The latest section of the coastal path includes Whitby, setting for Dracula's arrival on Britain's shores

The latest section of the coastal path includes Whitby, setting for Dracula's arrival on Britain's shores

The longest stretch of England’s coastal path so far proposed was given approval by the Government today.

Almost 113km (70 miles) of North Sea coast is the latest section of the England Coast Path to be given the green light.

The section between Filey Brigg in North Yorkshire and the Newport Bridge in Middlesbrough passes through the North York Moors national park, a section of the Coast to Coast Walk and the Cleveland Way.

Secretary of State Liz Truss approved the plans, and work will now start on the route, the latest section in the 4,345km (2,700-mile) path around England’s shore, due to be completed by 2020.

Rural affairs minister Rory Stewart said: “We have already opened miles of coastal paths across the country, enabling thousands of people to enjoy our spectacular coastline.

“We are an island nation, and the coast and the sea is a central part of what it means to be British.

“North Yorkshire features breathtaking scenery, wild, windswept clifftop walks and vast expanses of sandy shore, incredible places for residents and visitors.

“The new paths announced today will give people easy access to our outstanding coastline as a place to simply rest, relax and admire the view – something that’s crucial for our health and wellbeing – but also for some of the most testing, energetic walks in Britain.”

Walkers on the new section will be able to enjoy historic sites including the gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey, a stroll to the end of Yorkshire’s only Victorian pier in Saltburn, and harbour views in the village of Staithes, home of the explorer Captain Cook.

The England Coast Path is the result of the Marine and Coastal Act passed by the last Labour Government. The Conservative Government has pledged to implement its provisions in line with the commitment of then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during the coalition Government when he said the project would be completed by 2020.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said coastal paths play an important role in attracting visitors to explore rural and coastal communities, meaning more trade for local shops, pubs and hotels which contributes to the UK’s £11bn tourism industry.

Wales already has a coastal path and access to the Scottish coast is possible under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act.

The Environment Secretary also approved plans to alter the route at Dunball Wharf and St Audries Bay, part of the Somerset coastal path covering the stretch between Brean Down and Minehead, to provide in one place an alternative route so that walkers can avoid the need for a descent from the clifftop to the beach.

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