybe, in this age of ubiquitous sat navs and smartphones, printed maps are no longer considered necessary?

That aside, we think this is a very useful guide to the gems along the English coast that might otherwise be missed. The book is definitely one for the motorhome or campervan glovebox. For anyone walking the coast path, a Kindle edition is available which will save weight in the backpack!

The England Coast Path
Publication date: 19th March 2020
Pages: 320
Author: Stephen Neale
Publisher: Conway, Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 978 1 84486579 6
RRP: £18.99

 Order this book from Amazon, available in paperback and Kindle format: The England Coast Path

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