The coast at Sea Palling. Photo: Paul Buckingham CC-BY-SA-2.0

The coast at Sea Palling. Photo: Paul Buckingham CC-BY-SA-2.0

A stretch of the Norfolk coast is being opened to walkers for the first time.

The latest section of the England Coast Path includes three new miles of access between Horsey and Sea Palling, where walkers and wildlife watchers can enjoy a scenic and quieter section of the county’s shoreline.

Natural England, the Government advisory body on the outdoors, is opening 21 miles of the route on Monday. Lord Gardiner of Kimble and Natural England Chairman Andrew Sells are marking the latest extension of the round-England path with a ceremony in Great Yarmouth.

The new section runs from Horsey to Sea Palling.

Natural England’s chairman Andrew Sells said: “The England Coast Path is a fabulous legacy for our great island nation.

“The latest section opening here today is a wonderful showcase for Norfolk’s varied coastline, from historic towns and villages to stunning wildlife and beautiful beaches.

“Opening up the route will also bring huge benefits to the regional economy. Our evidence shows walking is the most popular activity at the coast and we spend more time and money when we visit.”

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “With this section of coast path opening in Norfolk today, I am delighted even more miles of our beautiful coastline will be open for people to enjoy, giving everyone a chance to take in even more of our breath-taking scenery.

“The England Coast Path is a stunning location for people to visit, and has many benefits, including improving our physical and mental wellbeing.”

This is the second stretch of the England Coast Path to open in Norfolk following the 26 miles established between Weybourne and Sea Palling in December 2014.

It also marks 30 years since the Norfolk Coast Path National Trail, from Cromer to Hunstanton, was opened by the Prince of Wales.

Together, the paths cover 83 miles around the Norfolk coast as far as Hunstanton, creating the longest section of coast path in the East of England.

Natural England worked with Norfolk County Council to establish the route. Council chairman David Collis said: “This 21-mile path opens up a new route taking in varied views such as the spectacular wide golden sands of Great Yarmouth and the wildlife rich dunes at Horsey so I’d urge people to visit and discover more of our beautiful county.

“Whether you are ambitious enough to complete the whole new stretch in a day, or simply want to get out and walk off a hearty lunch, it’s a perfect excuse to explore the stunning Norfolk coast.”

Natural England is currently establishing a 2,700-mile path around the entire English coastline by 2020 and work is already under way on more than 60 per cent of the route. When completed, it will be the longest continuous coastal walking route in the world. It will also become a national trail.

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