New sections of the Dorset Coast Path for walkers to enjoy

Major cliff falls and landslides back in 1995 and 2001 between Lyme Regis and Stonebarrow left walkers being diverted off this now unstable and dangerous route onto a lengthy, unpleasant road diversion via the A3052.  Now this stretch has been restored with two new coast path sections.

Lyme Regis Golf Club have generously gifted access creating a new footpath to resolve the gap between Lyme Regis and Charmouth, ensuring that walkers get a fantastic coast path experience.

Dorset Council worked together with Lyme Regis Golf Club, the local community and southwest coast path volunteers to design this new route. It takes walkers safely off road and away from the unpredictable cliff edge and gives stunning birds eye views of the beautiful inland hills and valleys, iconic Lyme Regis and The Cobb, Golden Cap and coastline all the way to Portland, complimenting both the needs of golfers and walkers.

Tara Hansford, Dorset Council’s Strategic Outdoor Access Development Coordinator, said:

“The path is clearly marked by signposting and a newly surfaced path from both Lyme Regis and Charmouth taking you around and across the golf course and through woodland.  Where necessary the path is protected by a safety fence to protect you from the occasional flying golf ball!

“Look out for the fingerpost that wasn’t so lucky!

Coast path signpost with golf ball embedded in it

“In the woodland you travel through three parishes and will encounter two coast path parish boundary markers – one by local craftsman Alex Brooks celebrating the stunning local topography and the other by local artist Greta Berlin celebrating local archaeologist Mary Anning.

“The route provides a variety of interest with numerous viewing points.  Local people and visitors walking the coast path have expressed how much they enjoy this quirky new route and how great it is to get closer to the sea, off the road and onto a more natural path at last.”

New Parish Boundary gateIn addition, Dorset Council worked in partnership with the National Trust and a local landowner who have provided access for a new cliff top path signposted for walkers from Charmouth beach up to Stonebarrow. This route also takes the walker through a parish boundary gate that records the alleged landings of Viking ships on Charmouth beach, designed and crafted by Alex Brooks, Emma Moloney and Tara Hansford – don’t forget to close it as you walk through to stop the cattle escaping.

Cllr Noc Lacey-Clarke, Dorset Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Environment, Travel and Harbours, said:

“Thank you to the local landowners, businesses, community, partners, volunteers, contractors, funders and Dorset Council officers for their commitment to addressing these problems on Dorset’s Coast Path.

“This project restores much needed links on the Dorset section of the Southwest Coast Path, helping to provide a great walking experience.  The Coast Path is invaluable for tourism and the local economy, but these local links also help connect communities to each other and the facilities they provide, supporting our Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy and providing highly valued networks enjoyed by people for recreation, health and wellbeing.

“These projects demonstrate strong partnership working – where working together results in a superb outcome for all involved.  Through the generosity of Lyme Regis Golf Club and local landowners, walkers using the path now have a great experience along this stretch of the Dorset coast.”

Lyme Regis to Charmouth – new path through the woodsThis work was funded by the Rural Development Programme England (RDPE) / European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Southwest Coast Path Association and Dorset Council.  The Parish Boundary Markers project was funded by the Coastal Communities Fund through the Dorset Coast Forum.

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