Cumbria Tourism says it is delighted to hear that the Coast to Coast route has been awarded National Trail status.
The Government’s announcement of £5.6million to improve the 197-mile path means Cumbria will have the coast-to-coast route, Hadrian’s Wall Path and the Pennine Way in its arsenal national trails.
Originally designed by famous walker and author Alfred Wainwright in the 1970s, the Coast to Coast is already one of the UK’s most popular long-distance hikes, but new improvements will see the route recorded on the Ordnance Survey maps for the first time. .
Improvements are expected to include high quality signage, waymarking, path surfaces and infrastructure, as well as the potential use of accessible gates and new connecting routes and circular paths for people wanting shorter walks.
READ MORE: Stunning Wainwright Coast to Coast walk to get £5.6million upgrade
As the county’s official destination management organisation, Cumbria Tourism says the announcement is a real boost to the reputation of the popular long-distance route which stretches from St Bees to the North East Coast.
Sue Clarke, Marketing Director of Cumbria Tourism, comments: “This is fantastic news! Upgrading the coast-to-coast route to National Trail status underscores the strength of Cumbria’s long-distance walking and cycling, and it’s something we’ve been calling for for a long time.
“This will make coast-to-coast more accessible for a variety of different types of users and help create new opportunities for domestic and international tourism. Cumbrian towns including Kirkby Stephen, Whitehaven, Cleator Moor and Egremont are all within 5km of the route, so we hope to see additional benefits for these local communities.
“Our previous President and Chairman, Eric Robson, was instrumental in bringing this vision to fruition and it will truly enhance the reputation of this iconic route for people of all abilities..”
Former Cumbria Tourism chairman Eric Robson is the long-serving chairman of the Wainwright Society. He says, “The designation of Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk as a National Trail has long been one of the Society’s ambitions.
“The Walk is one of the most popular long-distance routes in the country and helps support businesses and jobs from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay, including some of the less populated rural communities in the north.
“We are therefore very pleased with the news that the route will become a new national trail. This is of course the beginning of the success of the project. But this is a very exciting and important step and we are looking forward to working with partners along the way to make the C2C Walk one of the great national footpaths in the UK.
“As Alfred Wainwright said of the walk he dreamed up: ‘There certainly can’t be a better route for a long-distance walk!’”
The new National Coast to Coast Trail is expected to closely follow the existing trail. Improvements will take place over the next three years, with the improved route due to open in 2025.